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The Real Definition And Scope Of Employee Onboarding

The Real Definition Of Employee Onboarding
Summary: Employee onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, is a process that enables a new employee to familiarize themselves with the company. It provides them with all the necessary tools, skills and support that will help them get started with their role and be productive.

Effective Employee Onboarding: A Quick Guide

"New Employee Onboarding Process" is no longer a buzzword, nor is it a “good-to-have” process. It plays a strategic role in most organizations today and has proven to be successful in driving multiple benefits from retention to productivity and more. The concept first came to be in the 1970s and since then has been widely adopted by organizations large and small.

Modern businesses, like the modern workforce, are more evolved when it comes to being employee-centric and the many benefits of being so. A consistent employee engagement strategy is a must for businesses to reap the long-term benefits of employee-centricity. And a flawless onboarding process will take care of the fact that they start off on the right note with you, increasing the chances of retention. So, essentially, a good onboarding process can serve as the launchpad that can aid the employee to enjoy a high-flying career with your organization.

In this article, we will be taking you through some of the fundamentals of a new employee onboarding process, its goals, benefits, and scope. But before that, a quick detour into its definition because the basics need to be covered!

What Is Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, is a process that enables a new employee to familiarize themselves with the company, and provides them with all the necessary tools, skills and support that will help them get started with their role and contribute effectively to the company in as little time as possible.

The Society of Human Resource Management defines it thusly:

New employee onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee with a company and its culture, as well as getting a new hire the tools and information needed to become a productive member of the team.

Is Employee Orientation The Same As Onboarding?


Orientation is a one-day event where the employee is welcomed into the company and is given a rundown on all the organization-related details and formalities (e.g., culture, rules, policies, paperwork that is required to be done, etc). Think of it as what happens inside a conference room with all the new hires being addressed and welcomed. There are checklists for orientation that typically don’t take more than a day or two to complete.

Not to be confused with orientation, onboarding is a more strategic process that can go on for as long as a year. This is where the employees are introduced to their teammates, their bosses, the leadership, their individual roles, responsibilities, etc. It is a slow process that tends to be about the employee rather than the company. We’ve discussed more about all the things that a good employee onboarding process must include below.

To put it simply, orientation is a small but important part of the onboarding process, but it is definitely not wise to replace onboarding with it.

What Are The Goals Of An Effective Onboarding Process?

In a nutshell, the goal of any onboarding process that seeks to make a real impact must be to get the employee prepped with all necessary tools and skillsets to take on their job as efficiently as possible.

The goal of your new employee onboarding process must be:

  • To help the new employee understand their role, responsibilities, and ownerships
  • To help them understand the company mission, vision, priorities, and business goals
  • To familiarize them with the company culture, policies, and organizational structure
  • To give them an overview of all the available platforms that will help them integrate better into the team and company, as a whole
  • To make them feel valued and respected
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What Are The Benefits Of A Successful Onboarding Process?

Employee engagement is a heavily invested area in several large enterprises. Studies from around the world prove that companies that invest in their employees enjoy more productivity, higher retention, and happier customers! What onboarding does is that it sets the stage for employees to trust the organization, as it sends the message that they are cared for and valued.

It helps them want to invest in the organization and grow with it, right from the get-go. With a good onboarding experience and a sustained employee engagement strategy, companies can reap several benefits.

Therefore, it is important to have a well-thought-through onboarding process, as it:

  • Helps new employees become more productive in a lesser span of time
  • Helps HR and training teams understand the gaps in the system and address them effectively
  • Helps nurture the company culture and build engagement
  • Puts the organization on its path to achieve its growth as planned
  • Helps increase employee retention
  • Helps improve employee engagement
  • Saves the company a lot of money that they might otherwise lose to employee turnover

A Word To The Wise

While dealing with human resources, there can never be a one-size-fits-all approach. Some employees are naturally outgoing and less inhibited than others, while there will always be others who may be great at what they do but socially awkward or reserved. It is important to keep this in mind while onboarding new employees, but you really cannot tailor-make experiences for each one of them!

A good midway would be to have a standard process that can apply to all new employees but you could personalize the onboarding experience by assigning appropriate buddies to them, making them sit next to someone they are more likely to get along with, and little things like that. The one thing that is common to us all is the fact that we, as humans, really yearn to belong. And if employers can be cognizant of this innate human need and cater to it, then employee retention will take care of itself!