Employee Motivation

Managers: A new employee onboarding checklist to ramp your team up faster

5 min read

New employee onboarding isn’t just the responsibility of HR, it’s also a huge part of being a great manager. This new employee onboarding checklist is sure to set your new hire up for success from day one!

Hiba Amin

A Harvard Business Review study found that nearly 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first 6 months, a lot of which are because of a poor onboarding experience. So, providing your new employee with the best onboarding experience should be a priority.

That’s why we’ve put together a new employee onboarding checklist that’s been created for managers, not just HR. In fact, we use this template internally with every new hire at SoapBox!

Go directly to the new employee onboarding template.

Why should you care about properly onboarding a new employee?

If you’re employees feel excited and set up for success right from day one, it makes a big difference. According to SHRM, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. 

There’s a massive business case for having a solid onboarding experience for new employees. 

Speaking from recent experience, when I first started at SoapBox, it was hands down the best onboarding process I have had at any company to date. In fact… It was so amazing that I made the effort to let everyone` know on LinkedIn:

new employee shares their positive onboarding experience online

Imagine if all of your employees talked about your organization so publicly this way? 👆All of this because of an awesome onboarding experience.

A breakdown of your new employee onboarding checklist

This onboarding checklist breaks down what needs to be done internally by IT/HR/Management the weeks preceding your new employee’s start date and then breaks down the first two weeks of your new hire’s onboarding. If you’re using SoapBox, all you have to do is select the onboarding agenda template and invite your onboarding stakeholders to contribute!

Before your new employee’s first day

Start your list with things that need to be done before the new employee starts. Be sure to assign every task or activity you set to an individual with a due date to ensure that things actually get done. 

🗂 HR stuff to do 

  • Enroll employee to benefits program
  • Complete background check
  • Sign options grant
  • Assign a buddy 
  • Other paperwork necessary

💻 Desk set up and swag

  • Put together employee welcome package (swag, stickers, etc)
  • Set up desk (laptop and other tech or tools needed)

📩 Invites to all meetings and platforms

  • Email
  • Calendar invites to various meetings/events
  • Google drive (or equivalents)
  • HR platform
  • Password management tool
  • Any tools they need access to

Day-to-day onboarding checklist for your new employee

Keep in mind that you can edit this template to fit your team and process best. The steps below walk through how we onboard new employees during their first week at SoapBox. 

🗓 Day 1 – Welcome to the company!

  • Set up your laptop
  • Accept invites to tools, calendars, other platforms, etc
  • Start reading your onboarding doc
  • Set up your Slack account
  • Get a tour of the office from [name]
  • Fill out HR paperwork

At SoapBox, every employee receives an onboarding document containing our employee handbook, department-specific information and other important information. Our onboarding documents have proven to be a great way to share information on things like our values, team structure and more. 

🗓 Day 2 – Get to know your team and the company!

  • Start creating your demo day deck
  • Meet with your manager to talk department specifics
  • Continue reading onboarding documents
  • Welcome orientation with CEO

Every new SoapBoxer is asked to create “demo day deck” to present at their first demo day. The presentation includes things like their role, past experience, fun facts (i.e. “I hate peanut butter with a passion 🤮”), what they’re excited to work on and more! This is an awesome opportunity for new employees to introduce themselves to everyone at the company. It also gives current employees easy talking points for when they introduce themselves to the newcomer (i.e. “I also hate peanut butter with a passion 🤢), making the onboarding experience even better! 

🗓 Day 3 – Let’s learn about how things work around here!

  • Meet your office buddy for a coffee or treat
  • Review the company website to learn more about the product and brand
  • Learn about your team’s work and process (This could be doing a code review for developers, reading help articles and going through conversations for customer success, or reviewing the product roadmap for product, etc). 
  • HR department orientation

Every new SoapBoxer gets assigned a buddy from a different team. We’ve seen that by doing this, it helps reduce a lot of the first week jitters. It gives the new employee an opportunity to meet a new friendly face and ask questions about things not necessarily related to the job (i.e. “How do I use the coffee machine?” ☕️). It’s also great for building more cross-departmental relationships within the office!

🗓 Day 4 – First project and welcome lunch!

  • Start your first project!
  • Enjoy your welcome lunch
  • Marketing department orientation

We welcome every new employee with a welcome lunch. We invite members of their direct team, as well as other individuals who they’ll be collaborating with. Building connections in a space outside of the office walls is a great way to help everyone let loose and create more genuine connections. 

🗓 Day 5 – TGIF! How was your first week?

  • Check-in with your manager – How was your first week?
  • Finish your scavenger hunt
  • Product department orientation

At SoapBox, we give every new employee a scavenger hunt to complete in their first week. It’s a great way to gamify what otherwise might be menial tasks like getting wifi passwords or learning how to work the coffee machine. 

Having recently onboarded myself, I can’t begin to explain how crucial a good onboarding process is when ramping up at a new company. Within a week, I felt like I had been a part of the organization for months. I was set up for success from day one. Having my first two weeks planned out, with several opportunities to talk to people from every department took away so much of the stress that comes with joining a new organization. 

New employee onboarding template

Now it’s time to prepare your new employee onboarding checklist so you can ramp up your employee in a smooth and timely manner. There’s probably a lot you’d like to share with this new hire, but you need to make sure that you’re not overwhelming them from day one. 

Get started with our new employee onboarding template!

New employee onboarding checklist template