Why is Onboarding Important for Your Organization?

Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring is only the first step to growing your team. Onboarding is important to bring your new employee up to speed with the company, the team, and their projects — organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity.

In this article, we will cover the differences between onboarding and orientation, why onboarding is important, and some tools you can use to make your program immersive.



Onboarding vs. Orientation

Onboarding programs can be as simple as a checklist for the first week or as robust as a 90-day program through an online portal. While many onboarding programs contain new employee orientation - onboarding and orientation signify different stages in the employee lifecycle.

Let’s review some of the nuanced differences between onboarding and orientation:

New Employee Onboarding

Businessman employee in urgency and deadline concept with alarmWhile new employee orientation may last a couple of days or a week, a comprehensive onboarding process can be from 30 days up to 12 months! The goal of onboarding is to integrate your new employee into the organization and to bring them up to speed with their tools, teams, projects, and goals.

While orientation may be more tactical, onboarding is more strategic and builds the connection between an organization’s overarching goals and how the new employee helps achieve those goals.

An onboarding schedule may include:

  • Working with the immediate team on project briefs
  • Meeting with the sales team to review distribution channels
  • Reviewing strategy and key metrics with leadership
  • Outlining goals and performance expectations with direct manager
  • Meeting with subject matter experts to learn company products/services

New Employee Orientation

New employee orientation refers to the more tasked-based, tactical side of bringing a new employee on board. This process is usually limited to the new employee’s first week, and it can include many departments within your organization.

An orientation schedule may include:

  • New Hire Paperwork
  • Building Tours
  • Safety Training
  • Teammate Introductions
  • Software Setup
  • Reviewing Company Policies
  • IT Presentations

It helps to have a checklist that can keep your new employee on track with what they need to do. And you may even consider having some of these items completed before your employee’s first day in order to streamline the process, we call that Day 0.

Read More: Day 0 Onboarding - Why It’s Important and 5 Way to Prepare


Why It’s Important For You

When you hire new employees, you already know that you have to collect their paperwork, do background checks, and set their workspace. But do you know how important it is for your new employee, and your organization, to build a thorough onboarding program that goes the extra mile?

Let’s review five reasons why onboarding is important:

Start off on the Right Foot

You’ve heard the saying - it’s important to start off on the right foot. You have a short window to start your employee off on the right foot. Weak or nonexistent onboarding can lead to unproductive and unhappy employees that feel lost, out of the loop and unable to effectively perform their job duties, these employees usually don’t stay long at a company.

Reduces Employee Turnover Costs

It would be nice if qualified candidates showed up at your front door right when you need them. Unfortunately, it costs money to find and hire new employees; according to Bersin by Deloitte, the average cost per hire is almost $4,000. Why spend thousands of dollars on hiring an employee and not focus on an effective onboarding process?

Increased Productivity

Usually, a new employee doesn’t walk into a job, knowing precisely what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. Effective onboarding leads to 54% greater productivity from new employees. When you leave your new employees to ‘learn the ropes’ on their own, you’re just adding more hurdles for them to start working. 

Reduces New Employee Anxiety

Starting a new job is stressful for anyone; you can help reduce the stress and anxiety of your new hire with a clearly outlined onboarding process. You can provide all of the information your new employee needs upfront and let them prepare ahead of time. 

Builds a Strong Culture

New employee onboarding is a great way to build up a strong culture across your organization. You have the opportunity to introduce your new hire across different departments developing dialogue and collaboration. Consider implementing fun ice breakers and activities to get employees working together. With culture in the forethought, you can nurture your new hire to find their way in the organization by joining groups, committees, and events.


Immersive Learning Tools for Onboarding

There are many tools you can use for your onboarding program, from basic powerpoints all the way up to fully immersive virtual reality. Immersive learning utilizes augmented, simulated, or purely artificial environments for learners to experience scenarios and simulations. 

There are many popular technologies for immersive learning experiences such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360º video, to name a few.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality consists of an artificial environment that allows the user to be fully immersed in an experience that is altered from the real world. Genuinely immersive, you can prepare new hires on important skills, like soft skills, by allowing them to interact with virtual characters and objects.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality places virtual objects in real-world space by using individual headsets or AR-capable mobile devices, images appear in front of the user. This technology can be used to allow your new hire to learn your product line inside and out. Think of AR as adding layers on top of the real world through the lens of your phone, tablet, or headset.

360° Video Learning

360° Video Learning captures scenarios and training environments with 360º video to lead the learner through a process or location that can otherwise be difficult, expensive, or dangerous to visit. The employees can view the 360º video by dragging with their mouse or finger on desktop or mobile devices while also providing immersive experience using any VR headset. 


Are You On Board?

In this article, we covered the differences between onboarding and orientation, why onboarding is important, and some tools you can use to make your program immersive.

Are you ready to build a strong onboarding program that will boost your culture and bottom line? Contact us today for an immersive onboarding program that will wow your new employees!

Don't Stress