What is Onboarding?

The definition of onboarding refers to introducing and integrating new employees into an organization. The purpose of onboarding is to help new employees become familiar with their role, responsibilities, the organization’s culture, and the expectations of their position.

Onboarding typically begins with an orientation, where new employees are introduced to the company’s policies, procedures, and organizational structure. This may include training on company systems, software, and other tools necessary to perform their job duties.

In addition to orientation, onboarding can also involve mentorship, coaching, and ongoing support to help new employees become productive and effective team members. It may also involve team-building exercises and opportunities to get to know colleagues and establish relationships within the company. An effective onboarding program can help new employees feel valued, supported, and engaged, leading to improved retention rates and productivity.

What is “Red Carpet Onboarding”?

Red carpet onboarding” refers to a type of process that aims to provide new employees with an exceptional and personalized experience, much like how celebrities are treated on a red carpet. As a result, more companies are implementing red-carpet onboarding.

Here are some elements that may be a part of a red-carpet onboarding program:

  1. Personalized Welcome: It may involve a personalized welcome message, gift, or letter from the hiring manager or team members, which can help new employees feel valued and appreciated.
  2. Clear Communication: Communication is essential in onboarding, and red-carpet onboarding ensures clear and consistent communication. Employers may use a variety of communication channels such as email, phone, video conference, or in-person meetings to ensure that the new employee understands their role, expectations, and objectives.
  3. Tailored Training: It may include tailored training sessions to help new employees get up to speed on the company’s policies, procedures, culture, and values. This may include hands-on training, job shadowing, or interactive online learning modules.
  4. Support System: New employees need support to feel confident and competent in their new role. It programs often include a designated mentor or buddy system, which provides an experienced colleague who can offer guidance, answer questions, and support during the onboarding process.
  5. Feedback and Review: To ensure the success of the onboarding program, employers may provide input and review to new employees. Regular check-ins, performance evaluations, and 1-on-1 meetings can help new employees understand how they are progressing and what they need to do to succeed.

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Overall, red-carpet onboarding programs aim to provide new employees with a positive and memorable experience that sets them up for success in their new role.

What is the Importance of Onboarding?

New employees’ success can hinge on their onboarding training. Onboarding supports and develops independent, knowledgeable, and empowered employees. It reduces new hires’ anxiety since they feel part of the organization more quickly. In addition, successful onboarding creates a healthier, more collaborative company culture.

It can also favorably affect:

  • Workplace efficiency 
  • Employee productivity 
  • Training and development 
  • Long-term employee retention 
  • Employees’ sense of belonging 
  • Bottom-line savings

Onboarding techniques increase the likelihood of new hires investing in their enthusiasm and skills. It results in the alignment of engaged employees and improved job performance. Effective onboarding reduces productivity loss after vacant positions. It helps new employees get into the workplace rhythm faster. As a result, new employees integrate and gain the knowledge needed to be successful. Onboarding and other types of training attract (and retain) employees. Employees want to know that their employers care about their career paths. One way to prove this is to give them the resources to be successful from the start. 

What is the Onboarding Experience Process?

The onboarding experience varies by industry, company, and role. Generally, it should make new employees feel welcomed and assured in their new roles. In addition, they should have the resources needed to be effective. It’s standardized content that includes company information, culture, and goals. Yet, it also ensures new hires have plans designed specifically for them. Here are the typical stages of the onboarding experience process:

  1. Pre-boarding: This stage involves the tasks and activities before the new employee’s first day. This may include sending welcome messages, providing a new hire orientation package, setting up the necessary equipment, and completing any necessary paperwork.
  2. Orientation: Orientation is the first formal stage of onboarding, typically conducted on the new employee’s first day or week. During orientation, new employees learn about the company’s culture, values, policies, and procedures. They also receive training on their job duties, expectations, and performance goals.
  3. Integration: Integration involves helping new employees become a part of the team and the company culture. This may include introducing them to colleagues, organizing team-building activities, and providing opportunities for them to participate in company events.
  4. Performance: The performance stage focuses on helping new employees become proficient. This may include coaching, training, and feedback from managers or mentors to help them improve their skills and achieve their goals.
  5. Retention: The retention stage involves ongoing support to ensure new employees remain engaged and committed to their job and the organization. This may include career development opportunities, recognition and rewards, and regular feedback and check-ins.


