What is Onboarding?

In HR terms, ‘onboarding’ refers to the process of integrating and orienting a newly hired employee into an organisation. It involves providing the necessary knowledge, resources, and support to help the employee adjust to their new role, understand the company’s culture and values, and become productive in their work.

The onboarding process typically starts once a candidate has accepted a job offer and continues for a specified period, which may range from a few days to several months, depending on the organisation and the complexity of the role. The key objectives of onboarding are as follows:

Orientation: Providing the new employee with an introduction to the organisation, its structure, mission, values, and overall work environment. This may include sharing information about the company’s history, policies, procedures, and key stakeholders.

Paperwork and Compliance: Assisting the new employee in completing necessary paperwork, such as employment contracts, tax forms, benefits enrollment, and any other legal or administrative documents required for employment.

Role Clarity: Clearly defining the new employee’s job responsibilities, expectations, and performance objectives. This involves providing a detailed job description, discussing performance metrics, and establishing goals aligned with the organisation’s overall objectives.

Training and Development: Offering training programs, workshops, or mentoring sessions to equip the new employee with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their job effectively. This may involve job-specific training, software/system orientation, and compliance training related to company policies, ethics, and safety.

Integration and Relationship Building: Facilitating connections between the new employee and their colleagues, managers, and other key stakeholders within the organisation. This may include formal introductions, team-building activities, social events, or buddy programs that pair the new employee with a more experienced colleague to provide guidance and support.

Resources and Tools: Ensuring that the new employee has access to the necessary resources, tools, and technologies to perform their job. This includes providing them with the required equipment, login credentials, software access, and any other tools or systems specific to their role.

Ongoing Support: Providing ongoing support and feedback to the new employee as they settle into their role. This involves regular check-ins, performance discussions, and opportunities for the employee to seek clarification or address any challenges they may encounter.

The onboarding process is crucial for helping new employees feel welcomed, engaged, and confident in their role. A well-designed onboarding program promotes a positive employee experience, reduces time to productivity, enhances retention rates, and fosters a strong organisational culture.