How to Create an Onboarding Process

Onboarding plays a vital role in every employee's tenure at a company. If you seek further insights on how to create a killer onboarding process, keep on reading.

Sofia Von Platen
Sofia Von Platen
11 min read

Starting from the moment the employment contract is signed, it is key for every company to have a well-designed plan for the initial months. This period should create a welcoming environment for the employee, create familiarity with the business' mission and vision, and instill a sense of comfort in their role. When these processes are acknowledged and carefully planned for, employees' productivity and loyalty to the company improve significantly.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employee turnover in the first 18 months can soar as high as 50%. Their estimates indicate that replacing an employee can cost a company up to six to eight months' salary. To mitigate these challenges, businesses should thoroughly evaluate their onboarding processes. A meticulously planned and structured onboarding process not only saves businesses valuable time and resources but also reduces the likelihood of errors, rework, accidents, and other related setbacks.

In this article, we will delve into how to create an onboarding process from start to finish. If you seek further insights on onboarding, make sure not to miss these other articles on the subject.


Planning Your Onboarding Process

Before you get started, there are a few things you need to put in place. It might be tempting to just throw yourself into creating a new onboarding process, but remember that by taking these next steps, you pave the way for your success.


Assessing Your Needs

As with any project, it is important to work toward a goal or with a purpose. Sit down with management and your team to define your goals and objectives for creating an onboarding process. By setting clear objectives and goals, it will allow you to work more targeted and focused. Your goal might be to accelerate time to productivity for new employees. By improving training and providing employees with clear expectations, necessary resources, and knowledge to do their job, businesses can help them do their job effectively from an early stage. By setting this goal, you know where in the onboarding process you need to be extra attentive.

To assess your needs, it is a great idea to dedicate some time to evaluate your current onboarding process. Identify where your strengths and weaknesses might be in this process to identify areas of improvement. It might be that employees are unsure of what your company’s mission and vision are. To identify these shortcomings, make use of tools such as surveys to gather feedback from existing employees and assess where improvements might be made.

Finally, you need to assess the resources needed to plan and implement the onboarding processes. Which colleagues will you need to include in the process? How many hours might be needed to create the onboarding process? Furthermore, when planning your new onboarding process, you should consider which resources might be needed to implement the new plan. That might include some sort of dedicated budget for welcome packages, time from a potential mentor, and a handbook or similar material. To simplify many of these needs, you should also consider digital tools that might support your onboarding process.


Creating an Onboarding Plan

To create an onboarding process, you need to set a timeline and benchmarks to ensure that the new hires feel like they are in good hands. This might stretch over from one month to half a year, depending on the role and your organization. It is also key to assign responsibilities within the team involved in the process. That means defining who will host orientations within the team, who will be the mentor, and so on. Similarly, a budget should also be set for the onboarding process. It might be that you want to send a welcoming package, equipment, or introduction materials which need to be accounted for in a budget.

Take the time to outline the steps you want to include in your onboarding plan and focus on these few areas that should be part of every onboarding process:



Ensure that your new colleague feels excited about their new role and welcomed to the team even before they set foot through the door. This includes sending welcome messages to new hires, covering all relevant information about the first day, week, and month, as well as any necessary paperwork and equipment needed to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible.



The first couple of days are crucial for making the new hire feel comfortable in their new team. Provide them with a company introduction to familiarize them with the company's mission, vision, values, and culture. Similarly, a tour of the facilities and introductions to the team is essential to give them an initial understanding of their role within the business.



Set your new hires up for success with comprehensive training on procedures, tasks, and equipment they will be working with during their tenure. Ensure they feel comfortable in their day-to-day tasks by providing them with a mentor whom they can turn to for questions, concerns, and support. It is also crucial to offer them opportunities to grow and develop in their role through easy access to key information, workshops, and possible courses.


Goal alignment

Make sure new hires are aware of the goals for their role and the metrics that indicate their success. This needs to be accompanied by regular feedback between them and their managers. You can automate these processes with a digital survey tool such as Empact.


Ongoing support

Finally, the onboarding process should transition into ongoing support in the form of team integration activities, mentorship, guidance, and post-onboarding evaluations. By gathering relevant feedback, you can continuously learn how to improve your onboarding process.


If you want to streamline your planning process, check out our onboarding checklist. This way, you can ensure that you don't miss anything.




Develop onboarding materials and tools

As an organization, it is always preferable to have standardized materials to use during these processes. By spending some time planning and creating these materials at a higher level, you will save time and resources in the long run while also leaving a cohesive impression on new hires.


