Employee Onboarding Mistakes You Probably Make

New-employee onboarding is often overlooked as just the first few hours on a job when a new hire fills out paperwork. That’s your first mistake. Are you guilty of others?
Employee Onboarding Mistakes You Probably Make
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Seventy-six percent of HR leaders say employee onboarding practices are underutilized at their organization. Poor onboarding practices can lead to disengaged employees, higher turnover, and even legal compliance issues.

If you’d like to pass on those headaches, keep reading to see common onboarding mistakes you can avoid.

What's Onboarding?

First off, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. 

Becoming comfortable and confident in a new position can take an employee four to six months or more. This period of acclimation should all be seen as onboarding.

Unfortunately, companies make a lot of mistakes in onboarding that put the brakes on that acclimation period.

What does that mean for you? Less productivity for longer.

Let’s dive into what these mistakes are and how you can avoid them.

Day-One Mistakes

It’s never too early to make a mistake in onboarding. It’s a delicate process, so make sure you start out on the right foot.

Starting Too Late

If you start your onboarding process on day one, you’ve already made a mistake. Do as much of the initial onboarding process as possible before the employee even walks through the doors on his or her first day.

Administrative tasks are important, but they’re not onboarding. Onboarding needs to be more about integrating your new hire into the cultural and social aspects of the company.

"If you start your onboarding process on day one, you’ve already made a mistake. Do as much of the initial onboarding process as possible before the employee even walks through the doors on his or her first day."

By using a great onboarding tool, the administrative tasks can be done beforehand so day-one can be spent more productively.

Your new employee has gotten excited about the job over the weeks of research, and interviews. Don’t kill this motivation by giving them 20 documents to sign and the employee handbook to read. 

Make their first experience on the job a picture of what they were hoping for.

Using Paper

If you use paper in your onboarding process, frankly, you’re wasting time. Paper takes time to keep track of, signatures take time to collect, and finding papers when you need them is always a pain. 

Not only is paper slow, but it’s also a security risk. Onboarding paperwork holds a lot of seriously personal information. Running even the slightest risk that someone could get this information is just not worth it. 

A good cloud-based onboarding system can nix these issues. 

With Eddy’s digital document signing and storage features, you don’t have to worry about spending the time dealing with paper-specific problems. 

On top of that, security is our first priority. Your employee info will be safe in Eddy.

Where Do I Sit?

Imagine you’re on a business trip. After a long day of meetings, you walk into your hotel room ready to crash.

Instead of a neatly made bed, fresh bath towels, and a chocolate on your pillow, you find a bare bed, an overflowing trash can, and no customer service phone. Is that a satisfying experience? 

On day one, new employees should see a clean workspace, a ready computer, and some company swag, not the previous employee’s cookie crumbs. 

Not finding a ready workspace will make your new hire feel less than welcome. They might even form negative opinions of your organization as you run around looking for a monitor. 

It’s ok to scramble a little before they get there, but be done scrambling by the time they arrive. 

Something that’s overlooked too often is giving your new hire access to all the software they’ll need to dive in. Don’t hamstring your new hire by not giving them the tools they need before they need them.

First Few Months

Onboarding is not over once the new hire signs the required papers and knows where the snack closet is. It takes months for employees to be fully acclimated, so help them out during the process.

They've Made It Two Weeks, They're Good, Right?

Wrong. Your new hire probably knows the basic processes of the company, but there is still a lot to learn before they’re totally comfortable.

Have occasional one-on-ones with your new hire to see how they’re doing and what you can do to help.

"Have occasional one-on-ones with your new hire to see how they’re doing and what you can do to help."

During these conversations, you may find that your new hire still doesn’t really feel oriented.

They know their own job, but not everyone else’s. They have the required skills to do great work, but they’re unfamiliar with how your company does the little things. Help them figure all this out.


Your new hire probably only knows a couple of people when they start at your company. In order to really enjoy work and become invested in the company, they need engagement. 

Ideally, engagement is something that’s a focus outside of just onboarding. Strengthen your team and especially your new hire by improving your engagement efforts.

Growth is key to job satisfaction. All of your employees, and especially your new hire, should feel like they’re growing on an individual level. Provide them with educational resources and other growth opportunities to make them glad they picked you.


I’m not saying you need to baby your new employees. Just make sure they are well fed, get both a morning and an afternoon nap, and have plenty of opportunities to play well with others.

I’m kidding.

Your new employee is excited to start working and contribute their ideas to the team. The point of onboarding is to help them do that effectively as soon as possible.

That means maximizing time on day one, making them feel welcome, and giving them all they need to be productive.

Upgrade your onboarding game with Eddy’s robust onboarding tools so you can reduce turnover, enhance employee satisfaction, and help new hires hit the ground running.

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