Induction of new employees:
Why an effective induction plan is crucial

At the heart of every successful business is the ability to not only attract new talent, but also to effectively integrate them into the existing company culture. Onboarding new employees goes far beyond the first few days on the job; it is the beginning of a journey that has the potential to transform both the new employee and the company.

In this article, we shed light on why the induction of new employees is not just an administrative task, but a strategic necessity that affects the entire life cycle of an employee in the company. We will show you practical tips and a structured template to make the induction plan as effective as possible.

Why a well-thought-out induction is essential

A strategically planned induction brings with it a wealth of benefits that strengthen the foundations of any future-oriented company:

  • Accelerated productivity: Well-trained employees reach their full potential more quickly.
  • Stronger bond: A positive induction experience promotes loyalty to the company.
  • Reduced fluctuation: Employees who feel supported from day one remain loyal to the company for longer.
  • Cultural mediation: Induction is the ideal opportunity to convey and live the corporate culture.
  • Promotion of team spirit: Inclusive onboarding facilitates social integration and builds bridges between new and existing team members.

These benefits underline how essential effective induction is for a dynamic and learning organization that is ready to take on future challenges and seize opportunities. The foundation for a good induction is already laid with the employment contract, as pre-boarding begins before the first day of work.

Pre-boarding is the foundation of the induction process

Before a new employee starts their first day at the company, a crucial phase begins: pre-boarding. This preparatory step is essential to lay the foundations for a successful induction.

Why pre-boarding is essential:

  • Establish an initial bond: Even before the new employee officially starts, pre-boarding promotes loyalty to the company.
  • Provide information in advance: Important information about the company, the team structure, and upcoming projects can be shared in advance to provide orientation.
  • Meet your contact person: New employees can already get to know their line manager and other stakeholders and learn who their contacts are.
  • Clarify expectations: Uncertainties can be reduced by setting clear expectations on both sides.

Pre-boarding thus ensures a smooth transition to the first day of work and helps ensure the new employee feels welcome and valued from the outset. However, despite the critical importance of pre-boarding, only 25% of companies implement structured measures.

Now that we have discussed the critical importance of pre-boarding, the question arises: Who contributes to the successful implementation of the induction process?

Who should be involved in the induction process?

The induction of a new employee is a team effort involving various stakeholders, not just HR. Each role contributes to the success of the induction plan in its own way.

Important stakeholders at a glance:

  • Executives: Responsible for designing the induction plan and communicating the company values.
  • HR department: Coordinates pre-boarding and assists with administrative tasks.
  • Direct team members: Share their knowledge and experience, provide support with technical issues and promote social integration.
  • Mentors/sponsors: Experienced employees are often assigned special roles as mentors or sponsors in order to personally accompany the new colleague and serve as a point of contact.
  • IT department: Ensures that the new employee is provided with the necessary technical equipment from day one.

Each of these stakeholders plays a crucial role in welcoming new employees and making it as easy as possible for them to join the company. The cooperation and commitment of everyone involved are key to achieving the objectives of the induction. But how do you ensure a seamless baton handover between departing and new employees? This is where the central aspect of off-boarding comes into play.

The cycle of knowledge: from offboarding to successful onboarding

Paradoxically, effective induction does not begin with onboarding, but with a well thought-out offboarding process. By securing the undocumented knowledge of departing employees at an early stage, we lay the foundation for the success of their successors.

The importance of structured offboarding can be seen in the following points:

  • Knowledge assurance: The systematic recording of specialist knowledge preserves organizational intelligence.
  • Continuity: Seamless task continuation is ensured by the transfer of relevant information.
  • Efficiency: The training of new employees is accelerated by access to existing resources and documentation.

Now that we have highlighted the importance of the knowledge cycle let’s take a look at the specific tasks and objectives of the onboarding process to understand how this cycle is put into practice.

Tasks and objectives of onboarding

Onboarding new employees is a multi-layered process that goes beyond purely technical training. The aim is to provide employees with a holistic introduction that not only equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills, but also integrates them into the company’s social and cultural environment.

