employee onboarding


A complete guide on employee onboarding

The first day in a new job is a very stressful and unique experience for each of us. A lot depends on the implementation processes for recruited employees that our new employer uses. What counts is a good atmosphere and a nice welcome by colleagues. New rules and procedures as well as the specifics of a given company and industry are waiting for us on a new professional path. Increasingly, employers are deciding to facilitate this initial period for new employees and provide them with support in the form of onboarding.

What is onboarding? How to implement onboarding in the company and how to do it right? What should be remembered? What are the stages, types and forms of onboarding? Is onboarding a good solution only for large companies with a high level of staff turnover, or maybe also for SMEs? How to train an employee and provide him with the necessary knowledge, minimizing costs and ensuring efficient work organization? How to make a new employee stay in your company after the trial period? Check out the complete onboarding guide from GroMar experts below.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of implementing, adapting and acclimatizing a new employee in a new work environment. The employer should support him and lead him by the hand in the first days. Onboarding is primarily aimed at better integration and the first ties of a new employee with the organization.

What must be in onboarding?

As part of onboarding, a new employee should be acquainted with the company’s structure and work culture. Provide him with comfortable working conditions, good organization of the position and necessary materials that will help him to know better the tasks and goals set by the organization. At this stage, it is worth presenting the outline of the organization’s strategy, its mission and vision. Company procedures, detailed scope of duties, development and promotion opportunities as well as instructions regarding the use of company equipment and all machines are to be forwarded.

What is important in onboarding?

In the onboarding process, it is important to familiarize the person newly admitted to the company with the environment, as well as enabling them to make contacts with other employees in a friendly atmosphere and integrate with the team. Thanks to this, if we take into account his feelings and needs, a new, satisfied employee effectively performs his duties from the very beginning.

Who is responsible for onboarding in the company?

Most often, especially in large organizations, HR is responsible for onboarding. It is the HR specialist who presents the structure, values ​​and social issues in the company. In smaller structures, onboarding is carried out by a supervisor or a specialist from a given project team, who transfers knowledge about the tools and tasks of the new Employee.

3 forms of onboarding

Three forms of onboarding are most commonly used:

Learning by doing

Learning through practice and implementation of assigned duties under the supervision of a supervisor or another person from the Team. This form is effective, but it bypasses the psychological comfort and internal anxiety of new employees. They are afraid to ask because they assume that each question exposes their ignorance. There are no performance schemes or measurability of results. Later ignorance of the employee may be his fault, but it may also result from the neglect of training of the guardian.

Stationary training

A packet of information about the structure, organization and job position provided by an experienced Employee or Trainer. It takes the form of talks, lectures or presentations. A series of standard onboarding training is difficult to adapt to employees. Some absorb knowledge faster, others more slowly, which is why schematicity may prove to be inefficient. Another disadvantage is the fact that every time an employee with more experience must take the time to conduct the training. Very often at the expense of your duties.

Onboarding in the form of online e-learning

This is the most innovative form of online onboarding for both SMEs and large corporations. When choosing a company LMS platform, it’s worth choosing the one with the onboarding module (if you don’t know what an LMS platform is, check here). Such a module is available on the Learnway LMS platform. What are the advantages and benefits of such a solution?

  • The company and employee have unlimited access to training in the user panel.
  • A newly hired employee can learn individually at his own pace and return to selected issues at any time, instead of asking the trainer again.
  • The trainer dedicates time once to transfer and register his knowledge, not each time separately, which saves his work time and our money.
  • Each new employee acquires exactly the same knowledge, over which we have full control. Caregivers and supervisors can easily check the level of commitment and knowledge of compulsory training materials.
  • Better organization of the onboarding process and automation means tangible savings.
  • The HR employee is relieved of repetitive activities – the system automatically enrolls a new Employee for necessary training (e.g. health and safety).

Onboarding statistics

  • 17% of candidates think that the first day of work has not prepared them for new tasks
  • 24% of candidates declare that they could only count on themselves on the first day of work
  • 33% of senior managers assess their onboarding as poor
  • 50% of employees leave the company during the first 4 months of work
  • 50% better employee productivity in organizations with smart onboarding
  • 54% of employers with good onboarding enjoy higher employee involvement
  • 60% of employees combine their results from the first year of work with onboarding
  • 69% of employees want to stay in the company for a minimum of 3 years if they have experienced a good and complete onboarding program
  • 76% of Polish companies declare that they use onboarding to some extent
  • 213% of an employee’s salary costs recruiting his successor
Companies with onboarding Companies without onboarding
% of employees remaining in the company 91% 30%
% of employees employed in the last 12 months who completed their first first goals in the assumed time 62% 30%
Annual % increase in the recruitment manager’s satisfaction level 33% 3%

Why is onboarding important?

The process of hiring a new employee is often lengthy and expensive, so we have to fight to keep employees. Onboarding guarantees fewer redundancies.

A well-planned and organized onboarding program has a great impact on reducing rotation in the team, better atmosphere, greater motivation and involvement of new employees.

Thanks to onboarding, the company collects better opinions on the network in social media or job search portals. The employee is more willing to identify with the company.

Who is onboarding profitable for?

