What Is Onboarding?

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  • Written By: Page Coleman
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 28 December 2019
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Onboarding is a process by which new employees are welcomed into an organization and given opportunities to learn policies, procedures, meet other employees, and obtain additional information to help them be successful in their new roles. It is also known as organizational socialization, and it evolved from the practice of new employee orientation. When it is well implemented, it can increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover, training costs, errors, and defects.

Human resource management often defines the onboarding process. The new employee’s manager and peers may also be involved. For example, part of onboarding may include establishing a business mentoring relationship with an experienced, high-performing employee.

Aspects of onboarding usually include a traditional orientation with review of the organization’s policies and procedures as well as signing various new employee forms. Onboarding will also try to help the new employee understand his role in the organization, what constitutes good job performance, the job role and expectations, and introduce other resources for the employee. These resources may include items such as the organization Intranet and other employees of whom to ask questions.


Simple things, such as knowing where coffee stations, rest rooms, and places to eat are located, can also help reduce new employee anxiety. It is also important for new employees to start feeling that they are making friends in their new work place. For this reason, some organizations encourage current employees to spend some time with new employees during lunch and break periods. The goal of all these activities is to make the employee feel valued, help her build relationships with other employees, and help her understand both the requirements for good job performance and how to get assistance when needed.

When well done, onboarding offers numerous benefits to the organization and its employees. A well-designed and implemented program conveys organizational commitment to employees. Employee morale improves when workers feel that management cares about them and believes the organization is high quality and pays attention to details.

Employees frequently report increased job satisfaction when an effective onboarding process has been implemented. This can reduce employee turnover dramatically, and in turn reduce the employee recruiting budget. New employees usually become fully productive more quickly. Over the long-term, it can reduce training costs because employees are given the essential information and know how to gain information early in their employment. Improved training from the start can also help reduce worker errors and defect.



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