Create onboarding material

To simplify the work for managers and team leads, prepare and standardize some of the materials needed for the onboarding process. This might include training manuals, handbooks, and videos. Prepare an orientation program, checklists, and guides to a company culture that can be used in the first few days of onboarding.


Utilizing technology in the onboarding process

Take some time to identify and select appropriate tools that can aid you in the onboarding process. Empact is a great option for those looking to automate, simplify, and improve their onboarding processes. Through our automatic and scheduled training, digital handbooks, chat functions, and training modules, you can ensure that new hires hit the ground running. Book a demo to learn more.


Implement and evaluate the onboarding process

Get your new onboarding process off the drawing board and into reality, then start evaluating its performance.


Roll out the onboarding process

When launching new processes, it is key to communicate them clearly with all stakeholders. Provide training to HR staff, team leads, and anyone else who might be involved in the process. It is also important to listen to their feedback during this stage, take note of it, and consider it in your plans for future improvements to the onboarding. Implementing the new onboarding processes should be done in a phased manner to ensure a smooth transition. You could launch the plan in stages to all teams at once or fully launch it one team at a time.


Evaluate the onboarding process

Looking back at the beginning of the process, you set some goals for creating the new onboarding process. Take those into account to develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure if your new initiatives have been successful. Below are a few goals you might have set for yourself and some suggested KPIs that might be relevant for you to measure.


Accelerated Time-To-Productivity

You may have set a goal to lower the learning curve and enable new hires to contribute and deliver results quickly. To know whether you are achieving this, you can measure the time it takes for new hires to reach full productivity. Engage their manager in this process to provide the timeline from their start date to when they consistently meet or exceed performance expectations. You could also measure training effectiveness by gathering feedback from managers and conducting job-related quizzes, and performance evaluations.


Increased Employee Engagement

A common goal for onboarding is to create a positive and engaging experience for new employees. You can measure this through employee satisfaction surveys, focusing on factors such as job satisfaction, work-life balance, and growth opportunities. When employees voluntarily provide feedback and suggestions for improvement, make note of it. This way, you can measure active participation and a sense of loyalty to the organization.

Additionally, you might measure the Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS), which indicates employees' likelihood to recommend the organization as a place of work to others. A high employee net promoter score indicates high engagement and satisfaction among employees.


Increased Employee Retention

By facilitating meaningful interactions, introducing new employees to key team members, and providing opportunities for learning and growth within the business, you establish a foundation for long-term engagement and commitment to the organization. This can be indicated through the retention rate, where you measure the percentage of employees who stay beyond a specified period, such as 18 months.

Ideally, the early turnover rate should also decrease, indicating positive development. Calculate the percentage of employees who leave within the first couple of months of employment. This will be a strong indicator of successful onboarding. Finally, analyze the feedback gathered from exit interviews. If there is a decrease in negative feedback at this stage, it suggests improved retention.



In conclusion, onboarding plays a vital role in shaping the employee experience throughout their employment. A well-thought-out onboarding plan for the initial months sets the stage for long-term success. By reducing errors, rework, accidents, and setbacks, you can save valuable time and resources, increase productivity, and mitigate challenges. To ensure you cover all your bases, consider the following steps:

  1. Assessing needs, and defining goals, and objectives.
  2. Evaluating the current onboarding process and identifying areas for improvement.
  3. Identifying the necessary resources for planning and implementing your onboarding process.
  4. Setting a timeline, assigning responsibilities, and creating a budget.
  5. Outlining the key steps and areas to include in the onboarding plan.

Once you have taken these factors into account, then it is time to create the onboarding process. We recommend covering these areas:

  1. Preboarding: Welcome new hires and provide the necessary information.
  2. Orientation: Introduce the company's mission, vision, values, and culture.
  3. Training: Equip new hires with the skills and knowledge for their roles.
  4. Goal alignment: Establish clear goals and metrics for success.
  5. Ongoing support: Transition into continuous support and evaluation.

Once these areas are defined and planned, you should start preparing training manuals, handbooks, videos, and orientation programs that can be standardized. This approach will save time and create a cohesive impression. Additionally, consider which technological tools can aid in automating and streamlining the process.

Implement the process in stages and ensure that the relevant stakeholders receive proper training. It is crucial to gather feedback and measure performance through Key Performance Indicators during this process.

By taking these factors into account, you can create an effective onboarding process and measure its success. Contact us for a demonstration of how we can provide you with automated onboarding systems, employee survey tools, and much more.


What is an onboarding process?
A thought-out onboarding plan for the initial months setting the stage for long-term success of new hires.
How do you automate onboarding process?
Through our automatic and scheduled training, digital handbooks, chat functions, and training modules, you can ensure that new hires hit the ground running.