Onboarding of new hires starts when the job offer is accepted and ends when the employees are fully integrated into the company and its culture. As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression“. This emphasises that organisations must think tremendously about the kind of first impressions they want new employees to have as they join the company. A poorly executed onboarding process may give the impression that the company is badly managed and lead to premature conclusions.


One of the goals of onboarding is to immerse new hires into the culture of the company. The recruitment process should identify candidates that already have many of the company’s core values and bring new hires up-to-speed regarding the company’s culture. This is because the company’s culture reflects what the company stands for.


The emergence of COVID has structurally changed the onboarding landscape for businesses, with its unique challenges. For instance, irtual onboarding has become mainstream and has come to stay, impacting new hires adjusting to the environment, culture, system, etc.


In many organisations, the onboarding process is sometimes mistaken for orientation, which happens during the first days or weeks on the job, involving filling forms and completing routine tasks. The process should be thorough as it acclimates employees to their roles and helps them fit in seamlessly with the company as the first few weeks and months are crucial to ensuring high retention for the company.


Onboarding is everyone’s responsibility, and for it to be successful, it depends greatly on the program’s effectiveness where HR engages the training department, supervisor, co-workers, executive team and mentor/buddy. It is longer than a day or a few weeks; it can last up to months or a quarter. Also, onboarding concerns old employees moving into new roles by training and upskilling, thereby empowering them to take on new responsibilities. The faster employees are empowered to do their jobs, the quicker they are likely make a valuable contribution to the company’s growth.


Strategic employee onboarding continues to be a major focus for companies with advantages such as increased engagement levels, improved productivity, and decreased turnover. According to research by Glassdoor, a thorough and well-laid out onboarding process will potentially improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by 70%.


Also, statistics compiled by Click Boarding, an onboarding software company, show the value of a structured onboarding process or program:

  • 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding.
  • New employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organisation after three years.
  • Organisations with a standard onboarding process will experience 50%  growth in new-hire productivity.


At pcl., with over 29 years of experience providing onboarding services to companies in various industries, we understand the negative effect of the poorly executed onboarding process in today’s business world and how it affects employee retention. Our onboarding program focuses on helping employees become acclimated to their new workplace in a timely fashion and bring them on board about the company’s culture, understanding of job functions, and overall comfort level. For more information on our onboarding service, please email: people@phillipsconsulting.net


Written by:

Omotayo Afolabi

Senior Analyst