New hire onboarding and employee orientation sets the stage of a new employee’s perception of your business and culture, and perhaps more importantly, clearly establishes the businesses expectations of the employee.

I recently heard stories from new employees at two separate businesses and how they felt overwhelmed and discouraged on their first day at their new job. The stories described things like once hired, there was no communication until the day they arrived on site, not knowing where to park or where to report, not being introduced to other employees, and not even receiving specific training necessary for their job.

How to Get Started

Onboarding does not need to be complicated or burdensome. A simple checklist of prioritized items such as, who can help them with a specific topic or task and a timeline for completion of each task, as well as an overall list, can provide clear guidance and expectations. Successful new hire onboarding using a clear strategy will help an employee become productive quickly, saving an employer time and money; it also helps the employee feel welcome and supports employee retention and commitment or loyalty to the business.

Onboarding for seasonal help, like for a holiday or summer season, is crucial. Temporary help should clearly understand their role, scope of work, and who can guide, train, or answer questions. Consider allowing the temporary employee to shadow a star, full-time employee, permitting your star to mentor and train. However, for this to be successful, ensure this mentor or star, has the skills and training to appropriate fulfill this duty! Recognize the mentor’s efforts with an award or bonus, after all, they may be saving the business management time and heartache.

A Few Tips

  • Need help developing and implementing an onboarding program?  Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor.
  • Prepare an onboarding template that can be adjusted by position. The template can include:
    • A task list for the employee – you won’t have to try to remember what you want to cover. List things that can or should be communicated before the new hire’s first day.
    • Employee orientation items (tasks to complete the first or second day)
    • Employee onboarding items (tasks/training that will be completed over a period of time)

About the Author: Jill serves as the State Director of the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network with a Master’s degree in public administration. She is also a graduate of the 2012 Leadership Wyoming class and holds many valuable certifications in areas such as business advising, technology development and commercialization, business planning, financial management, and productivity. Jill has been with the network since 1998 and loves nothing more than seeing entrepreneurs succeed.

When she’s not in the office or on the road, Jill enjoys loving on her dogs Buttercup and Dilly, spending time with her husband, and knitting something cozy.

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Accessibility Information


All Wyoming SBDC Network programs and services are provided to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Language assistance services for clients with limited English proficiency will be provided. Contact: Jill Kline at (307) 766-3405 or wsbdc@uwyo.edu 

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