How to build a new employee onboarding process

Published by Lisa Zibamanzar on

How to build a new employee onboarding process

Table of contents

Building a strong new employee onboarding process is the key to successfully integrating new team members into your business.

To make the process as effective as possible, planning ahead and working back from the employee’s perspective is essential. This is where focus groups, surveys and interviews with existing employees can really help. 

Outline each of the actions your ideal onboarding process should take. Then compare this to your existing process and wider company policies. This will give you an idea of what to prioritise in terms of delivering the perfect employee onboard process.

It starts before your new hire’s first day and ends when they are fully settled into their role.

New hire onboarding: before they join

Before the new employee is hired, preparations should begin for their arrival. Good onboarding should begin before the new hire starts with online orientation in advance, hints and tips sites to help understand operating principles and key information, even some compliance training can begin before day one. Following their hiring, it is important to provide any information that the employee needs before their first day.


In order to keep new hires from drowning in information, keep the new employee onboarding process going beyond the first day. Ideally, you should be using tools that give them an overview of what they should be doing on day one, week one, month one, et cetera.

By doing this, you’ll help them learn at their own pace about the company culture, their role, policies, and so on. This makes it easier for them to fully absorb the information without feeling overwhelmed.

Good onboarding should also make it easy for their manager to see where they are in their onboarding journey. Tools like customer journey mapping are good for understanding and plotting employee engagement with an onboarding journey.

After they accept the role

After the new employees sign their contracts, you should start the pre-employment onboarding process. It’s critical not to overwhelm them here, as they are likely finishing up their old job.

onboarding role

However, this is an opportunity to train them on the company culture and give them an overview of what the onboarding process will look like.  

This should take the form of access to online training materials, a calendar and some simple training videos to help them get set up with the essentials for their job. The pre-employment phase varies from industry to industry. In highly regulated industries, the pre-employment phase is very barebones, and there may be issues sharing information outside of their IT system. However, in other sectors, you can progress much further into some of the topics for Day 1 or even Week 1.

Employee onboarding - day 1

The next phase of the new employee onboarding process starts on the employee’s first day. Day one is all about the agenda and a digital orientation.

The digital orientation should greet them and virtually show them the surroundings, so they know where to find what they need. Introduce the employee to their coworkers – let them create connections. Often this process is a hybrid of digital and physical orientation.

Allow your new hire some time to set up their new equipment, set new passwords, and log in to their new accounts.

Assign them a buddy. Consider a teammate rather than a manager. They’ll feel more comfortable asking silly but important questions they may have.
Choose a real rockstar—someone who loves their job and lives and breathes the company values.

If applicable, give them their first assignment and get them working.

Employee onboarding - week 1

Throughout their first week, assist them with anything they may need help with. 

During new employee onboarding, a mentor should stick close to make sure they feel comfortable in their new role. Schedule regular meetings with the new hire and set clear goals and performance objectives for them. Again, this process will vary from company to company.  Some companies won’t do this at this early stage. Instead, they’ll still be expecting their employees to be understanding their organisation or meeting colleagues.

onboarding a new team member


Understanding influencers is important at this stage, as is understanding operating procedures, but goals and performance objectives may come a little later depending on the sector, the complexity of the job and what regulations they work under.

Employee onboarding - month 1

Throughout the first month of onboarding, continue to work with the employee to help them to integrate into the new team. 

The best training regimes make sure of something called “The Spacing Effect“. The spacing effect is often referenced in education and training. Essentially, it states that in order for people to learn, we need to be taught the same information a few different times with gaps between. 

At university, we would study a topic at the beginning of term and then revise it a few weeks later. Training for new employees works the same way. Month 1 should work to review what they’ve learned and measure the success of the learning.   

New employee onboarding after their first month

Onboarding is an ongoing process. Setting your employees up for success over time requires clear goals, objectives, and personal development plans. Define the core steps for an employee to become a productive team member.  Immerse the employee gradually into their role with periodic check-ins. Think about your employee journey.

Sharing career development plans and required skillsets for senior roles demonstrates that the business is interested and supportive of their development. Choosing systems that enable this information to be visible online can also help or be used here.

Importance of onboarding

A supportive and effective new employee onboarding process can help emotionally connect a new employee to your business. At the same time, it can also provide data on how your business operates, reduce the risk of churn, increase the productivity of existing teams, enable personal development of mentors and more.

Providing people with the information and tools they need helps get them up to speed quicker, improving your ROI.

The onboarding process is an essential part of welcoming and retaining employees.
At BAD we use custom digital tools to help businesses communicate their vision. Get in touch today to discover more.

Related stories

Categories: Onboarding