Depending on the chosen software, onboarding can benefit small, medium and large enterprises. The size of the company, turnover, or the number of employees does not matter – properly selected solutions and software can bring measurable financial benefits to any business. If you want us to prepare a quote, ideas and onboarding proposals for your company free of charge, describe your case here and you will definitely receive a reliable answer.

How long does the onboarding process take?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It can last from a month to even half a year. The onboarding process begins at the recruitment stage with candidate experience. The recruiter is the first to describe the candidate’s organizational structure and responsibilities. The promise made to the candidate in the recruitment process is verified by him from the first day of work. Failure to do so is a risk of leaving a new employee

Studies show that the employee only achieves full productivity after 12 or even 24 months of work, which is why it is worth looking at long-term onboarding.

It is important that at subsequent stages the material is dosed in the appropriate knowledge pills – often for the first few days the employee gets hundreds of pages to read, a dozen or so tools to master and instead of being implemented, the new person feels overwhelmed and worried about the amount of material, as well as the lack of support.

4C: four stages of onboarding

The process of adapting a new employee is divided into 4 stages, called 4C. Each stage relates to a different sphere of life and is responsible for other issues of the organization’s activities.

Compliance (Procedures)

This is the administrative stage. The employee provides relevant documentation to the employer (e.g. employment certificates, diplomas), completes the documents, signs the forms, and the employer allows him to start work, transferring e.g. login details to the necessary internet / intranet accounts. At this stage, it’s a good idea to prepare your workplace (workstation, desk, computer), set up an individual e-mail inbox, and transfer business cards. If we prepare it in advance, the new employee’s sense of value will increase. It will make him aware that someone was really waiting for him here.

Clarification (Tasks and goals)

This is a presentation of tasks and expectations towards the Employee. At this stage, it is important that both the Employee, Employer and the team to which the employee joins understand the goals of the new employee in the same way.


This is an organizational culture showing how to work in a company to achieve the set goals.


This is an element of employee adaptation, associated with integration with the team and a sense of the company’s mission. These elements mean that a newly employed employee identifies with the company and feels so good in the environment that he gladly returns to it.

Onboarding levels

Each company has its own individual onboarding procedures. The specificity and culture of a given business and industry determines their degree of formalization or detail. Among them, however, we can distinguish 3 standard levels of onboarding:

Passive onboarding – ensuring appropriate procedures regardless of tasks and goals, organizational culture and relationships within the Team.

High Potential Onboarding – focusing on the procedure, tasks and goals, minimizing the role of relationships and culture.

Proactive onboarding – a format that uses all 4C points, the least used and the most effective.

Frequently common onboarding errors & fails

Everything at once without preparation

Without a plan, strategy, and preferably without the use of appropriate tools, we want to “throw” a new employee hundreds of pages of material, presentations, PDF files and instructions that you simply can’t get through. Best to read yesterday. It will not succeed. He will not remember anything about it and will be discouraged from acquiring any knowledge.

Lack of support from the management or board of directors

Regardless of how well the onboarding materials are prepared by the HR department, they will do nothing if their superiors are not used by new employees. Or worse, the CEO himself will not be convinced of such a solution – then the project has little chance. Efficient internal communication is very useful in such processes. It is worth making such changes announced by the management. If you need “additional materials for the CEO”, describe here what you might find useful for decision makers in your company. We are happy to help you convince them, because we know that well-implemented onboarding really makes sense and pays off.

Badly prepared content or tools

Poor UX tools, content and their forms not adapted to the group of recipients, technical errors, boring, non-interactive materials – all this can negatively affect the perception of onboarding among employees. If you choose an online onboarding provider, ask about its SLA (Service Level Agreement) level and ask for sample demos of such training.

No feedback

If, after implementing onboarding, you don’t collect feedback, or collect (or your e-learning platform collects it for you alone), but you don’t analyze data and suggestions obtained from the organization and do not draw conclusions, you will never really look at your company from the perspective of an Employee. This point of view is necessary to develop a business and offer relevant content to employees.

Onboarding content formats

To read: articles, reports, sketches, notes, FAQ, Q&A, e-books, case study

For viewing: photos, graphics, infographics, comics, screenshots, mind maps, screen sharing

To listen: Podcasts

To click: interactive content in the form of tests and quizzes

Effective onboarding step by step

  1. Plan an onboarding program
  2. Create an onboarding checklist
  3. Send an email with information about the arrival of a new person
  4. Prepare a suitable workplace, desk, equipment, software access, and an input card
  5. Prepare documents
  6. Prepare a welcome pack / welcome kit for the New Employee
  7. Contact the employee before the first day
  8. Appoint a new employee implementation supervisor
  9. Send new employees an email with the agenda of the first days
  10. Show around the office and introduce the Employee to other people in the company
  11. Offer the Employee 1: 1 meetings with the most important people in the company
  12. Give a voucher for lunch or to a cafe for a new Employee and his guardian
  13. Collect feedback and draw conclusions
  14. Perform evaluation

Onboarding gamification

Games have power. It is worth using it when introducing an employee to a new role by means of online learning games, scoring points, or subsequent levels. Such tools will help him understand your business, which he will immediately recognize as modern and trend-oriented. In addition to online games, onboarding board or field games are an interesting and unconventional solution.

We can help you implement onboarding in your company – write to us here and you will definitely receive an answer and a package of solutions.