What is Onboarding? Can Effective Onboarding Set You Up for Success?


Onboarding is a key factor in helping someone new to a better start. But what is onboarding? And what is the importance of onboarding? This article will give an introduction to what onboarding means — and it will act as a stepping stone in your employee lifecycle

25% of new employees quit their jobs within the first year, and 20% resign within the first 45 days. At Introdus, we strongly believe that a well-structured onboarding process can be the key factor that can change these outcomes. Additionally, we firmly believe that effective onboarding sets you up for success in your new job, your new team, and your new organization.

But what does onboarding mean?



What Is Onboarding?


Onboarding means the process of integrating a new hire into a company. Onboarding has two main purposes. First and foremost, cultural and social integration and relationship-building. Secondly, provision of all the information and skills necessary for becoming a productive member of the team.

Hence, the onboarding phase is essential to empower you in order to achieve the best possible performance in your new role. It will give you all the knowledge, skills, and confidence to shine in your new position.

Your onboarding can help define whether or not you will be successful and productive in the job — and whether or not you will actually feel invested in the company. 

In other words, effective onboarding can convince you that you are in the right place at the right time. The more convinced you are that you made the right choice, the lower the risk of you seeking other opportunities. This also means that there is a lower risk for your company registering high new hire turnover rates.

Regardless of the industry in which you work, your level of experience and expertise, or your preferred workforce model, you deserve a good start in your new job journey. So, to achieve an effective onboarding process, there are a few key elements to consider:




Employee engagement can be defined as your level of emotional involvement and commitment to your working organization as well as its mission and goals.

Employee engagement is a fundamental new employee onboarding metric for any organization. The higher the level of engagement, the higher the business outcomes of the company. The global organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry highlights that organizations in the top quartile of engagement demonstrate revenue growth 2.5 times that of organizations in the bottom quartile. Moreover, revenue growth jumps to 4.5 times in companies where employees are also highly enabled.


Social Connection 


Onboarding presents many social benefits for new employees, as social integration is a key component of a good onboarding process.

Your loyalty to an organization is dependent not just on the work itself and the benefits you obtain out of it, but also on the depth of social relationships established within the organization.

As employees, or even just as humans, we perform at our best when we feel safe and trusted by the people around us. Gallup even identified that employees who declare having a best friend at work are 35% more likely to report coworker commitment to quality.


Job Preparedness for Future Excellence


The Onboarding phase is essential to empower you to achieve the best possible performance in your new role.  It will ensure Compliance, Clarification, Culture, and Connection (the 4 C’s of Onboarding). Thus, onboarding will give you all the knowledge, skills, and confidence to shine in your new position. 

Moreover, although your company will have some predefined processes and targets for the onboarding phase, it is essential that there is room for you to express your needs and ask for supplementary support when needed. Unfortunately, only 52% of companies report being able to match specific onboarding practices to how much support the employee needs during the transition, according to HCI.

In order to be prepared for future excellence, you need to be self-aware of your journey. You need to understand the requirements for gaining productive independence.

Successful onboarding means keeping track of your progress. It also means having a structured framework based on milestones for achieving fast productivity in your job. These milestones have to be job specific. So, for example, a developer onboarding will not be 100% the same as a new manager onboarding.


Job Satisfaction


If onboarding has made you feel engaged with your new workplace and confident regarding what you can contribute with, there is a very high chance that you are highly satisfied with your job.

Employees with an exceptional onboarding experience are 2.6 times as likely to be extremely satisfied with their place of work, according to HCI.

Additionally, Gallup identified that those employees who strongly agree that their onboarding process was exceptional are 3.3 times as likely to strongly agree that their job is as good, or better, than expected.




Onboarding is a Complex Process


A staff onboarding process is one of the most critical cross-functional processes in a company. It involves a hiring manager, HR, IT, facilities, training, etc. The process is fraught with opportunities for failure.

A successful onboarding of an employee would require the participation of multiple members across the organization. An employee onboarding flow chart would ensure proper event sequence, reduced potential for overburdening team members. Thus it allows for better social benefits of a good onboarding programme. Additionally, a 30 60 90 day onboarding plan can detail the activities present in the flowchart.


The Four Phases of a Structured Employee Onboarding Process


When you start working somewhere new, you want to be productive and start contributing to your team. You aim to start engaging right away, and you want to feel satisfied with your new role. But what are you doing in order to reach these goals? Additionally, what is your organization doing to maximize your Pre & Onboarding experiences?

In order to answer these questions, we believe it is essential to differentiate between the various stages of onboarding. This will ensure a better overview of the specific goals associated with each phase. Hence, we can distinguish between four phases of a structured employee onboarding process:


1. Pre-Onboarding


Pre-onboarding refers to setting up prior to the actual start of employment. There will be a strong focus on administrative processes, but this phase must not be limited to administrative work. In fact, it provides a great opportunity to start engaging with the company values, as well as future co-workers.

