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Sep 07, 2020

5 Steps: How to create a great onboarding process

Want to learn the 5 key steps to creating an efficient onboarding process? Let us walk you through the process to help engage your employees from day one.

two women wearing green and red shirts sitting at computers talking to each other

Creating a strong onboarding process is integral to retaining your employees and ensuring their growth and development. In fact, 93% of employers state a good onboarding process is vital to employee retention, yet 30% of employees churn within their first 90 days.


So, what does a strong onboarding process entail? It’s all about planning ahead and successfully integrating new hires into your company.


In this article, we’ve listed 5 key steps to include in your onboarding process so you can ensure your new hires become engaged and productive employees that are proud to work for your company.


Onboarding Should not be a one-time thing

When hiring a new employee, you must ensure they have a positive and motivating experience right from the outset. That means even before they have started their first day.


Getting this right is so important during your pre-boarding (i.e., anything that happens after they have been hired but before they start their first day) and onboarding (occurring from their first day) program, in order for a new hire to feel well-acquainted with their new role, colleagues, and company.

The key thing a new hire should take away from their onboarding is that they become an integrated part of your organization as quickly as possible. But many organizations confuse onboarding with orientation- which is typically a more basic introduction to routines and work tasks.


Onboarding is a comprehensive process that involves management, strategies, and a whole lot more than just basic daily routines. And, it can last up to 12 months.

The onboarding process doesn’t stop until your new employee is fully up to speed with your organizational goals and strategies alongside being able to perform their role to its full potential.


It's a continuous process. The following 5 steps will give you a little more insight into how you can create a successful onboarding program:



1. Recruiting

The hiring process and the onboarding process are typically seen as two separate functions in many organizations. But the two are actually more connected than you might think.


In the hiring process, you want to give your potential employee a clear idea of what the job includes and what you as an employer expects of them once they begin.

It’s in this initial phase that you need to give a good first impression, not only about your company but how they will be guided and developed once they start their first day.


But, you should also be giving a realistic pitch and accurate information about the job. This makes it easier to align expectations and ensures the right potential hires want to stay with your company and not start looking elsewhere.

This approach will ensure the quality and commitment of those showing interest in your company and will align them with your company’s mission and culture before they even walk through the door. 5waysmagnet

2. Pre-boarding

This is important. Do not miss out on this vital step!


You can’t jump straight from recruiting your new hire to their first day. A little preparation is required from both parties.


To secure an effective onboarding process, you need to implement pre-boarding. This is an opportunity to be proactive and start introducing your new employees to aspects of the company or role before they actually begin working.

Pre-boarding is the perfect time to welcome your new hires and introduce role-relevant information alongside company strategies, and naturally, their new colleagues so they feel involved from the beginning.


The more detailed you are in welcoming your new employees, the more positive their experience will be.


This also means that they will show up ready to work and perform on their very first day, eliminating unnecessary hours wasted on the more administrative aspects and allowing more time to focus on other important areas like product knowledge.



3. Onboarding 

Now we actually get to the onboarding focus. This should indicate that onboarding does not just begin after an employee starts their first day.


But, onboarding is of course key to successfully integrating new employees and making them feel informed, well-equipped, and motivated in their new roles.

Related: What Is Employee Onboarding and Why Is It Important Within Retail?

Onboarding is a mutual process, so it’s important to align expectations during the process. A good onboarding experience will do three things: 1) engage new employees in your company as quickly as possible, 2) increase their productivity, and 3) reduce turnovers.


In fact, up to 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for more than three years if they experienced a great onboarding process.


One key reason is that a great onboarding experience helps create a strong sense of identity and belonging. It helps provide clarity about the role and makes it easier to relate to your organization.



4. Training

Learning and growth should not end after an employee becomes comfortable in their position. Developing your employees should always be a top priority throughout their journey in your company.


Thus, employee training should be used as part of their personal development and skills specialization. Ongoing training will continuously develop and educate your employees so they will always perform at the top of their game.


As a result, your employees will still feel well-equipped and comfortable with their work tasks and not become stagnate or stale in their personal development.


And, they can continue to offer your customers and your company the best possible service, especially if your industry has a continuous conveyor belt of new products, menus, or services. 

Training can consist of anything deemed necessary to your company’s functioning, from ensuring legal compliance like GDPR to product knowledge, safety regulations, or organizational values.


It’s an efficient way to engage your employees while increasing their work satisfaction, self-efficacy, and personal development.


For more, check out the video below on our Training Pro solution.


5. Evaluating

A good onboarding program creates a stable and manageable transition from newbie to seasoned pro for your new hire. But when the onboarding stage ends and your employee is performing confidently and independently, it’s still crucial to keep checking in and continuously develop their skills.

Successful onboarding is an ongoing and long-term process to perfect. So, ensure you provide your new hires with feedback capabilities and ask them about their onboarding experience.


Your employees know best what worked well, what could be different, and what needs to be scrapped altogether to create a more efficient process. Asking them is the fastest and easiest way to get innovative ideas.


By following these 5 steps, you’ll help create a solid onboarding process in your organization, leading to faster employee integration alongside increased employee satisfactionengagement, and performance.


And not only that, but providing excellent onboarding in your organization is essential for retaining quality employees and growing them from within, decreasing unnecessary re-hiring costs as well as delivering a great ROI.


RelatedLearn about the importance of an effective onboarding


The Relesys Platform can help you digitally onboard all of your employees without the need for printed paperwork or heavy handbooks.


You can build an engaging and easy-to-follow onboarding journey featuring everything in the process: pre-boarding, onboarding, ongoing training, evaluation, and feedback capabilities.


Leah is Relesys's eternally-organized Marketing Campaign Manager. She sometimes moonlights as a globetrotting amateur photographer.

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