Employee Onboarding Process: A Complete Guide

Employee Onboarding Process: A Complete Guide

Why Does A Decent Employee Onboarding Process Matter?

Getting hired for a wonderful new job that ticks all the boxes can be exciting, but this initial feeling can easily turn into disappointment if onboarding lacks the necessary ingredients. A survey found that only 52% of employees feel satisfied with their newest onboarding experience, and 32% describe it as “confusing.” When onboarding is not satisfactory and leaves employees with more questions than answers, it disengages them and fails to retain top talent in the long run. It’s been proven that disengaged team members cost their employers a significant amount of money due to their unwillingness to perform at a high level and lack of inner motivation. On the other hand, employees who have clarity regarding their responsibilities and feel like part of the team are less likely to look for other opportunities. So, managers and leaders must carve out a detailed and engaging employee onboarding process to increase productivity and retention.

The Benefits Of This Process

Effective onboarding is an invaluable asset that creates unbreakable bonds with new hires, making them feel like integral parts of an organization from the beginning. They feel confident and self-sufficient early on and, therefore, become productive after a short while. They know who oversees their work and feel free to contact them whenever the need arises. HR managers can assess from the early stages whether someone is a great fit or not and notice any skill gaps. They can then offer growth and development opportunities to bridge those gaps quickly. As a result, employees feel valued and that their careers are progressing. Also, a successful employee onboarding process provides people with the time they need to acclimate themselves to their new responsibilities. They are not swamped from day one and choose when they are ready to take things up a notch. Lastly, friendly professional relationships are fostered, and team members feel supported.

The 5 Stages And Key Preparations

1. Preboarding

Once your new hire has signed the offer, the preboarding stage begins. First, you must take care of all the necessary paperwork, including taxes and other formal documents. Send them an email informing them what their first day at work will look like. For example, they should have clear instructions on how to activate their company account and other platforms everyone uses daily. Maybe they need to contact an IT member to help them out. Also, make sure to send them their equipment if they work remotely. You may also want to prepare the agenda for the first few days and weeks so they know what to expect and will not stress about the onboarding process. Finally, you must inform the rest of the team about the new member.

2. Orientation On The First Day

On the first day, you should strive to make new employees feel welcome. For remote workers, arrange a meeting between them and their manager so they can talk in detail regarding the schedule of the first few days. Don’t put any pressure on them, and give them extra time to set up their several accounts and passwords. You may also arrange a team meeting so they can meet their colleagues. For those working at the office, you should meet your new employee and give them a brief tour. Introduce them to their coworkers and offer an onboarding buddy so they have a support system. Don’t leave them out of team meetings, even if you are discussing matters they are not familiar with yet.

3. The First Week At Work

During the first week of the employee onboarding process, managers should have their one-on-one meetings with the new hires. They must explain their expectations with clarity and provide them with the initial training. Then, you may ask them to complete their first projects. Managers should quickly check them and provide timely feedback. Nobody enters a new workplace knowing what you need them to do, so you must correct mistakes and offer guidance effectively. Also, you may arrange meetings with other departments so they can meet the new members, even if they don’t need to collaborate with them regularly.

4. The First 90 Days

Having a 30-60-90 plan set helps your managers and employees track the latter’s performance and fix potential mishaps. During the first month, managers should conduct regular one-on-one meetings to discuss feedback, work progression, and whether expectations are met. Congratulate them when they do something correctly so they start feeling confident. After 60 days, you may assign the new hire job-specific tasks as they have a clear understanding of the company’s functions and goals. 90 days into onboarding means that employees are fully immersed in their responsibilities and understand their long-term goals.

5. The First Year

While some people firmly believe that the employee onboarding process should never end, you may officially conclude it with a one-on-one meeting. Ask the employee how this first year was. Discuss their performance, whether they met their goals, and what their future expectations are. Moreover, it’s crucial to ask for their feedback so you can improve. Their insights might help you fix weak points. Keep in mind that your workforce is important, and you should value their opinion as much as you want them to value yours.

Employee Onboarding Process Template

There are many templates you may use to organize your employee onboarding process’s flow. The first step is to divide it into the different stages: preboarding, day 1, week 1, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and year 1. You may create a spreadsheet or a simple document highlighting every stage with different colors. Number each point to ensure clarity. If you are using a detailed spreadsheet, you may add blocks for each activity and mark them complete once a step is finished. You can add the obstacles a new hire is facing, too, and other notes you may have. If multiple people are involved in the process, note down who is carrying out each activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The 5 Cs Of Onboarding?

They refer to compliance, clarification, confidence, connection, and culture. Organizations that focus on these during the employee onboarding process are more successful at that and their business outcomes in general. Employees must comply with legal rules and obligations, receive clear instructions regarding their position, build confidence, create interpersonal relationships, and get immersed in a powerful culture.

What Is The Ideal Duration Of The Process?

A formal onboarding process may last anywhere between 30 days, 90 days, or 180 days to an entire year. It should begin before employees start their new jobs. From signing important documents to receiving practical information about their first day, new hires must be in the loop about various company functions.

How Can Remote Onboarding Be Successful?

First and foremost, companies must clarify their expectations and explain the employees’ responsibilities in detail. At the same time, they shouldn’t apply pressure but give them as much time as they need to navigate their new tasks. Managers need to stay in regular contact with their team members and offer assistance and feedback. Maybe they need to ask them about their work preferences and consider the different time zones. Lastly, team meetings should be frequent so a sense of camaraderie can be fostered.

What Are Some Things Companies Shouldn’t Omit?

Creating a clear timeline for the first few weeks and months of the employee onboarding process helps everyone stay focused. Managers can communicate effectively, and new hires know what is expected of them. Other team members must also be informed about their new colleagues, their exact position in the company, and how they may help if needed. This creates a personal approach and a welcoming environment.


A mistake some organizations make during employee onboarding is sharing way too much information with their new members on the first day and making them feel swamped. Easing them into the company’s functions and projects is the preferable way to help professionals grow their confidence and trust. As time progresses, they will be ready to start tackling harder projects and getting involved with more aspects of the company. In the long run, they will feel satisfied with their workplace and the relationships they’ve built.