How to Boost Employee Productivity: UK Onboarding Best Practices

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The first few weeks and months of a person’s employment are crucial for their development in the company. This is especially true for those who are joining your team for the first time.

Onboarding can help new employees understand their roles, feel comfortable in their new environment, and be productive from day one.

How can you ensure that your onboarding process is effective? A Cezanne HR onboarding report found the following aspects of onboarding in the UK have helped employees become more productive:

1. A focus on the company’s culture and values

A company’s culture and values are the foundation upon which it is built. When new employees are onboarded, it is essential that they notice these core principles. This helps them feel like they’re a part of something bigger and gives them a sense of purpose. 9% of UK employees felt that a better understanding of their company’s vision would help them feel more engaged.

Employees are also more likely to take pride in their work and contribute to a positive work environment. In addition, employees who feel like they belong to a community are more likely to be loyal and stay with the company for the long haul.

2. Encourage social and professional networking among employees

Isolation is one of the main reasons employees leave a company. And yet, 42% of new employees report feeling lonely at work. Without a supportive network, it can be difficult to feel like you belong in a new environment.

Organising events, such as after-work drinks or team-building exercises, can help employees socialise and get to know one another. These activities not only make the workday more enjoyable, but they also promote a sense of camaraderie and team spirit.

Alternatively, you could create an online space where employees can connect with each other, such as a forum or chat group.

3. Early access to company equipment and resources

New employees often have to wait weeks or even months before they are given access to the tools they need to do their job. This can be frustrating and make it difficult to be productive.14% of employees revealed they felt they would need access to equipment/resources before they started their role to feel productive.

To avoid this, make sure that new employees have access to all the resources they need on their first day. This includes things like company email accounts, work laptops, and any software they need to do their job.

If people work remotely, they should have access to company equipment and resources to do their job efficiently. Not only that, but remote workers also felt that face-to-face meetings were extremely important to them, as revealed by 42% of the surveyed respondents.

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Ambiguity is one of the biggest causes of stress in the workplace. Employees who are unclear about their roles and responsibilities are more likely to make mistakes and feel like they are not meeting expectations.

Make sure that new employees clearly understand their role from the outset. This includes things like what their daily tasks will be, who they will report to, and what is expected of them.

4. Continuous communication and feedback

Leaving new employees to fend for themselves is a recipe for disaster. Feedback should not be a one-time event. About 50% of employees say they are not receiving enough feedback from their managers.

Make sure you check in with new employees regularly, both formally and informally. This could include weekly one-on-one meetings, group meetings, or even quick catchups in the kitchen. The key is to make sure that communication is open, and that feedback is given constructively.

5. Having a Mentor

Pairing new employees with a mentor or buddy can help them feel supported and connected to the company. This person can answer questions they have and help them acclimatise to their new environment.

The mentorship program should be carefully structured and monitored to ensure that it is effective. For example, you could set up regular check-ins between the mentor and mentee or require the mentor to shadow the new employee for their first few weeks.

14% of UK employees stated that being assigned a buddy or mentor for the first few weeks would have helped them settle into the role and be productive.

6. Meeting with seniors

Hearing firsthand about the company’s history, its culture, and its plans for the future can help new employees feel more connected to the organisation. It can also give them a better understanding of their role and how it fits into the big picture.

Arranging for new employees to meet with senior members of the team is a great way to achieve this. This could be done informally, such as over coffee, or formally, such as in a presentation or Q&A session.

8% of UK employees felt that an opportunity to talk to the senior leadership team would have them become more engaged in their role.


Onboarding is an important process that can have a big impact on how productive and engaged employees are in their new roles. When done well, it can help employees feel welcome, valued and part of the team from their first day.

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