How to create a great onboarding process

    According to Gallup, only 12% of people thought their onboarding was done well. The same survey also found that employees who had a positive onboarding experience were three times more likely to feel prepared and supported in their new role which improved both confidence and ability. This made them better.

    In this guide we will go through the key steps you need to take to ensure a great onboarding process:


    Set clear goals and measures for success

    Before designing any process, it’s important to prepare the outcomes you expect from that process. By implementing this new onboarding program, we expect that X, Y and Z

    • Have you clearly set employee job expectations and linked them to concrete, time-bound measures? e.g. we have no expectations of you selling a single thing in the first three months. This is all about you learning.
    • Have you clearly identified and explained the regulations, policies, and procedures employees need to comply with?
    • After completing the program, will employees have a full understanding of your company culture and be supported to build the necessary relationships for their success?
    • After completion of the onboarding program, how will you improve and maintain the work-life balance of new hires on an ongoing basis?

    If your objective is to ‘make the best onboarding experience we’ve managed’, what are the concrete metrics that will show you success? I’d recommend our content on OKRs  OKR’s to learn more about this method but some key results could be

    • An anonymous survey collected at the end of the process shows a satisfaction level of above x
    • Retention of those onboarded employees after X months of above Y%

    Practical Steps

    It's good practice to ensure you have as much set up before your new colleague starts. They should also have an easy to-do list so they can manage themselves to an extent.

    We'd highly recommend that founders or C-Level leaders (or both) spend at least one hour with every group of new joiners. Most employees in larger companies feel like they are small cogs in large machines. This is because they don’t ever get to interact with the top of the organization and because their work isn’t linked to the vision. You can significantly reduce this feeling by showing your new joiners that they are important.

    Any onboarding process should contain cultural and social touch points with existing members of the team. The new joiners should meet their new colleagues as soon as possible, not upon the completion of training. Their direct report can give them a detailed overview of what they will be expected to accomplish.

    The training process that you cover as part of the onboarding program needs to cover the vision of the company, its history & culture, functional aspects of doing the job, the outcomes of a good job, pathways through the company, and finally and legal and compliance-related items.

    Ensure that training is conducted both by a dedicated L&D team (if you have one), and also those currently doing the job

    Thread significant amounts of shadowing through an onboarding process because this is a great way for the new joiner to get top know your company, its people and its processes