A Complete Guide to the Employee Onboarding Process

Got a new hire joining you soon? Congrats!

But starting a new role is not easy.

Usually, employees take a few months, if not longer, to feel comfortable in a job.

So, as an employer or business owner, how can you support and motivate your new employee for their new role?

Of course, by designing a structured employee onboarding program.

Employee onboarding is the first step in establishing a relationship between the company and the new hire. It is a critical process that sets the foundation for new employees’ success within an organization.

A smooth and effective onboarding process can boost employee engagement, retention, and productivity. However, designing an effective onboarding program can be a daunting task for any organization.

That is why we have put together this complete guide to the employee onboarding process.

Let’s Begin.

What Is Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process of introducing newly hired employees to your company’s culture, policies, and values. The new employees are provided with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to be successful in their roles.

The purpose of onboarding is to ensure that the new employee feels welcomed and supported. It also ensures they have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and expectations.

Employee onboarding is a critical component of the human resources function and requires careful planning, communication, and execution to achieve success.

Also Read: How do you start onboarding more candidates?

How Long Does Onboarding Take?

The average onboarding process can take anywhere from a few days to several months. The length of onboarding processes varies from organization to organization. Typically, it depends on the size and structure of the organization, job complexity, and the amount of training required.

For example, a small organization with a simple organizational structure might have an onboarding program that lasts for a few days. In contrast, a larger organization with multiple departments may have a more extensive onboarding program that lasts for several weeks.

The length of time for onboarding also depends on the level of the employee’s role. For example, a high-level executive may require a longer onboarding program that includes training on the organization’s strategic goals.

Why you should Focus on Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is an important process for companies because it sets the foundation for a successful employment relationship. The value of comprehensive onboarding is most prominent in employee turnover rates and efficiency.

A study by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82%. When new employees have a positive onboarding experience, they are more likely to feel engaged and committed to their work. It ultimately leads to higher retention rates. This is especially important in today’s competitive job market, where organizations are competing for top talent.

In addition, employee onboarding can help build a positive organizational culture. By introducing new employees to the organization’s values, goals, and mission, they better understand their role in the organization. They also feel like they are part of a larger team.

In a nutshell, employee onboarding leads to:

  • Increase retention rate
  • High productivity
  • Boost employer branding
  • Lower turnover rate
  • Boost employee satisfaction and motivation
  • Improve business profitability

Onboarding New Employees Remotely

These days, onboarding employees remotely has become an essential part of the hiring process. With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses have shifted to remote work, making remote onboarding a necessary process.

Remote onboarding refers to the process of onboarding employees who are working remotely, either from home or a different location.

The goal of both remote and traditional employee onboarding is the same: to acquaint the new employee with your organization and set them up for success as soon as possible, in a comfortable manner. The only difference is how it is done.

In the next section, we will explore top tips for conducting virtual onboarding effectively.

What are the Stages of Remote Onboarding?

Remote onboarding involves several stages that are essential to ensuring that new employees are integrated into the company effectively.

Here are the key stages of employee onboarding:

  1. Pre-onboarding: This stage involves preparing for the new hire’s arrival by sending necessary documents and providing access to necessary systems. It also includes communicating with them the expectations for the onboarding process.
  2. Orientation: During orientation, the new employee will learn about the company’s culture, mission, values, and policies. This stage is essential to ensuring that the new hire has a strong understanding of the organization’s goals and expectations.
  3. Training: This stage involves providing the new hire with the necessary training and tools to perform their job effectively. Training can be done through online modules, virtual sessions, or one-on-one coaching.
  4. Integration: This stage focuses on integrating the new hire into the team and the company culture. This involves introducing them to their colleagues, assigning a mentor, and encouraging participation in team activities.
  5. Ongoing support: After the onboarding process is complete, ongoing support is crucial to ensure that the new employee is comfortable in their role. Regular check-ins, feedback sessions, and ongoing training and development opportunities can help support the new hire’s success.

