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Employee Onboarding Process

What is Employee Onboarding Process? Benefits, Checklist, Best Practices, and Ways to Leverage Intranet

If you are a business owner, you are likely to think about employee engagement, retention, and turnover rates, along with the constant gnaws of productivity and performance. As the world of work evolves, so does the lifecycle of employees. Now is the time to reimagine the way of uplifting and supporting employees from start to finish.

Here are the top onboarding trends you should know to offer an enriching experience to your employees:

  • 88% of employees believe that their company is not good at onboarding new employees.
  • Organizations with a great onboarding process increase retention of new hires by 82% and productivity by 70%.
  • 58% of onboarding programs primarily involve paperwork.
  • Employees who attend an effective onboarding program are 69% more likely to remain in the company for at least 3 years.
  • It costs an average of $1,500 to onboard a new employee.

After devoting endless hours to searching, identifying, and recruiting the right talent, if the new hire ends up quitting the job, all the hard work goes into the drain. Now when you are back to step one.

Can a structured employee onboarding process prevent these hassles? Would it enhance employee engagement and improve retention rates? 

Continue reading to find out:

What is employee onboarding?

Employee onboarding refers to the process of integrating new hires within the organization. It includes various activities that allow employees to learn about the vision, mission, values, company policies, and culture of the organization. Onboarding new employees is your secret weapon to attain different business goals. For example, taking out time to onboard new hires can help increase employee retention, having a well-rounded onboarding plan can introduce them to the company culture and increase productivity.  

Employee Onboarding

Why efficient employee onboarding matters?

  • Onboarding is the first impression and interaction of employees with the organization after the lengthy interview process.
  • A positive employee experience welcomes employees and helps them have a good relationship with the existing employees of the organization.
  • If employee onboarding experience is not done appropriately, employees might regret their decision of job acceptance.
  • Without successful new employee onboarding, companies spend wasteful amount of money on productivity and employee turnover.
  • The negative impression of poor onboarding might affect the perceptions and prejudiced notions and cause them to quit the job.
  • Great employee onboarding experience helps new hires settle in their jobs, achieve clarity on the objectives of the job, understand the company culture, and form a good relationship with team members.
  • Streamlined employee onboarding process impresses new hires and maximizes the benefits of your employee engagement efforts, reducing the workload of the HR team.

What is an employee onboarding process?

Employee onboarding process is a process of introducing employees to the culture and work environment of the organization. To deliver superior employee experience, it is vital to ensure excellent onboarding experience. And this can be done by maintaining a proper checklist for all the onboarding activities. Let us take a deep dive into what encompasses a new employee onboarding process and how to get it right.

Setting up your new employee onboarding process is easy with BizPortals 365. Watch this video to uncover the key tools offered by BizPortals 365 intranet solution to achieve successful employee onboarding.

1. Understanding of company policies

Provide necessary information about policies, and employee benefits in the organization. The training should also include insurance coverage, tax liabilities, leave policies, diversity, and inclusion policies. The employees will also sign the necessary compliance forms that validate the new hires as employees of the organization.

2. Clarify job role and responsibilities

The employees should have clarity about all their routine tasks, deliverables, and overall job role. This is where the manager should step into the employee onboarding process as they can provide a clear picture of the job role of the employees. It is also important to inform about collaboration requirements with team members and reporting matrix. With an automated employee onboarding portal, new employees can be introduced to their team members. The employee onboarding platform also allows new hires to create their profile, learn about their colleagues, and enhance familiarity between the employees right from day one.

3. Provide training

Although training is a long-term process, initial training should be provided to new hires to understand the company processes and team members. The basic training material can be sent to the new hires and task breakdown can be shared through the employee onboarding platform.

4. Introduction to the company culture

There is a significant role of HR in onboarding employees, and they must provide a broad overview of the culture when they join the company. The employees should be aware of the communication channels, friendliness of management, and work ethics of the organization. It can also be done easily with an employee onboarding platform which provides clear insights into the profile of team members and the company to ensure a better understanding of the company culture.

5. Social connections

While this is not the sole responsibility of HR or manager, it is also the job of employees to facilitate communication within the organization. This step involves creating a friendly work environment and encouraging social networking across the organization.

Are you finding the best way to get new employees familiarized with your organization and accelerate the employee onboarding experience? Check out how to create a successful onboarding experience with the SharePoint intranet and Microsoft 365.

What are the benefits of using an employee onboarding process?

1. Better employee retention

Hiring is an expensive and tedious process. And once you complete this process, you will want to retain the talent. According to research conducted by Wynhurst Group, when employees experience a structured onboarding process, 58% of them are more likely to stay with the company for more than 3 years year.

2. Brand enhancement

A great employee onboarding process improves the company branding. When employees have good work experiences and fit well into the job, they would share their positive experiences that will impact the goodwill of the company in the industry.

3. Increases employee satisfaction

When employees understand their work profile and get proper mentoring and guidance from the management, they are more likely to make a meaningful contribution to the company. The employees will get job appreciation and recognition for their contribution and achieve a higher level of job satisfaction.

