4 Tips For Developing A Tailored Approach To Employee Onboarding

Categories: Management Tips
Employee onboarding processes are more important now than ever before because people are changing jobs more often today than they were just a couple of decades ago. Employees want to feel valued by their new employer and understand exactly what the expectations will be. Planning ahead for proper onboarding is key to ensuring a smooth transition for new hires and starting them on the right path toward productivity, job satisfaction, and overall success with a new company. Developing a tailored approach to employee onboarding will help your company welcome new hires into their specific positions and increase the chances they will remain with your company for a longer period.

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1. Plan ahead by department 

Your company knows which positions are open and the expectations that go along with each of the roles that are up for grabs. Thus, your onboarding process should vary by department, so that your new hires feel a sense of belonging from the very first day on the job. Plan ahead in order to create agendas for the first week based on the department’s workload or projects, comfortable workspaces that are stocked according to the department’s needs, and contact information at the department level. Assign mentors for new hires at the department level too, so they know on whom to rely when they begin. Provide organizational charts that give an overview of the entire company and that highlight colleagues by department so new hires can recognize key coworkers.

2. Make welcoming the new hires a priority 

If a new hire does not feel welcome, there is a good chance he will not remain in his new position very long. Welcoming new hires needs to extend beyond a basketful of company hats and pens and shirts, however; it needs to include seasoned employees getting new hires on board in a focused manner. Set up paired work sessions or coffee meetings with department and team members to discuss goals, objectives, projects, and other important information. Establish a process for welcoming new hires to other departments after a couple of weeks so that they know the company values collaboration across departments and the goals that are shared across the organization.

3. Establish on-the-job training sessions 

Of course, you will assign a mentor to your new hires, and that person can answer questions and show the new hires around, etc. But, you must establish on-the-job training sessions for your new hires with their mentors as well. New hires want to learn how to do their job and keep up with the inner workings of your company. They are eager to get started and become productive team members, and it is easier for them to do so when they can participate in meaningful training sessions instead of being left to struggle on their own the first couple of weeks with a training manual.

It also is important to leave the feedback and review process to the new hires’ managers, rather than leaving it to HR. Onboarding processes that remain true to the structure of the company are more successful and result in better new employee retention rates. Your new hires want to work with their own managers and see where they fit into the company from the early stages; they do not want to be left at the hands of HR, and they especially do not want to be left alone to figure out their new position without any valuable training.

4. Maintain employee onboarding for 1-2 years 

Successful employee onboarding is a long process. Do not stop after you have introduced new hires to colleagues, shared expectations with them, and helped them understand company values. Ongoing support from the team and leaders results in positive attitudes from new hires and decreases the likelihood they will leave the company. They will be more productive and confident when they continue to feel support for an extended period.

When the training has ended and the real work has begun, continue the onboarding process with regularly scheduled reviews, engagement meetings, and feedback sessions. Encourage mentors to continue working with new hires to enhance their working relationship and foster collaboration.


Employee onboarding that takes a custom approach based on the needs of positions and individuals leads to happier new hires who become long-term employees. By planning ahead, welcoming new hires, establishing training processes, and maintaining onboarding processes for a longer duration, companies make new hires feel like valued team members who want to remain on the job.


James Mitchell recently left a stressful career in finance because he wanted to find a more fulfilling career. Today, he is working as a freelance consultant. In addition to his new career, he enjoys volunteering for and finds it very rewarding to connect young people with lucrative career opportunities.