Onboarding Problems? Keep Calm and Make A Checklist

There are many reasons why onboarding tasks can get overlooked. High workloads, interruptions, fatigue, stress, poor training, lack of understanding, complacency, and apathy can all lead to staff neglecting to complete a task.

Well constructed checklists can overcome a lot of these problems by highlighting and elevating the importance of onboarding activities and providing greater clarity about each step.

What makes a good onboarding checklist?

Do you have a relative that you avoid at family BBQ’s because they talk too much? Yes, you know the one. The incessant jawsmith who turns a short story into an epic tale containing soooooo much extraneous detail that you worry your facial muscles might never budge from the slightly unhinged expression of feigned interest you have been holding for the last 3 hours…

Unlike your chatty relative, effective onboarding checklists are precise and to the point. When creating a checklist, avoid the temptation to spell out every little detail or you will risk it being ignored or avoided too.

Furthermore, a good onboarding checklist should be set out in a logical order to help streamline the process and make the user more efficient.

Types of checklists

Process Checklist

These checklists take users step by step through onboarding procedures that must be followed in a particular order. Example:

  • Select the new hire’s buddy;
  • Meet the buddy to discuss the company’s Buddy Guidelines;
  • Introduce new hire to their buddy on the first day;
  • Arrange for buddy to have lunch with new hire on the first day;
  • Meet with buddy and new hire to review the first week;
  • Meet with buddy and new hire to review the first month.

To Do Checklist

These are a list of random things that need to be done but don’t necessarily have a required sequence. Example:

  • Invite the new hire to coffee to catch up;
  • Identify a new hire with an interesting background to profile in the company newsletter;
  • Arrange focus groups with new hires to collect data about the onboarding experience.

Communication Checklist

The communication checklist lists any task that requires multiple parties to collaborate and includes things like review meetings and status updates. Example:

  • Set up meetings with key people to finalise new hire’s onboarding plan;
  • Meet with the new hire’s leader prior to the 3 month probation review to discuss the new hire’s performance;
  • Create a placeholder with stakeholders after 90 days for onboarding process review

Task Schedule

One of the most popular and useful ways of displaying activities (tasks or events) is against time. A Project Timeline, also known as a Gantt chart, details:

  • The list of activities;
  • When each activity begins and ends;
  • How long each activity will take;
  • Overlaps in activities.
Onboarding Checklists

Checklists as a visual

These kinds of checklists are useful for seeing at a glance whether Onboarding is on track as planned.

How can an onboarding system help?

Onboarding a new employee is a complex task involving a lot of steps and a number of stakeholders. This is why so many companies are turning to onboarding systems to automate their workflows and improve outcomes for their business and people.

In addition to taking a lot of the legwork out of manual processes, good onboarding software will give you the functionality to create customised checklists so you can make sure critical tasks are completed on time, every time.

With an effective onboarding system you can:

  • Turn your paper lists or spreadsheets into easy to use checklists;
  • Organise checklists into related items within categories;
  • Share checklists and assign workflows to other users and departments;
  • Review checklists any time from any kind of device;
  • Change the order of checklists just by dropping and dragging;
  • Track onboarding progress;
  • Create alerts to remind team members about tasks;
  • Track activities and get notified when tasks are done;
  • Generate status reports.

Don’t let your onboarding spiral, download our Easy Guide to a Great Onboarding Process and streamline new starter management today.