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What are the 4 Phases of Onboarding?

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What does employee onboarding look like?

Employee onboarding is becoming more of a focus within the workplace and leaders are seeking new ways to improve this process for their employees. In fact, great onboarding boosts employee experience and can increase retention by 50%.

Employee onboarding is the process of getting a new employee up to speed. For HR managers and direct reporting managers, their job is to help the new employee feel comfortable and confident about their job, as well as help them get familiar with the company’s goals and culture. To do this, it’s important to walk through all the steps of the onboarding process and ensure your new hires understand each aspect.

When it comes to hiring, there are so many moving parts that it can be hard to keep track of everything. How do you find the right person for the job? What kinds of training will they need? How do you make sure your new hires are set up and ready to go before they even start?

In order to make sure you’re prepared for all of this, it’s important to have a solid employee onboarding plan. Here, we’ll look at the four phases of onboarding and how you can get new hires started on the right foot.

In this article, we will review what employee onboarding is and explain why it is so important to a company.

How long does the standard employee onboarding process take for new hires?

The average length of onboarding can extend from one to three months, depending on the nature of the role, the size of your department and the level of training required and supervision.

Some roles might need more or less time than others; an experienced executive will already have a good grasp of what’s expected of them at work and so they can get right down to business, while a new college graduate may need more time to learn about the industry, their specific role in the company, and how their work fits into the whole picture.

In fact, studies have shown that:

Many people see onboarding as a special period where they’re exempt from all the usual expectations of their job, but that isn’t really true. Onboarding should be seen as an opportunity for both HR and employees to set realistic expectations for everyone involved.


4 Phases of Employee Onboarding

Creating a successful onboarding experience is a great way to get your employee retention rates high and also avoid excessive check-ins during regular workflows in the future.

Keep reading to learn the necessary phases of an onboarding program.

Phase 1: Preboarding

Once you’ve accepted your offer letter and you’re starting off day one at a new job, there’s a lot to learn. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the new information if you don’t have a plan in place for how to take it all in.

When a new employee starts with your company, you want to make sure that they know what to expect and have clear expectations on what is expected from them.

During phase one, known as preboarding, the employee goes through a checklist of things that introduce them to their role within the company. This will include things like a corporate overview, employee handbook, compliance policy, social media and blogging policy, benefits package information, dress code information, and a list of resources to help the employee be successful in the position.

This phase is important for several reasons: it allows for the employee to have a lay of the land before they begin their work; it lets you ensure that you create a great first impression and everyone within and outside of your company has an accurate portrayal of your company culture; and it gives you an opportunity to establish how you want to communicate with each other moving forward.

Phase 2: Onboarding and welcoming new employees

Phase two of employee onboarding is orientation, or the time when new employees first arrive at your organization. In this period, you’ll need to introduce employees to senior management and other key people in the company.

During this phase, you’ll help people transition into their new roles—ideally with plenty of support from existing employees and co-workers, who will be here to answer any questions they have and introduce them to key leaders in your organization. The goal is to get them familiar with your company culture, development plans and its policies, including all the ways they can be involved and make positive contributions to their work.

Although it will be a relatively short period, here’s where you’ll also want to make sure that everyone is clear on any expectations regarding interpersonal relationships between employees and management.

Carnegroup hero image – management training

Phase 3: Training

Employee training is arguably the most important step in the onboarding process. Too many businesses and organizations expect new recruits to just know their jobs, without giving them the time and support they need to be successful.

In phase three, employers give new employees a clear picture of what they should expect from this job, while also outlining what they can expect from the company. The training phase is perhaps best done through a combination of workshops, seminars, and shadowing.

Employers should make sure there are plenty of opportunities for employees to ask questions, no matter how simple or dumb they might seem. Fostering a culture of employee engagement during the early stages is also a great way to show your new hires in the first week itself that your work environment is a positive one.

Phase 4: Transition to the new role

Recently hired employees need to be slowly integrated into the team and office culture. In the fourth phase, the employee will transition from an individual contributor with limited responsibility to a full-fledged team member. The transition period is extremely important for a new hire. In phase four, it takes a while to get accustomed to the new environment and responsibilities. But even then, it is hard to adjust and find that perfect fit.

In order to have a successful ongoing development of their competency and transition into their new roles, the new employee has to address two main challenges:

  1. Interpersonal relationships with peers
  2. Adapting their skillset for the position

Effective managers will give new hires enough time to adjust to the work environment, familiarize themselves with all company policies and procedures, and prepare for their first project.

Simplify the phases of onboarding by adding eloomi to your onboarding checklist

Onboarding is more than just giving someone a job title, so it’s important to take the time to make sure they have all the resources they need to be successful. It also helps to set expectations early, so that people can really think about what they want out of their position and how they want to contribute.

When you’re trying to create a process that your employees will follow, it’s important to keep in mind the fact that you don’t want to put your new hires through unnecessary work. That’s why we suggest adding eloomi’s onboarding software to your employee onboarding checklist.

It’s crucial you make your new employee onboarding experience as easy and enjoyable as possible for your new employees to get up to speed with their new role. eloomi’s onboarding software can help do just that by providing employees with all the information they need right at their fingertips. Book a demo today!