Onboarding Employees

Onboarding Employees

Use Yourco to onboard and train your non-desk employees with messages that they will actually see.

Send onboarding and training texts to your non-desk employees

It is difficult to reach your new employees when they don't have company emails, data plans, or are not in front of a computer all day. Easily reach them with onboarding and training messages by using Yourco.

Don't Let Your Employees Miss Important Info

Getting your employees up to speed quickly is important. By using text messages, you can deliver the right information right when you need to.

Receive Immediate Feedback

Non-desk employees may take some time to respond to email, or may never even see your messages. Using Yourco will allow your employees to receive your message and acknowledge they have received it immediately.


Let Employees Ask Questions on Their Own Time

We learn best by asking questions. Let your employees ask questions about protocol, processes, and their employment by simply sending a text message when they need to.

Hiring Documentation

Your new employees forgot to turn all of their documentation in? With Yourco, they can just take a picture and send it into your company number.


Standard operating procedures locked away in a drawer or drive somewhere? Add them to Yourco so your employees can easily access them when they need to.

Training Docs

Don't want to overwhelm new employees with your training docs all at once? Schedule tips, tricks, and docs to be delivered in a sequences during certain days and times.

Onboarding Employees

As the first official interaction with your business that a new hire will have, getting your onboarding process right is absolutely essential. But exactly what are the key points of onboarding? To stay compliant with laws and to keep your team and new members sane, this process should be thorough, efficient, and interactive.


Unfortunately, businesses can struggle to reach their non-desk employees to complete onboarding in a timely manner. Oftentimes, this is because of a communication gap. Administrators are used to working with email, while non-desk employees prefer text messaging. Can you really complete the onboarding process through texting? The short answer—yes! For the long answer with plenty of practical examples, read on!

What Is Onboarding in Simple Words?

Employee onboarding is the process of getting a new employee fully ready to work at your company. This includes collecting all necessary information from a new hire, such as their tax and direct deposit information. Onboarding also involves training a new employee to take on the responsibilities of their role. In other words, employee onboarding is a two-way street.

Orientation vs Onboarding: What’s the Difference?

Onboarding and orientation are two processes that employees need to complete when starting a new job. While they are closely related, onboarding and orientation are not the same thing. Onboarding refers to the entire process of preparing a new hire for work, both practically and legally.


Orientation is a single onboarding stage, meaning it only covers some of the onboarding requirements. During orientation, HR professionals (or other team leaders) show employees where important locations are. This includes places like the company lockers, breakroom, HR office, and employee parking lot. It also includes the navigation of digital spaces. During orientation, new hires should learn where they can sign up for company benefits, how they can update their direct deposit information, and more.

What’s the Role of HR in the Onboarding Process?

HR typically handles the paperwork side of the onboarding process. In a company that’s large enough to have an in-house department, the HR team is responsible for gathering the following documents (and more):

  • Employment Contract
  • Benefits Documents
  • I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form
  • W-4 Form (W-9 for Contractors)
  • State Tax Withholding Form
  • Direct Deposit Form
  • Employee Handbook
  • Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • Drug Test Consent Form
Traditionally, HR gathers these documents by sending them to new hires through email and waiting for a response. But is this truly the best method? According to a HubSpot study, the average open rate for internal emails is 79%. Employees only take the desired action included in 15% of those emails. For businesses that rely on non-desk employees to succeed, the open rate is even lower (only 20% compared to 79%). That’s because:
  • Non-desk employees use their cellphone as their primary device, not a computer. This makes it harder to use email, especially if they don’t have the app downloaded or don’t know their password. According to Pew Research Center, 15% of American adults don’t have a smartphone. These employees may not be able to access email at all.
  • Smartphone apps require Wi-Fi or cell data to function. For non-desk employees that don’t have a company issued cell phone, they’ll use up their personal data to load and use apps for work purposes. In other words, these employees have to pay to participate in the onboarding process. Also, Wi-Fi doesn’t always work in remote locations. This can leave non-desk employees in the dark when it comes to the most recent emails.
  • Smartphone apps come with privacy concerns. Time reports apps collect location and other personal data to sell to other companies and government agencies—even when those apps are closed. Understandably, many employees are hesitant to download apps to their phone, especially those connected to work.

