How to deliver personalised user onboarding?

Published by Andrea Day on

How to deliver personalised user onboarding

Table of contents

Personalised user onboarding for new employees helps them feel more connected, confident, and engaged.

Onboarding is more critical than ever. The cost of recruitment has skyrocketed with employees leaving jobs that don’t fit their needs. This phenomenon, called by some “The Great Resignation” means that companies need to think more about how they personalise user onboarding content.

We must make sure the content is relevant to learners; so they see what they have to do, and how they’ll benefit.

Why? People are more likely to pay attention and take action if they see what they stand to gain ( see Riemann & McNally, 1995).

Although the personalised user onboarding may be the same for several of your new hires, you should customise training and instructional content. Each role is unique. Customised learning paths are a necessity more than an obligation. Some of your onboarding programs will apply to all. Some will be specific to roles, locations, departments and levels of seniority.

Both types can be made to feel personal, relevant and useful.

Training should be made self-paced and knowledge bases can be updated almost instantly.

We give information when it’s needed – people prefer ‘just in time’ content, particularly in transitional periods like starting new roles or during big changes.

Why? People often have a ‘present bias’ – they prefer instant gratification over future gains (O’Donoghue & Rabin, 2015). They are more receptive to information when they need it (Dai et al., 2013).

According to research by the HR company Sapling, the average new hire has 54 activities to complete during their onboarding experience. Personalised onboarding connects employees with the resources and programs they require and cuts out unnecessary activities, accelerating the new hire process.


A great strategy for designing a unique user onboarding process is to incorporate the social proof effect. Focus on testing and collecting feedback after every onboarding process so you can make it better in the future. 

Testimonials are more than statements of satisfaction. They can take the form of focus groups, surveys or even interviews.


It may sound obvious but people are individuals, so why not treat them that way. Allowing people to move through their personalised user onboarding at their own pace and even to choose their approach, can drive engagement and help people learn better and faster. 

An important part of personalisation is making sure the learning feels relevant to the individual and that the individual knows what they stand to gain from a) completing the training b) changing their behaviour.

personalised onboarding

Digital experiences

Digital experiences are a great option to drive engagement and offer a personalised custom training experience. At their core, they are a mixture of different media, graphics, video and scenario-based training. 

Digital experiences can be made personal through personalised content tailored to the audience needs, motivation, capability. This can also take the form of role-based interactions and showing personal progression, telling relevant stories, diagnostic assessments or self-paced experiences including portals.

Progress bars so users orient themselves

onboarding progress

Progress bars and overviews are a great way to lead users to orient themselves in a training space. We need to give people feedback on their performance as they go. Why? Feedback allows people to determine if they should re-evaluate their understanding or behaviour (Hattie & Timperley, 2007).

It’s important to show the new start their progress through the onboarding program, as well as their progress through each digital experience.

The right tools for the job

It pays to do your research. Generally, for onboarding like we describe here, you will need bespoke digital experience bases training coupled with a solid onboarding strategy. 

By using an onboarding program designed to streamline the employee’s transition into a position, and applying knowledge of employee behaviours, you can create fully personalised learning experiences for your employees. 

BAD can help you deliver an ultra-personalised onboarding experience for your new hires. Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more.

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Categories: Onboarding