If you are curious to read more about preboarding vs. onboarding, we have devoted an entire piece to it.


2. Orientation


New employee Orientation refers to your first days at the office. It includes the takeover of your workstation and ID card, as well as the first on-site social interactions. The purpose of orientation is ensuring that you fully comprehend the company’s unique employer value proposition. Moreover, there is also a focus on product understanding: its positioning on the market, the target audience, etc. Additionally, you will learn about your new company’s business objectives and how your work will contribute to those objectives.

Furthermore, orientation should also have a social aspect. The goal is to make sure that you get to know your teammates, as well as collaborators across and outside of the organization.

Orientation also ensures that you are fully aware of your onboarding process going forward. Your Onboarding plan will contain key milestones, setting feedback, and evaluation mechanisms — so you must be aware of all of these elements.


3. Role-Specific Training


Once you fully grasp what your role will entail, additional training might be required so as to ensure that you will achieve fast productivity. In this context, training will help you acquire the skills and knowledge required for being successful in your new role.


4. Transition to Independence and Full Productivity 


You might start with smaller tasks, and more often feedback and supervisory sessions. But slowly, as you gain more experience in the role, you will become self-sufficient. In the final phase of your onboarding, you will be supported to reach the final goals: full independence and productivity.

This phase should be concluded with an evaluation: not only of your progress since your first day of employment, but also to ensure that you are not missing any information or skills that might prevent you from performing at peak capacity.

What is Onboarding?

Onboarding Data Draws a Clear Picture


Regardless of your career path and the level where you might find yourself on the career ladder, you have probably gone through onboarding at least once. However, it is not until recent years that the HR industry and workforce analysts really started highlighting the importance of onboarding.

We have selected some key data that, in our opinion, paints a clear picture of what onboarding can mean for you when you are starting a new employment journey:

  1. 58% of employees are more likely to stay for more than three years with an organization when they have experienced good Pre & Onboarding, according to SHRM.
  2. Organizations with a strong Pre & Onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%, according to Glassdoor.
  3. 88% of employees think their employer did a poor job with the onboarding process, according to Gallup.
  4. Employees who had a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for new opportunities in the near future, and 1 in 5 new hires are unlikely to recommend the employer to a family member or friend, according to Digitate.
  5. When you feel like the onboarding has been highly effective, you are 18 times more likely to feel committed to the organization, according to BambooHR.


Results of a Successful Onboarding Day in Your New Workplace


A positive onboarding day can spur you to give your commitment and loyalty to your new workplace. In addition, the employee’s first day can set the stage for a long-term working relationship between you and your employer. This will improve your organization’s employee retention and reduce employee turnover in the process.

A successful onboarding day will be a reward for all the work you invested during the recruitment process. It will also help you build the right engagement with your job and help you align with your company’s mission, goals, and culture. This will ensure a smooth transition into your new role.

If you’re interested, Introdus has also written an article about how to achieve a hitch-free onboarding day at your new workplace

An effective and strategic onboarding process is the bedrock of a successful and rewarding employee lifecycle. And in order for an onboarding process to achieve these objectives, it needs to be built on the 4 C’s of onboarding: compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.

When new employees are introduced to the company’s activities with the 4 C onboarding approach, they are assured of a hitch-free onboarding process. This will ultimately enhance their understanding of how to perform their roles and make them more motivated to work.

You can learn more about this in The 4 C’s of Onboarding: Achieve a Hitch-Free Integration into a New Company.


Onboarding Is a Stepping Stone in Your Employee Lifecycle: Conclusions


To conclude, we believe that once you have “graduated” from a well-designed onboarding program, you will be more confident, more engaged, and more productive in your new role.

Additionally, we know that efficient onboarding programmes are associated with stronger talent and business outcomes — such as employee engagement, employer reputation, and talent retention.

If your company invests in software solutions, such as Introdus’ employee onboarding software, you will benefit from an easy, intuitive, and streamlined onboarding process.

An employee onboarding software can make use of industry best practices and tools designed to ensure the best results. For example, a 30 60 90 day onboarding plan can provide you with a structured framework for navigating all the four phases of a structured onboarding. This kind of planning can guide you at the beginning of your employee life-cycle, while maintaining the focus on planning and execution, learning, and role and social acclimatization.

In your employee lifecycle, onboarding is indeed a stepping stone. However, there will be a time when you will move on to new challenges. This will mean going through an offboarding process. You can read more about this in Onboarding vs Offboarding: A Beginning-to-End Employee Journey.


Implement Effective Onboarding with an easy to use online platform.


Book a demo

We are using cookies to gather statistical data in order to improve your user experience. Read more.