By following a structured process, employers can help new employees feel welcome, confident, and supported, improving retention rates, job satisfaction, and productivity.

The onboarding manager may name key persons to mentor one or more new hires. The process should have deliverable dates and milestones. 

Itineraries and outlines of expected outcomes help all employees adjust. For example, new hires know what to anticipate in the first few weeks to months. And the existing staff have the plan to approach training and support. 

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5 Onboarding Success Factors

The onboarding success depends on various factors that help new employees feel welcome, engaged, and supported as they transition into their new role. Here are some common success factors:

  1. Clear expectations: New employees must understand their job duties, expectations, and goals. Clear communication of this information can help new employees feel more comfortable and confident.
  2. Positive company culture: A strong and positive culture can help new employees feel welcome and motivated to contribute. It is essential to introduce new employees to the company’s culture, values, and mission and to provide opportunities to meet colleagues and learn about the company’s history.
  3. Supportive work environment: A supportive work environment that fosters collaboration and open communication can help new employees feel valued and included. Managers and team members can provide support, guidance, and feedback to help new employees navigate their roles and the organization.
  4. Effective training: New employees need adequate training and resources to perform their job duties. Effective training can include hands-on instruction, online learning modules, job shadowing, and mentoring.
  5. Continuous feedback and recognition: Regular feedback and recognition can help new employees understand their strengths and areas for improvement. Ongoing feedback and recognition can help new employees feel valued, motivated, and engaged.

By ensuring that these success factors are in place, organizations can help new employees feel welcome, supported, and productive, which can lead to higher retention rates and improved job satisfaction.

New team members must know whom to turn to with questions and feedback. Familiarizing new hires with their peers and supervisors is especially critical for teams. Keeping remote employees engaged is an investment of trust amongst groups. 

Likewise, explaining company culture and job duties sets up expectations. Finally, goal setting sets clear directions with motivating milestones. 

How to Give Feedback that Lands

5 Onboarding KPIs To Measure

Onboarding affects everything from employee productivity to retention. Evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs) can verify their effectiveness. The following points may show a company’s processes: 

1. High Onboarding Course Completion Rates

Training increases skills and procedure compliance. In addition, high onboarding training rates show that new hires are engaged and motivated. 

But, low completion rates may signify that employees don’t value it, don’t have time, or are confused. As a result, onboarding managers may need to explain relevance or directions. Likewise, they may need to give new hires a checklist to keep them on track.  

2. Fast Time-to-Productivity Period

Onboarding’s main aim is to fast-track new hires into their positions. Therefore, the faster employees reach their expected productivity, the better. Ideally, they should need little or no supervision by the end of onboarding. 

Managers may have input about employees’ progress. Their coworkers may also have information about their competency.

Or management may track their headway directly if the position has measurable outputs. Likewise, they can test employees’ knowledge through training software. 

3. High Engagement Rates

Organizations can track engagement rates by asking for feedback or looking at metrics. For example, new hires may have opinions or suggestions about onboarding. 

Their actions may speak louder than words. For example, their enthusiasm or contributions during meetings indicates their understanding. Conversely, absenteeism or quietness could translate to uncertainty or doubt. 

4. Reduced Turnover

The employer-employee relationship starts in the first days and weeks. Workers who are content stay with organizations longer. And 78% of surveyed workers report they would stay with an employer if they knew their career path

Workers who feel they need training or to be knowledgeable tend to resign. Exiting employees could be a sign of poor onboarding strategies.  

5. Improved Employee Experienced

Onboarding improves the experience of new hires and their coworkers. In addition, team members usually help until the company fills a vacant position. So, a new employee’s competency and onboarding can benefit the entire department. 

What Onboarding Documentation Do You Need?

