Employee Onboarding: Complete Guide [2024]

Employee Onboarding: Complete Guide [2024]
Last Updated: June 6, 2024

Employee onboarding is a critical process that sets the foundation for a new employee's success within an organization. According to a study by the Brandon Hall Group, companies with effective onboarding procedures increase productivity by over 70% and new hire retention by 82%. Candidates lose trust in companies with poor onboarding strategies, and these people are more likely to leave within the first year.


I will explore the key elements of a successful onboarding process in this article. I will cover the tools and software that can be used to streamline the process. Above all, I will look at best practices for onboarding remote employees.

I will cover other areas, such as the importance of onboarding checklists and the critical role of cross-boarding and offboarding in promoting internal mobility and maintaining a positive employer brand.


By following these best practices, organizations can create a positive and effective onboarding experience for new hires, leading to higher engagement, retention, and productivity.



What Is Employee Onboarding?

Why Is Onboarding Important?

Employee Onboarding Process

Onboarding for Remote Employees

What Is The Duration Of Employee Onboarding?

Employee Onboarding Tools and Software

2. Learning Management Systems (LMS)

3. Electronic Signature Software

4. Video Conferencing Software

5. Performance Management Software

Importance of Employee Onboarding Checklist

Best Practices For Employee Onboarding

Cross Boarding and Offboarding



What Is Employee Onboarding?


For any organization, onboarding new employees is a necessary process. It is the process used to acquaint a new hire with the organizational culture, objectives, values, and expectations of the business. Typically, the onboarding procedure starts on the first day of employment and lasts for a few weeks or months. The process entails several actions, including orientation, training, team member introductions, and familiarization with company policies and procedures.


For both the company and the employee, the onboarding process is crucial. For the employer, it's a chance to lay out expectations, make sure the employee has the skills and resources necessary to accomplish their job and provide them with a good first impression of the workplace environment. The onboarding process allows employees to get to know their coworkers and the new workplace.  It is a time for them to acquire the assistance they require to succeed in their new position and to ask questions.


A good onboarding process can make new hires feel appreciated and at home, increasing job satisfaction and retention rates. A successful onboarding process can also aid organizations in lowering attrition and improving productivity. When employers invest in onboarding, they can improve their reputation and entice top talent to their firm.


A clear job description, an explanation of the company's mission and values, chances for training and growth, introductions to important team members and stakeholders, and setting specific goals and expectations are some of the essential elements of a successful onboarding process. Checking up on the new hires periodically can ensure they are settling in well and receiving the support they require.


Why Is Onboarding Important?

Employee onboarding is an essential process for any organization, and many statistics and facts support its importance. Here are a few:

  1. Retention rates: According to research by Glassdoor well-designed onboarding program can increase new hire retention rates by 82%. This implies that workers who undergo a comprehensive onboarding process are more likely to remain with their businesses longer.
  2. Productivity: According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies with effective onboarding processes saw a 54% boost in new hire productivity. Companies must invest in onboarding to guarantee that new hires have the knowledge and skills to be effective immediately.
  3. Cost savings: The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that it costs an average of six to nine months of an employee's salary to replace them. By investing in onboarding and improving retention rates, companies can save money on recruitment, training, and lost productivity.
  4. Job satisfaction: Employee job satisfaction can be significantly impacted by onboarding. 58% of employees say that their company's onboarding program had a favourable impact on their choice to remain with the firm over the long term, according to a CareerBuilder study. Making new hires feel valued and welcomed during onboarding can increase their work satisfaction and engagement.
  5. Cultural fit: Making sure new workers are a suitable cultural fit for the company can also be greatly aided by effective onboarding. Research by BambooHR shows that 31% of employees who left their jobs within the first six months cited a poor cultural fit. The company's culture, beliefs, and expectations can be communicated to new hires during the onboarding process, which can then help them decide if the organization is a suitable fit for them.
  6. Employee Turnover Costs: For businesses, employee turnover can be expensive. According to research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), total costs might surpass 200% of yearly income, with direct replacement costs potentially reaching as high as 50–60% of salary. Organizations can cut expenses by reducing turnover by investing in onboarding.
  7. First Impressions Matter: According to a study by Glassdoor, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Additionally, nearly 4 in 5 (78%) of employees say that the quality of their onboarding experience indicates how much their employer values them.


In a nutshell, these statistics and facts demonstrate that employee onboarding is essential for any organization. By investing in onboarding, companies can improve retention rates, increase productivity, save costs, and improve job satisfaction and cultural fit.



