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Onboarding new employees | A step-by-step plan

This blog post will help you organize the onboarding of new employees in the retail and hospitality industry. Use this step-by-step plan before, during, and after the first day at work.
Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman

medewerkers inwerken

Onboarding new employees: what is the best way to do that? What is involved in this onboarding period? The onboarding period does not start on the day itself, but about 2 weeks before your new employee starts. And this period does not end until 6 months after that. During the onboarding period, your employee will be introduced to the corporate culture, activities, the most important values, and the team.

Overview of all the onboarding tips

Advantages of a good onboarding period:

  • Your employees will be productive faster thanks to a good onboarding process.
  • 69% of employees surveyed remain with a company for at least three years if they have followed a structured onboarding program.
  • 1/3 of your employees leave the organization within the first six months. This period is therefore crucial for your employees.
  • Employees say that they would have stayed longer if they had received better training and guidelines during their onboarding period.

11 tips for introducing your employees to the retail and hospitality industry

Before the first working day:

1. Arrange all practical matters for the first working day

Make sure your new employee can start right away. This means all practical matters must be in order:

  • The right size work clothes.
  • A list of colleagues and their responsibilities.
  • Login codes of apps and programs.
  • Cards and keys must be ready and available.

It's helpful if your team already knows a new face before their first working day. This helps your team make the new employee feel at home. 

💡 Top tip: ask the new employee in advance to write something about themselves. For example, what makes them happy in the work environment, what they expect from the company, and what their best trait is.

It is also nice for the new employee to get to know a little more about the team. Your employees could introduce themselves as a team in a short video.

2. Prepare an information package for new employees

Make sure that this package contains at least the following practical information:

  • General company information
  • Internal phone list
  • House rules
  • Sickness procedures
  • Pension scheme

It is also important to share additional information about the company. You may want to include the following:

  • the mission, goals, and vision
  • a virtual tour of the company
  • colleagues who explain why it is fun to work at your company

3. Set up a quiz for the first day of work

Allow new employees to get to know your organization in an interactive way. This can be done through a quiz that your employee can complete before their first working day. It is best if this is done virtually. An employee app for onboarding would be ideal for this.

💡 Top tip: Use gamification to make it extra fun. Your new employee will be happy to complete the quiz when you add this game element. 

4. Send a special invitation for a quiz, drinks, or lunch

By inviting your future employees for lunch, games or drinks, everyone can get to know each other informally. This will make new employees feel at home more quickly.

On the first day:

5. Give your new employee a gift

It is not a mere luxury to give your employee a warm welcome. Giving flowers, a mug, balloon, or card shows that you have put in extra effort and your employee will notice. 

🎁 Extra side effect: the chance that your employee will post a positive message on social media is greater. This is positive for the employer branding of your organization.

6. Draw up an onboarding program

Outline what needs to be done for the employee. This should include:

  • How long an onboarding period takes
  • Which tasks this employee will perform
  • Which colleagues should help with the onboarding process 

7. Make sure your employees have a buddy to turn to

It will be good for a new employee to have a colleague they can turn to. Did you know that 56% of starting employees indicate that having a buddy is very important? Therefore, appoint a buddy.

This buddy will be available for answering any questions the new employee might have, but it can also be useful for your new employee to shadow their buddy for a while to get acquainted with all the standard procedures of the job.

This is useful in the hospitality industry. It will help your new employees familiarize themselves with your organization in a fun and informal way.

8. Have lunch with your new employee on the first working day

Lunch can be a bit lonely and awkward. Especially if employees work in different shifts and do not have a break at the same time, which is often the case in the retail and hospitality industry. Make sure that your employees have that first lunch with their manager or some colleagues. This is a good opportunity for colleagues to talk to each other and get to know each other.

💡 Top tip: play lunch roulette. Switch places so that everyone has a chance to speak to each other. This works particularly well when you have many employees.

In the longer term (3+ months):

The onboarding process does not end after the first working day. Make sure to still pay attention to the well-being of your employees down the line.

9. Sit down regularly with new employees

New employees have a need to talk about how they experience their time at your company. Did you know that for 72% of employees surveyed this is an important part of onboarding? For example, you can maintain a rhythm of 30-, 60-, 90-day meetings to talk about how the newcomer adjusts over time. 

10. Ask for feedback

Various studies show that your employee would like to give you feedback. This will give your employee a voice and make them feel heard. 

You can ask them to give feedback one on one, but the most effective way to do this is by conducting a poll. Using technology is an easy way to do this. 

You could ask questions such as:

  • What did you think of our onboarding program?
  • What did you think of the length of our onboarding program?
  • Is there anything else you would like to know about our company?
  • How did your first working day go?
  • Is there anything you feel we could improve on?
  • Have we forgotten to tell you anything important that you would have liked to know? 

11. Provide the opportunity to continue learning

Did you know that your employees would like to continue learning? Therefore, be sure to provide opportunities for extra e-learning. Bite-sized mobile learnings for example. This allows your employees to complete training courses in an interactive and fun way.

How is your onboarding program currently doing?

The most important thing is that the introduction starts before the first working day, but does not end in the first working week. Onboarding must be taken seriously and needs time and effort for a prolonged period.

An employee app is crucial for onboarding your employees

A employee app is a total solution for onboarding, e-learning and internal communication. Everything in one place. An employee app makes it easy for your employee to get to know your organization:

  • You can add interactive content such as images, videos, or short text. That is much more enjoyable for your employees than reading a manual.
  • Statistics give you insight into where your new employees are with completing the onboarding. 
  • You can set deadlines for the onboarding packages yourself. Your employees will receive a notification when they have not yet completed the onboarding.
  • You can test the knowledge of your employees with the included quizzes. It is also possible to award points for these questions.
  • Set which modules are visible before the first working day and which ones will be visible later. This allows you to start preboarding. 


Furthermore, the following points are crucial to allow your new employees to properly settle in:

  • Make sure you introduce the employee to your company values, the team before the first working day - albeit virtually.
  • Be creative in giving employees a warm welcome.


Would you like to learn more about onboarding? waar we alle ins en outs vertellen over het inwerken van je medewerkers en wat de beste manier is. 

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