Staff Onboarding Process: The Complete Guide


The role of an effective staff onboarding process in a company’s growth cannot be over-emphasised. A growing business will require a growing workforce. And happy and engaged employees lay at the foundation of any well-perfoming business.

After your employment as a new staff member, you need to build a strong connection with your new workplace to contribute your quota to the overall productivity. Achieving this could be easier with a proper onboarding process in your early days at work, based on an employee journey map.

This article addresses the question of what is the staff onboarding process. Moreover, we discuss how the staff onboarding process will help you attain peak performance in a new workplace.

What is the Staff Onboarding Process?


A staff onboarding process is the sum of all sub-processes, actions or steps taken in order to integrate a new hire into a company. Thus, the process of staff onboarding in a new workplace has a clear objective: ensuring that new staff settles in and becomes fully productive.

Settling in means various things. But, first and foremost, it means gaining a mastery of the role and of the company’s core activities and values. Thus, settling in means cultural integration, understanding both the formal and informal culture of a new workplace.

Hence, a staff onboarding process empowers you with the confidence and competence you need to settle down into your new role. A staff onboarding process is thereby assisting you to perform successfully in your role.

But there is a lot more at stake when it comes to a good or poor staff onboarding process. So let’s review why is a staff onboarding process important for you as a new hire.

Staff Onboarding Process Insights

The hardest part of onboarding someone is making them understand the corporate culture, and feel like a part of it.

—Adam Hickman, Ph.D. & Senior Workplace Strategist for Gallup.

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Why Does the Staff Onboarding Process Matter?


The quality of the onboarding you experience as a new hire will impact and set the tone for your work relationship. In fact, a staff onboarding process can provide the blueprints for a long and successful employee lifecycle. In the following sections we will review the reasons why the staff onboarding process matters so much for you as a new hire.

Staff Onboarding Process: The Complete Guide

The Staff Onboarding Process & The First Impressions


A staff onboarding process helps create the right impression in the hearts of the new hires. The first impression about an organisation means a lot to new workers.

In addition, when you feel that your first day at work activities (onboarding day) are properly planned, you should feel engaged quickly with your team members and new job role.


The Staff Onboarding Process & Cultural Acclimation


The staff onboarding process assists in enriching the company’s Culture. Your decision to work for a company means you have agreed to emulate its cultural and ethical practices.

But this does not mean that you already obtained the full picture of your new employer’s organisational culture. The staff onboarding process will aid you in understanding the company’s culture and values. When you know the value system of your employer, you will feel more connected.

Emerging research reveals that the new generations of workers may turn to their careers to provide social connection and a sense of higher purpose. So, you need to find your higher purpose right at the start of your new employment.


The Staff Onboarding Process & Relationship Building


The staff onboarding process helps build the right connection between you and other co-workers. We know that establishing trust and connections are extremely important for you when starting a new job. You can discover more social benefits of a good onboarding programme in a dedicated article.


The Staff Onboarding Process & Future Success


The staff onboarding process empowers the newly employed workers. No doubt, starting a new role in a new workplace could be overwhelming. However, HR onboarding will help ease any unnecessary pressure by equipping you with vital information.

Also, it ensures optimum productivity and engagement that aid you in getting up-to-speed with your new role quickly.

Your staff onboarding plan can inspire excitement and motivation, thereby ensuring that you succeed in your roles. At the end of a successful staff onboarding plan, you become a vital part of the company. With this, you will not be apprehensive about your future because you see a future in that new company.

Thus, when you experience a great HR onboarding, you are likely to stay with your employer for a long period. Thus, a strategic staff onboarding will target increased engagement levels, decreased time to proficiency, and reduced turnover rates.


The Challenges of Having New Staff Onboard


Unfortunately, the reality of most new employees at their job start is a poor staff onboarding process which does not provide support and motivation. Actually, there could be cases where a deficient staff onboarding process hinders a new hire’s ability to deliver as expected. In some other cases, a staff onboarding process might even be completely absent.

According to a Digitate 2021 report, workers who experienced a negative staff onboarding process are twice as likely to seek other career opportunities elsewhere in the future. Additionally, the same report highlighted that 1 out of 5 new workers is unlikely to recommend an employer if they perceive their staff onboarding process as unsatisfactory.

The lack of an effective staff onboarding process could be fatal for any organisation as it recruits new workers workers frequently. Thus, the task of retaining good workers becomes even more daunting, as loosing employees at the early stages of their employee lifecycles results in poor productivity, and a high cost per hire coupled to a high turnover cost. This is even more relevant in the case of remote workers. If you want to gain more insights into what is a virtual employee onboarding process, we invite you to read the dedicated article on our blog HR.

Staff Onboarding Insights

Only 12% of employees strongly agree their organisation does a great job of onboarding new employees.

Gallup, Why the Onboarding Experience Is Key for Retention.

