How to create the perfect onboarding program

An onboarding program plays a crucial part in introducing new employees to the job. Still, this is often not done the most efficiently… Let’s be frank, new employees do not read the lengthy onboarding manuals, and every manager has their own way of onboarding. So how do you create more structure? And how do you create an effective onboarding program yourself? Let’s dive into the subject.

Ruben Wieman

How to create the perfect onboarding program

Table of contents

What is an onboarding program?

A good onboarding program consists of various parts, each aiming to have the new employee feel at home in the organization. So don’t think of a short, one-time greeting to welcome new employees. Onboarding is an essential process that requires sufficient time and attention.

As a matter of fact, are the first weeks of employment that determine the image of the new employer. The organizational culture, collaboration with colleagues, development opportunities, professionalism, workplace design are worth their weight in gold.

If something doesn’t feel right, it could translate for someone a red flag that pushes them to drop out. In summary, for you as an employer, there are plenty of reasons to think about onboarding!

💡 Tip: learn more about what onboarding means.

How do you create a good onboarding program?

Good onboarding increases the chance that someone will remain in the service of the new employer for more than 3 years by no less than 69%.

Moreover, when successful it results in higher job satisfaction and better performance. Investing in an onboarding program, therefore, pays for itself literally and figuratively. Here are some tips to organize it best.

1. Invest upfront

The onboarding process requires time and attention. Start by focusing on bringing some structure into the program, ensuring logical planning and sufficient depth. Ask yourself the following questions:

Question A: How do I get a new employee enthusiastic about our organization?

See the onboarding program as a magnet: the employee must feel so attracted to your organization that they feel quickly connected and simply don’t want to leave. Make the onboarding program engaging and interactive. Who said that next to the business content, onboarding can’t be fun?

A quiz, personal blog, or team welcome video that shows the spirit of the team, can add the perfect finishing touch to the onboarding experience.

Question B: What vision, standards, and values do we want to propagate as an employer?

You want the employee to align with your brand as soon as possible, but how clear is your company culture? What is your mission, what atmosphere do you want in the organization, and what appropriate tone of voice? Once this is sorted out, let it resound throughout the onboarding program.

Question C: What does someone need to know to be able to perform their job well?

In addition to general information such as house rules and information about the organization, an onboarding program must also contain more specific matters. Every position has its knowledge and experience requirements; every employee has their backpack of knowledge and experience. How do you ensure that every new employee can get on board quickly and adequately?

Develop onboarding modules for the different functions and levels within the organization. Do this as modularly as possible so that you can easily fine-tune it to individual situations. For example, employee app with onboarding component is ideal for creating personal, interactive, and modular onboarding experiences.


2. Take your time

Of course, you want your new employee to be ready-for-work quickly. But beware not build-up tension too early. Above all, you should in fact strive to create a warm and welcoming environment, and not overwhelm and scare someone. So take your time.

An onboarding program has nothing to do with that first week of induction or the mandatory introduction day from the past. It’s a process.

It’s better to start the onboarding as soon as possible after the employment meeting, meaning to begin even before the first working day. Then let the program run for a more extended period. Breaking the information down into bite-sized chunks, offers the employee the opportunity to absorb all that knowledge little by little.

3. Be flexible

Getting employees starting with onboarding while they have been employed for a few months, is too little, too late. At this point, the sharing of general and mandatory information not relevant to their position is a waste of time.

Therefore, it is important to connect adequately with each employee, so as to ensure a personal and interactive approach and offer optimal flexibility.

For instance, using a flexible employee onboarding app when onboarding might come in handy. The onboarding experience can begin digitally at any time and can be adapted quite easily to individual needs.

In addition to basic modules that are important for every employee, you can play with job level, lead time, and targeted content. Not lastly, thanks to gamification you can transform the onboarding program into an even more fun experience.

Why are onboarding programs so important?

A good onboarding program prevents you from restarting your recruitment and selection process again and again because of the low retention. The first weeks of work can genuinely make or break someone’s career and job satisfaction.

We already said it: precisely in those first weeks is when both positive and negative impressions come in twice as intense. If you pay too little attention to your new acquisition at the start, there is a good chance that they will still look for another employer.

Constant improvements and iterations are at the heart of the process. Measure the success by periodic evaluations of your onboarding program.

The employees are happy and the customers too!

In summary, our advice is: don’t let the newcomer slip away, instead roll out the red carpet carefully and well on time. Welcome your new colleague and ensure that all the tools are available to make the onboarding a success.

If someone feels comfortable in the new workplace, they will soon become an active part of the organization, and before you know it, it will raise a smooth team collaboration.

An additional advantage: a happy employee performs better and ensures higher customer satisfaction. A win-win situation!

The next step in improving your onboarding process

Are you ready to bring your onboarding program to new heights?

Are you looking for a unique digital solution for onboarding new employees? With Oneteam’s onboarding app, you can bring all your onboarding documents together on one user-friendly, interactive platform. Connecting with colleagues, departments, and different locations has never been easier.

Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman is the founder of Oneteam. He mainly writes about the future of deskless employee experience and key frontline HR trends. Fun fact about Ruben: He started his professional career as a deskless employee at supermarkets and a pizza delivery guy. The frustrations he encountered lead him to build an employee experience app focused on making the deskless workforce successful and engaged.

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