Onboarding is often the first process a new employee experiences within your organization. It’s a crucial opportunity for your company to set the tone for a new hire’s experience within the company. Done right, onboarding can both encourage an employee to stay longer, and provide the tools and motivations for workers to be more productive sooner, Dan Finnigan writes for Inc.com. These three tips can help you make the most of your onboarding process.


1. Keep in touch before they start

You can jumpstart the process by starting email introductions, setting schedules and even connecting with your new hires via social media, to help them start to feel a connection with your organization, Finnigan writes.


This communication can make all the difference in helping an employee feel welcome, writes Sujan Patel for forbes.com, down to the kinds of details that will help your new hire feel more comfortable on the first day. “Be sure you’ve communicated all the necessary information your new hires will need on their first day, including details on your business dress code, parking rules and who to ask for when they arrive,” Patel writes.


2. Set expectations from the beginning

You should start with what Finnigan calls “an honest-to-goodness orientation.” It should be a warm welcome that introduces your new hire to your company’s history, mission, and strategies. This is your first opportunity to share your agenda for the employee’s first week and beyond. “Your goal is to help new hires visualize and understand their role in the big picture, so they want to be productive faster, and so they feel like part of a team working towards a concrete objective,” he writes.


Then, set milestones within the first 30, 60 and 90 days, and schedule time to check in to make sure the employee is on the right track. Patel recommends seeing these first months on the job as the employee’s “ramp up” period. “Rather than placing your full expectations on them right away, allow new employees to acclimate and meet increasingly difficult goals as they learn their way around your business,” he writes, and complete that time with a 90-day review to ensure the hire is fully integrated and a good fit for your organization.


3. Streamline your onboarding to maximize efficiency

While a true orientation is still important, make sure to regularly review the rest of your onboarding process so you’re focusing on setting new hires up for success – rather than focusing on more tedious aspects related to health care and payroll.


Paylocity’s onboarding portal can help. With an intuitive design, the onboarding portal provides mobile functionality and seamless integration of systems, so you can maximize time spent completing these tasks (perhaps before an employee’s first day). “Onboarding – and the idea of truly welcoming and orienting new hires as part of a larger corporate culture and mission – is something you can control,” Finnigan writes. ”Don’t squander the opportunity to have a more productive workforce.”