Things to Avoid in Your Staff Onboarding Process


There is a lot at stake when onboarding employees. Engagement, developing trust, ensuring performance, all of these are key strategic objectives. An effective onboarding of new staff entails avoiding the following mistakes.


Bombarding New Staff Members with Information on Day 1


Being bombarded with too much information on your first day at work could be overwhelming and frustrating. However, most employers are fond of doing this in their bid to bring you up to speed from day one.

However, there are multiple staff onboarding solutions that help automate paperwork for your company, rather than utilising a manual documentation process, which could be prone to errors. Smart onboarding documentation can offer immediate empowerment.


Lack of Role Clarity


Another staff onboarding pitfall is the lack of clarity on job roles and responsibilities. You are always in a dilemma when you are not aware of your roles, responsibilities, and expectations. This can make you feel unnecessary stress and anxiety, preventing you from reaching your true potential in the role.

Ensuring role clarity is must be a key goal of your new job orientation. Thus, activities targeting this objective have to be in motion from the very first days on the job, and even before, during Preboarding.


Lack of a Complete Training Programme


Employing great talents and providing them with the necessary skills is not enough to guarantee excellent performance. What you need to stay relevant in your role for long is a complete new employee training. And it is the duty of your employer to acknowledge this and act on it.


Lack of Tailored Onboarding Content to the Job Roles


Not having the proper onboarding flows tailored to your specific job roles is a huge strategic mistake. After all, if you are a web development specialist, it would be a waste of time for you to participate in long presentations detailing marketing flows and campaign statistics. You need information that is relevant for your specific role and for your specific team.

Of course that it is relevant to become familiarised with the work or other teams and departments. But what utility do you get from detailed presentations on work flows that have little or nothing to do with your job responsibilities?


Lack of Equipment


Not having your equipment ready from the first day is a great red flag. How are you supposed to do any work at all if you don’t have a computer to work on? If there is a PC available, but it is not configured for you it is equally bad. A structured IT Onboarding Process will address all your equipment and work tools needs.


Lack of Easy-to-use Software


Working with an employee onboarding software presents a clear advantage: an ease of use feature. This cannot be replicated with more “analog” techniques such as a slide presentation.

Such methods could be frustrating for you, and hinder your productivity. In addition, your employer would be responsible for training you in person on how to use the software tools you will be working with. By contrast, an employee onboarding software could present to you a learning module with video guides and tutorials for various tools. You could consult these materials at any point during and even after your staff onboarding process is complete.

New Staff Onboarding Experiences

At Apple, I was given all the skills needed to perform and make an impact, not just a bunch of random tools.

—Sean Choi, Senior Strategist at The Martin Agency.

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Staff Onboarding Process Steps: Achieve Desired Outcomes


No doubt, staff onboarding checklists and plans aim to assist you in acclimatising to your role and responsibilities and have a better understanding of your work expectations. A great staff onboarding plan will promote better job performance, increased efficiency, and higher employee satisfaction.

The following steps will help you in experiencing a great staff onboarding process:


Step 1: Having your Workstation Set-up


Having your workstation already set up entails you being assigned your working equipment, a clients contact list, as well as access to all the tools necessary for performing your duties (for example data analysis tools if you work with data mining and analysis).


Step 2: New Staff Orientation


New Staff Orientation, usually carried out on the very first days of your employment, requires you to be put through the production procedures and getting to know the existing communication channels between different departments in the company. Also, you are supposed to be offered a tour of the workplace during your first days at work (being shown the restrooms, break rooms, conference rooms etc).


Step 3: Participate in a Workplace Tour with Your Onboarding Buddy


The workplace tour provided by your onboarding buddy allows you to meet the personnel in each department. Also, you can be provided with a map of the neighbourhood to enhance your comfort when you are in the vicinity of the workplace. You need to have the right information concerning transportation options, parking facilities, lunch options etc.


Step 4: Schedule Time for Feedback


It is important to schedule time for feedback on your staff onboarding exercise and be honest about your experiences. Kindly inform your employer about what you think could improve the staff onboarding process. You will have an opportunity to do this during your onboarding survey(s).

Providing honest feedback can not only help yourself, by addressing any lacks of information or shortcomings for the staff onboarding process. It can also serve as a guide for future new hires. So, you can start making a difference for your company for the very first stages of your employment.


Step 5: Set Goals and Measure Their Progress


You can expect your onboarding plan to contain some key goals. You will aim to achieve different objectives over a specific period such as 90 days, 6 months, or 1 year. This will keep you on your toes and spur you to strive to accomplish these goals. Measuring the progress of your onboarding journey will be possible with employee onboarding metrics.

Staff Onboarding Insights

A great staff onboarding plan will promote better job performance, increased efficiency, and higher employee satisfaction.

Executive Onboarding Programme: What Are the Steps Involved?


In any organisation, the executives are responsible for steering the company in a certain direction. They are responsible, among others, for formulating the ideas that can drive its growth. Additionally, they make key decisions about resource planning and consumption, strategising and setting goals. There could be a need to add new managing executives to an organisation’s management team. This means that they might require some special attention for a proper onboarding. 

