5 tips for rapid onboarding

Eva de Cocq

The importance of good personnel is undeniable. Still, recruiting and maintaining suitable employees can be a challenge. In order to keep suitable personnel within your organisation, it is important to invest in the bond with the new employee from the beginning of the working relationship. You can do this by means of a good onboarding programme. An effective and inspiring onboarding does not only lower employee turnover, but also increases the productivity of the employees. It results in a higher bonding between employees and the organisation, and it accelerates the onboarding process. How do you give your new employees a running start and how do you design an onboarding programme? We have 5 tips for you!

What is onboarding?

First of all, it is important to know what ‘onboarding’ exactly means. You come across the term more and more often. The onboarding of a new employee within an organisation is a process. It starts the moment the new employee agrees on the employment contract and it ends with the full integration of the employee within the organisation. In an onboarding programme information is given about the tasks of the new employee, the organisational processes and the onboarding process. Not only the onboarding programme focused on the job is important in this process, but also the social integration of the new employee. Employees form an idea of the organisation and their future in the company in the first days. A good first impression is thus of great importance.

5 Tips

1. Digitalise the onboarding process

Nowadays it is increasingly popular to offer onboarding activities digitally. An online learning platform ensures that all information is at one place. This makes sure that you do not need to invest in one-to-one onboarding activities in a classroom. Digitalising the onboarding process is thus time-saving and cost effective. Employers can easily set up and actualise an onboarding programme in a digital learning platform. New employees can follow the programme at their own pace.

2. Begin the onboarding of the employee before the first workday 

When aiming for a running start it is convenient that employees are already familiar with the basic information of the organisation and their new job before their first workday. Already share the log in codes, the house rules and the dress codes. You can send them beforehand the task instructions and the protocols, and elaborate on these in the first week. This process pre-boarding shortens the onboarding time and prevents an information overload for the new employee at the first workday.

3. Choose for blended learning

It is advisable to combine online and offline learning forms in the onboarding programme. The focus of digital onboarding activities is mostly the onboardings process focused on the job and more work related information. However, the offline activities, like meet up’s with close colleagues or a manager, ensure social integration of the new employees. Offline meet up’s also provide a change to ask questions face-to-face, or to receive feedback. Meet up’s can be used as an (intermediate) evaluation moment between employee and manager, to manage each other’s expectations. Combining digital and traditional learning forms results in a complete and effective onboarding.

4. Make it personal

A personal touch in an onboarding programme can increase the feeling of the employee of being welcome. You can for example make a welcome video and add this to the onboarding programme, or you add an online facebook with all the personnel, so the new employees know with whom they will work in the organisation. What may also help is appointing a contact person or ‘buddy’ who the new employees can address when they have questions. This makes the programme more personal and more interactive.

5. Make the onboarding program inspiring and connecting 

Make clear in the onboarding programme that there is room for ideas and initiatives of new employees. This stimulates personal growth and challenges employees. It is advisable to offer for example a personal development plan in the digital learning environment. Ask what the expectations and ambitions are of the new employee. This is good input for a first annual appraisal. 

What is according to you an important part of the onboarding process? Let us know!