Onboarding vs. Orientation: Impressing & Welcoming New Employees

The onboarding process illustrated

As this illustration shows, onboarding new employees is a process that has multiple steps. The best processes are continuous, like this escalator.

Onboarding employees involves much more than a traditional employee orientation. Onboarding is the means by which a firm socializes all of its new employees into the organization. It is the mechanism through which companies transmit and new employees acquire the necessary skills, knowledge, and behaviors to become highly effective and productive members of the team. Onboarding includes employee orientation, but it does not stop there. After ensuring the employee has completed all the proper forms, is set up with IT and is aware of all the benefits and policies, the onboarding process continues.

What does onboarding involve?

Formal meetings, lectures, videos, printed materials, and computer-based orientations help introduce new employees to their job roles and to the organization. Onboarding is important because, when done properly, it engenders commitment to the firm, better job performance out the gate, higher job satisfaction, a reduced intention to quit and reduced stress. An effective onboarding process helps build and maintain a company’s competitive advantage. The benefits include the following:

  • Role clarity – Helps to reduce uncertainty so that employees can do their jobs efficiently and accurately. It also helps to increase productivity because employees clearly understand what is expected of them and their role within the firm.
  • Self-efficacy –  Helps employees feel capable of performing their job tasks. This
  • Social acceptance – Employees feel like they are a part of the team and that they “fit in”. This increases their job satisfaction,
Onboarding is much more than employee orientation.

Onboarding is the process of welcoming new employees into the fold and providing them with the tools and contacts to be successful.

A strong and supportive onboarding process has several steps.

These steps are delineated and explained below.

All employees should be familiar with all company policies
and operating practices that affect their job. This will enhance their work performance. Owners or senior level management and managers must share the responsibility for training and indoctrinating all new employees. The information provided should be sufficient to ensure that all routine work practices are conducted efficiently.


New Employee Information

An owner or senior manager should provide the following information to all new employees during the 1st 2-3 days of commencing work:

  • Introduction to company’s quality standards/ requirements, if applicable
  • Organizational Overview and position responsibilities
  • Job Description and Position Contract descriptions (refer to the E-Myth Revisited for a description of position contracts)
  • Work productivity standards (as applicable and available)
  • Review policies on customer communication and inter-team communication

New Employee Information

The HR manager or director, the office manager, or similar person must provide the following information:

  • Time tracking and payroll procedures
  • Employment status, pay & benefits
  • Employee Handbook
  • Performance Incentive Program
  • Orientation Checklist (monitor for completion and file in personnel record)