4 Benefits of an Effective Onboarding Process

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Catherine Maheux-Rochette
February 12 2021

It’s your first day in your new job. Nobody told you where to park. You have been asked to show up at the office at 8 a.m., but when you get there no one is around to greet you, and the receptionist doesn’t know who you are. A few minutes later, the human resources manager arrives, apologizes for being late and shows you a door, the one leading to your new office. He tells you to make yourself comfortable because “you’ll have a lot of reading to do!”…  Indeed, all day long, you stay in your office and review the documents he has brought you. The result? You go home disappointed and a little discouraged, wondering if you made the right choice by taking this job.

Of course no employer would want to leave a negative impression on a new employee after his or her first day. Nevertheless, the reality is that many managers are not aware of the benefits of creating an effective onboarding process in the workplace. Now, one may ask : Why does onboarding matter? Let’s dive in!

What is a good onboarding process?

The key to a successful onboarding for your new hires? Customization. The process has to be aligned with the company and its culture, but also with the position of the new employee and, sometimes, the department in which they are located. Although the goal of an onboarding plan is always the same, in the implementation of some of its aspects, it is important to take into account the different realities with which employees will be dealing on a daily basis. For example, the assignment of a mentor should be made according to the department.

It is also important to consider the individual behind the employee. Be flexible, offer different options. Some people will be comfortable presenting in front of a whole team, others less so. Some people learn best by reading, while others need to apply themselves to understand. Ask questions and make sure the employee is comfortable doing so as well. This is the essence of a good onboarding: helping the employee become familiar with their work environment and ensuring that they thrive in it.

Finally, a good onboarding process must be effective. The use of a human resources management software can prove to be a very interesting option, especially for setting up a structure, automating certain tasks and overall monitoring of the employee’s progress throughout the process.

Benefits of a Successful Onboarding

So you finally found that rare gem? You’d better focus on your onboarding process! Did you know that a good integration program can increase retention rates by 40%? If good onboarding is said to be the first step towards retention, that is only one of its many advantages for your organization.


1. Employee Engagement

First impressions are crucial. Make welcoming your new employees an opportunity for them to quickly develop a sense of belonging with your organization. A good integration plan can also be an excellent source of motivation for your new employees and stimulate them to give the best of themselves. A warm welcome favours your staff’s mobilization.

2. Attraction

In this digital and social media age, an original onboarding process is a great way to stand out and promote your employer brand. Your employees are your best ambassadors and most of them will be happy to help you make your organization shine.

3. Improved Team Communication

It can be intimidating for a new employee to take his or her place and ask questions. A good onboarding process should have the benefit of encouraging employees to communicate by giving them an opportunity to do so, such as a question period. Such an initiative will promote a culture of open communication in your organization.

4. Reduced Employee Turnover

Did you know that more than half of all voluntary departures take place less than a year after hiring?Too much turnover can be very costly to a company and its reputation. Your integration process is an opportunity for you to present yourself in the best light, make a good first impression, motivate your new employees and get them involved in your company.

How to set up your onboarding plan?

As you can see, the benefits of onboarding employees the right way are many. Now, how do you put one in place and ensure its effectiveness?

First of all, having someone in charge will make your task much easier. Although this step may seem obvious, it is clear that many organizations neglect the importance of adequate preparation, which implies, following the development of the various steps of the process, assigning each of them to a person in charge. In fact, the simple fact of assigning someone to be responsible for a task will significantly reduce the chances that it will be neglected or even forgotten. 

For us, this is Dominique Archambault, our HR Coordinator. Dominique has set up a complete process adapted to the different positions in the company. For Dominique, any good onboarding process should take into account an organization’s most important asset: its employees. According to him, it can be very relevant to involve the company’s current employees to come up with ideas. Each employee’s personal experience offers a new perspective of the onboarding process: what was appreciated, what was not, original concepts, etc. 

Before the Employee Arrives

Adequate Workspace

Make sure that the workspace is appropriate and that the new employee will have everything they need (work tools, desk, different accesses, etc.).

Informative Welcome Kit

It can be as simple as a virtual and/or a paper sleeve with all the tools and the necessary onboarding documents to be as productive as possible on their first day. Dominique even recommends sending it a few days before the employee’s arrival so that they are better prepared for their arrival. You can include several documents in it: the employee handbook, the code of ethics, the history of the company, information about insurance and other benefits, etc. Be creative! “I once saw a picture in a welcome kit that showed an employee how to organize their workspace ergonomically. I thought it was really cool!” says Dominique. However, he advises not to overburden the employee; the content of the folder should be concise and relevant.

Welcome Email

The message may come from the President or the new employee’s immediate supervisor. According to Dominique, it doesn’t matter. He adds: “The important thing is to send a welcome email! For me, it’s a key element. It says to the employee: We can’t wait for you to get here!”

Starter Pack

We see it more and more. It can be very interesting, both for your employees and for your employer brand, to give them various promotional items. There are the classics: mug, water bottle, pencil.  But don’t hesitate to think outside the box, let your imagination run wild and create a “wow” effect!  

Dominique reminds us that it is important to be creative throughout the onboarding process, which he says should take several months. “Creativity is the key, it makes the difference” he says. It also carries the employer brand internally.  An effective onboarding plan should shows employees that the organization cares about them.

Finally, we also strongly recommend the use of an HRIS to help manage the onboarding process. The Onboarding module of Folks HR allows you to define actions to be taken and assign them to different people, thus ensuring that they are completed according to the planned schedule. It is also relevant to mention that this information can be found on the home page of the interface and that reminders will be sent to you if certain tasks are late.

And you, do you have a well-established, tried-and-true onboarding plan for the integration of your new employees? If you don’t, now that you are aware of the benefits of a good onboarding plan, how about creating one for your organization?

Need original ideas?

Download our free checklist: The Essentials for a Successful Onboarding!

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