Daniel Martín
By Daniel Martín on April 18, 2024

Onboarding: How to do it in your organisation

The main objective of onboarding is to effectively and efficiently integrate a new employee, returning employee, or an employee transferring roles or workcentre, into their new company or role. 
Within the onboarding process your new employee should firstly receive all the necessary information and structure of their new role to allow them to begin orienting themselves in their new position and immediately begin any training period, or the role itself. This should include registration on any necessary software or other tools for their role, registration of their place within the company organisation chart and an induction to the general company, including their team if they are joining one.
Table of content
  1. What is onboarding?
  2.  Objectives of an Onboarding process 
  3. Advantages of an onboarding process 
  4. Differences between onboarding, induction and training. 
  5. How to carry out a successful onboarding process? 
  6. The 4 phases of an onboarding process 
  7. The 5 C's of an onboarding plan 
  8. Digital onboarding: trends in new onboarding processes 
  9. The best choice: Onboarding software
  10. How to conduct a successful onboarding process. 
  11. Example of an onboarding plan.  

1. What is onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the welcoming process of integrating new employees into the company and into their new role. For a good onboarding we must emphasise the concepts of "process", "welcome" and "integration". These highlighted words are the key to successful employee onboarding.
Onboarding can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year, but the most effective structured onboarding usually lasts at least 6 months, depending on the new employee's experience and skills, and the characteristics of the position. Ideally, once onboarding is entirely complete, employees will feel confident and competent to perform their job.


2. Objectives of onboarding 

Research shows that the quality of onboarding experienced by new employees drastically affects engagement, performance and longevity, among other factors. The objective of an Onboarding process is to ensure that the new employee knows: 
  • Who their bosses and colleagues are. 
  • Establishing relationships with other employees  
  • Where you will perform your duties. 
  • The responsibilities of their work. 
  • The means of work to be used. 
  • Building trust and confidence. 
  • Knowing the habits of the company. 
  • Set expectations . 
  • Create a clear definition of roles and boundaries. 

3. Advantages of an Onboarding process

The main advantages, both in the long and short term, of creating a successful onboarding plan could be the following: 
  • It attracts and retains talent. A good induction process will be remembered for a long time. It will reduce turnover and absenteeism rates in the organisation. 

  • The employee absorbs the corporate values that make up the company's culture.

  • Possibility of having the best talent in each area, and have them be productive as soon as possible. A happy worker is more productive and will deliver better results. 

  • The employee's doubts and headaches will disappear.
  • You will increase the Employer Branding of your organisation. Onboarding employees reflects the idea that the company cares about them, which will have a long-term impact on a positive corporate image.

  • The employee will adapt faster to corporate processes and improve coordination with other colleagues very quickly. 

4. Differences between onboarding, induction and training 

There are considerable differences between these three terms, which are sometimes mixed up in our imagination. 
To begin with, training and mainstreaming, although mutually related, are two completely different things. 
Training refers to the responsibilities or tasks associated with a job. Unlike onboarding, training covers all aspects of completing these necessary tasks, along with the use of technology and related tools for successful performance. 
With onboarding, new employees are immersed in the ideals and culture of an organisation. Unlike one-off, sporadic training, onboarding lasts much longer, up to and including the first 90 days.
While there are many similarities, there are also some key differences between incorporation and induction. Inductions usually last one day and rarely last more than a week. It is more of a bureaucratic and technical integration of the employee into the company that will serve both the employee and the company on a practical level. The employee becomes familiar with the technical, social, physical and bureaucratic apparatus of the company. 
By comparison, onboarding can begin before an employee's first day and last for weeks or months.


5. How to carry out a successful employee onboarding?

According to Gallup, only 12% of employees are really convinced that their organisation does a great job at onboarding (how much room for improvement do organisations still have?). 
In this regard, there are a few keys that organisations can follow in order to be successful in an onboarding process. Here are some of them. 
  • Determine what the new employee needs to know in order to perform his or her duties It is essential during employee onboarding to determine what primary and fundamental information needs to be passed on to the employee.

  • Provide certain information about the position: a description of the duties to be performed, previous evaluations of performance and potential achieved by predecessors, .... so that the employee can have a reference.

  • Define the internal and external references for each position. The manager can define who are the internal and external references for the new employee (customers, suppliers, colleagues,...) who can work for or with the company. 

