Effective Onboarding Programs: Trends And Examples

Effective Onboarding Programs: Trends And Examples
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Summary: Thinking of establishing a new onboarding program? Check out the current trends and 10 examples to make your employee onboarding successful.

Everything You Need To Know About Onboarding Programs

It doesn't matter if they're working remotely or in the office; the onboarding process is your chance to make a great first impression and ensure that your newest team member feels welcome. In this article, you will learn about the current trends in onboarding programs and how to make them successful. We've also included some real-world examples to help you get started.

Current Employee Onboarding Trends


There's often a waiting period between an employee accepting the job offer and them starting work. You can use this to your advantage by sending them all the information about their role and resources to help them with their tasks and activities. You can also ensure that they have all the necessary documents they need to sign in advance to save time on their first day. Finally, get them excited about their new job by sharing all the group activities you do as a company to give them a sneak preview of your culture.


Another emerging trend in onboarding is making the experience personalized. Create an approach that fits their individual needs and only send them relevant resources so that they aren't overwhelmed. You can first ask them some questions through a survey to custom-tailor their onboarding plans. It's also essential to gather feedback that will help you optimize their onboarding experience along the way. For example, conduct a quick poll after their first day to see how they're faring and if you need to adjust their L&D path moving forward.

Social Media Research

Encourage your new members to use the social media platform of their choice to find out more about your organization and its people. This gives them the chance to learn about all of your accomplishments, industry recognitions, and other news. It's also an opportunity for them to learn a little more about your values and corporate identity.

Company Culture Immersion

Knowing how things work and what your vision is will make new hires feel more comfortable. Don't hesitate to share funny stories that happened in the workplace or inside jokes to lighten the mood. If you appear too formal and impersonal, chances are that they will feel stressed or out of place from the outset.

eBook Release: The State Of Employee Experience 2023
eBook Release
The State Of Employee Experience 2023
Explore upcoming corporate culture trends and how employee experience can be improved via improving onboarding, training, and employee engagement.

What Makes A Successful Onboarding Program?

Does following the trends guarantee that your onboarding program will succeed? Ideally, you'll need to focus on specific aspects of your onboarding process to make it truly effective. First and foremost, you need to care for your people and recognize the individual needs of each new employee while preparing your existing ones for the new addition. Then, you need to be able to communicate your company's mission, vision, and culture successfully to create a sense of belonging. You also need to be clear about what you expect from your new team member in terms of task performance or specific goals.

Onboarding calls for personalized progress tracking, too. You have to frequently check in with your new hires to increase engagement and resolve any issues they may come across.  However, keep in mind that your organization's progress concerning onboarding programs is being tracked as well. So, when you receive feedback from your new employees, it's crucial to act upon it as soon as possible so that they know their opinions count.

Another important tip for onboarding success is not to overload your team members with information or new technologies. It's best to begin by briefly showing them what they'll be working on using equipment they're already familiar with, then ease them into new devices that may require a learning curve.

How To Measure Your Onboarding Program's Success

We covered how to create a winning onboarding program, but how can you measure its success? One method is data analysis. Some metrics to consider are employee engagement, retention rate, productivity, and feedback both from your new hires and management. You can also measure the completion rate of onboarding tasks and compare them with previous data. Cost-effectiveness can also be measured by comparing expenses to ROI. Decreased turnover and higher satisfaction rates are also sure signs of a successful onboarding strategy.

10 Examples Of Effective Onboarding Programs

1. Welcome Gifts

Welcome your new members by sending them a kit with a few things they might enjoy. That might include a mug with the company logo, some office supplies that will come in handy the first day, or business cards to show them that they're already part of the team. You can even write them a letter to welcome them to the corporate family. This small token of appreciation will go a long way in making them feel accepted and help ease their anxieties.

2. Goal Setting Before The First Day

You need to set the record straight early on and highlight the importance of goal setting. Encourage your new employee to immediately create personal goals regarding their new job roles while also sharing your company's objectives. You don't have to wait for them to complete the onboarding process to do this. This will give you a clear picture of their priorities so that you can help them create an individualized development plan.

3. Engaging Policy Training

Compliance training may be compulsory during onboarding, but it doesn't have to be boring. The more engaging your policy training content is, the better your new hires will retain knowledge and put things into context. Instead of throwing them in a sea of papers, books, and PDFs to navigate on their own, train them through videos, online games, or even quizzes. Make this process guided to avoid confusion and unanswered questions.

4. Welcome Them With An Announcement

The best way to welcome your new employee while also informing other teams is by making a company-wide announcement. Everyone is made aware of the latest addition to the corporate family, even people who will not directly work with the new hire right away. Consider sharing it in your communication app to create a more personal and friendly experience, as people are able to send well wishes and reactions.

5. Break The Ice

Things can be awkward for new employees when entering an unknown environment. As the person in charge of their onboarding, it's your responsibility to make things less stressful by breaking the ice as quickly as possible. If there is more than one new employee, arrange a meeting for them to get to know each other before having them meet with the rest of the organization. This way, they will feel more comfortable knowing there's a familiar face around.

6. Prepare Their Office

Make their first day special by having their new office ready and decorated. Also, you can ask them if they have any preferences for equipment, like a specific laptop brand or an anatomical chair. If they're working remotely, ensure that they have all the tools they need to succeed before they clock in for the first time.

7. Onboarding Buddy

Help your new hire acclimate faster by having help from an insider. Ask an existing employee to be their onboarding buddy and guide them through the process. It's better to learn how things are done firsthand, as this will increase team building. However, you can also invest in an employee onboarding system. This software will act as their virtual onboarding buddy and help you assign them tasks and track their progress. Although this is more impersonal, it gives your new employee more freedom and autonomy.

8. Product Samples

Apart from the welcome kit, make sure to offer them whatever your company sells or produces. With those free samples, your new employee will get to know the product's features, how it works, and what sets it apart from others on the market. You can even ask them for feedback after the fact to improve your offerings.

9. Workshops

When you need to share general information with your new hires, consider hosting an onboarding workshop. You can inform them about policies, HR processes, safety rules, and other helpful details for a larger group of new recruits. After the workshop ends, make sure to send them all the resources in their emails so they can refresh their memory when necessary.

10. Breakroom Chat

Coffee chats can be very effective in acclimating your new employee while also making them feel welcome. Each day, they can meet with a few of your existing employees for a few minutes to have conversations about work, like your new hires asking for tips and advice, but they can also get to know each other better. Encourage everyone to take part, even management, so that your entire team can meet the new team members and build camaraderie.


A successful employee onboarding process can shape your new hire's journey and reduce turnover. This is why it's crucial to be informed of new trends in the field, as well as adjust them based on your budget and resources. It's best to identify which elements suit your organization's needs and use metrics to gauge its success so that you can revise your plan of action accordingly.

If you're in search of a content provider to help you launch a top-notch onboarding strategy, check out how we've ranked the best employee onboarding content providers. Our top list features the leading outsourcing partners to consider for your new hire training program.