Onboarding process: the complete overview

Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman

As an organization, you spend a lot of time recruiting, selecting and hiring good employees. The last thing you want is for someone to rush out the door again. A good onboarding process ensures that this does not happen, improving your employees’ satisfaction, involvement, and productivity. This blog post gives you a complete overview of a successful onboarding process, including 7 useful tips.

Table of Contents

What is an onboarding process?

An onboarding process consists of all the steps an organization needs to take so that employees feel at home in their new workplace, get to know your organization, and become successful in their job. Onboarding is more than just a tour of the location and the keys to the front door. 

The numbers don’t lie: employees who went through a structured and effective onboarding reach their optimal productivity about 37% faster.

How long does an onboarding process take?

An onboarding process starts about two weeks before a new employee starts working. It then takes an average of six months before someone is finally trained and knows all the ins and outs of the work and the organization.

What are the components of an employee onboarding process?

Every organization is different. An onboarding process of an international fashion chain will certainly look different from the one of a local restaurant. Yet the basis of a good onboarding process always consists of four basic parts:


This includes all practical matters that must be arranged on the first working day so that the new employee can get started properly. Think of signing contracts and agreements, handling keys and badges, transparency on the job profile, appropriate work clothing, and login details for apps and programs.


Here it’s all about giving the new employee a warm welcome so that they build valuable relationships with colleagues and feel part of your organization. Think beyond handshakes. For example, make sure to invite new recruits  to team drinks, an activity, or game.


The next period is devoted to education and development. During this phase, the employee learns more about the company’s ambitions, culture, objectives, and background.

Many organizations opt to use digital onboarding platforms, including e-learning solutions, quizzes, and structured  internal communication. The purpose is that the employee understands how their skills and competencies contribute to the organization’s success.


After the end of the first quarter, the new employee is usually fully integrated with the team and makes a valuable contribution to the organization. It’s now a good time to evaluate: how is the development of the new employee doing?

It is also essential to ask the employee for feedback about the onboarding process and their experiences. Are there points of attention, and what did you like or dislike? Asking for feedback is a critical evaluation moment for the HR cycle and personal development plan.

7 tips for a successful onboarding of new employees

We have prepared a checklist that will help you with the onboarding process of new employees.

Tip 1: Good preparation is key

Begin with the onboarding process before the employee’s first working day. Prepare a schedule for the first week and send it to the employee together with other relevant documents. It is also advisable to inform colleagues about the arrival of the new colleague and what they can expect from the addition to the team.

Tip: Do you use an internal communication platform? Have the new employee write something about themselves or make a short video before their first day to welcome them.

Tip 2: Ensure clarity 

Etiquettes, working hours, evening shutdowns, and alarm codes are a regular part of employees’ daily routines that are too often overlooked. It won’t hurt to discuss these again clearly to avoid misunderstandings.

With smart employee onboarding apps, you can design interactive learning modules, for example. At the end of the process, you can see at a glance whether a new employee has completed the module.

Tip 3: Spread out tasks and information

Prevent an information overload.. It is more efficient to spread all tasks and information over multiple weeks. In this way, a new employee can better focus on each task and remember it better. Another advantage is that the employee gets used to the work rhythm faster.

Tip 4: Arrange a central place for your internal communication

Good internal communication makes your employees enthusiastic, motivated and engaged. They become ambassadors for your organization faster and can better bond and connect with each other. Moreover, they always know what is going on within your organization and what is expected of them.

Using different means of communication such as e-mail, Whatsapp and intranet is not convenient: it is better to use one platform to connect, train and engage all your employees.

Tip 5: Engage your employee from day one

Let new employees experience the company culture by directly involving them in social events, such as Friday afternoon drinks or birthdays. Participating in a fun activity or happy hours in the first week is a lot more effective than a few months later.

Don’t forget that new employees suddenly find themselves in a completely new environment full of unfamiliar faces and customs. So, even if you arrange a lot of your onboarding digitally, always remain present offline to answer questions.

Tip 6: Give feedback in time

Whether your new employee is an absolute champ from day one or could use some help, you should always give constructive feedback. Is the new employee performing well?

Then your feedback has a motivating and appreciative effect. And are they doing just a little less than you expected? Then the employee can lift their performance to a higher level with clear feedback.

Tip 7: Stay involved 

Of course, it is nice if a new employee quickly masters how your organization works. But don’t forget that they just started a new job. Therefore, stay involved with your employee for a more extended period and be available for support, questions, and guidance.

In doing so, you’ll be able to identify bottlenecks in time and prevent the employee you have invested so much time, attention, and money into from deciding to start working elsewhere.

Why a good onboarding is important

Good onboarding increases satisfaction, engagement, and productivity among new employees. No less than 80% of new employees decide in the first six months whether they want to work for an organization for a longer period of time. Therefore, poor onboarding leads (in many cases) to a high turnover among new colleagues, which is much more expensive than you think.

The next step in improving your onboarding process

Make onboarding a personal and interactive experience with Oneteam’s onboarding app. It ensures that new employees feel more connected to your organization and provides them with the right tools to become successful in their new role. Would you like to know more about the onboarding process? Download our handy onboarding checklist now.

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Cover Infographic Onboarding

Free infographic: Onboarding checklist

How to engage your frontline workforce with a fun and interactive onboarding experience.  This checklist includes a step-by-step plan to engage your new employees before,

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