5 tips for building a successful onboarding for new employees

Effective onboarding is essential for motivating new employees, enhancing your company's image, and fostering commitment to their new roles.

When embarking on a new job, employees are usually enthusiastic and eager to learn. This enthusiasm can be harnessed by providing ample opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills. This is why employee onboarding, whether online or digital, is crucial, and organisations should invest time in planning it meticulously. Explore our top tips for designing and executing a successful onboarding process below!

Why invest in employee onboarding?

High-quality onboarding supports organisations and the individuals within them.

Successful onboarding elevates the employee experience, promotes well-being, and boosts engagement while reducing turnover and recruitment costs. As organisations grow, the demand for new talent increases. During these periods, a positive employee experience and high well-being are critical in attracting top-tier candidates.

Skilled, engaged, and content employees are vital to an organisation's innovation, development, and success. Engaged employees are driven to contribute to the organisation's success, even during challenging times. Consequently, onboarding has far-reaching indirect effects on a company's business outcomes.

When starting a new job, individuals are naturally motivated to learn. Therefore, the onboarding period presents an ideal opportunity for employees to gain essential job-related knowledge and skills. It is therefore a good idea to harness this enthusiasm by dedicating the first days and weeks to learning new things.

Onboarding also plays an important role in individual development and in how meaningful an individual feels about themselves and their work in the organisation. Poor or inadequate onboarding can make individuals feel that they and their work are meaningless, and can also lead to mistakes at work.

It is evident that investing in onboarding is worthwhile, and fortunately, even small changes and actions can yield significant results. Discover our practical tips below to enhance your organisation's onboarding process!

5 tips for creating a successful onboarding

1.  Teach culture, not just details

Our company was founded in 2001 by two sisters, and today we employ 85 people. We are an agile and innovative organisation with the goal of reaching 67% of Finnish businesses by 2023.

While details and strategies are important aspects of any organisation, they alone cannot provide a comprehensive understanding of the company and its culture.

If you want to give your new employees a truly comprehensive picture of their new job, be sure to let them in on the organisation's culture and practices. Information about years and numbers can be interesting, but are they really important in the employees' daily lives? Remember to answer questions that are relevant for the employee, and tell about the workplace and office practices, such as what communication and feedback channels are in use, how long is the lunch break or what is the office policy on attending remote meetings. Also, share how your organisation's values and strategy are reflected in practice in what you do.

It is important to go through practical matters, even those that might seem obvious. Practices vary from one workplace to another, and everyday matters that seem simple may be handled differently elsewhere. For people who have worked in the organisation for a long time, it might be hard to identify what exactly is unique and worth mentioning in their organisation. When developing the onboarding content, it is useful to interview the newest hires about what they felt were the most important things to know and what they would have liked to know when they first started.

2. Utilize various content elements and support different kinds of learners

You don't need to be a pedagogical expert to support different learners.

A great learning platform provides the content creator with a large set of different content tools that can be used to produce high-quality content that ensures learning, quickly and easily. When a pedagogical mindset guides the development of the learning platform and the tools are easy to use, the trainers can focus on their own strengths and develop the content of the onboarding.

In addition to text, onboarding content can be created in the form of images, videos, and infographics, which gives attention to visual learners. The course content can also be recorded and embedded on the platform as an audio file, allowing learners to choose whether they want to learn by listening or reading. Social learning can also be utilized in online courses, for example in the form of discussion exercises or peer learning. Most online courses also include tasks, which can have a variety of functions.

Onboarding that includes various forms of content supports a wide range of learners, motivates, and inspires.

3. Build different learning paths

An important factor in learning is that the individual feels that the things are relevant and important for them and their work.

This is why organisations should create different learning paths for different roles so that each employee can learn about the matters that are relevant to their own job. While many of the basic skills are useful for each new employee, some parts of the content can be used for several learning paths.

Learning paths can be used to determine the order in which courses need to attended and a target schedule for completing them. Learning paths are a great way of structuring the onboarding, and it gives the new employees information about what topics the onboarding phase is going to include.

4. Combine online learning with face-to-face learning

Digital onboarding doesn't mean that face-to-face learning sessions should be abandoned.

In many jobs and organisations, the most appropriate way to deliver onboarding is to combine traditional face-to-face learning with independent online learning.

Last summer, our customers at Moominworld successfully combined virtual and face-to-face learning into a so-called hybrid onboarding. This meant that the material was studied online independently before attending the face-to-face sessions. The process produced excellent results, and they noticed that the information studied independently had been deeply learned.

Hybrid learning is an excellent way to implement onboarding in a situation where there is a lot of information to learn. The onboarding period is often short, and there is a huge amount of information to take in. When the employee has even some prior knowledge of the subject, it is easier to learn.

Prior knowledge can also be provided before the job starts! Pre-onboarding is an increasingly popular part of the onboarding process, where the employee is offered independent learning materials beforehand when their enthusiasm is at its highest.

5. Engage the entire organisation in the onboarding process

What better way to welcome a new employee than by introducing them to their colleagues throughout the organisation?

This fosters a sense of belonging and bolsters team spirit. While not every new employee may interact with everyone in the organisation daily, understanding the various roles within the company and their impact on one's own job is valuable.

In particular, involving the management team in the process sends a powerful message of value and breaks down hierarchical barriers.

There are numerous ways to facilitate this involvement, both in-person and digitally:

  • Include a welcome message from the CEO in the online onboarding, welcoming new employees to the company.
  • Organise a monthly, quarterly or bi-annual event for new employees to meet each other, and possibly also management and employees from other departments.
  • Involve the people of the organisation in creating the onboarding courses and encourage them to bring their personalities and strengths to the table in the content. For example, the person with the most knowledge about your products should of course be the one to tell new employees about them!
  • Schedule meetings in the new employee's calendar to meet with members of their team and the whole organisation. This way they will have a chance to meet, introduce themselves, and explain what they are in charge of in the organisation.

Do you want to hear more?

High-quality onboarding for a new employee is the key to successful work, job satisfaction, and achieving excellent results. We would be delighted to share how Vuolearning can serve as onboarding software to support your organisation in establishing a successful onboarding process.

Call us at +358 9 31545225, mail us at sales@vuolearning.fi or book an online demo with one of our experts here.

Read more about onboarding on our blog:

Digital onboarding – how to create a successful online onboarding course for your organization?

Pre-onboarding for new employees - providing a smooth start for your new hires

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