Onboarding refers to the process in which new employees acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to become effective members of the organisation. An organised mechanism for doing so will make the new employees feel welcomed and valued, as well as prepare them for what lies ahead. From the perspective of the new employees who would probably be feeling confused and nervous, a good onboarding programme will help them to settle down and familiarise themselves with both the physical layout and working culture of the organisation.
As each organisation has its own set of administrative polices, benefits and traditions, it is good to apprise the new employees of these on the first few days, instead of letting them learn them the "hard" way. The supervisor can also play an instrumental role in this process by briefing the new employee about the department's functions and services, the organisational chart, the department's rules and regulations, the employee's job descriptions as well as introduce him or her to his colleagues. In addition, a mentor, who is usually not the employee's direct supervisor, can also be appointed to provide guidance to the employee.
At the management level, it would go a long way if they can make the effort to greet the new employees, while also sharing with the latter the company's vision, mission and values. Some organisations also do this with a personal touch by giving the new employee a welcome gift or have his or her office ready with the phone list and business cards all nicely prepared beforehand. To avoid overwhelming the new employee during his first few days at work, his or her peers can be encouraged to show him or her around or be there to answer any queries.