Employee Onboarding Process

Source: iSmartRecruit

The employee onboarding process typically involves several steps, including:

  1. Preparing for the new hire: The employer is responsible for making sure the worker has access to all necessary resources and tools before the employee starts work. A training video or employee handbook, for example, are examples of pre-boarding materials that the business must offer.
  2. Welcoming the new hire: The employer should extend a sincere welcome and introduce the new hire to their team and other important stakeholders on their first day. The employer should also give a tour of the office and go over any administrative activities that must be done, such as filling out paperwork or signing up for benefits.
  3. Training and development: The employer should provide training and development opportunities that will help the employee succeed in their role. This could include job-specific training, orientation to company policies and procedures, and access to company-wide training programs.
  4. Setting goals and expectations: The company should clearly define expectations for the employee's performance and offer regular coaching and feedback to assist the employee in achieving these objectives.
  5. Building relationships: The employer should support the worker in forging bonds with their coworkers and other important stakeholders. This can entail organizing casual meetups, team-building activities, or mentoring programs.
  6. Ongoing support and communication: The employer should provide ongoing support and communication to employees throughout their onboarding process. This could include regular check-ins, performance reviews, and career development and growth opportunities.


Overall, a successful onboarding process should help new hires feel welcomed, informed, and prepared for their role within the organization.


Onboarding for Remote Employees

Onboarding for remote employees follows the same principles as on-site employees but with some adjustments to accommodate the remote work environment. Here are some key steps that organizations can take to ensure a successful onboarding experience for remote employees:


  1. Prepare the necessary equipment: To do their work, remote workers will need access to the required equipment and technology. This can contain a computer, software, and network connection for the business.
  2. Provide pre-boarding materials: An employee handbook, training videos, and other tools that can assist them in comprehending the company's culture and values should be made available by the employer to the new hire before their first day.
  3. Schedule virtual meetings: The company should arrange virtual meetings with the new hire's team members, supervisor, and other important stakeholders on their first day. This might make the worker feel included and at home on the team.
  4. Provide training and development: The individual should have access to opportunities for training and development that will help them succeed in their current position. This can include access to online learning resources, webinars, and virtual training sessions.
  5. Set clear goals and expectations: For the employee's performance, the employer should establish and convey clear expectations. Feedback and regular check-ins can also assist the employee in staying on course.
  6. Encourage communication and collaboration: The employer should offer chances for the worker to interact with and form bonds with coworkers. Online forums or virtual team-building exercises could be examples of this.
  7. Ongoing support and communication: Throughout the employee's onboarding process and beyond, the employer should keep in touch with the employee and offer support. Remote workers can feel appreciated and involved with regular check-ins, performance assessments, and career development and growth opportunities.


Although some modifications are needed for remote employee onboarding, the same concepts apply. Remote workers should experience a warm welcome, information, and support during onboarding and beyond.


What Is The Duration Of Employee Onboarding?

Depending on the organization, the difficulty of the job, and the person's level of expertise, the length of employee onboarding might vary. The length of onboarding might range from a few days to several months.


Although some businesses may have onboarding programs that extend up to a year, the onboarding process is typically an organized program that lasts the first 90 days of employment. The initial days of onboarding are often devoted to doing administrative chores, like filling out paperwork and becoming familiar with the organization's policies and procedures.


The emphasis may change within the first few weeks to job-specific training and introduction to the corporate culture. The remaining steps of the onboarding process are devoted to offering ongoing assistance and chances for professional growth so that the employee may succeed in their position.


Employee Onboarding Tools and Software

Employee onboarding tools and software can help organizations streamline and automate the onboarding process, making it more efficient and effective. Here are some common technologies and solutions that businesses use for onboarding new employees:

1. HR Information Systems (HRIS)

HRIS software aids in the management of employee data and the automation of HR procedures, such as onboarding. HRIS can track paperwork, store employee data, and make it easier for departments to share information.

2. Learning Management Systems (LMS)

LMS software can be used to give new hires job-specific training. Online training courses can be hosted by LMS, which can also monitor employee progress and issue certificates after completion.

3. Electronic Signature Software

Software for electronic signatures can help businesses sign documents more quickly and accurately while reducing the need for paper-based forms. Employees may electronically sign documents using this program, which is particularly helpful for remote workers. Software for electronic signatures can help businesses sign documents more quickly and accurately while reducing the need for paper-based forms. Employees may electronically sign documents using this program, which is particularly helpful for remote workers. Additionally, for businesses seeking seamless integration of electronic signature functionality into their existing systems and workflows, eSignature API integration offers a convenient solution to streamline document signing processes.

4. Video Conferencing Software

Remote meetings and training sessions can be facilitated through video conferencing software. Team meetings, one-on-one interactions with new hires, and virtual onboarding sessions can all be conducted using this program.

5. Performance Management Software

Organizations can use performance management software to establish clear objectives and standards for new hires and monitor their development over time. This software can help weigh setting performance goals, give feedback, and facilitate staff growth.

Overall, using these resources can assist businesses in providing new hires with an onboarding process that is more productive, efficient, and enjoyable. Employers can spend their time and resources on other crucial responsibilities, like developing connections with new workers and offering continuous support and development opportunities, by automating and streamlining the onboarding process.

