Most business owners provide their new hires with an orientation. Although this helps the new employee become acquainted with the rules and guidelines, it doesn’t necessarily help him or her acclimate. Onboarding is the process of helping a newly hired employee become a happy and productive part of the business. The process can take months, but the results are worth the investment of time. Properly onboarding new hires helps the company reduce errors made by lack of knowledge, improves morale and saves the business money spent on training more new hires. If you’ve recently hired someone, it would be worth your while — and theirs — to consider these onboarding rules.

1. Be ready for your new employee

Before the new employee arrives for their first day of work, prepare the workstation or office so s/he feels a sense of belonging. Don’t have a former employee’s belongings still on the desk or put a new hire to work in an area still under construction, even if it’s “only for a few days.”

2. Go through orientation first

Have your orientation process set up and ready to go. Guide the employee through orientation first thing to provide the important rules and guidelines that are essential to working at your company.

3. Make onboarding more thorough and easier for you

By using onboarding software, you and your new hire can save a lot of time filling out paperwork and spend that saved time on other tasks, such as meeting other employees and learning how to do the job.

4. Don’t change the rules in the beginning of the game

It’s important that a new worker come to work and start in the position for which s/he was hired. Don’t hire someone for a position and change your mind after the fact. Doing so causes confusion and breaches trust.

5. Connect the employee with a mentor

Connect the employee with a mentor — an employee who’s been with the company at least a year, for instance — who can act as a work buddy to help the new hire become acclimated and meet other workers in the business.

6. First-day decompression

The first day of work can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. Provide your new employee with time at lunch to decompress and wind down a bit before gearing up for the afternoon.

7. Be clear about job responsibilities

It’s helpful to new hires to have job responsibilities written out. The amount of information a new employee receives can be overwhelming. Having things in writing can relieve the stress of trying to remember it all.

8. Introduce your new employee

Help a new hire feel a part of the company more quickly by making sure s/he is introduced to other employees in the business or at least in the same department.

9. Check in regularly

As the business owner or manager, you should check in with your new hire weekly. Ask open-ended questions to engage him or her in conversation about how everything is going.

10. Maintain an open door policy

Let new hires know from the get-go that you’re always available to talk or answer questions, even if they have a mentor. This helps establish feelings of value and trust.

Employee onboarding is about more than making your new hire feel welcome. It’s about helping the newly hired person become a happy, productive worker with a clear vision of your mission and the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. Use these tips to help your new hire become a fully integrated member of your company and help you create a streamlined process that’s simple to work through.