How do I Create an Onboarding Checklist in Excel?

Laura Parker
Apr 2024

Welcoming new team members aboard is more than just a warm handshake and a stack of forms to fill out. Employee onboarding is a critical phase in transforming new hires into valuable, informed team members. This process often requires meticulous planning and an array of tasks that need to be tracked meticulously. Enter Excel—a tool nearly every office dweller has some familiarity with. By leveraging an onboarding checklist in Excel, HR managers and team leads can simplify their onboarding efforts, ensuring every box is ticked without missing a beat.

Creating an onboarding checklist in Excel not only helps in organizing and designing the employee onboarding process but also ensures consistency and completeness in carrying out all necessary steps. From setting up IT equipment to scheduling introductory meetings with key team members, a well-crafted checklist can serve as a roadmap, guiding the journey of a new employee from day one to full integration. In this article, we’ll delve into how to craft this essential tool, ensuring that every new hire’s first days are as smooth and structured as possible.

How do I Create an Onboarding Checklist in Excel?

How do I create an onboarding checklist in Excel

Starting an onboarding checklist in Excel might seem daunting at first, but with the right approach it becomes a straightforward task. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create a comprehensive onboarding checklist that ensures no crucial step is overlooked.

  • Set Up Your Spreadsheet: Begin by launching Microsoft Excel. Create a new document, and title it appropriately, for example, “New Employee Onboarding Checklist.” Setting up your spreadsheet to track all necessary onboarding tasks is essential. Use columns to organize information such as tasks, responsible parties, due dates, and status updates. This structured approach mirrors the beSlick ethos of making processes clear and actionable.
  • Utilize Templates to Save Time: Rather than building from scratch, use an employee onboarding template. These templates are designed with pre-set steps that match common onboarding activities, making your job easier. You can find these templates in beSlick’s template library.
  • Customize Your Checklist: No two companies are alike, and your onboarding checklist should reflect the specific requirements of your organization. Include sections that are relevant to your company’s process, such as IT setup, training sessions, HR documentation, and social introductions. Make sure each task is clearly defined and assign a person responsible for completing each step.
  • Implement Conditional Formatting: Excel’s conditional formatting can be a powerful tool to highlight tasks that are approaching their due dates or those that have been completed. Set up rules to change the color of cells based on the status of tasks—such as red for overdue tasks, yellow for those due soon, and green for completed tasks. This visual aid helps to quickly assess the progress of onboarding activities at a glance, ensuring more visibility and reducing mistakes, aligning with beSlick’s core benefits.
  • Share and Collaborate: Once your checklist is set up, share it with your team or with those involved in the onboarding process. Collaboration ensures that everyone is updated and can contribute to the successful onboarding of new hires, echoing the collaborative and efficient nature of beSlick.

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How do I create an onboarding checklist template

Creating an onboarding checklist template in Excel streamlines the integration of new employees by ensuring all essential steps are efficiently managed. This guide will help you construct a checklist that is both practical and reflective of the streamlined process improvements provided by solutions like beSlick.

  • Set Up Your Spreadsheet: Open a new Excel file. Name it something clear and relevant, such as “Employee Onboarding Checklist Template.” This will be your master template, which you can adapt and reuse for each new hire.
  • Design the Layout: Organize the spreadsheet into columns that will include task names, descriptions, responsible parties, due dates, and status updates. This layout will help track the progress of each onboarding activity, crucial for maintaining the visibility and accountability standards emphasized by beSlick.
  • Populate with Standard Tasks: Input standard onboarding tasks into the template. These might include items like “Complete HR paperwork,” “Setup company email,” and “Initial team introduction.” Each task should align with specific organizational procedures, ensuring consistency.
  • Customize for Your Company: Adjust the template to include any unique onboarding steps your company may have. This customization allows the checklist to reflect the specific needs and culture of your organization, a key component in making onboarding a personalized experience for new hires.
  • Enhance with Excel Features: Leverage Excel’s capabilities such as dropdown lists for task status (Pending, In Progress, Completed) and conditional formatting to highlight overdue tasks. These features not only make the template more interactive but also align with beSlick’s functionality, which emphasizes ease of use and the ability to adapt and respond to real-time data.
  • Finalize and Implement: Save your template and share it with your team. Ensure that it’s integrated into your overall onboarding strategy to provide a seamless and effective onboarding experience. This step is crucial in transforming the static document into a dynamic tool that improves with each use, mirroring beSlick’s process improvement capabilities.