  • Hold regular meetings between the employee and the coach. The coach or mentor assigned to the employee plays a key role in inspiring new employees. 

  • Strengthen the relationship between the coach/mentor and the new employee. Assigning a mentor to each employee allows employee onboarding to flow smoothly.

  • Follow up constantly. As managers we need to be able to constantly monitor that the expectations on the part of the company and the employee are being met.

  • Have a plan of action. Building a structured plan with deadlines in the first few weeks helps to avoid stress for the manager, the company and the employee, and will prevent saturation in the early days.

  • Covering the first day. During the first day we will have to cover certain points necessary for the best possible incorporation.

  • Be accessible to the new employee. Show that the team is attentive and ready to answer questions. This way you can solve their problems, and show that you care about their progress. 

  • Make use of technology. In order to establish a plan and monitor it, it can be very positive to have onboarding software to help us manage the whole process. 

  • It provides the tools. Technology is playing a central role in the Employee Experience. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the employee receives the necessary training in these first steps in the company about all the tools he or she is going to use.  

  • Taking the employee's perspective into account. The onboarding process succeeds when the employee's perspective is taken into account. 

  • Extend the Employee Experience improvement process to the rest of the Employee Journey. However, employee onboarding, while fundamental, is only the beginning of what the employee will feel and experience throughout their career with the company. 

 6. The 4 phases of an onboarding process

If your organisation is new to onboarding or if you are looking to improve onboarding, understanding the different stages of onboarding will help you design a clear and effective strategy to engage candidates and improve retention and retention of new employees. 
# Pre-boarding phase
A good onboarding process starts when the candidate search begins. People who share the company's values will adapt much more quickly to the organisation. Use your job offer, interviews and website to motivate candidates who are close to your philosophy to apply. Talk about the corporate values, what the company structure consists of, the work to be done, and the characteristics of each department and the different work processes. 
This phase also covers the period leading up to the first day of employment. During this pre-employment phase, you can help employees complete all the necessary paperwork (like signing the contract, right?), and prepare them for a great first day. 
 # Welcome phase. First day of work. 
The second phase of onboarding focuses on welcoming new employees into the organisation, as well as providing the necessary help for new members to adapt. It is quite possible that they do not yet know anyone in your organisation and will not know how teams work on a day-to-day basis. It is therefore necessary to introduce them to their new colleagues, accompany them to their workstation (in the case of face-to-face work) and teach them the basics so that they can get to grips with their first day. 

With OpenHR, for example, you can offer your employees a place where they can manage their main information. In addition, you can easily present your company's organisation chart so that they can get to know their colleagues, or they can see the latest company news so that they can familiarise themselves with the company.
#Adaptation phase. The first week
During the first week, the employee will have to adapt to the company and their colleagues, so it is not advisable to ask for too much during those first days. In fact, MailChimp does not allow employees to work those first few days. It prefers that they adapt, get to know their colleagues, and go through the departments they have to get to know before they start working directly. 
Also ensure that the mentor, if one is assigned, interacts frequently with the employee and guides him or her through these early days. Training is a key part of this phase. 
# Transition phase to the new role. Continuous onboarding.
A good onboarding process can last up to a year. Once the onboarding phase has been completed, it is time to plan the other actions, especially with a view to retaining talent and successfully completing the integration.  
Make sure you hold regular meetings with the new employee to ensure that the onboarding process is successful, and that they meet the agreed objectives during the first week.


7. The 5 Cs of Successful Onboarding

In this section we will look at the 5 Cs of Onboarding that every organisation should consider as part of new hires. 
#Compliance. Also sometimes referred to as the "boring" part of onboarding, it covers everything from basic employee understanding of the organisation's policies and procedures; from safety rules, to prevention of harassment risks, to confidentiality requirements, to departmental procedures. This is usually addressed during the first day stage. 
 #Clarification. Clarify and communicate the role and expectations about the new employee's performance. What are their individual goals? What does their organisation do and how does it work? How does their role fit into the organisation's and team's objectives? Covering all these questions that new associates have when they join a new company can help new employees get up to speed much faster than having them figure it out on their own.
#Culture. New employees start to be exposed to the company culture with their first visit to the website or when they have to go to the office for an interview. That's why it's critical to convey the organisation's culture throughout the onboarding programme. Make sure they are very familiar with the mission, vision and values of your organisation and how employees communicate with each other.
 #Connection. Managers need to ensure that interpersonal relationships are fostered within the organisation, and that new employees get to know and connect with existing sub-groups within the company. Mentors can be very useful in this respect. 
#Check Back. Collect as much feedback as possible and conduct feedback campaigns to continually improve your organisation's onboarding programme. It is the manager's responsibility to meet with new employees during the first 30, 60 and 90 days to check that everything is on track. Some of the concepts to be reinforced may be covered by the human resources department, some by the hiring manager and some by a colleague.