Main tasks of onboarding:

Professional training:

  • Teaching of specific skills and knowledge required for the position.
  • Introduction to the company’s working tools and systems.
  • Create clarity about the goals and expectations to be achieved.

Social integration:

  • Encouraging people to get to know each other and exchange ideas with new colleagues.
  • Organization of welcome events or team meetings to strengthen social cohesion.
  • Assignment of a mentor or sponsor who serves as a personal contact person.

Communicating the corporate culture:

  • Introduction to the company’s values, standards and vision.
  • Highlighting career paths and development opportunities within the company.
  • Participation in company events to promote a sense of belonging.

Goals of onboarding:

  • Fast working ability: The new employee should be able to work effectively in their new role as quickly as possible.
  • Long-term employee retention: A positive onboarding experience increases employee satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Strengthening the corporate culture: By communicating the corporate culture at an early stage, onboarding promotes a common understanding and cooperation.
  • Promotion of team spirit: Successful onboarding facilitates social integration and strengthens team spirit.

By taking these aspects into account, onboarding not only supports the individual success of the new employee, but also contributes to the overall success and further development of the company.

Challenges in the onboarding process

The induction of new employees faces a variety of challenges, especially in the age of demographic change. According to the Haufe Onboarding Survey 2023, 80% of companies experience increased employee turnover due to inadequate onboarding processes. This problem is exacerbated by several factors:

Key challenges for companies at a glance:

  • 80% see inadequate onboarding as a reason for employee turnover.
  • 40% of German companies suffer from a shortage of skilled workers.
  • 60% do not have clear responsibilities in onboarding, which leads to inconsistent experiences.
  • 70% of employees do not feel fully integrated into the corporate culture.
  • Only 25% carry out structured pre-boarding measures.

Optimization of responsibilities and structures

One of the main problems is the lack of clearly defined process responsibilities. Companies without defined responsibilities tend to have inconsistent and ineffective onboarding programs, which weakens employee retention and promotes turnover.

Budgeting and resources during induction

Another hurdle is the budgeting and allocation of resources for onboarding. 60% of companies state that limited budgets hinder effective onboarding programs, which reduces the quality and chances of success of onboarding.

The role of modern onboarding methods

Advancing digitalization requires the use of modern onboarding methods. 75% of companies already recognize the importance of digital solutions to optimize the onboarding process and ensure efficient integration of new employees. However, this does not mean that all of these companies are pursuing a digital induction plan.

In light of these challenges, it is crucial to identify viable solutions that not only improve the onboarding process, but also provide a response to demographic change.

Solutions for an effective onboarding process

In the face of demographic change, companies are faced with the challenge of rethinking and adapting their onboarding processes. A structured onboarding process is not only desirable, but essential for the long-term success of the company and employee satisfaction.

Effective onboarding is characterized by the following advantages:

  • Faster integration new employees into their roles and the team.
  • Strengthening employee loyalty, which significantly reduces fluctuation.
  • Promoting a positive corporate culture, that welcomes and supports new employees.
  • Increase in general productivity through efficient familiarization processes.

An onboarding plan that starts with offboarding therefore promises a win-win situation for employees and the company alike. To achieve these goals, it is crucial to use modern onboarding methods and tools that enable the seamless and efficient integration of new employees.

Digital platforms such as great2know play a key role here by systematically recording and processing the knowledge and experience of departing employees and making it accessible to their successors.

Now that we have discussed the solutions for an effective onboarding process, it is time to put these strategies into practice. How can companies ensure that their onboarding process not only meets the challenges of demographic change, but also integrates new employees successfully and sustainably? In the following, we offer practical tips and explain the common mistakes to avoid.