Importance of Employee Onboarding Checklist

An essential tool that can assist firms in ensuring that all new workers receive a thorough and uniform onboarding process is an employee onboarding checklist. The following are some justifications why an onboarding checklist is crucial:

  1. Ensures completion of important tasks: An onboarding checklist helps to ensure that all necessary tasks are completed during the onboarding process. This may entail administrative jobs like filing paperwork, setting up technology access, and finishing new hire orientation.
  2. Provides a structured and consistent process: A checklist offers a well-organized and standardized procedure to minimize mistakes and guarantee that every employee is treated equally.
  3. Improves efficiency: Employers may ensure that the onboarding process is effective and that new hires are thoroughly prepared to begin their duties by employing a checklist. This may shorten the time it takes for new hires to start producing and adding value to the company.
  4. Reduces stress and anxiety: The tension and worry that new hires could experience during the onboarding process can be helped by a checklist. By giving new hires a detailed description of what to anticipate, you can help them feel more prepared and secure in their new position.
  5. Facilitating communication and collaboration: A checklist can facilitate communication and collaboration between new hires, HR staff, and other departments. This can help to build relationships and foster a sense of community within the organization.


In general, an onboarding checklist is a crucial tool that can assist firms in giving new hires a uniform, successful, and efficient onboarding experience. Employers can position new hires for success and facilitate their integration into the organization more easily by ensuring that all required activities are performed and by outlining a clear structure for the onboarding process.


Best Practices For Employee Onboarding

Employee onboarding is a critical process that sets the tone for the employee's experience with the organization. As experts, we recommend the following best practices to ensure a positive and effective onboarding experience:

  1. Develop a comprehensive onboarding plan: An organized and well-planned onboarding process is crucial for new hires to succeed. This contains a precise schedule, a chart outlining duties, and checklists for each party involved.
  2. Start onboarding before the employee's start date: To ensure that the employee feels welcomed and ready for their new role, the onboarding process should start far before the employee's start date.
  3. Assign a mentor or buddy: Giving new hires a mentor or buddy might make them feel more at ease and supported in their new position.
  4. Provide a company overview: A comprehensive overview of the company, including its mission, values, and culture, can help new hires understand the organization's overall goals and how their role fits into the bigger picture.
  5. Provide job-specific training: Effective job-specific training should ensure that new hires have the skills and knowledge to perform their duties effectively.
  6. Provide ongoing feedback and support: Ongoing feedback and support should be provided to new hires to help them feel comfortable and meet expectations.
  7. Celebrate milestones: Celebrating milestones, such as the completion of onboarding, can help new hires feel valued and appreciated.
  8. Solicit feedback: Soliciting feedback from new hires can help organizations identify improvement areas and make changes to the onboarding process as necessary.


Following these best practices can help businesses give new workers a great onboarding experience to increase their engagement, retention, and productivity. It's critical to understand that onboarding is a continuous process that makes new hires feel at home, engaged, and supported while they adjust to working for the company.


Cross Boarding and Offboarding

Organizations should consider cross-boarding and offboarding in addition to standard onboarding to secure the success of their personnel.

Employees are cross-boarded when transferred between divisions or job functions within a company. This may be a useful strategy for fostering employee internal mobility and skill development.


Cross-boarding, however, may be a difficult process because employees must pick up new skills and get used to new teams and work settings. Organizations should create a clear plan for transitioning employees, offer training and assistance to help them acquire the essential skills, and designate mentors or buddies to help them settle into their new roles if they want cross-boarding to be effective.


On the other hand, offboarding means removing personnel from the company through termination or resignation. Efficient offboarding can assist in reducing the effects of departing employees' departure on the company and ensuring that departing employees have a positive experience. This may entail conducting exit interviews to get feedback, creating a detailed strategy for transitioning tasks and responsibilities and giving tools to assist departing employees in finding new employment possibilities.


Support and communication are essential in both cross-boarding and offboarding. Employers must ensure that workers are informed at every step and given the tools and assistance they need to make a move smoothly. Organizations may encourage internal mobility, enhance employee engagement and retention, and preserve a great employer brand by concentrating on three crucial procedures.



Organizations may increase employee retention, productivity, and overall performance by investing in an organized and thorough onboarding program. Companies prioritizing onboarding and fostering great employee experiences from day one are more likely to draw and keep top talent as the job market grows increasingly competitive.


An effective onboarding program can significantly affect an organization's success in today's fast-paced business world. Organizations can position themselves for long-term growth and success by adhering to best practices and using the appropriate tools and resources. Remember that onboarding is a continuous process that calls for constant improvement and progress. Companies may create a more engaged, effective, and successful workforce by emphasizing onboarding.

Nicholas Mushayi

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