Try beSlick’s alternative employee onboarding template excel!

How do I create an onboarding plan in Excel

Creating an onboarding plan in Excel goes beyond a simple checklist; it involves developing a comprehensive schedule that ensures each new hire experiences a smooth transition into their new role. This structured plan, akin to the capabilities offered by beSlick, will guide both the newcomer and the organization through a successful onboarding journey.

  • Start with a Template: Begin by selecting or creating an onboarding template. This template should ideally have a weekly or bi-weekly format to outline the specific activities planned for the new employees during their first few months. Utilizing a template saves time and promotes consistency across all onboarding experiences. Explore beSlick’s template library!
  • Define Key Phases: Break down the onboarding process into key phases such as orientation, training, and integration. Each phase should have specific goals and associated activities. This segmentation helps in organizing the onboarding into manageable and measurable stages, enhancing the adaptability and efficiency.
  • Assign Tasks and Milestones: In your Excel plan, allocate tasks to each phase and set clear milestones. Tasks might include ‘attend orientation session’, ‘meet with mentor’, and ‘complete first project’. Assign due dates to these tasks and the responsible person or department. This step not only organizes the tasks but also aligns with beSlick’s emphasis on task assignment and dynamic due dates.
  • Use Conditional Formatting: Implement conditional formatting in your Excel sheet to visually differentiate between phases, highlight completed tasks, and flag any delays. For instance, you can color-code tasks based on their status—green for completed, orange for in progress, and red for delayed. This visual management supports the clear, actionable insights.
  • Integrate Feedback Loops: Include a column for feedback on each major task or milestone. This allows for continuous improvement of the onboarding process. Feedback can be used to adjust the onboarding plan in real-time, which is an essential part of capturing deviations and enhancing processes based on actual experiences.
  • Share and Collaborate: Ensure that the onboarding plan is accessible to all stakeholders involved in the process. Sharing your onboarding plan through a platform that supports collaboration, allows for real-time updates and ensures everyone is on the same page, thereby fostering the collaborative environment endorsed.

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What should be on an onboarding checklist

An effective onboarding checklist in Excel not only facilitates a smooth introduction for new hires but also ensures that no critical steps are overlooked. Utilizing a free employee onboarding checklist can be a great start, but it’s essential to customize it to fit your organization’s unique needs. 

Here are the key elements that should be included:

  • Essential Documentation: Include tasks related to gathering and completing necessary HR documents, signing employment contracts, and securing workplace policies. Ensuring all legal and procedural documents are handled upfront is crucial for compliance and security.
  • IT and Equipment Setup: List items such as issuing company hardware, setting up email accounts, and providing access to required software and tools. These steps are vital for enabling new employees to start working effectively from day one.
  • Training and Development: Detail the initial training sessions that cover company culture, essential skills, and job-specific knowledge. Training is foundational for empowering new hires to perform their roles successfully and aligns with the beSlick ethos of faster employee training and improved service to customers.
  • Mentorship and Social Integration: Assign a mentor and include opportunities for new employees to engage with their team and other key stakeholders. Social integration is a critical aspect of building a supportive work environment and can lead to more productive and engaged employees.
  • Regular Check-Ins and Feedback: Schedule times for feedback and regular check-ins throughout the onboarding process. This inclusion ensures that any issues are addressed promptly and that the onboarding process continuously improves, reflecting beSlick’s capability to adapt and enhance business processes.

Try beSlick’s alternative to an employee onboarding template excel free!

How do I Create an Onboarding Checklist in Excel?

Crafting an effective onboarding checklist in Excel is not just about ticking boxes; it’s about setting up new employees for success and enhancing your company’s operational efficiency. By following the detailed steps outlined above—from selecting the right template to integrating essential onboarding elements—you can ensure a thorough and welcoming introduction for all new hires. Excel, empowered by its flexibility, offers a great framework for these tasks.

Ready to streamline your onboarding process? Try beSlick’s innovative features to take your onboarding checklist to the next level, transform your onboarding strategy and drive better business outcomes.

You may also like this article: Onboarding Checklist Template Excel.

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, Author of The Dirty Word and CEO at beSlick

Alister Esam is a successful entrepreneur and investor, having bootstrapped his fintech software business eShare to international status operating in over 40 countries and servicing 20,000 board directors, before successfully exiting to a multibillion-dollar organisation in 2018. He now invests in a variety of startups and on a global mission to make work, work.