What We Wish We Knew: Onboarding Tips from the Pros

We’ve all been there - Day one at a new job and there are still uncertainties of what to expect. So many questions about the unknown that’s coming their way. This first impression sets the framework for the rest of their employment, including their overall onboarding experience. 

Without the proper planning and consideration, your new employees may be left to fend for themselves, causing them to feel overwhelmed and overlooked. We talked with some of our UrbanBound colleagues and pulled together a list of things they wish they would’ve known on their first day at a new job to better prepare you to ensure a successful onboarding experience for your employees Check out our employee onboarding tips below.

Why is my position available? 

This question speaks for itself. Knowing why a position is available allows new employees to understand a little more about company dynamics. For example, if the position is new, it shows how you’re looking to grow and improve the company, but if the person in the position previously was let go, it could show the employee your expectations.

Navigating the Office

On the first day, many people don’t know where to go, let alone where to park. Is street parking available? Are parking tags necessary? If a new employee receives a parking ticket, will your company provide reimbursement? These are especially important for those who work in or near a University. 

Parking is the very first thing a new employee will do on their first day, and as small as it is, it could set a spiral of negative events for the day. Consider issuing a parking pass to the new employee, if necessary, or giving them a call the morning of their first day to direct them to the correct parking spot. 


Office Lingo 

UB has them. If someone outside of UrbanBound were to step into our office or listen in to some of our meetings, there’s plenty for terms and jokes that no one outside of the company would understand. 

Consider creating a “Lingo Guide” to your company for new employees on their first day as a reference until they get the hang of everything. Oftentimes as a new employee, it’s intimidating to join j conversations where everyone, besides yourself, knows what’s going on. This could save them from potential embarrassment while ensuring they’re able to keep up.

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Work-from-Home and Remote Working Policy

One of the most important discussion topics before an employee starts their first day is your company’s remote working policies. As everyone continues  to keep their employees safety and health as high priority, but still get back to work, each company is unique. 

Educate your new employee on how your company is handling this new normal and what options for working from home or remotely is acceptable. Manage expectations from the start.

Leave Policy 

All too often it’s not until a new employee is completely onboarded that company leave policies are brought up. For some this may not be a big deal; however, there may be employees with unique situations where leave could be a bigger issue. 

For example, you may have a new employee whose child has medical issues resulting in many doctor appointments. 

Who doesn’t want to know a leave policy though? Be transparent of what your company offers including the recognized holidays, how many vacation and sick days employees are allotted, the formal process of how to request  PTO and maternity / paternity policies.

Performance Evaluation

An overwhelming response we received was regarding performance evaluations. It is important that new employees have a clear understanding how their performance will be evaluated. This can be particularly stressful for new employees, but with this knowledge, could give them a leg up to do a better job by fully understanding their position and what’s required of them.


We know. It’s a lot of information. GlassDoor conducted a study which states properly onboarding employees can increase retention by 82%. That’s HUGE! Setting your new employee up with as much positive, transparent information as possible so they’re not left in the dark wondering what your expectations are or what benefits they have will benefit YOU in the long run.

Human Resources Today