onboarding employees

Webinar Recap: Best Practices in Onboarding Employees

“As your career moves forward, you will move up, down, sideways. But if you do it intentionally, what you’ll do is get an accumulated knowledge that will differentiate you.”

Panelists: Lissiah Hundley, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Customer Fulfillment at DiversityInc


98% of DiversityInc’s 2019 Top 50 and Hall of Fame companies have a formal onboarding program for all new hires.

“The onboarding program and process, it’s a comprehensive process, and it involves the people in your organization as well. Think about your management team, your mentors,” said Lissiah Hundley, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Customer Fulfillment at DiversityInc.  “Other employees like co-workers, HR, etc., how they’re engaging with new employees. Onboarding can last not just for the day or couple of days that orientation usually lasts. Onboarding can last for weeks and months.”

Key Takeaways

  • There is a difference between orientation and onboarding
  • Make sure that the onboarding process is a strategic process and well-planned
  • Senior leadership should be totally onboard with the onboarding process
  • Solid onboarding programs can create a major positive difference in any company
  • The result of a solid onboarding program is high employee retention and higher employee engagement rates
  • Top companies have several months’ worth of an onboarding process

What Is Onboarding Employees

Onboarding is integrating new employees into a company and a company’s culture by providing tools and resources for employees’ success. Onboarding is enabling new employees to be productive members of the team, and it’s how to handle new employees in their first few days and months, even up to a year. A proper onboarding process can have a major impact on an employee’s overall experience at the company and can contribute to retention as well.

Make sure you obtain senior leadership buy-in. This is really, really important, especially to obtain the type of support you want for your onboarding programs,” Hundley said. “If you have any special programs you want to implement, any event supporting onboarding, to even get budget for your programs, you want to make sure you have executive support, that you’ve educated your senior leadership team about the program, and you have their full buy-in for your onboarding process.”

The Importance of Onboarding

Onboarding is a pivotal moment in making employees feel included in the work place, from their first day. The process sets the tone for a person’s tenure at the company, and it lays the foundation for their knowledge of the company and the experience that they’ll have working within the organization. Onboarding will help new employees feel connected to the community.

“Great, solid onboarding programs, they create an inclusive company culture that really fuels performance and productivity. And this impacts your brand because your employees, they learn what they need to know about the culture and the work environment that they’re in from day to day,” Hundley said.

Onboarding Employees Program Design

Giving an employee access to the company’s online portal or company website as soon as they are hired helps engage the employees as an important first step. There are five key steps and objectives in creating a comprehensive onboarding process.

  1. Instill company culture with the onboarding process.
  2. Improve employee engagement. The social interaction that they’re having within the organization from day one, it’s critical. It helps them get to know their co-workers, their leadership team, specifically their manager. Onboarding really drives engagement.
  3. Onboarding is an opportunity to transfer knowledge, so employees are educated right as they come in the door.
  4. Onboarding reduces time to full productivity.
  5. Onboarding reduces attrition and turnover.

73% of the 2019 Top 10 and Hall of Fame companies have a formal onboarding program specifically for racially diverse new hires.

80% of the 2019 Top 10 and Hall of Fame companies have a formal onboarding program specifically for women new hires.

“44% of the companies that are Top 50 plus Hall of Fame [at DiversityInc Top 50] have a few months built into their onboarding program,” Hundley said.

But 33% of DiversityInc’s Top 10 and Hall of Fame companies have onboarding programs that are up to one year or longer, “and that says a lot as to why they’re Top 10 companies,” Hundley said.

To hear the full conversation with even more takeaways, listen here. For more on Allies, career advancement and advice, visit DiversityInc.com and DiversityIncBestPractices.com,  follow us on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and check out more webinars like this.)

Related Article: Webinar Recap: Insights Into Effective Diverse Candidate Slates and Goal Setting

Latest Best Practices