Onboarding: How to create an effective onboarding program
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22 tips on how to create an effective online onboarding program

Onboarding is an important part of the total employee experience for new hires. The employee experience is the total set of perceptions that employees have about their work and is influenced by the thoughts and feelings invoked by the employer, the team and the job, as well as by the interaction between the employee and the employer. Onboarding is a crucial part of this employee experience. It determines the emotional attachment an employee feels to the organisation.

If the organisation fails to meet an employee’s expectations, he or she is more likely to become demotivated or look for another job. Good employee experience not only reduces employee turnover, but also creates a culture that matches the organisation and helps to create a positive reputation for you as an employer.

Although onboarding programs must be tailored to an organization’s needs and culture, the most successful programs include the following stages:

Pre-hire - Attract

The pre-hiring phase starts from the moment a potential candidate discovers your company to the moment the contract is signed.

A good candidate experience is an important prerequisite for the employer brand and employer impact. If this is missing, there’s no point in topping the ‘best employer’ charts. Employees in 2021 are doing their own online research, checking rating sites like Glassdoor, and choosing companies that are committed to impact. Therefore, give candidates a glimpse into your company:

  1. Tell your own organizational story and have your culture speak for itself
  2. Share the experiences of your employees
  3. Share your vision and explain the impact of your employees, their role in the bigger picture, and their development process
  4. Develop a clear and honest corporate page and vacancy page
  5. Share relevant content and offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at your company on social media
  6. Explore the channels visited by your target group and post actively

Pre-boarding - Adopt

The pre-boarding phase starts the moment the employee signs the contract and lasts until the first day of work. Don’t wait until the first workday

The time of paperwork and lengthy intakes is long gone. You should treat new hires – and candidates who quit the application process or didn’t make the cut – like you’d want to be treated. A lot of new employees quit before they’ve even settled into their new jobs. Good pre-boarding can prevent this.

  1. Start with onboarding the new hire for the first day of work. Failing to contact a new employee or only contacting him or her for practical issues is not exactly a good experience
  2. Involve your new employee in team plans and the company’s vision of the future at an early stage. Make it interactive!
  3. Invite the new employee to a team meeting or team dinner before his or her first workday
  4. Give the employee as much relevant information as possible to help him or her become familiar with colleagues, the workplace, and the work method
  5. Give new employees the opportunity to provide feedback and give them a small thank-you gift that will come in handy during their first work week

Onboarding - Accelerate

The onboarding phase starts on the first day of work and lasts until the new employee is comfortable in his or her new role. Remember: the onboarding process never really ends. It’s important to keep the employee on board, even after the first few months.

This involves corporate onboarding and functional onboarding. Advancement to a similar position within the same company is no longer a given. Roles and soft skills are becoming increasingly important. You can expect the corporate and functional onboarding process to take at least three months, although this depends on the available training courses as well. Ongoing onboarding involves the following:

  1. Give the new employee a warm welcome and plan a few coffee dates with colleagues
  2. Go beyond the primary and secondary employment conditions to welcome the new hire. Introduce him or her to other colleagues on the company monitor and prepare a welcome package
  3. Link the new employee to a buddy who can answer questions and offer support if needed
  4. Share and celebrate each other’s successes
  5. Maintain open channels of communication! While performance and appraisal interviews are certainly important, biweekly heads-up meetings and employee engagement surveys are even more important
  6. Make sure your content stays up to date
  7. Prepare for a solid end of the probation interview

Tip: An onboarding buddy makes the transition into a new job much easier for your new hire. Our friends at Appical made a free Onboarding buddy toolbox with everything you need to easily set up an onboarding buddy system.

Offboarding - Ambassador

The offboarding phase starts the moment the employee announces his or her resignation and lasts until the final work day. The old adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’ does not apply here. Try to maintain a relationship with your ambassadors after they leave. Exit management has changed in recent years. People want to keep growing, work on a variety of projects, see a variety of clients, and do what makes them happy.  Stay in touch, even after the employee leaves the company:

  1. Set up an alumni group and stay in touch by sharing job vacancies and invitations to company events
  2. Make the exit interview more interactive and give the employee more time to share feedback when he or she leaves the organization
  3. Acknowledge achievements, even upon termination of employment, and thank the employee for his or her efforts (whether they were with the company for two years or ten). Former employees don’t want to feel abandoned
  4. Save the information you collect during exit interviews, so you can make real changes if needed

Instead that you let your employees read a 687 pages ‘employee manual’ give them an unforgettable digital learning prehire, preboarding, onboarding & offboarding experience. By letting them play games, view videos and answer questions in an interactive way by using the Appical platform. With Appical you get a streamlined process everywhere & anytime, easily keep track of your employees progress and task completion. Request a FREE demo from our friends at Appical here.

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