For smaller businesses, these challenges are even more impactful because they don’t have a dedicated team to follow up with unresponsive employees. Fortunately, businesses of all sizes can use SMS text messages to reach non-desk employees throughout the onboarding process. Why make the switch?

  • Employees open more messages. Businesses that use Yourco to send onboarding text messages benefit from an average open rate of 98%. Compare these results to the 20% open rate email receives, and the decision is clear.
  • Allow employees to receive and send documents on their time. Onboarding can be an overwhelming process, especially for employees whose specialty isn’t paperwork. Text messages have a more conversational tone than email, according to Indeed. This invites employees to receive, read, process, and respond to a text message with less stress than an email might cause. Non-desk employees can also respond to text messages from almost anywhere. They won’t have to wait until they have access to a computer to review important training documents.
  • Employees can store important information on their cell phone. For non-desk employees, processes are important. Following steps correctly means the job gets done right the first time. It also helps employees stay safe while working. When you send out training and procedure documents through text, employees have them directly on their devices. When they need to reference a specific step, it’s right in their pocket.

In short, texting makes the onboarding process more effective because non-desk employees actually open these messages. That means they can learn the information they need and submit necessary forms.

What Are the 3 Phases of Employee Onboarding?

The three employee onboarding stages are administrative, orientation, and enablement. Each step is designed to help your business and your new hire succeed together. Let’s take a closer look at each phase, including onboarding activities examples.

1. Administrative

The administrative phase focuses on collecting necessary paperwork from new hires. This ensures that your business stays compliant with tax and labor laws. It’s also important to make sure your employees can receive their paychecks and that they enroll in any benefits programs. New hires will often be required to complete the following forms (some of which we mentioned earlier in this article):

  • Background check consent form
  • Drug test consent form
  • Employment contract
  • I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form
  • W-4 Form (W-9 for Contractors)
  • State Tax Withholding Form
  • Direct Deposit Form

You should also add new hires to your employment database during this phase. When using Yourco as your internal communication platform, you can quickly add new employees to different teams. This makes sending relevant messages a breeze, and you can even connect employee profiles to your HR database, HRIS, Payroll System, or Active Directory. That way, when employee information in your database changes, Yourco can automatically update contact info.

2. Orientation

The orientation phase helps new hires get acclimated to the workplace and feel welcome in it. Here’s what you can include during employee orientation to set new hires up for success:

  • Congratulations Message: Send a quick text to your new hire to let them know that you’re excited to have them on the team. This can help start your working relationship off on a positive note.
  • “Before Your First Day” Message: In this text, you can tell a new employee what they should expect on their first day. Let them know what time to arrive, where they’ll meet the team, and what tasks they’ll be responsible for that day.
  • Workspace Setup: Just because an employee isn’t working at a desk doesn’t mean they won’t have their own space at your business. For many teams, this will be a locker where the new hire can store their gear and decorate as they choose.
  • Location Tour: Show employees where they can park, where they can find their assignments for the day, where on-site projects take place, where the break room is, and other important locations. This will help new hires be more independent when they start working.
  • Post-Orientation Survey: Ask new hires what they thought was effective during the onboarding process—and what wasn’t effective. This will help you improve for future employees. With Yourco, you can send surveys through SMS text messages. You can still use familiar tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms to design those surveys.

By the end of orientation, a new employee should have a basic understanding of where they need to go throughout the day. They also meet the people they’ll be working with, like team leaders.

