What is Employee Onboarding


What Is Employee Onboarding?

Employee Onboarding, or organizational socialization, is a human resources (HR) process that introduces a new employee to the company or organization. It typically involves new hires—employees who are not yet familiar with the company processes, work environment, and culture. Read on to find out the benefits of onboarding, how onboarding works, and the key activities it involves.

Benefits of Employee Onboarding

Onboarding benefits both the new employee and the organization. The main benefits of this process include:

  • Helps new hires understand their job requirements – Even if these requirements have been described to them during the hiring process, onboarding further explains them so that the new employees know exactly what their new position entails.
  • Familiarizes them with the organization’s culture – Onboarding may involve specific activities that showcase the organization’s culture.
  • Explains the workplace environment – Facility tours and other workplace activities introduce them to the workplace. Particularly beneficial in large offices or facilities, onboarding can make the layout of the workplace and its amenities clear for the new hires.
  • Highlights benefits – As part of the onboarding process, new hires may also be told about all the benefits they can receive in their new position.
  • Encourages positive interaction with colleagues and supervisors – Another important aspect of onboarding is an introduction to colleagues and supervisors. This can help establish positive work relationships from the very beginning.
  • Builds confidence and trust – By making the new feel familiar, setting expectations, and encouraging positive interactions, onboarding can help build confidence and trust between new employees and the organizations they have become a part of.

As you can see, onboarding doesn’t benefit only the newly hired employee but the organization as a whole. Onboarding can increase employee engagement and performance and make them more likely to stick with the organization in the long run.

How Does Employee Onboarding Work?

Each organization can have a different approach to onboarding that depends on many factors including the role of the new employee, the resources of the HR team, their company culture, and more. That said, most onboarding processes follow a few main stages.
Onboarding begins when a candidate accepts the job offer. Part of the onboarding process at this stage may be educational, involving resources the new employee can read at home before he or she begins work.

Depending on the company and role of the employee, the initial onboarding process may predate their first day at work. Some organizations may set specific days for onboarding activities.

Onboarding can begin with an explanation of job requirements and workplace facilities to make the employee’s first days in the work building easier. An introduction into the company culture and other aspects of the organization may follow.
Ideally, onboarding ends when the new employee has become well integrated into the organization. Onboarding may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. However, many companies have a limited onboarding process that takes a month or less—this may not be enough to take advantage of all the benefits of onboarding.

Employee Onboarding Activities

Onboarding activities can vary a lot from organization to organization. There is no standard set of activities for this process. In many cases, these will be tailored to the role and experience of the new employee. Common onboarding activities typically include:

  • Job training
  • Policy training
  • Handbook training
  • Introduction to company culture
  • Tour of the workplace/facility
  • Introduction to other employees/supervisions/executives
  • Benefits education

Job offers, salary negotiation, and benefits paperwork are often also considered part of the onboarding process.

The Wrap Up

Onboarding seeks to integrate a newly hired employee into his or her new company or organization. It’s a flexible process that can include many different activities and that can take a few weeks or longer. In the end, each organization offers its own take on onboarding. For this reason, it’s often a flexible process. One thing is clear, though—onboarding has benefits for both new employees and the organization they become a part of.


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