What is employee onboarding? Onboarding meaning and definition

Understanding the Definition of Onboarding

According to Wikipedia, Onboarding is a system or process that employers use to ensure their new employees gain knowledge and skills. They need to contribute effectively to their organization.

Onboarding is a comprehensive, strategic stage process, using which you introduce and integrate a new employee into all the essential parts of your organization. The process falls over days, weeks, and sometimes months within the first year of employment. It includes various phases like paperwork, introduction, training, and development. There are specific goals that are also met during the process.

The process of Onboarding effectively communicates the company’s policies, mission, values, and culture to the employee so that they can assimilate and ultimately succeed within the environment. The final goal is to engage the new employee and provide them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to help them succeed in the long term in the organization. Investing in employee onboarding helps the company reduce turnover and grow much faster.

Phases of Onboarding

There are four phases of Onboarding which are as follows –


Pre-Arrival is the first phase that is the best way to make the onboarding process an excellent experience for new employees. To make it more effective, ensure the paperwork is ready beforehand. Pre-Arrival is essential so employees can be productive from the first day they visit the organization.

The Orientation

The orientation is the second phase about making new employees feel they are part of the organization. Making the employee feel comfortable and connected to the entire team is essential. Hence, the first week of every employee is significant.

Soft training (Cultural Orientation) and Core Training

It is s not advisable to overburden the employee in the first week. The training processes and procedures must come in the first month. The learning phase of any employee is significant. So the first month will be necessary for every employee as they will take the initiative to learn more and become more productive. The employer must plan for the employees to receive suitable training and become more productive.


The employer needs to have a proper training program so the new employees can take an interest in it. They must be given appropriate feedback after the work is done, which will help them improve.

Purpose of Onboarding

The primary purpose of Onboarding is to introduce the new employees to their job, co-workers, and organization. Every organization must prepare its onboarding plan that suits its business needs. It is an integral part of human resource management.

There are different ways to effectively onboard new employees, but specific programs are more beneficial than others as they are more consistent and standardized.

Insights on Employee Onboarding

The onboarding process is essential and, if not appropriately conducted, can seem a waste after investing considerable time and money to see them walk out of the door within the first three months if not executed properly. It can become a waste of money with no returns.

Unfortunately, that is the harsh truth. Research conducted on employees showed that 31% of people left the job within the first six months, and 68% of others left in the next three months. The reason behind this was a poor onboarding experience.

If you think you are in a similar situation, you must improve the onboarding experience by asking the most critical question: What does Onboarding mean to you?

List of Onboarding Activities

Here are some of the onboarding activities –

  • Goal Setting – It is essential to set a goal initially. Otherwise, new employees can lose interest very quickly. The employer must set aside time to define the new employee asked what is expected from them.
  • Gamification – By using elements of games such as competitions or redeemable tokens, employers can be motivated from time to time.
  • Personalization can always be added, allowing new employees’ preferences to be known.
  • Welcome, Gift- You can also learn about the employee’s likes and dislikes by giving them a welcome gift which could be an ergonomic office setup kit.
  • Welcome lunch – For on-site employees, a welcome lunch can be an excellent way of introducing them to the new team.

How long does Onboarding take?

Usually, an onboarding process should take at least three months. Although there are specific research data that suggest companies can also increase their employee retention by extending the onboarding process throughout the employee’s first year.


Tips for Onboarding Success

Here are some of the tips for onboarding success –


  • Your organization’s onboarding process will get much deeper and more specific when you define and customize the process for your new employees.
  • You must take time to outline a distinct onboarding process that utilizes an onboarding checklist to help you stay organized, be strategic and keep consistent with every new employee.
  • Get support and partner with a professional human resource provider, who will help you ensure the entire process, including hiring, Onboarding, training, and managing employee performance. They will also be able to give you expert advice, which will save time and cut costs across your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four phases of Onboarding?

The four phases of Onboarding include pre-arrival, orientation, soft training, and performance. Learn more to know the Onboarding meaning and stages of Onboarding.

How long is the onboarding process?

On average, an onboarding process can last up to 3 months, depending on the organization. Although it is, most organizations should continue the onboarding process for about a year.

What is onboarding meaning?

Onboarding involves familiarising a new employee with the organization and its policies, employee role, and culture. It is also a process whereby the new employees get comfortable interacting freely with their colleagues and establish strong social relationships. Learn more to know the onboarding meaning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request Demo

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we will contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.