3. Enablement

The previous two phases make it so your employees can show up to work. Enablement is all about putting new hires on the path to success. There are three ways to empower your employees:

  • Conducting Thorough Training: Even if an employee has experience in the industry, they haven’t worked for your company before. You have unique processes, so take the time to teach those processes to new employees. This will avoid frustration for new hires and their team members. Doing so will also improve safety at the work site.
  • Assigning a Mentor: You can’t teach everything a new hire needs to know before they start working. Learning is done best on the job, after all. With a mentor, new hires will know exactly who to go to for answers and guidance. This ensures that they get the best information possible from someone who is used to working with new employees. 
  • Creating a 30/60/90 Day Plan: You get what you measure. A 30/60/90 day plan sets monthly goals for what a new hire should know and accomplish on a monthly basis. This can include both paperwork that they need to submit and processes they should be familiar with. Then, a team leader or mentor should check in with new employees on a monthly basis until they are up to speed. Self-evaluations are an essential piece of 30/60/90 day plans. Internal text communication platforms—like Yourco—increase participation rates for self-evaluation forms.
An onboarding process needs all three phases to be effective. SMS text messaging can serve as the communication thread that guides non-desk employees through the entire process. Watch our demo to see how easy employee onboarding can be with Yourco.

What Are the 5 Cs of Employee Onboarding?

The five Cs of the employee onboarding process are compliance, clarification, confidence, connection, and culture. These are the elements that you should strive for to support new hires and your organization. Each element will connect to one or more phases of the onboarding process.

  1. Compliance: There are a lot of legal steps that a business needs to take before they can allow a new employee to start working. This is the category that most paperwork—like tax forms—falls under. To expedite this process, you can use Yourco to allow your employees to submit completed forms via an SMS text message. That way, you can keep things moving even when new hires leave their forms at home. Yourco also stores messages and the attached documents. If there’s ever an issue, you can easily refer back to those documents.    
  2. Clarification: Starting a job can be overwhelming. There are new processes, people, and expectations. Employee onboarding should set clear expectations for new hires. That way, they know what they need to do to succeed. They should also understand who they can go to for help.  
  3. Confidence: Teams function best when each member can pull their weight. That’s why thorough training programs are so important. When everyone can confidently fulfill their responsibilities, no one is stuck picking up the slack. Yourco makes it easy for team leaders to text training documents directly to a new hire’s form. That way, those hires can review documents at their own pace. Yourco also lets team leaders schedule a sequence of tips, tricks, and docs to be delivered over a specific period of time. This will allow employees to consume the training materials at an effective pace. They can also easily reference the materials on-site after they are added to Yourco. Moreover, if an employee is terminated, you can make sure any access to documents or materials are revoked as well.
  4. Connection: Relationships matter in the workplace. Indeed lists 17 benefits of team building. The highlights include increased productivity, more frequent communication, and improved morale. Building these beneficial connections can start with small steps. During onboarding, it’s important to introduce new hires to coworkers. They should also be familiar with who team leaders are. If your company promotes team building through events, Yourco can help. Your team no longer needs group chats that bombard employees with notifications and expose their personal phone numbers to other recipients. Instead, Yourco allows you to send mass messages as individual texts. Employees can respond in private conversations, too. Yourco allows for effective communications, while protecting employee information.
  5. Culture: Creating a company culture is an important yet difficult process. Whenever a new employee joins your team, they need to understand and contribute to that culture, otherwise you risk losing it. During onboarding, let new hires know what the work environment is like and how they can fit in. Yourco gives you the ability to translate both outgoing and incoming messages, allowing you to easily communicate with your employees via their native language. You can welcome non-English speaking new employees by communicating via their native language, and encouraging them to do the same.

What Are the Three Most Important Elements of Successful Onboarding?

