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4 key things you need to do to onboard your new member of staff so they get up to speed quickly

by Apr 22, 2019Recruitment

Investing in your staff is one of the best things you can do for your business. If you’ve got happy (and competent) staff, you’ll have happy clients, and if you have happy clients, your business will grow. The only downside to this is the time it will take for you to develop their skills and abilities when they join. This article gives you 4 ways for you to onboard new team members as quickly and effectively as possible.


4 essentials when you onboard new team members


  • Set short-term, realistic performance targets

When you onboard new team members, your first priority should be to help them understand how their role fits in with your practice and what their link is with your One Big Focus. Not only will this help them know how they will be making a difference, but it immediately makes them feel like a valuable part of the team which is highly motivating.

Don’t underestimate the time that it will take a new member to get up to speed, whether they have previous accounting experience or not, they will need time to get used to your ways of working and the processes. Help them adjust by:

  1. Setting them daily objectives
  2. Setting weekly objectives after a couple of days
  3. Setting monthly objectives after you’ve reviewed a few weeks
  4. Setting longer-term objectives like the rest of your team

Making short-term, realistic, performance goals straight away will help them see clearly how their day-to-day activities tie into your overall vision and growth plans for the practice.


  • Have mini performance reviews during their probation period

Another way you can help new team members get up to speed quickly is by scheduling mini performance reviews during their probation period. You can use these reviews to check in with them, review their progress, help overcome any obstacles by providing them with more training and support, and resolve any niggles from both sides.

A typical review schedule could look something like this:

  • Meet at the end of week 1.
  • Meet at the end of week 2.
  • Meet at the end of week 4.
  • Start spreading out meetings. Meet at the end of week 8.
  • Meet at the end of week 12.

When you onboard new team members, make sure you use these review performance meetings as it could make the difference between a staff member being a valuable member of the team or one that hinders growth; it could even be the difference between them deciding to stay with the firm or to leave.


  • Build a structured training plan

If you onboard new team members without a training plan, the likely result will be a reduction in productivity and growth.

Imagine multiple staff members working in their own way without knowing anything about how the practice is run as a whole and worse, you not knowing that they need more support! No business could successfully grow this way.

That’s why building a structured training plan is so important, so you can be sure that all new members are knowledgeable and working towards the same vision. Consider a training plan that involves these key factors:

  1. Technical training on software and key processes.
  2. Have new members meet your key stakeholders, your top clients, and some of the key people in your firm.
  3. Arrange regular 1:2:1s with the line manager to check in.
  4. Set up mentoring and shadowing sessions where another team member can show them the ropes of the business and how they do their part of the job.
  5. Ensure they have the right level and kind of support (e.g. tools, training, colleagues).
  • Immerse them in the firm’s culture

Lastly, but just as importantly, is helping your new team members settle in and feel like a part of your firm’s culture. Why? Because building relationships is where you start to build a strong team that is invaluable to your firm.

You want your new joiner to be happy, engaged, and to feel supported. You want them to be able to come to you or any colleague for help and you absolutely want to avoid any feelings of “buyers remorse.”

To prevent this, let them know that you are happy that they are a part of your team, involve them in the firm’s culture and check in with them. Celebrate their joining with a team lunch, invite them to social occasions, encourage them to meet with people and take tea breaks with their colleagues. It really is that easy.

Always start developing your new team members immediately

The quicker you apply these 4 methods when you onboard new team members, the quicker they will learn and develop within your firm. Just remember that this is a 2-way process that you need to be involved in. Set them short-term realistic targets, schedule mini performance reviews, create a training plan, and immerse them in your firm’s culture. You’ll soon find that investing your time in your new staff from the point of hiring will have benefits for everyone.