by N. Purcell | Aug. 2, 2023 | 5 Min Read

Understanding the importance of a positive onboarding experience


Employers should never underestimate the importance of a new employee onboarding process. Not only do these processes begin to acclimate employees before their first day of work, but they can also play an integral role in the degree of success those employees experience.

Unfortunately, 76% of professionals believe onboarding is underutilized in their organization. It’s a jarring statistic when considering the competitive advantage a positive onboarding experience brings.

In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at the key benefits of onboarding new employees and highlight the various ways you can create the best onboarding experience for your company.

What’s the difference between orientation and onboarding?

Many companies rely on both orientation and onboarding to properly prepare and train new employees. Although they may seem interchangeable, it’s important to note that they’re two separate and distinct processes.

Employee orientation

Employee orientation is a general introduction to your workplace and organization. It can usually be completed in less than a day and is most likely the same for every employee. Employers take this time to ensure that new employees have completed the proper paperwork, received the necessary resources and technology to perform their responsibilities, and learned about company policies and procedures.

Employee onboarding

Onboarding is a comprehensive process where new employees transition into new roles and become part of your organization. Good onboarding programs can last up to 12 months. The purpose of onboarding is to allow employees to build confidence in their new role during their first few weeks or months of employment. Onboarding may include a variety of elements, such as:

  • One-on-one meetings
  • Independent learning and development modules
  • Team-building exercises
  • Employee handbooks or task-specific guides

A successful and informative orientation is practical, but a positive onboarding experience sets the stage for an exciting and hopefully extensive career within your organization. The faster new hires feel welcome and prepared for their jobs, the faster they will be able to contribute quantifiably.

Let’s dig into the importance of onboarding new employees and how you can ensure your program offers the best onboarding experience possible for your new hires.

Why is onboarding so important for new employees?

Onboarding is important because it helps new employees acclimate to their new work environment, integrate into the company culture, and become effective contributors. A good onboarding experience shows employees that their workplace will be supportive, as well as one that encourages professional development. Within the first few days, they’ll see their new company as somewhere they can advance in their career.

Quality onboarding experiences help employees build new skills and gain autonomy. Not only do individuals learn how to complete basic job functions, but they are taught how to build collaborative relationships with other team members. These experiences can have a long-lasting effect on job satisfaction.

A study by Gallup Poll showed that 70% of employees who reported having a good onboarding experience also described their job as “the best possible job.” However, only 12% of employees feel their company does a good job onboarding new team members.

Far too many companies miss the mark in properly welcoming new employees and setting them up to perform their best.

How do companies benefit from a positive onboarding experience?

Employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from a strong onboarding experience. A positive onboarding experience that leads employees to say they have “the best possible job” can be supported through measurable results. Some of the benefits of onboarding new employees include:

  • Decreased turnover
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Higher employee satisfaction
  • Greater employee engagement
  • Increased revenue
  • Improved reputation

Your employees and your company’s success go hand-in-hand, and the best way to prepare them for a meaningful and profitable career is to ensure they have a strong start at your organization. Onboarding needs to be intentional, and it needs to be customized to your organization’s needs.

The importance of new employee onboarding process customization

At the most basic level, you’ll want to follow industry best practices for effective onboarding. However, the best onboarding experiences are customized to employees’ job functions and necessary skill sets and your organization’s culture and goals.

No two companies are the same, and no two onboarding processes should look the same either. Define what makes onboarding successful for your company and ensure that you align your corporate onboarding program with those goals.

Here are a few considerations to help you customize your onboarding experience:

  • Which learning platform best fits your needs?
  • What essential skills (hard and soft skills) should employees have?
  • Which key company values need to be communicated?
  • What makes your organization different from competitors?

Finding it difficult to map out a successful onboarding program? Contact our team of training experts at Unboxed Training & Technology.

Create the best onboarding experience with Unboxed

Remember, orientation and onboarding are two separate processes. A simple orientation is not enough in today’s competitive climate.

The purpose of onboarding is much more than policies and paperwork; it’s about acclimating and integrating new hires, so they feel prepared, supported, and connected within your organization. Commit to a positive onboarding experience that sets up new team members for long-term success.

From improved loyalty to increased productivity, the best onboarding experiences pay off.

At Unboxed Training & Technology, we develop employee onboarding training that’s fun and effective. Learn more about our custom onboarding solutions to see how we can help increase efficiency, reinforce your culture, and provide the confidence new hires need to operate successfully in your organization.

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