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Employee Onboarding

Onboarding Program: A Great Way To Create The Best First Impression On Your New Hires

  • Omer Usanmaz
  • March 25 2022

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."— Andrew Grant.

An oft-repeated platitude is "First impressions never have a second chance," which is indisputably true in a professional environment. This timeless adage is not only applicable to new hires who deep inside are anxious and excited about their onboarding on day one but also the entire company. One such opportunity for an organization to show who they are and how they run their business differently than their competitors is their onboarding efforts. The more effort an organization is willing to put into its onboarding process, the higher its retention rates. As the pandemic is seemingly here to stay for a while, it is essential how organizations choose their employee retention programs, such as mentoring, onboarding, and talent acquisition, to be as effective as they possibly can be, so that they only have problems and unfavorable outcomes that come for the pandemic and its ramifications. 


Most companies that don't have reasonable retention rates overlook their onboarding process and onboarding program. The very first day, when your newly hired employees signup all the legal forms, do that self-introduction to everyone they meet; naturally, they feel a tad bit nervous and excited to know more about the company culture and leadership presentations. However, one thing gives confidence and a positive hire experience like a dose of salt to your new employees who just met their future colleagues: an engaging, inspirational, and strategic onboarding program. 


Humans have this tendency to go to great lengths to make a good impression when meeting someone new. Fortunately, organizations are still run by humans. They work as a team, meaning they need effective onboarding programs to ensure the newly hired employees are happy with their decision to join the company. This article shares some valuable and actionable insights that help you create an effective onboarding program for higher employee retention rates and impactful employee engagement. 


What Is Onboarding? 


In a nutshell, onboarding is the final step of a successful recruiting process and the first step towards employee engagement. Onboarding is as much for employers as it is for new hires. In a corporate environment, onboarding refers to how newly hired employees get introduced and integrated into the organization. Onboarding usually involves activities that encourage the new hires to feel comfortable and learn its culture, structure, and core values. More importantly, onboarding programs are an excellent way for employers to ensure their hire plan is as effective as they thought it would be. 


Most people often confuse onboarding with orientation. An orientation program is just a day or two processes, which predominantly includes signing up the required legal documents and company policies. On the other hand, an employee onboarding program in the workplace is intended to introduce the new hires to their critical goals and objectives before making them embark on their new roles and responsibilities, including training, buddy programs, a regular check-in schedule, and 60-day pulse check-ins at the end of their onboarding process. 


Why Is Onboarding Important for Your Organization?


Before delving into why onboarding matters and is becoming indispensable for employers and employees alike, here is a brief explanation of the importance of creating an excellent first impression in any organization. 


Picture this: you are in a business meeting where many industry leaders are convened to present their views and success stories on the subject, and you find yourself in a place where new people from different backgrounds surround you. Now, if you make a slight pause to respond to the question or a simple hello, chances are that your encounter did not make a good impression. 


According to a recent article published on behavioral psychology by Jody Kreiman, a UCLA researcher, the time it takes to say 'hello,' it is inherent to the human brain to make a snap judgment about the person it is meeting for the very first time. A brief utterance from the other side can make you decide whether to approach the person or not in the future, emphasizing why it is imperative to make an excellent first impression in any situation, let alone a professional setup. 


When a job market does well, organizations face a bit of a problem with their employee retention rates, as they have more job opportunities to choose from. A positive onboarding experience means you have successfully made an impactful first impression on your new hires. This is where onboarding experience comes in and makes a huge difference. A positive onboarding experience means you have completed an impactful first impression on your new hires. 


The 5 C's of Employee Onboarding to Create A Strategic Onboarding Program for Your Employees 


Now that you know the importance of a good first impression in personal and professional life, you're probably wondering how to build successful onboarding programs in the workplace. Every organization should consider five C's when creating an effective employee onboarding process. Moreover, a formal onboarding process is an excellent way of sowing the seeds of business growth and positive employee experience. Here are the five C's that should be aligned with your organizational goals and onboarding steps: 


According to company leaders, a proper onboarding process takes effective onboarding practices. Without a meaningful onboarding program strategy, it is hard for any organization to develop productive employees and potential candidates or leaders to fill their leadership pipelines for the future. Ensuring your onboarding program strategy encapsulates these five Cs helps you design an onboarding process that adds value to your strategic goals and job onboarding journey. 


Compliance with Legal Obligations and Company Policies


Getting its newly hired employees complied with the legal obligations and company protocols plays a significant role in onboarding. Employers spend a great deal of time and money onboarding newly hired talents. Every time they hire new employees, the recruitment funnel and the new hires have to go through a tedious process of paperwork verifying and sifting through documents the new hires need to sign on. However, this whole process of complying with legal requirements can be eliminated and save a lot of hassles for you and your employees. Most organizations only spend less time developing an effective onboarding program strategy to make the compliance process faster and utterly digital with the help of advanced technology, such as onboarding platforms and software available on the market.

Many employees who join a new organization with a passion for success and development wish less time signing documents and contractual agreements. The compliance part of the onboarding process is the first and most important part, which can ultimately be made easier for both the employees and the HR managers to get over with. This is where an organization can potentially leverage modern technology to the hilt to simplify its onboarding steps for everyone. 


Clarification On New Roles And Expectations for Your New Hires


Some companies are not happy or satisfied with their onboarding process because they have not made the job clear to their employees about their roles and responsibilities. For someone who just cleared and got through the interview process, getting started with work or going through an ineffective onboarding program that only focuses on training them on their job duties is not the most exciting way of onboarding. That is why companies are often advised to engage their newly hired employees with effective onboarding programs that clarify what kind of role and expectations they are expected to perform. 