The three employee onboarding must haves are: participation, milestones, and following up. While these three are essential, they are by no means the only elements involved in an onboarding strategy. Here’s what makes these elements so valuable when onboarding new employees and maximizing success:

  • Participation: You can’t stay legally compliant or give your employees the information they need to perform well if they don’t read your messages. That’s why using an internal text communication platform is so essential when onboarding non-desk employees. SMS text messages are more convenient than emails, and they can still transfer necessary documents. Most importantly, people actually read texts! 
  • Milestones: Successful onboarding processes have clear steps for HR professionals and new hires to follow. Everyone involved should know which forms need to be completed by who. Deadlines should be clearly communicated. Employees should also know other milestones like:
    • When they will complete training
    • When they should be able to complete certain tasks on their own
    • When they’ll receive their first paycheck and what the pay schedule is

Clear expectations help employees move through the process more efficiently. New hires can also feel accomplished as they complete steps. To keep employees motivated, send out text reminders with Yourco.

  • Following Up: Onboarding doesn’t end once employees complete training and tax forms. Successful strategies track how new hires grow in the first few months of employment. The goal is to identify any gaps that you can quickly fix before they turn into bad habits. As we mentioned earlier, 30/60/90 day plans and employee feedback surveys are both great options for following up. Doing so will also encourage employees to make their voice heard.

How To Create an Onboarding Process

The best way to create an onboarding process—or improve an existing one—is with an employee onboarding process checklist. It can help to break your checklist into the three onboarding phases: administrative, orientation, and enablement.


Conduct an employee background check
  • Receive a completed background check consent form from employees
Conduct an employee drug test (if applicable)
  • Receive a completed drug test consent form from employees
Receive completed tax forms from employees
  • W-4 form for employees
  • W-9 for contractors
  • State tax withholding forms
  • Consult a tax professional for additional requirements
Receive completed I-9 employment eligibility verification form from employees
Send out employee handbook
Receive signed contract from employees
Send out benefits information and enrollment steps


Welcome and congratulate new hires
Send out information about what employees can expect on their first day
Take new hires on a tour of your business and point out important places, including:
  • Where they will receive work
  • Where they can store personal items
  • Where the break room is
  • Where to go to resolve problems


Train employees on necessary skills, specific processes, and safety best practices
Connect employees with a mentor
Set up a 30/60/90 day progress plan
Send out feedback surveys to get ideas for onboarding new employees more effectively in the future

With Yourco, completing this checklist is as easy as sending a few text messages and uploading some documents into the system. We’ll walk through the process in the next section.

What Is an Example of a Good Onboarding Process for Non-Desk Employees?

Seeing is believing when it comes to onboarding process examples; take a look at how Yourco can improve your strategy!

  1. Set up your platform and get a unique phone number for your business.
  2. Add administrators, team leaders, and HR professionals to the platform. You can give different people different levels of access to help protect sensitive information.
  3. Add employees to the employee directory. You can assign people to different groups, which makes sending mass messages more efficient.
  4. Send welcome messages to new employees. Let them know what to expect from the onboarding process and on their first day. When you send a message to a group of people, they will receive it as an individual message. That way, no one has to deal with confusing group chats.
  5. After you distribute onboarding forms, request that employees fill them out and then submit them via text. It’s as easy as snapping a picture and clicking send! Yourco stores messages and attachments in the platform, so you can always go back to access submissions on each employee’s record.
  6. Follow up with employees as needed. Confirm what they have submitted and what they should complete next.
  7. Send out training documents that employees can access directly from their phone.
  8. Schedule a sequence of messages to go out at certain dates and times to ease employees into their new role.
  9. Send out check-ins as part of employees’ 30/60/90 day plans. Yourco is compatible with popular survey tools like Google Forms and SurveyMonkey, making this step quick and easy.
  10. Once the onboarding process is done, ask for feedback. That way, you know what to improve for the next batch of new hires.
When you need to reach non-desk employees, SMS texting gets the job done. With custom access levels, employee grouping tools, automatic documentation, message scheduling, and translations, Yourco puts all of the tools you need in a single platform. Watch our demo or contact us to learn more!

Additional Reading

Strategy Session

Reach out today to speak with a Yourco consultant about optimizing your employee onboarding strategy.