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Which ingredients are essential for an effective onboarding process in your organization?

The successful onboarding of new employees is essential for every organisation. It enables new employees to quickly and effectively contribute to the organisation while also helping to promote their engagement and retention. This onboarding blog will assist organisations in designing and implementing an onboarding program that considers all the key ingredients of successful onboarding.

Work from a holistic approach, such as the 4C model

The 4C model is an effective approach for structuring an onboarding program. The model is based on four core elements:

Compliance: Ensure that new employees are aware of the rules, regulations, and procedures of the organisation.
Clarification: Help new employees understand their roles, responsibilities, and goals.
Culture: Familiarise new employees with the organisation's values, norms, and codes of conduct.
Connection: Foster relationships and networking between new employees and their colleagues, managers, and other key individuals in the organisation.

The added value of the 4C model is that it provides a holistic approach to onboarding, addressing all aspects of integrating new employees into the organisation. The impact of this approach is a smoother, more effective, and more structured onboarding experience for both new employees and HR professionals. Based on this approach, research shows that a good onboarding process can result in 10-25% higher retention and 15-30% higher engagement.

2. Use a step-by-step, structured onboarding approach

A structured program that promotes each "C" of the 4C model can help ensure effective onboarding. Here are some steps to consider when setting up an onboarding program:

  • Start with pre-boarding: Ensure a smooth transition from the recruitment and selection phase to the onboarding phase by providing timely information and support to the new employee.
  • First day of work: Make the first day memorable and provide a warm welcome. For example, assign a buddy to guide and support the new employee during the first few weeks.
  • Compliance: Organise training and workshops on the organisation's rules, regulations, and procedures. Ensure that the new employee receives and signs the necessary documentation. See the next paragraph on how digital tools can support this.
  • Clarification: Schedule one-on-one meetings with the supervisor to discuss the new employee's role, responsibilities, and goals. Clearly communicate expectations for new employees and explain how they can provide feedback. See the next paragraph on how digital tools can support this.
  • Culture: Organise activities and events to introduce the organisation's values, norms, and codes of conduct. Share honest stories and examples of how the organisational culture is manifested in daily work.
  • Connection: Foster networking opportunities by facilitating introductions with colleagues, managers, and other key individuals in the organisation. Consider team-building activities and social events to build and strengthen relationships.

The added value of a step-by-step onboarding is that it allows new employees to gradually acclimate and adapt to their new work environment while also helping them build their confidence and competence. The impact of this approach is higher employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Research shows that structured onboarding can lead to an 11% increase in revenue/profit per employee. Digital tools can help program a step-by-step approach and facilitate onboarding new employees, for example, in compliance and clarification, leading to faster and better guidance.

"17% of new employees left within three months - some even in the first week. With a good onboarding, it is 58% more likely that someone will still be with the organization after three years."
Get a grip on what really matters to new employees

3. Accelerate onboarding with digital tools such as an onboarding app

An effective digital tool can help streamline new employees' pre-boarding, onboarding, and progress tracking. Consider using an online platform or app that provides the following capabilities:

  • Automation of administrative tasks: Digitise documentation, signatures, and approvals to save time and resources.
  • Information and resources: Provide access to important documents, guides, videos, and other learning materials related to onboarding.
  • Communication and collaboration: Facilitate communication and collaboration among new employees, HR professionals, managers, and colleagues.
  • Planning and task management: Assist new employees and HR professionals in planning and tracking onboarding activities and milestones.
  • Progress monitoring and reporting: Enable HR professionals to track the progress of new employees and identify any bottlenecks.

The added value of a digital tool is that it makes onboarding more efficient, consistent, and streamlined. The impact of this is an improved experience for both new employees and HR professionals, as well as time savings and better compliance with onboarding processes. Research shows that the use of digital tools results in a 25-50% faster onboarding of employees.

“As an organization, you really miss the connection between colleagues if you see onboarding and the intranet as two separate parts.”
Pauline van Brederode

Communications Advisor Zaans Medisch Centrum

Onboarding summarized

This onboarding document provides an overview of the key ingredients for  successful onboarding. By following the 4C model, implementing a step-by-step program, and using a suitable digital tool, HR professionals can establish an effective onboarding program that benefits both new employees and the organisation.

Implementing these best practices will help increase the engagement and retention of new employees while optimising the time and resources that HR professionals dedicated to the onboarding process.

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