4. Boost employee productivity

Onboarding helps your employees feel motivated and valued. When they feel empowered, they would want to contribute to the success of the company. If the employees understand the beliefs and values of the company from the start, they will also share similar goals and enhance their quality of work.

5. Comprehensive document management

Most employees struggle with document management and sharing in the organizations. Managing and sharing documents with an employee onboarding portal is a breeze. The HR managers can easily collect the information digitally, contract, handbook, and get the digital signatures rather than printing dozens of pages and wasting time.

Comprehensive document management

6. Effective task management

An employee onboarding platform helps companies assign, track, and manage tasks, and send automatic email notifications to employees. The employees will understand the key performance indicators, and benchmarks within the onboarding process and work to fulfilltheir job responsibilities productively.

7. Efficient collaboration

A digital employee onboarding process helps you to manage projects, assign role-based access, and co-author documents using a single platform. It increases accountability and workplace collaboration among employees and ensures that work gets completed within the designated timeframe.

What is an employee onboarding checklist?

To deliver excellent employee experience, it is important to start right with onboarding best practices. Maintaining an employee onboarding checklist remains the key to starting properly and achieving a successful onboarding experience.

1. Pre-boarding checklist

  • Create an employee profile on the onboarding portal.
  • Background check of employees.
  • Administrative coordination to designate workstation, access card, nametag, etc.

2. First Day Checklist

  • Paperwork and policy documents completion.
  • Information about company culture, practices, and policies.
  • Information about technology usage policies.
  • Information about probation period if applicable.
  • Introduction to managers and team members.
  • Prepare a work and training schedule for the new hire.

3. First Week Checklist

  • Follow-up on questions of the employees if any.
  • Get feedback from employees about their first week at work.
  • Get feedback from managers about the new hire.

4. Quarterly Checklist

  • Discuss projects, customer base, and training requirements.
  • Define long-term and short-term goals.
  • Ensure their assimilation into the work culture.
  • Evaluate further training needs and prepare a new training plan if required.

What is employee onboarding best practices?

Creating a healthy work environment is a challenging task but an effective employee onboarding experience can help integrate the new hire into the company. The onboarding process is much more than a welcome letter, orientation program, and a great first day at work. Find out the employee onboarding best practices as we head into the future of work.

Employee onboarding best practices

  • Conduct the first meeting and greeting
  • Avoid an isolated onboarding experience
  • Provide detailed company information
  • Ensure that the job description matches the job
  • Provide all the tools and resources required for the job
  • Provide necessary credentials and security access
  • Prepare an end-to-end onboarding checklist and stick to it
  • Automate the employee onboarding process
  • Regularly measure the onboarding metrics

What is the duration of employee onboarding?

Most organizations take a day or two to get the employee to sign the compliance documents and provide a general introduction to the company. However, the actual employee onboarding process ranges between 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, or a complete year.The amount of time spent on the multiple facets of onboarding can be broken down into these phases:

Duration of Employee Onboarding
Day 1 – Day 7 Day 7 – 3 months 3 months – 6 months 6 months – 1 year
Familiarize employees with company and job role On-the-job training Performance evaluation Employees should have proper knowledge about job, market, and industry trends
Initial employment documentation Social networking Ensure all the tools and resources to perform the job Employees should be fully productive
Ensure compliance Get a sense of company culture Gather feedback to improve employee engagement levels The employee should be well-assimilated into the company culture
Employee onboarding demo

How onboarding experience impacts employee engagement and retention?

Employee turnover has become a major problem for most organizations. While turnover comes with a huge financial cost, it affects the overall productivity of employees and the bottom line of the company. Replacing a single employee cost anywhere between 90% to 200% of their annual compensation. The best way to avoid this financial hiccup, companies should focus on a great onboarding experience to achieve higher levels of engagement and retention in their company. Here are some ways in which an effective employee onboarding process can improve engagement and retention:

1. Optimized employee performance

Most businesses teach new hires about the vision, mission, core values, culture, and their role in the company. It allows employees to understand the expectations of the management which helps enhance their job performance.

2. Allow new hires to be comfortable

Employees initially feel pressurized which affects the performance of employees and makes them feel uncomfortable. An employee onboarding process increases their sense of belonging and creates a long-term relationship with the company.

3. Save money

Businesses lose a lot of money when employees fail to understand their job descriptions. Effective employee onboarding helps to reduce employee turnover and staff training costs.

4. Make employees feel recognized and motivated

When the efforts of new hires are not appreciated, they tend to feel demotivated and unhappy. This severely affects their productivity levels. On the contrary, when employees receive support from managers, necessary documents, and resources during an onboarding program, it prompts them to perform better and stay in the company for a longer time.

