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Reinvent Onboarding: A New Definition For A New Decade

Conceptual image of businessteam working cohesively. Interaction and unity-2Today, employee onboarding is a standard practice for businesses everywhere. It carries a lot of importance, and every company should implement this process. With that being said, it’s vital that you do it right and not just for the sake of it.

Only a handful of companies have established full-blown strategies that properly inspire and engage new employees. In most cases, they have some short orientation sessions and training modules rather than the formal onboarding processes that they should have. They expect their current staff to onboard new employees “naturally", but this isn’t what onboarding means.


Current State of Onboarding

Even though most companies claim that they focus on onboarding and HR efforts in general, the reality is different. Around 22% of companies have no formal onboarding processes. On the other hand, a whopping 49% of companies have inconclusive results with their onboarding efforts. These numbers show that many companies are just not doing things right.

Companies need to analyze their processes and see where their business sits. The only way to reinvent your onboarding is to be truthful about your current practices.


What Does This Mean?

When we say “reinvent your onboarding,” we mean analyzing your previous and current practices and replacing them with new ideas. When you really analyze it, most companies have outdated onboarding systems.

In general, there are a couple of things most businesses need to focus on to reinvent their onboarding:

  1. Create compelling onboarding stories that are personalized for each new employee
  2. Consider the full journey new hires are going through and how you can adjust it
  3. Provide consistency in onboarding throughout different locations and departments

Before we start talking about exactly how you can improve these things, let's see why you should turn your onboarding upside down.


Reasons Why You Should Work on Your Onboarding

Onboarding brings many benefits to businesses. When looked at solely from a business perspective, it’s logical to invest resources in onboarding. There are several notable benefits of onboarding, especially when measured against specific goals. We will mention some of them below:

  • Less than one-third of companies without formal onboarding can keep new employees for at least a year
  • More than 90% of companies with proper onboarding practices can retain employees for at least a year
  • Companies with standardized onboarding processes reported 54% more productivity from their new hires
  • Organizations that have set the right onboarding practices have 50% better employee retention
  • New employees that go through an onboarding process are also more engaged and more productive individually

These are just some of the benefits that come along with proper onboarding practices. In the end, all of these numbers affect your bottom line and the overall success of your business.


How to Start Reinventing

To improve onboarding and engage new hires, you need a content-centric approach. Technology and content directly impact learner experience and are effective at delivering the right information. Most people today are engaged in digital content daily. They are used to it and always want more. When appropriately delivered, this type of content can give amazing results.

Luckily for you, there are various employee training software applications that you can use to create onboarding content. E-learning software offers advanced tools for curating content and adding important features like:

  • Personalization
  • Gamification
  • Branching scenarios
  • Clean interface
  • Visual content

You can manage the whole employee training and onboarding lifecycle through these kinds of platforms. They make onboarding a lot easier, especially because these platforms have analytics and management tools as well.


Creating Compelling Onboarding Stories

A good story is an important element of onboarding. Stories engage people and keep them attentive. You need to figure out the story you want to tell new employees and present it each step of the way.

Here are some essential elements of an onboarding story:


Choose the Tone

Do you want a casual approach, professional, or a combination of the two? Bear in mind that the tone will show your new hires what they can expect from your company.


Break the Story Into Pieces

All of your employee training, manuals, and stories should be broken down into smaller pieces and delivered over a period of time. This ensures microlearning, which is an effective approach.


Make Sure the Story is Aligned With Your Brand

How does your onboarding story reflect on your brand? Are the two consistent? Are you using the right messaging?


Explain Your Policies

All companies have certain policies, rules, and regulations that employees should abide by. You should convey these during the onboarding process.


Taking New Hires on an Onboarding Journey

The next step is to personalize every onboarding journey. Personalizing content provides many advantages, and the journey should be different for everyone. Everyone needs different pieces of information at different stages of their onboarding. You need to recognize the exact moments and use a content delivery system to feed them the right information.

Each new hire starts at a different point. After you’ve assessed the knowledge they already have and what information they are missing, you need to choose the right pieces to ensure that they aren’t wasting time on something they already know.


Providing Consistency Throughout Different Teams

Personalization is one thing, but onboarding also requires some fairly consistent system of practices and methods. Why? Because when onboarding managers know the system, they will perfect it.

If each of your departments has an entirely different approach, your onboarding results will vary. Consider the following factors while you assess your process:

  • Consider all relevant questions each department has for new employees and adjust them
  • Think about the information that is irrelevant to each department
  • How can onboarding be branded for each department?
  • Is everyone using the same indicators to measure the success of onboarding throughout different departments?



Reinventing your onboarding process is not something you can do overnight. Your whole HR department needs to work on it. Once you’ve reinvented the process, you will then have to put it in motion and apply it practically.

To further improve onboarding, use automation to get rid of mundane technical tasks while allowing onboarding managers to focus on more essential tasks. In the end, make sure to gather insights throughout your whole process. These insights can be used as valuable analytics to help you improve onboarding even further.


Artificial Intelligence in Talent Acquisition


About the Author:  Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools - currently associated with ProProfs Training Maker


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