Onboarding Employees Successfully

Written by Charlotte - 12 Feb 2018 Category: HR software

Onboarding (also known as induction) is the process through which new employees are introduced to a role quickly and smoothly and given time to acclimatise to their working environment.

Onboarding (also known as induction) is the process through which new employees are introduced to a role quickly and smoothly and given time to acclimatise to their working environment. Onboarding covers the entire joining process from the individual’s first contact with the organisation after accepting an offer through to their first few weeks of employment. Its purpose is not only to make new employees feel welcome but to also ensure that they understand company policy and the key components of their new job.

The onboarding process is usually divided into different streams which incorporate things like specific training events and tasks like uploading documents, completing various forms and meeting other colleagues within the organisation.

Why does onboarding matter?

Research shows that the trajectory of a new hire’s success is set as early as the first two weeks. Such a short window for getting it right means taking time to make sure the first day goes well is paramount to the success of a new hire and to reducing attrition. Providing new employees with a comprehensive induction will therefore benefit every organisation, no matter the size or industry. Doing so helps establish a firm foundation for new staff so that they feel confident and able to perform at their best from the get-go. Greeting new starters with a robust onboarding process is also the perfect opportunity to showcase your organisation in the best light and create a great first impression which aids in staff retention.

What should Onboarding include?

The length and nature of the induction process depends on the type of role, the background of the new employee, and the size and nature of the organisation. It’s essential that you tailor the process so that it is in alignment with your organisation’s needs and values - a standardised induction is unlikely to include all the details that you’ll need to cover in the first few weeks.

During onboarding, both the big things and the little things matter. So while it’s important that a new starter has a formal induction organised for the first day, it’s also important that they are greeted warmly by staff and properly introduced to those around them.

When designing the induction process, you might want to consider the following recommendations for best practice:

  • Make the first day special

  • Design and implement formal orientation programs

  • Be consistent when implementing onboarding

  • Monitor progress over time

  • Communicate!

  • Utilise technology to facilitate the process

  • Be clear in terms of the who, what, when, and where

Whatever you choose to include, make sure the process incorporates plenty of communication, check-ins, feedback opportunities and performance measurement. That way, you’ll be able to keep track of the new starter’s progress and pick up any challenges immediately before they have the chance to escalate.

Using technology to facilitate onboarding

A proper onboarding programme involves juggling various tasks, documents and meetings, tracking the new starter’s progress and making sure someone is available to answer any questions that arise. Managing these processes is incredibly challenging and admin heavy unless you use an HR system to do the hard work for you. CiviHR has several workflows through which you can manage and organise processes such as onboarding.

With CiviHR, you can allocate tasks before the new joiner’s start date, like getting a workstation set up and IT logins sorted. Set tasks against a timeline, and receive a confirmation when each one is complete. Upload and store documents like passport copies within different tasks, and assign them to the relevant staff member, like the new starter’s manager, to action. You can even upload HR policy or training documents for the new joiner to read on their dashboard, so everything is stored in one place. It’s quick and straightforward to use, and creates  a complete audit trail after each completed action, so you can easily stay on track.


About CiviHR

CiviHR is a project to create affordable HR software for non-profit organisations. By developing open source technology the benefits can be shared with non-profits everywhere.


CiviHR is a project to create affordable HR software for non-profit organisations. By developing open source technology the benefits can be shared with non-profits everywhere. 

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