Reinventing employee onboarding with automation

To hire, engage, and retain a single employee is a big task for the organization. With multiple touchpoints, it is no wonder that the hiring and onboarding process can be very time-consuming and highly prone to errors. That is the beauty of intranet with an inbuilt employee onboarding platform. It can help you automate repetitive tasks and manage internal communication. Let us explore how a modern intranet on Microsoft 365 can enhance the employee onboarding experience.

How to enhance employee onboarding experience with an intranet

1. Automation

Onboarding new employees entails a lot of paperwork, policy education, and training materials. Going through all these hassles on the first day is not something new employees will enjoy. Switching to a modern intranet can digitize all the processes of employee onboarding while placing all the documents and resources centrally within the intranet.

2. Keep everything simple and streamlined

The flexibility of an intranet empowers employees and forms to build a social hub. An easy-to-use functional intranet is more appealing to the new employees than a complex feature-laden platform. As a result, they will feel more confident and productive.

3. Enhanced employee experience

As you will never want to offer an irrelevant and messy experience to your customers, you also need to deliver the same experience to your employees. While a worker spends over 2.5 hours per day searching for relevant information, a digital employee onboarding platform can help manage the information and resources efficiently.

4. Deliver a personalized experience

Every employee has a different profile and objectives. So, it makes sense to personalize the employee onboarding process according to their specific preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. An intranet can help deliver onboarding material that is relevant to their location and role. It also analyzes the user behavior with an insights engine to learn more about the new hires. This knowledge can be leveraged to understand the scope of learning and training of the employees.

5. Get social

Socializing is not a part of the onboarding process, but it expedites on-the-job training. It also connects the new hires with co-workers, management, work culture, and the company. A modern intranet helps in team building and collaboration activities within the organization. The inbuilt functionalities of the intranet like liking, sharing, and commenting help in achieving better employee engagement.

6. Solicit feedback for future improvements

Another way to improve employee onboarding experience is by soliciting feedback and optimizing the process accordingly. Sending anonymous surveys to the new hires and asking them to share their onboarding experience is a conventional way and hard to execute. A modern intranet can transform this process into a personalized and interactive experience.

Employee onboarding schedule demo

Beyond onboarding: Crossboarding and offboarding

1. Crossboarding

Crossboarding leverages the existing resources of the company to perform the tasks instead of searching for new talent. By upskilling, training, and reskilling the employees, companies can empower them to take on the new role. These employees also need to be onboarded to clarify their new job roles, responsibilities, key performance indicators, and reporting structure. Here are a few ways to get crossboarding right:

  • Identify skill and cost gaps – Evaluate the recruitment costs and unfilled vacancies. It reduces the hiring investment while empowering the employees to shift to a newer role.
  • Communicate job expectations – It is important to make employees comfortable in their new job role and communicate the expected deliverables.
  • Leverage social networks – HR managers can gather data on employee dissatisfaction and quickly shift the suitable employees to new roles before they begin to search for another job.

2. Offboarding

When organizations are cold while letting go of the employees, it creates a sense of disappointment in employees and closes the future rehiring possibilities. Here are a few ways to avoid the separation of an employee from the company:

  • Make good memories with employees and say goodbye with a degree of affability.
  • Celebrate the achievements and recognition of the employee.
  • Organize a farewell.
  • Ensure all the company protocols and regulations are well-maintained.
  • Conduct exit interview to understand their reasons for leaving the job.
  • Prepare detailed offboarding documentation to address future attrition challenges.


1. What should new hire onboarding include?

A structured new employee onboarding includes orientation, role training, transition, and ongoing development. The new hires will be introduced to the organization and the employees will review the handbook, company policies, and compliance materials during the orientation program. In the role training program, the new hires will be taught about the day-to-day activities and other required information. Under the next phase of transition, the organizational leaders will help new hires gain a proper understanding of their position and increase productivity. In the ongoing development phase, plans can be created for continuous personal and career growth to achieve common goals for individuals and the organization.

2. Onboarding vs. orientation

Employee orientation is a one-time event to welcome new hires to the company. The orientation program can last up to a week and focuses on the role of new employees in the company. It is conducted in a conference-style and information is delivered via Q&A sessions and presentations. On the other hand, employee onboarding is a series of events that include orientation to help employees progress within the organization. Employee onboarding is more departmental and job specific.

3. Benefits of an effective onboarding process

An effective employee onboarding process has a wide range of benefits for employees and organizations:

  • Create and build the company brand with enhanced trust and integrity of the employer.
  • Nurture talent with necessary training and development opportunities.
  • Provide better clarity of the roles and responsibilities of the new hire.
  • Develop trust between management and new hires to foster more productivity.
  • Ensure compliance with the vision, mission, and goals of the organization.
  • Provide proper knowledge of team members, reporting managers, and organizational hierarchy.
  • Build awareness about employee rewards and benefits.
  • Assist employees in understanding company processes, rules, and requirements of routine work-life like code of conduct, working hours, complaints and grievance handling, growth opportunities, performance appraisal and leave policy.
  • Increase employee engagement, and retention while reducing turnover and attrition.
  • Strengthen workplace relationships, interpersonal connections, and team networking.

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