Effective onboarding involves having the necessary documentation to ensure new employees have all the information they need to succeed in their new role. Here are some examples of documentation that you may need:

  1. Offer letter: This is the initial document provided to the new employee, outlining the terms and conditions of their employment, including job title, start date, compensation, and benefits.
  2. The employee handbook provides an overview of the company’s policies, procedures, and expectations. It may include information on workplace conduct, employee benefits, time off, and performance expectations.
  3. Job description: A job description provides a detailed summary of the new employee’s job duties and responsibilities, including their reporting structure and performance expectations.
  4. Training materials: Effective training is essential for new employees to understand their role and responsibilities. Training materials may include manuals, videos, online courses, and on-the-job training.
  5. Compliance documents: Depending on the industry, there may be specific compliance documents that new employees need to review and sign, such as confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements, or safety protocols.
  6. Performance management documents may include performance goals and objectives, key performance indicators, and regular feedback and evaluation.

By ensuring that new employees have access to all necessary onboarding documentation, they can clearly understand their role, responsibilities, and expectations, which can help them become productive members of the team.

Who is an Onboarding Manager?

The onboarding manager handles the planning and implementation. First, they determine the goals, such as improving new hire productivity. But large organizations may have a group taking care of onboarding tasks. Next, the manager (or team) defines the best practices and technology for content delivery. Identifying who is responsible for onboarding keeps new hires on target. The manager is the single contact point for the new hires initially. Then, they are a liaison who oversees the process and connects new hires with key employees. 

How Long Does Onboarding Take?

Onboarding is an ongoing process. It can take 30-90 days for new hires to feel comfortable with their responsibilities. Organizations can aim for a 60-day period by creating time-based milestones. 

Some aspects of employee onboarding can be done before a new employee’s first day. For example, support departments can set up phone and computer systems. In addition, management can schedule 1-on-1 and team meetings. 

The first week includes:

  • General orientation 
  • Completion of the necessary documentation
  • Clarification of onboarding and training schedules
  • Introduction to coworkers and key manager
  • Review of job description and workflow
  • Assigning mentorship and crucial resources
  • Time for questions and feedback

In the first month, new hires should receive assignments and expectations. An end-of-the-month review is an opportunity for performance review and goal setting.

Managers and new employees establish a manageable workload. The capacity can ramp up as they become more familiar and comfortable in their role. However, it can take six months to a year before employees reach their highest potential. 

Onboarding vs. Orientation

Onboarding helps new employees adjust to their jobs quickly. On the other hand, orientation is a company’s initial welcome to the new hire. 

All new hires receive much of the same information. It cuts down on the time supervisors spend answering basic questions.

During orientation, new hires typically:

  • Receive an introduction to the company’s mission, values, and culture
  • Complete new-hire paperwork
  • Get notification of bullying, sexual harassment, and other policies
  • Learn about benefits, compensation, and holidays
  • Get job-related resources, such as a workstation and relevant technology
  • Meet their new coworkers and direct supervisor

Generally, a successful employee orientation program comprises two parts. First, employees should receive a broad overview of company-wide rules and procedures. This is usually part of a group orientation with hires from different departments. 

The second part is a review of their specific job duties. Finally, it explains how their position fits into the company’s short- and long-term goals.

Orientation time is relatively short. Depending on the company, it may be a day or less than a week. It may include some general training, such as getting through security barriers.

Why is Employee Training Important in the Onboarding Process?

Employee training is essential to the onboarding process as it helps new employees gain the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their new role. Here are some reasons why employee training is essential in the process:

  1. Improved performance: Proper training helps new employees understand their job duties, expectations, and performance goals. This can help new employees perform better, resulting in improved job performance and productivity.
  2. Increased confidence: Effective training can help new employees feel more confident in their abilities and less intimidated by their new role. This can help them adapt more quickly to their new job and become productive team members.
  3. Better job satisfaction: When new employees receive thorough training, they are more likely to feel comfortable and confident. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and reduced stress levels.
  4. Faster ramp-up time: Organizations can help new employees become proficient in their role more quickly by providing effective training. This can help reduce the time it takes for new employees to become fully productive, ultimately benefiting the organization.
  5. Reduced turnover: When new employees receive adequate training and support during the onboarding process, they are more likely to stay with the organization. This can help reduce turnover rates and increase employee retention.

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Overall, employee training is a critical part of the onboarding process. It can help new employees gain the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their duties effectively, feel confident in their abilities, and become productive team members.

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