7 tips for improving the pre-boarding experience

Preboarding starts right at the moment your new hire signs the employment contract. By having a structured preboarding experience, new employees get engaged with your organization even before their first day of work. And that will improve employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention.

Ruben Wieman

7 tips for improving the pre-boarding experience

Table of contents

What is preboarding?

Preboarding covers the phase from contract signing to the first working day. The purpose of this period is to keep the new employee enthusiastic about your organization and to prepare them well for the first day. And that is important, because this way you prevent someone from losing the connection with your organization.

No less than 20% of new employees leave within their first 45 days of employment.

What is the difference between preboarding and onboarding?

The terms speak for themselves: preboarding is the phase that precedes the onboarding of a new employee. Preboarding concerns operational matters that must be arranged before the first working day, such as signing contracts and forms and granting access to systems.

In this phase, you also introduce the new employee to your organization and do everything you can to give them a warm welcome.

The onboarding phase takes place once the employee has started working and has educational and evaluative purposes. Think of taking eLearning courses, quizzes, and other forms of training to perform a function properly and learn more about the organization’s objectives, background, culture, and vision. Don’t forget to evaluate how the work (and the onboarding) is going.


What are the benefits of preboarding?

  • It increases employee retention

Research shows that new employees determine in the first three months whether or not a position suits them, and whether they want to commit to an organization for the long term.

Good, personal preboarding prevents new employees from choosing to work elsewhere. In this way, as the HR department, you regain control over your onboarding and improve employee retention.

  • It creates more connection

With good preboarding, you ensure that new employees are engaged before their first day of work and feel more connected to your mission and values. This way, they have more chances to become brand ambassadors for your organization faster.

  • It takes away nerves

By introducing new employees to your organization before they start, the first day becomes much less stressful. Especially if there is a considerable period between contract signing and the first working day, maintaining regular contact takes away a lot of nerves.

  • It leads to higher productivity

With good preboarding, new employees start performing on their job much earlier. The extra attention you give before the first working day is fastly rewarded with higher productivity and employee satisfaction, which customers will ultimately benefit from too.

7 tips for a successful preboarding process

It is essential to have your preboarding in order. If there is radio silence after the contract is signed, you are most likely to break the connection with your new employee, which is very hard to restore later. Make sure that doesn’t happen with these 7 tips.

Before we start: it’s good to know that you shouldn’t overwhelm someone with information – choose your contact moments carefully, with enough space between messages.

1: Provide a warm welcome

New employees deserve a warm welcome in your organization. For example, pay extra attention to the contract signing by posting a festive message with a photo on the social intranet or employee platform. Also, welcome gifts, vouchers, merchandising, or a bunch of flowers are always appreciated.

2: Send a personal invitation for the first day

Invite your employee on time for the first working day. Do more than just share practicalities such as work schedules and uniforms: add a personal touch to the message to make someone feel appreciated.

3: Share news about your organization

Even if a new employee has not yet started, it is valuable to keep them informed about the latest developments or news about your organization.

General information, for example, about your company’s background and plans, is always good to share. In this way, you stimulate connection and engagement among new staff from the start.

4: Provide timely access to digital platforms

A new employee must have timely access to your intranet, employee platform, and other important digital systems. Arranging this before the first day allows employees to already get to know your organization’s online environment, the location where they will be working, and their colleagues.

employee app Oneteam
Create the perfect onboarding experience with your own employee app

5: Share your social media channels and newsletter

Don’t forget to invite a new employee to your social media channels and newsletter on time too. That way they stay well informed about the latest news and get the first glimpse of your brand identity and relevant campaigns.

6: Invite for drinks and gatherings

Does your organization have some nice colleagues gatherings on the calendar? It  would be a missed opportunity not to invite future employees. Weekly happy hours, birthday parties, or other team outings are the perfect setting to start bonding with the team in an accessible way.

Do you have a large group of new employees starting at the same time? Invite them to have lunch together before they get started.

7: Introduce the team

Shaking hands every once in a while is quite overwhelming on the first day. Let the team know when a new colleague starts, and have a new employee write (or film) a self-introduction to share on your employee platform.

The next step to optimizing your preboarding experience

Good preboarding ensures high employee engagement and productivity. With Oneteam’s Employee Experience Platform, you can create personalized and interactive digital preboarding and onboarding experiences. Learn how Oneteam can help you engage your employees even before their first day at work.

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Click on the visual to claim your free copy of the onboarding checklists
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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