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What is Employee Onboarding?

You've probably heard people talking about the importance of employee onboarding, especially if you work in the HR and People space. But what exactly is employee onboarding? And what does great onboarding look like?

What is onboarding

Onboarding refers to the processes, practices and programmes your organisation has in place to help new members of your team settle in. We look at the first 6 months that an employee is with you as their onboarding period. This is a vital time for building a relationship with your new team members. It helps them to understand and become a part of your culture. It’s also a great time to let them start to build and grow your culture too!


What Does Great Onboarding Look Like?


A great onboarding process should help your newest team members find their feet in your organisation. This means helping them to understand your culture, vision and values, and processes. 


It also means getting to know them and how your organisation can help them thrive. 


As ever, two-way communication is key to getting great onboarding for both your organisation and the individuals you bring onto your team. Every single person you bring onto your team will be unique, which means that their onboarding process should also look different. 


On a more practical level, your onboarding process should also give new joiners the equipment, tools, knowledge and resources to do their job. 


What Should We Include in Our Onboarding Process?


The best onboarding processes include the following: 


  1. Introducing - getting your new team members up to speed not only with your processes but also your culture, your vision and your values.

  2. Collaborating - facilitating relationships across your organisation to allow everyone to integrate their skills and make the most of the new talent you’ve brought into the team.

  3. Building - allowing new hires to help build the organisation they want to be working at. Fresh eyes, ideas, and insights are invaluable. Getting this as early as possible means your new hires will feel involved in creating the best possible work environment for them. 

  4. Enabling - Giving your new starters everything they need to succeed in their new role. Of course, setting them up with the tools and equipment they need goes without saying. But signposting available support, setting up skill-sharing sessions with colleagues and establishing mentoring connections can all be vital. 

  5. Listening - Any relationship should be two-way. This means both parties listening to each other. This will help both your organisation and your team member to thrive.


This is the first chapter in our latest eBook, 'Employee Onboarding: Making The Most of it'. Click the link to download your copy today!


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Elle Whitehead-Smith

"Elle is happiest when given plenty of puddings, popular novels and, particularly, perfect grammar."

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