Most importantly, a clear understanding of the organization's accomplished goals and good productivity helps the new employees develop the essential skills and knowledge that align with their career and personal goals. Some companies include mentoring and project training programs to clarify the employees' roles and responsibilities in the organization. Clarification ensures that the new employees fit in with their existing and upcoming roles and projects as precisely as the organization wants them to be. Adding this C to your onboarding program strategy list will help you create a personalized onboarding program for your new hires. 


Connection That Bridges The Gap Between New Employees and Their Coworkers


It is undeniable that teamwork and leadership skills are the desirable outcomes of effective onboarding practices. However, not everyone can taste these outcomes unless they have sowed the seeds of collaboration and human connection in their onboarding programs. Of all the factors that help a newly joined employee do better at what they are expected to do, even better than they used to do for their previous organizations, connection and networking are the most significant. When a newly joined hire learns new skills and processes, it can sometimes get overwhelming. This is where the link comes in and plays an integral role in bridging the gap between the experienced and new employees. 


According to a survey conducted by Gallup, an American analytics and advisory company, work friendship is more important than employees think they are, and roughly 50% of employees participated in the survey revealed that they would be more than likely to work more happily and feel confident about their jobs when they have a best friend at work. Friendship is impossible without connections, especially in a workplace where strangers from different parts of the world are put together to spend the most hours of their weekdays.  


Confidence That Unlocks The True Potential of New Hires 


Building up the right amount of confidence in employee onboarding programs helps the organization and new employees get most of their onboarding program practices. Understanding the lack of self-confidence and self-esteem is the first step an organization can take to create effective onboarding programs in its workplace. When an onboarding program is filled with fun-loaded activities, the chances are high that the new hires feel more comfortable and confident about their roles which they would be expected to perform right after the program. 


Ensuring your onboarding program is designed to create unique learning and hire experience is the key to developing confidence in the new hires. Putting personalized and informative onboarding programs in place is onboarding done right. As mentioned earlier, connections in the workplace help employees strengthen their communication skills and build strategies to achieve their personal goals. 


Culture That Is Truly Inclusive


Workplace diversity is not just a buzzword in the corporate culture but a crucial step towards achieving inclusivity and zero-tolerance culture. As onboarding is the first phase of the new hires in any organization, the onboarding program managers must design onboarding program practices that nurture inclusivity in the minds of new hires. An effective onboarding program shows how an organization values diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Different companies follow norms and standards-aligned with their mission and values. Moreover, an effective and inclusive onboarding program makes an organization's culture enviable. 


If anything, the secret to a company's inexorable growth and success is the type of culture that drives its employees through their intrinsic values. That's what an organization that lacks such a culture needs to do; incorporate inclusivity and equality in its onboarding programs as a way to ensure you set the right culture in your workplace. 


Benefits of Effective Employee Onboarding


As many organizations realize the true potential of effective onboarding programs for their employees, the benefits it has packed in it can nurture the new hires into highly-talented, productive employees. While incorporating a successful onboarding program in any organization has many benefits, let us show you some great benefits you are probably missing out on. 


Reduced Employee Turnover

Did you know that over 33% of new hires are more prone to lose interest in their jobs and look for a new position within their first six months of employment and 22% more likely to do that within their first thirty days? The truth is that turnover is one of the things that an organization can effectively take control of and get favorable rates within months. Wondering how? Well, the answer is obvious, and it's onboarding. When a company tries to make the new hires' first day more productive and exciting, they have likely done a great job in reducing their turnover rates. 


Increased Team Productivity 


As the new hires go through a comprehensive onboarding program, they pick up the pace much faster than those who have not gone through effective onboarding and understand their roles and responsibilities in the projects they work on. When new employees learn the essential strategies to getting along in the workplace, the sense of connection strengthens their productivity. It enables them to do work purely out of passion and love for what they do.  


Maximized Confidence and Reduced Anxiety


No matter how talented someone is, starting a new job in a new organization with a bustling environment is daunting. Building new relationships and networking within the first few weeks of your employment is no mean feat, but the journey to do that costs a lot of anxiety, stress, conversations, and understanding. People who are even good at managing their anxiety find themselves nervous on their first day at work. Creating a work culture where employees feel heard, respected, and supported is where onboarding plays its role in helping employees manage their anxiety and workplace stress. A practical and friendly onboarding program encourages your employees to ask burning questions that help them beat the first-day nerves. 


The Three A's of Effective Employee Onboarding

For a successful and impactful onboarding, an organization must ensure that their onboarding steps include the following: 




This step involves all the paperwork, such as employment contracts, NDAs, and agreement signing. With more digital and paperless onboarding, it is more likely that your employees will feel convenient on their first day at work, allowing them to hit the ground running with onboarding. 




On the assimilation step, your new employees gradually get along with their fellow employees and create an inclusive environment for everyone to coexist happily. By modifying some aspects in the onboarding, organizations can expect a much faster onboarding and assimilation of employees into the corporate culture. This is where new hires will be made aware of their roles and responsibilities that align with their expectations. The more they understand the job roles and duties, the faster they get acclimated to deadlines. When deadlines become easier to manage, team productivity becomes fruitful. 




Smarter organizations know the secret behind their increased productivity and retention rates is helping employees create concrete personal goals that are interdependent with the company's long-term goals. When onboarding is strategically designed to define the purpose of an employee in an organization, it helps them attain all the skills required to do their tasks and achieve their personal goals. 


Employee Well-being Starts with Smarter Onboarding 

Thinking about your employee journey in your onboarding is the first step to cultivating employee engagement and well-being in today's workplace. The support, inspiration, and engagement of a well-planned onboarding enable the new hires to know that they will always be able to present new ideas and learn new skills in their roles. It is paramount for organizations to remember that onboarding is about making their employees feel welcomed and know they made the right decision. 

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