An employee’s days and weeks at work can be stressful, chaotic, and overwhelming—and then there’s the new hire.Strike a confident, considerate tone by creating an employee onboarding process that is personal and positive without making it complicated. It should answer, in short order, the four main questions all new employees have:

  • Who is my boss?
  • What are my main responsibilities?
  • Where are the breakroom and restrooms?
  • Where can I put my coat?

While simple, how well your company addresses these “basic needs” questions will set the tone for how you operate throughout your new hire’s entire career. The point of a solid onboarding process is to increase employee engagement, loyalty, and tenure; without it, you’ll sink more time, energy, and money into the repeated training of new hires than you will other crucial aspects of your business—and that rarely works out well.

Here are five simple ways to make a positive impact on a new employee.

1) Make them feel at home

Your new hire should feel like they have a spot they can claim, whether it’s a physical desk or office or a place they can count on to place their coat, lunch, and personal items. It should be clean and posted with their name as if they were always meant to be there.

2) Get them connected

All technology set-up should be completed before the employee’s first day; nothing makes a new hire feel out of place than having things referred to as “John’s old laptop” or “Patrice’s extension.” All laptops, emails, peripherals, permissions, and phones should be ready for the new hire prior to her first day on the job; this makes training, troubleshooting, and everyone’s first week a little easier.

3) Give them a tour

Your new hire’s first day started with finding a parking spot in a new place; it will take him a while to get the lay of the land. Unless you show him, of course, which is exactly what you should do. Don’t just show him the break rooms and restrooms; introduce him to people as you go, especially the people with whom he’ll be working closely. Before you part ways, give him a map that is labeled with everything (and everyone) you covered.

4) Simplify the paperwork process

We can all remember our first days at work as we filled out form after form with the same repeated information. Benefits, taxes, job description, handbooks—more paper gets pushed at new hires on the first day than almost every day following. Streamline this process as much as possible with intuitive Human Resources software that allows cross-referencing, cross-checking, and no crossed eyes.

5) Swag is always a good idea

Go as crazy or as practical as you please here; even fresh office supplies bundled with a company t-shirt can go a long way to showing a new employee that you are bringing your A-game to the table, and that you are expecting the same from her.

And remember, onboarding isn’t just a one-day thing. Create schedules and strategies for follow-up, check-ins, and team meetings. Concerns and accomplishments in this period should be addressed quickly; it demonstrates awareness, responsiveness, and accountability, and lays the groundwork for employee success and satisfaction.

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