Jug Babic

Jug Babic has been blogging about business and the intersection of tech and business for a while now. He is currently working with VivifyIdeas as a marketer.

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How to Master the Art of Employee Onboarding

Onboard your new hires the right way and make sure they stick around.

Jug Babic

December 05, 2018

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People are the glue that holds companies together, a driving force that propels them forward. The only problem is that you cannot expect them to instantly jump into tackling daily grind and forwarding your business goals. Not without a lot of legwork and an employee onboarding strategy in place.

There are many moving parts to grasp here and they all affect how valued, prepared, and welcomed new team members will feel. And for better or worse, you have only one shot to make it work and avoiding a wide range of unnecessary costs, setbacks, and headaches.  

The process in a nutshell

Every company is unique, but regardless of the specifics, onboarding encompasses various talent management, recruiting, orientation, and mainstreaming activities.

To get on top of them, you have to look well beyond warm handshakes and cold forms. Namely, there is a whole lot you can do before any candidate walks through the door. Start by put together a comprehensive onboarding strategy that standardizes and gives structure to your efforts.

After all, onboarding, at its finest, is a uniform, tightly-controlled, and predictable process. It is supposed to alleviate or borderline eliminate anxiety, uncertainty, and guesswork. And in the long-term, such a refined onboarding pays dividends for companies, allowing them to decrease staff turnover, boost retention rates, and take productivity to the next level.

Everyone on the same page

Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to put it into motion.

Right off the bat, clearly communicate your expectations. See to it new starters are aware of all the responsibilities and benefits their role entails. Give them a good taste of what your business is about and why this is a much better opportunity than their last employment.

In order to streamline this whole process, you need to make the most of modern technology. This is your chance to reduce the risk of human error and load on the management and administration. Indeed, more and more businesses are opting for web-based onboarding processes.  

Ideally, you have a centralized dashboard for an easy overview of all job-related specs, logistic items, and business requirements. To make your life even easier, you can first create onboarding template/checklist, which lists all these resources, as well as necessary steps. Just bear in mind that you are going to have to personalize and tweak it for each new candidate.

Training as a key component

It goes without saying that employee training is vital to successful onboarding. Done right, it empowers people in many different ways and prevents the scenario of them having to learn things the hard way. It also sets them on the way to learning and career development.

Your seasoned employees are an invaluable resource here. They can help new workers get familiar with the business culture, benefits and perks, nuances, rules and policies, office practices, daily tasks, etiquette, and other ins and outs of working in your company. In other words, it’s a good idea to assign peer (welcome) mentors to each fresh member of the team.

At the same time, you must realize that verbal mentions are unreliable. So, put as much as possible into writing well ahead of time. This can take the form of introductory emails, time cards, “who is who” material, self-service portals, enrolment programs, company lore, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), etc.

Finishing touches

One thing to avoid at all costs is overwhelming people. Therefore, make things fun, interesting, engaging, and simple.

There are many ways to go about this: implementing interesting orientation activities, outings, special perks, physical office tours, customized swag bags, innovative team building, and the list goes on. Note that some companies also work wonders by incorporating flexible, “chose your adventure” elements.  So, think outside the box.

Finally, you should stay open to feedback and suggestions. Ask people how they liked the whole experience and try to identify the points of friction. Use acquired insights to fine-tune the process for the future. With such a strong onboarding system in place, you should be able to attract and retain top tenant, gaining a powerful edge over your competition.


Onboarding profoundly shapes employee experience, satisfaction, and productivity. To master it, come up with a rock-solid strategy that breaks down the workload into manageable bits. Take your time to tool up, line up your resources, and communicate your distinctive culture.

Enable the talent to hit the ground running and start contributing to your success as soon as possible.




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