An effective onboarding checklist for marketers
Onboarding is the process of welcoming a new employee to your company and ensuring they acquire the knowledge and skills they need. An induction should cover their specific tasks and responsibilities, but also the company’s values and working culture. Temps and freelancers also need effective onboarding to perform well.
It’s important to have a good onboarding process because:
- Up to 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days. If an employee is struggling and does not feel supported in their role, they could leave and you’ll have to start the recruitment process again.
- Without a good onboarding process, employees can take a long time to become effective, costing your team lost productivity.
- If a staff member leaves shortly after joining, it can have a negative impact on your team’s morale and their performance.
- Less than six months into the honeymoon period of a new role, 31% of UK employees admit they are disappointed. If you don’t look after your new employees, they could spread negative feedback about your company, damaging your employer brand.
So onboarding is an important part of employee retention, but how can you do it effectively when everyone is busy and you’ve got limited time and resources. Our checklist below will help make sure you don’t miss anything.
Before they start
Email your new employee with instructions for their first day – what time they should arrive, who they should ask for at reception, etc
Liaise with IT & HR to ensure all starting paperwork is completed and they have a network login, email account and phone number set up.
Make sure they are added to team email / phone groups
Add details to team web page / intranet / employee directory and update org charts / phone lists / seating plans
Ensure their workspace is set up with computer, phone, chair and stationery
Order business cards if necessary
Send an announcement email to all relevant staff introducing the new hire and explaining their role and responsibilities
If you use a password manager to store team passwords, share details with them
On the first day
Introduce them to team members and key contacts in other departments
Hold a team lunch to allow them to socialise with their new colleagues
Conduct an orientation around office – pointing out toilets, kitchen, fire escape, etc
Give them a copy of your employee handbook
Make sure they are clear about their lines of reporting and who they can approach for help
Run through your organisation’s formal policies, as well as informal conventions like dress code, sickness procedure etc.
In the first week
Go through their responsibilities and set initial goals for their first 90 days. If they are in a probationary period, make it clear what is required to pass probation.
Give them an introduction to the company, including its vision, mission, values
Go through your customer personas and sales funnels – schedule some tag-along customer visits if possible
Go through your products / services, including USPs, pricing, competition and channels to market
Talk through previous marketing activity and results, including ad copy, branding and messaging
Run through the marketing budget and team goals and how they fit in to company goals
Go through your team processes, eg putting together a campaign from initial concept to sign-off for launch. Visual aids and flow diagrams can help to make these clear.
Give them copies of your design guidelines and style guide
Assign them an onboarding buddy – ideally someone in a similar role in a different team and ask them to check in with them regularly
Go through the tools your team regularly uses, eg:
- Email software
- CMS + analytics
- Social media accounts
- Design tools
- Any other marketing tools
Book in training for any essential software or marketing skills they are missing
Make sure your new hire has some actual work to do, not just learning. It’s virtually impossible to take in everything if it’s presented in one unbroken block of information.
In the first 90 days
Hold regular meetings to check the progress of your new employee. These should tail off in frequency as the employee becomes more competent and familiar with their work.
Arrange a formal progress meeting (often a probation review) after three months. This should have been enough time for an employee to settle in and start producing work of value.
If your new hire is not progressing as planned, act promptly and be honest about the situation. Create a plan for improvement and if that fails, cut ties with them as soon as possible. It’s in everyone’s interest to address the situation as soon as possible if things are not going to work out.