8. Digital onboarding: trends in the new onboarding processes

When carrying out an onboarding process, there are several trends that we find in companies with more agile workflows, which we summarise below:
1. It has gone from being an isolated event to a process. 
One of the big trends we are seeing in onboarding is that onboarding is no longer a one-off event that lasts 2 or 3 days at most. Organisations are now starting to carry out onboarding even before new employees are hired, lasting from three to six months after hiring, or even up to 12 months. 
 Of course, it is advisable to focus on the first day and to offer a total experience to make the employer feel welcome (meetings, presentations, relevant information,...), but don't forget that it is only a part of a bigger process. 
 A successful onboarding process starts when the employee signs the employment contract. 
2. It covers three main areas. 
An onboarding process has a great influence on the impression the manager will leave on the employee. To be successful, it should cover three areas: 
  • Business context: objectives, positioning, competencies of the organisation. 
  • Situational context: Here, especially everything related to the job and what is expected of us will be discussed.
  • Cultural context: Mission, vision and values of the company.

3. Guided accompaniment 
The figure of a colleague or mentor is essential to establish a two-way feedback that allows the candidate's opinion to be known at all times. 
Due to the emergence of the new hybrid onboarding, the mentor can balance the number of face-to-face or remote meetings, which will be essential for an optimal and effective adaptation to the culture of the organisation. 
Such mentors are playing a key role in providing new employees with information about what the company does and how it does it. In addition, they can inspire and help them understand the purpose of the company and what their role will entail in this growth.
4. Digital onboarding 
Digital transformation is also playing a central role in the development and implementation of onboarding processes. On the one hand, it allows us to track all open onboarding processes, abandonment rates in the first days of onboarding, or any other data that allows us to improve processes. Onboarding software such as OpenHR allows you to carry out assisted or unassisted onboarding in order to manage your onboarding processes. 

On the other hand, it helps us to identify training needs and implement specific e-learning modules, as well as help employees to log on, and analyse their performance, often reflecting a successful onboarding plan.

9. The best option : Onboarding software

As we have explained so far, technology is enabling an improvement in onboarding processes thanks to the emergence of onboarding software. 
A tool like this can help you keep track of the process of all the tasks associated with onboarding. OpenHR's onboarding software also allows for unassisted or assisted onboarding (mentoring) through approval workflows that will make it easier and faster for the employee to integrate effectively into the organisation. 
In addition, this tool can be complemented with other tools that OpenHR puts at your disposal to make the process completely successful. OpenHR's document manager will allow you to send all the necessary information so that it can be signed by the employee himself. In addition, the corporate organisation chart will allow the employee to know at first hand who their employees are and what position they occupy within the hierarchy. 
Finally, a performance evaluation software will allow employers to know if the new employee is getting into the job well and is meeting the first proposed objectives, or if, on the contrary, there is some obstacle that is preventing him/her from doing so and he/she needs some extra training. To do this, a training management software will allow to know the degree of progress of the different courses that the employee is doing, and what skills he/she is acquiring.

10. How to conduct out a successful onboarding plan

A successful onboarding plan is essential to ensure that new employees are effectively integrated into your organisation and are ready to contribute productively. Here is a detailed guide to creating a successful onboarding plan:
  • Advance Planning
Define the objectives of the onboarding process and the results you expect to achieve at the end of the process.

Assign clear responsibilities to team members who will be involved in the process.
  • Personalisation
Tailor the onboarding plan to the specific needs and functions of each new employee. Not all employees will need the same training.
  • Clear Communication
Provides detailed information on the date, time and place of the start of the onboarding process.

