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Successful Employee Onboarding with an Intranet on Office 365

When we think of onboarding, we typically picture a Human Resources Manager sitting with a new hire for hours, pouring over company documents, rules and regulations, getting paperwork signed, answering questions, loading them with reading material and forms, showing them their cubicle/office, introducing them to their team and other higher-ups in the company.

But the onboarding activities for most companies have drastically changed from this traditional view. Organizations have learnt that automating the entire or even parts of the process can streamline it and save substantial time and resources. An automated process can lower recruiting costs, improve overall employee retention and productivity, cut down dependence on paper documents, and bring the new-hires “into the loop” even before their first day at work. New employees are provided a steady stream of timely, pertinent information which works well to avoid them being overwhelmed with the information all at once.

How does an Intranet on Office 365 help?

Starting a new job can be stressful; for the individual and for the company. The new hire feels like an outsider initially – he doesn’t know anybody, doesn’t know the company culture and what is expected of him. It is also taxing for the company because it takes a while for the employee to come up to speed with the work and become a productive, contributing member and during this period he needs a lot of hand-holding which add to the responsibilities of other workers.

The best way to get new employees familiarized with your organization is by creating an employee onboarding site on your Office 365 intranet where you can house all the resources necessary for the new hire to succeed.

Onboarding Site

Create an onboarding site where the new hires can find all company related news and announcements, employee directory, holiday calendar, employee handbook, etc., so they can start acquainting themselves with the company, its history and goals, see what their department is involved with and read the profiles of team members to get to know them a little before meeting them face to face.

With an intranet you get to decide when and how much information the new hires can access initially and change this once their quarterly appraisals are completed and their probationary period is over.

Documents and Forms

Make all the documents and forms available on the intranet and have their approval workflows set up so new hires can complete them online. It is a clean and efficient way to get all that initial paperwork squared away (without using paper!)

Onboarding Checklist

You can automatically create a checklist of all the activities that need to be completed for onboarding. Once a New Hire form is filled out with the name, department and start date, a checklist can be generated to track all the tasks and notify the people assigned to those tasks. For example, the list could include the following:

These checklists can be prepared for different stages of the onboarding like; before the first day, first day, first month and first quarter, and reminders can be sent for incomplete tasks as the due dates approach. This makes sure that nothing is missed or delayed.

Employee Orientation and Training

This would be part of the onboarding site and include self-running presentations, lectures, training documents and videos. Let’s say your company is in a growth phase and you are adding 5 new employees every month. It would be a pretty rare coincidence for all 5 to join on the same day, work for the same department, and have the same manager, etc. This means that their orientation will start on different days and will differ slightly. This could potentially be a full-time job for somebody, but instead you can prepare the documentation and record the live sessions so you can have the training material available at the click of a button.

Each new hire will see the list of modules they need to go through, and you can either require a read receipt or prepare small quizzes at the end of each to make sure they went through them and to test their understanding. It reduces dependence on availability of a trainer and since everyone learns at a different pace, the hires can go through the training at their convenience.

Performance Appraisal

The first appraisal can be an important milestone for a new hire as many companies still factor in the result to decide whether to offer a permanent position to the hire or not. The goal setting and performance appraisal process can be part of your Office 365 intranet and can be set up like a form where each employee’s goals are recorded at the beginning of the quarter and assessed by their managers at the end and all calculations are performed depending on set parameters.

All managers and subordinates receive notifications reminding them of actions they need to take and are informed when milestones in the process are completed. This takes the guesswork and stress out of the process.

Get Feedback

After a month or two of joining, make sure you meet with the new hire to discuss how they thought the onboarding process went. And instead of meeting face to face you can have an online survey or form on the onboarding site which becomes a required task for new hires when they hit the 3-month mark.

Getting feedback is an important step in the employee onboarding process and can give you valuable insight that can be used to improve areas of the process that are lacking, confusing or ineffective.


A good onboarding experience speaks highly of a company and is known to lend to higher employee retention rates and an Office 365 intranet can make the process smooth and stress-free.

An intranet can also be used to welcome new hires by featuring them on the home page and highlighting their experience and what they bring to the company. It lets other staff members know there is a new hire starting, making it easier for them to recognize the new person and introduce themselves.

BizPortals 365 is a ready-to-go intranet on Office 365 which can get you set up with the on-boarding features discussed in this blog. If you’re currently not using your intranet for employee onboarding but would like to learn how you can, request a one-on-one demo or email us at to see how you can get started.

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