Best Practices for Onboarding Remote Employees

It is important for organizations to create an effective onboarding process. It helps to ensure that remote employees feel comfortable, informed, and prepared for their new roles. Here are some best practices for the virtual onboarding of remote employees:

1. Provide a Welcome Package

Consider giving a welcome package once a new employee has officially signed their job contract. You can also offer branded items from your firm. A surprise gift is not only a wonderful gesture, but it will also leave the recruit with a strong first impression. It will foster a sense of belonging and possibly boost loyalty.

2. Set Clear Expectations

It is important to set clear expectations for remote employees regarding their roles and responsibilities, performance goals, and communication protocols. Make sure the employee has a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what they can expect from the company.

3. Use Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is an important tool for virtual onboarding. It allows remote employees to connect face-to-face with their new colleagues and managers. It is important to schedule regular video calls during the onboarding process to facilitate these connections.

Also Read: Video Interviewing in Recruitment: Best Practices for Employers

4. Provide Training and Resources

Remote employees may need additional training and resources to be successful in their roles. Make sure to provide remote employees with access to online training platforms and educational resources they need to perform their job.

5. Assign a Mentor

Assign a mentor or buddy to the remote employee. The role of the busy is to provide support, answer questions, and help them navigate their new role and the organization’s culture. This can help remote employees feel more connected to the organization and their colleagues.

6. Emphasize Communication

Communication is essential for remote employees, so make sure to emphasize the importance of communication. Also, provide the employee with the necessary tools and resources to stay connected with their colleagues and managers.

7. Schedule Regular Check-Ins

Schedule regular check-ins with the remote employee to ensure that they are on track and to provide feedback and support. This can help remote employees feel more connected to the organization and their colleagues.

8. Make the Onboarding Process Engaging

Virtual onboarding can be challenging, so it is important to make the onboarding process engaging and interactive. This can include virtual team-building activities, interactive training modules, and other tools that make the process more engaging.

Onboarding CategoryTasks to Accomplish
 * Send welcome email
 * Provide access to onboarding software
 * Schedule a first-day meeting
Pre-boarding* Provide a company overview and mission statement
 * Provide a remote work policy
 * Provide equipment and software needed for the job
 * Set up communication channels and tools
 * Provide necessary login credentials
 * Introduce the team and colleagues
 * Set expectations and goals
First Day* Schedule meetings with key stakeholders
 * Provide a detailed job description
 * Provide an overview of benefits and perks
 * Provide security and data protection guidelines
 * Provide training and orientation
 * Assign a mentor or buddy
First Week* Set up employee’s personal goals
 * Schedule follow-up meetings with the manager
 * Provide an overview of company policies
 * Review and sign necessary documents
 * Conduct a performance review
 * Provide feedback and support
First Month* Set clear expectations for the next few months
 * Review employee’s progress and goals
 * Provide training and development opportunities
 * Schedule regular check-ins
 * Encourage feedback and communication
Ongoing* Provide opportunities for growth and development
 * Provide recognition and appreciation
 * Offer opportunities for team collaboration

Employee Onboarding Program Checklist

Difference between Onboarding and Orientation

Contrary to popular belief, employee onboarding and orientation are not the same thing. They are distinct processes that are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings.

Orientation refers to the process of familiarising new employees with the company’s policies, procedures, and rules. It also includes introducing them to their colleagues and their workspace. It typically takes place on the first day or first few days of a new employee’s tenure.

On the other hand, onboarding is a more comprehensive and longer-term process that goes beyond orientation. It encompasses the entire employee experience; from the time an employee accepts a job offer until they are completely integrated into the company. Onboarding includes orientation, but it also involves providing ongoing support and training. It assists new employees in learning their roles, understanding the organization’s culture, and becoming more productive.


Hopefully, now you are aware of key employee onboarding practices and when to implement them. Try to be prepared when hiring employees and giving them the ideal start to their professional journey in your business.

And with the right software solutions to implement these practices, you can make the onboarding process more effective, engaging, and efficient.


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