Communicate clearly what is expected of new employees on their first day and week.
  • Preparing the Working Environment
Make sure the new employee's workplace is ready with everything needed, such as computers, office supplies and access to systems.
  • Welcome
Organise a warm and friendly reception on the first day to make the new employee feel valued and part of the team from the start.
  •  Introduction to Culture and Values
Provide information about the company's mission, vision and values. Explain how these values are reflected in the organisational culture.
  • Introduction to the Team
Organise induction meetings with team members so that the new employee gets to know his or her colleagues and his or her role in the team.
  • Training and Capacity Building
Provides comprehensive training on the processes, systems and tools relevant to the new employee's job.

It offers specific training sessions according to the needs of the position.
  • Mentor or Assigned Peer
Assign an experienced mentor or peer to guide the new employee, answer questions and help with the adjustment.
  • Integration in Real Projects
Provide real tasks or projects for the new employee to participate in and contribute to from the start.
  • Continuous Evaluation and Feedback
Schedule regular meetings to evaluate the new employee's progress and provide constructive feedback.
  • Digital Tracking
Use digital tools such as onboarding software to track new employee processes, training and performance.
  • Social Events and Networking
Organise social activities to encourage interaction between the new employee and other members of the organisation.
  • Measuring Results
Establish metrics to evaluate the success of the onboarding process, such as how quickly the employee becomes productive and their long-term retention.
  • Continuous Adaptation
As you receive feedback and follow-up data, adjust and improve the onboarding plan to achieve better results in the future.
By combining these steps with the benefits of digital transformation, such as tracking and process automation, you can create a successful onboarding plan that enables your new employees to integrate effectively and contribute to the success of your organisation.

11. Example of an onboarding plan 

Here is an example of an onboarding plan for an HR Manager. Please note that this is a general plan and you can customise it according to the needs and culture of your organisation:

Name of New Employee:  María González
Position: Human Resources Officer
  • Week 1: Introduction and Getting to Know the Organisation 
Day 1: Welcome and Presentation
Reception by the human resources manager or team leader.
Introduction to the culture, values and mission of the company.
Tour of the facilities and introduction to the team members.
Day 2: Getting to know the company
Detailed review of the organisational structure and functions of each department.
Introduction to the leaders of other departments and key roles.
Day 3: Policy and Procedures Training
Comprehensive review of internal human resources policies, such as the employee handbook, code of conduct and security rules.
Day 4: Knowledge of Tools and Systems
Training in the human resources management tools used, such as applicant tracking systems and payroll software.
Day 5: Immersion in Initial Projects
Assigning initial projects, such as reviewing current selection processes or preparing presentations for future meetings.
  • Week 2: Specific Training and Skills Development 
Day 6-7: Training on Labour Legislation and Regulations
Training sessions on labour laws and regulations relevant to the position and industry.
Day 8-9: Benefits and Compensation Management
Training in benefits administration, compensation packages and remuneration policies.
Day 10: Interim Evaluation and Feedback
Meeting to review progress and provide feedback on performance and integration.
  • Week 3: Projects and Interdepartmental Relationships 
Day 11-12: Talent Management and Organisational Development
Participation in projects related to talent management, succession planning and skills development.
Day 13-14: Labour Relations and Conflict Resolution
Training in industrial relations management, conflict resolution and handling sensitive situations.
Day 15: Final Evaluation and Development Plan
Final meeting to evaluate progress during onboarding and discuss personal goals and a long-term development plan.
  • Month 3-6: Specialisation and Continuous Development
Day 90-120: Specialised Training in Human Resources
Participation in specialised courses and conferences in areas such as organisational change management, diversity and inclusion, among others.
Day 150-180: Leadership and Skills Development
Participation in leadership development programmes and improvement of communication and team management skills.
  • Month 7-9: Project Leadership and Mentoring
Day 210-240: Strategic Project Leadership
Leadership in strategic human resources projects, with an emphasis on innovation and process improvement.
Day 270-300: Mentoring and Team Development
Involvement in mentoring newer members of the HR team and setting up development programmes.
  • Month 10-12: Assessment and Long-Term Planning
Day 330-360: Impact Assessment and Achievements
Evaluation of the impact of initiatives implemented during the first year and presentation of results to senior management.
Day 365: Annual Review and Future Planning
Annual meeting to review achievements, set new goals and develop a long-term development plan for the following year.
This sample onboarding plan for over a year provides a general structure to help the new HR Manager integrate effectively and address the key responsibilities of their role. Be sure to tailor this plan to the specific needs of your organisation and HR role.
BANNER NUEVO EN INGLES-Mar-22-2024-10-38-29-7868-AM