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How to Create an Employee Onboarding Process for Your Agency

Posted by Nicolas Jacobeus on Jun 20, 2016


When a new employee joins your agency, no doubt you’ll have a whole load of information that you’ll need to share with them. Some of this information will be very specific and vary depending on the role and seniority of position that you’ve hired for, but a lot of that information will be the same across all new hires.

So today I’m looking at how you can create an employee onboarding process, to help share all that general information with your new hire, and help them get started working at your agency.

Before They Join

1) Sort Out Infrastructure

Before your new employee starts, you’ll have lots of behind-the-scenes admin to sort out. Things like setting up their email address, and their accounts on key tools you use, all need to be sorted ahead of their first day. So you need to define who is responsible for setting those up, and how far ahead of the employee’s start date you want that to be set up.

You should also sort out where they’ll be working, and make sure their computer has all the software they’ll need to carry out their work – for example, if you’ve hired a new designer they’ll likely need the Adobe suite preinstalled. Having ‘their’ space set up will help your new hire feel welcome.

2) Involve the Team

The last thing any new employee wants is to turn up for their first day and be met by blank stares. Make sure your team knows in advance the start date of your new employee and what time they’re expected on their first day. If you’ve got a receptionist, make sure they’re aware too, so they’re expecting your new hire when they turn up.

You should also clearly define who the new hire will report to, and what their job role will be. This will help your team understand how the new employee will fit in with the existing team. Additionally, you will need to sort out who will greet the new hire on their first day – ideally this will be someone they’ll work closely with in their role, so will be well placed to offer advice and help when needed.

You should also ensure that someone on their team pulls together information on your agency’s current projects for your new employee to read over. This will help familiarise them with your clients and current workload, and help them get up to speed quickly.

3) Put Together a New Employee Handbook

If your agency is hiring on a regular basis, it might be worthwhile putting together an employee handbook. This is a great way to share all the general, practical information that’s applicable to all employees, in a way that they can easily refer back to later. For example: setting up payroll, requesting leave, absence through sickness, expenses, how to get their parking permit etc.

It’s also a great place to outline how the company works, its key values, and how it’s structured. You may also want to include advice on where they can access information – for example if you’ve got a company intranet, or how files are saved.

When They Join

1) Plan Their First Day

The first day of a new job is full of unknowns for the employee, so it can be helpful to have a fair bit of structure to their first day.

Try and include some time to read and learn about the agency’s current projects, alongside scheduled meetings to introduce them to key team members. You may also want to schedule a team lunch during their first week to help them get to know their colleagues away from their desks.

2) Set Expectations

It’s important to clearly define what you expect from them in their new role, and also what they can expect from you. Let your employee know what ‘good work’ looks like in their role, and during their first weeks offer specific, actionable feedback to help them produce high-quality work.

You should also let them know how their performance will be assessed – will they have regular 1-1s with their manager? Do you have annual pay reviews? What can they do to advance their career? This information will help to align them with your agency’s values and business priorities, as well as helping your employee understand how they are delivering value to the agency.

3) Establish Their Support Network

In your first weeks, it can be daunting to ask your new colleagues for help if you’re stuck on a task.

You may want to consider assigning a buddy or mentor who they’ll work closely with on their first projects: someone to be their first point of contact for questions. Additionally, you should provide them with information about key contacts for specific concerns, so they know who best to contact for task-specific queries, questions about their roles and responsibilities, or personal questions.

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