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What is the onboarding process?

Onboarding is the process that follows the recruitment of employees and is closely linked to the attraction phase of the candidates. It consists of the gradual insertion of the employees within the company reality.

It is a delicate and strategic moment because the first business impact affects the employees' attitudes towards the organization.

During the employee onboarding process, candidates must be given all the tools, behaviors, knowledge, and skills to become an integral part of the company both at the cultural and organizational levels and ensure good performance.

Unlike the training and orientation processes, this phase can last up to 12 months and aims to build a link with the company, among other things.


What benefits will you get from a good employee onboarding process?

Onboarding is closely related to loyalty, engagement, retention, and employee performance. According to data from research by Wynhurst Group, a structured welcome process increases the possibility of the employees staying with the organization for at least 3 years by 58%.

Other interesting insights from the Academy of Management Journal revealed that the first 90 days of work are crucial to establishing a stimulating relationship with the company, the colleagues, and the organization.

If new employees are not correctly accompanied in the company insertion, the probability that they will become unproductive and demotivated quickly increases.

Otherwise, when leaders and colleagues provide adequate support from the outset, a good attitude to work develops, consequently encouraging greater engagement and involvement.



The employee onboarding checklist to improve the process

How can an appropriate employee onboarding process be built? We propose an employee onboarding checklist you might want to follow to ensure that the process is strongly built.

The first step is determining what to do and immediately thinking about how.

It is good to ask strategic and logistical questions for the short and long term as:

  • When will the employee onboarding process begin?
  • How long will this phase last?
  • What impression does the company want to convey to the new employees at the end of the first day?
  • What should the new employees know about company culture?
  • What role will the HR department play in the process?
  • What role will colleagues play?
  • What metrics will be needed to assess the effectiveness of the project?

After finding all the answers, you will be able to consider the actions and methods adopted for employee onboarding processes.

Let's give you an example of some effective practices to undertake: moments of meeting and welcome by new colleagues, the transmission of practical and organizational information, a tour of the company structure, presentation of work agendas, and training on procedures and policies.

Feedback plays a fundamental role in confirming that all the elements adopted work. For example, they may relate to the hiring process, how the first day met expectations, whether the employees feel they have the tools to carry out their job, and, finally, ask if they feel aligned with the company's strategic goals.

How the employee onboarding process improves with the intranet

The onboarding process can be much more effective if projects and procedures are simplified and optimized through software such as the intranet, including blogs, forums, corporate social networks, and chats.

The intranet is the digital reflection of the company and giving access to the new employees means opening the possibility to explore the areas of interest and get in touch with those who are part of the organization's network.

During our experience in creating intranets, the greatest successes of onboarding have been supported by the use of the business platform.

The company can reserve dedicated space for the welcome in which the new employees will find:

  • Rules and behavior at work
  • Indications, practices, and procedures
  • Information on company history and culture
  • Organizational chart
  • Details on the role and superiors
  • Network to get in touch with colleagues and the new team
  • Knowledge of the department
  • Digital tools and means for carrying out activities
  • Reference Agendas for Work

In this way, employees find a portal full of information that allows them to explore the company and make them feel more comfortable knowing their work environment.

It is an excellent measure to support the already present team members through all this employee onboarding process. In addition, it is necessary to keep them informed about who takes over the organization to lay the ground for establishing excellent business relations and environment.

What is is the ready-to-use corporate intranet, designed to reduce costs and implementation times, thus creating a collaborative and modern digital work environment:

  • Initial price of 3,650 €/year for a complete intranet
  • 50+ applications, including advanced search, document management system, push notifications via Teams, personal profile, and FAQ pages
  • 100% integrated with SharePoint Online and Microsoft 365


3 ways of onboarding new employees

Over the years, we have found three main ways of doing company onboarding to introduce new employees.

On the one hand, the goal of each method is to allow the person who is entering the company to feel welcomed and easily fit into the network of colleagues without discovering everything alone.

On the other hand, it allows all colleagues in the company to have more information about the new person and naturally facilitates their knowledge-sharing process.

1. Publication of news

The first way is the most classic one.

It involves the publication of news within the intranet - at the beginning of the onboarding process - in which the employees can introduce themselves.

