As they often say, one doesn’t get a second chance to make a first impression. It really is true, at least in the case of employee onboarding.

Well, think about it. Here’s a starry-eyed new employee, all ready to have a blazing day one, but they don’t even get their laptop, and worse, the IT folks have no clue that someone new is even joining.

Sounds bizarre? Not really!

It’s happened to a lot of folks. Truth, maybe, is stranger than fiction.

The above is a random one-off example. We are sure that you’ve heard horror onboarding stories from friends and colleagues. So, we decided enough is enough and got down to creating a checklist for companies to help them do better onboarding.

Let not your new employees ask these questions

To create this checklist, we’ve taken ample examples from Reddit to drive home the gravity of the situation and sometimes to just showcase the utter nonchalance of the people responsible for onboarding.

Exhibit 1 – Am I my onboarding manager? Also, what’s this GDFDV, ABC you just said?

I don’t really know if I’m doing things the right way or not. I’m kinda just figuring out what’s expected of me through experience and haven’t gotten any feedback, so I guess it’s working?

I’m so sick of the never ending buzzwords and acronyms that lack context or explanations. People just expect you to know these domain specific things and then act annoyed when you ask the appropriate questions.

What should have been done?

Exhibit 2 – Where’s my 30/60/90-day plan?

Even as a contractor, I have never experienced onboarding. I was dragged into a 3-hour long brainstorming meeting, and literally, I didn’t have the WiFi password.

I’d say 50% of the people at that meeting were upset that I wasn’t already a product expert and that I wasn’t paying attention ….because I was trying to log in to my new email address.

What should have been done?

Exhibit 3 (Part 1) – Where’s my machine and hey, what about my access?

I’m a week and a half into a new job in a large financial company and while the pay increase is great, the onboarding process has made me wonder if I made the right choice to leave my job.

When I arrived, there was no machine assigned to me, no access and when I did get access I had basically no permissions

What should have ideally been done?

Exhibit 3 (Part 2) – Where’s my manager, and, wait..what about my team?

My manager has been on vacation. Should be back next week. I’ve already been assigned to pull data for a database that I was given a ten minute tutorial on and no documentation of any kind. I have been introduced to at least six different systems only one with documentation.

I don’t even know who is really on my team and what their jobs are hence I don’t really know who to ask anything.

Meanwhile I’m getting things sent to me as if I should know how they work and I’m thinking to myself, what is this? Maybe I’m looking at it the wrong way?

What should have been done?

Exhibit 4 – Should I ‘request’ for every little thing?

When I switched jobs to a big agency, the pay was doubled but I was questioning my every move for weeks. I had to put in IT requests for monitors, access to data, access to shared networks, a VPN, etc.

I thought “This is the life of big companies huh”. For some reason I stuck it out though.

What should have been done?

Onboarding is a big deal, not just for employees but also for your company

Source – bambooHR’s How to Make Employee Onboarding a Top Priority in 2023

And if you want to make sure that your onboarding process is failproof and your new hires don’t join the above Redditors, the following checklist is a good place to start.

Stages of employee onboarding process

Stage 1- Offer Letter

Stage 2- Offer Acceptance

Stage 3- Waiting period

Stage 4-Day 1

Stage 5- 30/60/90/120 days plan