what is onboarding

What Is Onboarding & Why Is Onboarding Important?

Several companies have implemented an onboarding program that focuses on the needs of their new hires. In fact, in some workplaces, the onboarding process has started from the recruitment period to several months after the beginning date of the new employees.

So what is onboarding and why is it important to your business? Should you create a process for your company? Let’s find out in this post.

What is onboarding?

onboarding is important since it is a must-have process for retaining new employees

Onboarding is a process including various activities for new employees of a company to help them adapt to a new working environment. Finding good employees is hard, keeping them is even more difficult. To retain people, the first step you don’t want to miss is building an efficient onboarding process for new employees.

To business owners and HR officers, the first two months of the new hires is one of the most difficult periods. They always have to find ways to help the new staff integrate quickly with the business, and at the same time build a bond between the two.

So, it’s wrong to say that onboarding is all about new hire orientation, it’s the whole process. It helps employees get along with their new position and their tasks, both in terms of expertise and company culture.

During onboarding and orientation, new employees will learn the knowledge, skills, and behavior necessary to cater to their work in the future. The faster they get used to the job, the better the results they can get. And that leads to the success of the whole business in general.

A good onboarding process lasts for around 1 to 2 years of exchange, conversation, feedback, performance reviews, mentoring, and tracking. Each business has its own way to organize an onboarding process, mostly depending on business size and working procedures. Sometimes, it also depends on the positivity and cooperativeness of the current employees. 

However, regardless of the size or type of the onboarding process, if you don’t ever mention onboarding for newbies, they will be confused about how to express themselves and how to know all the rules at work. And that will lead to retention problems you have to face.

Why is onboarding important?

Employees are the key core to the success of your business. To be able to retain employees for the long term, you need to show that you truly value them.

A successful onboarding process will bring you and your employees a lot of benefits because it connects new hires with current employees and helps them get acquainted with the new workplace.

Let’s look at the biggest advantages of having a good onboarding process:

Save costs

A proper onboarding process will help employees get used to their job faster than usual. The training and learning process is shortened instead of being stretched out and costing you more money.

You can organize onboarding activities in a variety of ways to increase diversity and excitement for both new and current employees. For example, instead of having long meetings trying to introduce new employees and boring everyone, you can adopt some creative onboarding ideas.

Onboarding activities don’t have to be expensive. It can simply be a friendly conversation, a small party, or a cozy team lunch together.

Less newbie stress

Most people, no matter how confident they are, will experience certain nervousness and confusion in a new environment. New hires may feel left out, lost, and fuzzy. To minimize negative thoughts that may arise during this period, a proper onboarding process is necessary.

The right onboarding activities will connect new hires to other employees and management, as well as helping them get acquainted with the work, people, and culture of the business faster. Employees no longer feel stressed out trying to blend in with the new environment.

Reduce turnover rate

According to Forbes, you can lose your employees 45 days after hiring. This emphasizes the importance of onboarding to the turnover rate of a business. It means the building of trust and engagement should start right from the first interaction with the new employees.

Not only onboarding engages employees, but it also helps them improve their skills and make higher-quality contributions to your business.

Important steps of an efficient onboarding process

emily morter 8xAA0f9yQnE unsplash 2

Welcoming new employees is not only about introducing them to the team, but also arousing their excitement towards the new workplace. Here are some vital steps for having an efficient onboarding process:

Tell new hires necessary information

Managers need to provide enough necessary information for new employees to avoid confusion and mistakes:

  • job requirements,
  • workplace environment,
  • company policies,
  • important procedures,
  • tips for getting certain tasks done more easily,
  • details of the onboarding process, etc.

A present for the first day

You can give new hires small gifts such as notebooks, medals, books, mugs, etc. on their first day of work. This is a way to welcome employees to join the big family, and they’ll surely appreciate the gifts.

Prepare a workspace for the new employee

If you assign a temporary seat for the new employee on the first day of work or let them stand awkwardly, you’ll appear unprofessional. Instead, prepare a workspace fully equipped with the necessary items for their job—computer, apron, tools, etc.

Adding small details such as a small welcoming card on the new hire’s desk will also light up their first day at work. They’ll reduce stress and nervousness, and employees will have a better first impression of your company.

Assign a buddy

Many companies assign onboarding buddies to new hires to help them adapt to new the environment quicker. The buddies are often current and experienced employees. They guide the new staff in getting used to different areas in your company, workplace policies, norms, task details, etc. And new staff can come to these buddies for questions that may arise during the onboarding process.


It doesn’t matter whether your business is big or small, an onboarding process is necessary. Now that you know what is onboarding and why is it important, take some time to establish an onboarding process, and make your existing one even better. You’ll soon see that proper onboarding engages and retains employees more than you expect.

Read more about 9 onboarding best practices here.

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