Some companies include a photo of the people, their roles, and an abstract that tells where they come from, their skills, and what they will do in the company.

On the other hand, others take advantage of this medium by publishing an interview with the new employees in textual form and posting a photo of the new colleagues as well.

This will make it easier for the rest of the intranet population to recognize you physically and in online meetings.

In addition to the classic news presentation, there is another way to generate engagement: an interview with the new people, with questions asked by a person of HR in the company or perhaps by the future head of the person who has just entered.

This allows the new entries to be known and tell their experiences and their hobbies and makes the entry of a new person into the company a little more human.

2. Use the corporate social network

The second method uses Yammer—the corporate social network within the intranet—for integration with Microsoft 365.

We usually propose to ask someone from HR to create a post that introduces the new entries within the corporate community.

The introductory post can mention the people, report their experience, refer to the news on the intranet, and introduce them to the groups of interest they will find within the social network.

This post will encourage colleagues' reactions.

We usually see that everyone likes and starts the "welcome to the team" wall, which is a sign of interest and participation in company life.

Read also: Yammer, the corporate social network


3. Create a presentation event

The third way to introduce a new employee during onboarding is more interactive, fresh, and visual.

We are talking about a live-streaming event in which someone from the HR department or the future head of the new entry is set to interview the new person in a double interview. has employed this technique using Microsoft 365 live events with a particular directing mode that makes the live event very interactive.

During the event, we created a page inside the intranet in which we inserted on one side the player with the live event - to allow all users to see the interview with the new person - and on the other side, the photo of the person, accompanied by a textual description.

In this description, we had inserted his experience, the role in covering, and everything else that could be of interest.

In addition, we could not miss the part of questions and answers and in this case, taking advantage of the integration of the intranet with the corporate social network gives a little more dynamism to our live event.

We have already been able to apply this interactive live event to our customers in Italy, and the generated engagement rate is very high.

It's already a popular tool, especially overseas.


An important clarification

To make functional the previous examples, it is essential to publish everything on time.

Introducing someone who's been in the company for a month is not possible.

Any news published after too long would not make sense, and the new person would not feel accompanied at the beginning of his new job.


8 tips for an effective and new employee onboarding process in the company


Here are 8 tips to follow in onboarding procedures:


1. Send an e-mail to welcome the recruits and allow them to access the area dedicated to onboarding in the intranet, where they will find information such as:

- Agenda for the first working day with a checklist of planned activities

- Practical information on location, parking, and contact details

- Company policies, such as holiday policy, lunch break, use of work equipment, or room cleaning

- Training plans.


2. A short tour of the offices

If the company has several offices, halls, and locations, it is always a good idea to lead the employees by accompanying them on a short tour.


3. Badge

If the company employs them, have their badge ready. Whether it's a timecard, a "keychain," or a digital procedure, make sure they know the rules about clocking in and out.


4. Login credentials

Arrange a meeting with an IT manager to guide the employees in using the digital media they need. In particular, make sure that they have the necessary credentials to access the systems.


5. Bureaucratic formalities

In 99% of cases, there are still papers to sign and paperwork on the first day of work. Set a work frame for the new employees to analyze the contents and provide a reference figure for any clarifications.


6. A tutor

Assign the employees a tutor or mentor for the success of the company onboarding procedure.


7. Training plan

The newcomers may need a longer or shorter training plan to devote themselves entirely to their tasks. Organize it on time and inform the employees.


8. Informal appointments

Creating informal moments with the team is almost a must on the first day: a coffee break, a welcome toast, etc.


Although it may seem forced, the employee onboarding process is the best way to create relationships and involve the newly hired.

Find out which business processes the intranet enhances, in addition to onboarding

We have been a team of industry experts for over 15 years. We help you create a digital workplace integrated with Microsoft 365 and artificial intelligence to raise productivity levels in the company and also employee experience, as you have seen in this article.

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Giuseppe Marchi


Microsoft MVP for SharePoint and Microsoft 365 since 2010.

Giuseppe is the founder of and one of the leading experts in Italy in all matters related to Microsoft 365. For years, he has been assisting companies in creating their digital workplace environment on the Microsoft cloud, focusing on people's experience.