The onboarding process when you are a managing executive has to help you understand the core activities of the organisation you are joining. A new manager onboarding is designed to make you feel comfortable right from the first day at work and allow you to build and implement your strategy.

Onboarding for the managers should be done properly because you are responsible for making essential decisions for the future of the team, department or even company as a whole. Hence, there is a dire need to provide you with the right tools.

The following steps will help you in maximising your executive onboarding programme.


Step 1: Reach out & Build a Connection in Advance


An executive onboarding process is enhanced when you are sent the management guidelines and company handbook in advance. This allows you to have a good idea of the firm’s operations.


Step 2: Communicate the Required Expectations and Goals


There is a need to develop and align goals that will help you deliver the desired results from your role. Never assume you know what to do automatically. Together with your direct superior, you will set the goals and objectives you aim to achieve over a specified period, like 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.


Step 3: Introduction to the Team


Team onboarding is achieved by involving everyone in the company in the employee onboarding process. Offering new managers lunch sessions with the other team members promotes team bonding between them. This will help you get know your team members.

Knowing relevant background information about the strengths and weaknesses of the members and other interpersonal dynamics will help you design the proper strategy.


Step 4: Participate in People Management Training


New manager training is vital for onboarding executives. This is because you are responsible for managing human resources. Being exposed to people management and leadership training will enhance your capacity to manage the team members effectively. New manager training also ensures that you will fully act in accordance to the organisational ethos.


Step 5: Provision of Useful Technology


The use of software tools will make the process enjoyable and enhance your ability to settle into your new role quickly. You can read more about onboarding automation in the following section.

New Staff Onboarding Experiences

The nice communication atmosphere, cultural diversity, and the company culture of knowledge sharing help me feel connected to the team and company.

—Bo Cui, Junior SEO Specialist at MediaGroup Worldwide.

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Staff Onboarding Software: Automate Your Staff Onboarding Process


A staff onboarding software is a tool that enhances employee orientation and staff onboarding of new employees. It will create a fast, streamlined, and valuable experience that will be pleasant to any new hire. A staff onboarding software builds the background for your smooth and effective onboarding experience.

The use of staff onboarding software will aid in winning your loyalty as a new staff member. This means that the use of staff onboarding software enhances your ability to stay committed to your company for a long time. It helps employers and new employees alike do away with the inefficiencies associated with the traditional onboarding process.

Let’s closely investigate some more practical advantages of using a staff onboarding software.


Having All Information in One Place


Without any doubt, having the data you need in a secure and centralized location allows you access everything you might need in an instant. Be it your staff onboarding process timeline, your milestones, or any available checklists, everything is available on your onboarding software. You will even be able to check everything directly from your phone.


A More Consistent Experience


A staff onbaording software will ensure a standard onboarding process with increased compliance. This will save a lot of time for the HR department of your company. Additionally, a software solution for managing your onboarding process ensures that you get the same worthwhile experience as your fellow employees, and you are not neglected or exposed to human error.


Increased Productivity from the Early Days of Your Employment


A staff onboarding software will ensure that you settle into a new role in a short time and attain your full productivity with ease. This is due to the fact that there are specific modules targeting role awareness, a clear feedback mechanism in place. Additionally, you will find a predefined journey that is mapped out according to your specific role, team and department specifics.

If you want to read more about onboarding automation, we have drafted a more in-depth article. You will find a more in detail discussion of what is onboarding automation. Additionally, you will find 5 essential benefits of onboarding automation. Furthermore, we also included some suggestions for key areas for getting started witjh implementing onboarding automation.

An example of staff onboarding software is introdus. introdus is an software solution that makes your process of onboarding easy, fun, and engaging. The introdus platform is embedded with a streamlined onboarding programme template. Additionally, it offers you an engaging learning experience with different multimedia content that will boost your capacity to hit the ground running at your new workplace.


Staff Onboarding Software Insights

With introdus, everything is easy to manage, and it’s actually great fun as well.

—Lea Dissing, People Manager at Better Energy.

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Staff Onboarding Process: Concluding Remarks


Without mincing words, your capacity to work for an organisation for a long period is centred on a great staff onboarding process.

What you experience at the beginning of your work relationship is a great indicator for the success of the employer-employee relationship. After all, organisations with a structured and effective staff onboarding processes experience a better new hire retention.

With the right staff onboarding process, you are on course for a great and interesting career path with your employer.

introdus supports all new hires regardless of the role or the size of the company. As part of this mission, we create numerous tools that can inspire companies to create and structure the new hire journey. The various checklists we created are an example. You will find, for example, a software developer onboarding checklist and an IT onboarding checklist. Another example is our sample onboarding plan for new employees. Additionally, given the global circumstances, you might want to read more about a remote onboarding process.

Create better first starts with an effective Staff Onboarding Process supported by a software solution.

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