What are the 4 Phases of Onboarding?

Employee Onboarding
6 mins
What are the 4 Phases of Onboarding?
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Published by
Mike Bandar
Create Your Waybook
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    Imagine welcoming a new team member who feels instantly at home and ready to contribute. That's the dream onboarding experience we all aspire to create. In today's competitive employer marketplace, a stellar onboarding process not only enhances productivity but also fosters a positive company culture. A strong onboarding strategy may increase your worker retention rate up to 82%, reducing turnover costs and helping your business towards longterm success.

    Let's dive into the four phases of employee onboarding and explore how you can transform this crucial process with practical tips and innovative solutions like Waybook.

    What does onboarding mean?

    Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into your company and its culture. This process goes beyond mere orientation; it's about setting your new hire up for long-term success. Effective onboarding can lead to higher job satisfaction, better performance, and improved retention rates.

    Is onboarding the same as training?

    No, onboarding is not the same as training. Training is a component of the onboarding process that focuses on equipping new hires with the skills and knowledge required for their specific roles. Onboarding, however, is a broader process that includes orientation, training, socialization, and ongoing support to help new employees become effective, integrated members of the team.

    What is the primary purpose of onboarding?

    The primary purpose of onboarding is to ensure that new employees feel welcome, prepared, and supported as they transition into their new roles. A comprehensive onboarding process helps new hires understand the company culture, their job responsibilities, and how they can contribute to the organization's success.

    You can benchmark your onboarding program by your employee retention rate. 70% of the respondents use employee retention to evaluate a good onboarding process.

    How long does employee onboarding take?

    Employee Onboarding is not a one-time event but an ongoing process that can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. While the initial orientation and training may occur within the first few days or weeks, continued support and development are crucial for long-term success and retention.

    Having a clearly planned and well executed onboarding process using tools like Waybook can reduce the onboarding length and reduce the employee's time to value by up to 80%.

    Now, lets explore the 4 phases of onboarding new employees.

    Play Video: How to Onboard New Employees and Set-up for Success

    What are 4 phases of onboarding?

    If you want to develop your company's onboarding process, you should follow these onboarding phases.

    Phase 1: Pre-Onboarding

    Pre-onboarding starts as soon as the new hire accepts the job offer. This phase is about keeping them engaged and excited about their new role. Using Waybook, you can automate paperwork, share engaging content about your company culture, and provide a clear roadmap of what their first few weeks will look like. This sets a positive tone and makes them feel valued from day one.

    Checklist for Pre-Onboarding:

    • Send a welcome email with essential information about the company, team, and what to expect on the first day.
    • Provide access to necessary tools and systems such as email, project management software, and communication platforms.
    • Share an agenda for the first week, including key meetings and training sessions.
    • Familiarize them with the company's amenities and development plans.
    • Handle necessary paperwork upfront to streamline the process.

    Waybook Tip: Use Waybook to create automated workflows that handle these tasks effortlessly. You can set up document templates, assign tasks, and ensure everything is ready for the new hire’s arrival. This helps eliminate repetitive administrative tasks and allows your team to focus on welcoming the new member.

    Phase 2: Onboarding and welcoming new employees

    Welcoming your new hires goes beyond a simple introduction. It’s about making them feel part of the team. Consider both job specific and cultural information. This can be created with both synchronous and asynchronous methods, introducing them to key team members through video messages, and ensure they have access to all necessary resources. Organizing a welcome lunch or virtual coffee chat can also help build connections.

    The first day sets the tone for the entire onboarding process. Make sure it's welcoming and engaging. A positive first impression can significantly impact a new hire's experience and their integration into the team.

    Interactive Orientation Activities:

    • Host a team lunch or virtual meet-and-greet to introduce the new hire to their colleagues. This fosters a sense of belonging and helps them start building relationships.
    • Give a tour of the office or a virtual tour for remote employees, explaining where key resources and team members are located. This helps them feel more comfortable and familiar with their new environment.
    • Provide a welcome kit with company swag, essential tools, and resources to help them settle in. A thoughtful welcome kit shows that you value and appreciate them.

    In this phase, you should also introduce the new hires to your organization's mission, values, and culture. Make sure they understand the company's vision and how their role contributes to the larger goals. Clear communication during this phase can help set expectations and build excitement.

    Waybook Tip: Create engaging welcome modules in Waybook that include videos, quizzes, and interactive content to make the first day memorable. This not only helps in making the new hire feel valued but also aids in their quick acclimatization to the company culture.

    Phase 3: Training

    Effective training is crucial for helping new hires understand their roles and responsibilities. Comprehensive training ensures that they have the knowledge and skills needed to perform their job effectively.

    Tips for Creating Effective Training Plans:

    • Break down training into manageable modules that cover essential skills and knowledge areas. This helps new hires absorb information at a comfortable pace.
    • Include hands-on practice sessions where new hires can apply what they’ve learned in real scenarios. Practical application reinforces learning and builds confidence.
    • Regularly check in to address any questions and provide feedback on their progress. Continuous support and feedback help them stay on track and improve.

    During the training phase, it's also important to introduce new hires to key stakeholders and cross-functional teams they will work with. This helps them build a network within the organization and understand how different departments collaborate.

    Waybook Tip: Use Waybook’s testing and quiz features to ensure new hires grasp the training material. Track their progress and provide feedback instantly. With Waybook, you can create a comprehensive training program that is consistent and scalable, ensuring all new hires receive the same high-quality onboarding experience.

    Phase 4: Transition to new role

    The transition phase is about integrating new hires into the team and providing ongoing support. This phase helps them move from being new employees to becoming productive and engaged team members.

    Strategies for Ongoing Support and Integration:

    • Schedule regular check-ins during the first few months to discuss progress, address concerns, and provide support. Regular communication helps identify and resolve any issues early.
    • Assign a mentor or buddy who can provide guidance, answer questions, and help the new hire navigate the company culture. A mentor can offer valuable insights and support.
    • Encourage continuous learning and development through training sessions, workshops, and access to learning resources. Ongoing development keeps employees engaged and motivated.

    Ensure new hires have opportunities to provide feedback on their onboarding experience. This feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to the process. Celebrate milestones and achievements to keep new hires motivated and feeling valued.

    Waybook Tip: Facilitate continuous learning and performance tracking through Waybook. Set up a system where new hires can access resources, ask questions, and receive updates seamlessly. This ensures they feel supported and valued, leading to higher engagement and retention rates.

    The Bottom Line

    A well-structured onboarding process is a game-changer for both new hires and your organization. By incorporating these four phases and leveraging the power of Waybook, you can create an onboarding experience that is smooth, engaging, and highly effective. Ready to revolutionize your onboarding process?

    Book a demo with a Waybook specialist today and explore the difference it can make!

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