Practical tips for a successful induction

A well thought-out induction is crucial for the long-term retention and satisfaction of new employees. Here are some practical tips to make the onboarding process a success:

  • Individualized induction plans: When creating onboarding plans, consider the specific needs and backgrounds of new employees. No two employees are the same, and a personalized approach can work wonders.
  • Preparation of the reception: Inform reception staff of the arrival date of new team members so that they can be welcomed and directed appropriately.
  • Personal greeting: Plan a welcome by line managers or the HR department to show new employees that they are expected and appreciated.
  • Workplace organization: Make sure that the workstation and all necessary materials such as PC and access data are prepared before the new employee arrives.
  • Effective use of digital tools: Rely on digital onboarding platforms to facilitate the exchange of information and ensure access to important resources at all times. Digital checklists and learning modules can structure the process and provide orientation for new employees.
  • Mentoring programs: A mentor or sponsor can offer new employees valuable insights and support. This personal relationship not only promotes social integration, but also an understanding of the corporate culture.
  • Regular feedback: Schedule regular check-ins with new employees to give and receive feedback. These conversations are essential to adjust the onboarding process and ensure employee satisfaction.
  • Integration into the corporate culture: Use team events, workshops and informal meetings to introduce new employees to the corporate culture and strengthen their sense of belonging to the team.

Avoid common mistakes

While implementing these tips will help optimize the onboarding process, it is equally important to avoid common mistakes that can affect the onboarding of new employees:

  • Over-information: Avoid overloading new employees with too much information on their first day. A step-by-step introduction to tasks and company structures promotes effectiveness and reduces stress.
  • Lack of clear communication: Make sure that communication channels are clearly defined and that new employees know who to contact if they have any questions.
  • Underestimation of social integration: Don’t neglect building relationships between new employees and the existing team. The social component is crucial for well-being and integration.
  • Delayed familiarization: Prevent new employees from “hanging in the air” and not knowing what to do. An immediate start is crucial.

By taking these tips into account and avoiding common mistakes, companies can create an onboarding process that effectively integrates new employees and retains them in the long term.

Now that we’ve outlined the importance of careful onboarding and the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to look at an innovative solution that is revolutionizing position-based onboarding: Our great2know platform. Our platform makes a decisive contribution to onboarding by covering the entire knowledge lifecycle of an employee and serving as a digital corporate memory.

Our contribution to onboarding

We understand the importance of seamless and effective onboarding of new employees, which is why we have made it our mission to provide a central platform that systematically records and processes the knowledge and experience of departing employees and makes it accessible to new team members. In doing so, we directly address some of the most common challenges in the onboarding process:

  • Ensure knowledge continuity: By digitizing undocumented knowledge at an early stage, we ensure that valuable expertise remains within the company and is passed on directly to successors.
  • Enable individual onboarding: Our platform provides specific information and resources for each role within the company, allowing for a tailored induction that caters to the individual needs and backgrounds of each new employee.
  • Promote social integration: By providing platforms for exchange and interaction, we make it easier for new employees to make connections with their colleagues and the entire company, which supports social integration.
  • Organize the induction efficiently: With our intuitive user interface and easily accessible resources, we minimize training time and increase productivity from day one.

We believe that a successful onboarding process is the key to long-term employee retention and satisfaction. Our goal is not only to master the challenges of onboarding, but also to create a foundation for a strong corporate culture and a committed team.

Conclusion: Induction as the key to corporate success

Introducing new employees is far more than a necessary evil or a checklist of administrative tasks. It is at the heart of any sustainability, growth, and employee retention corporate strategy. By carefully planning and implementing the induction process, companies can increase their employees’ productivity and satisfaction, promote a strong corporate culture, and master the challenges of demographic change.

Traditional employee integration methods have limitations, but digital transformation provides new opportunities to make the onboarding process efficient and comprehensive. Platforms like ours play a crucial role in this by enabling the collection, organization, and accessibility of all employees’ knowledge and experience. This not only facilitates the onboarding of new employees but also creates a valuable digital corporate memory that promotes knowledge continuity and development.

Ultimately, well-thought-out onboarding is the key to a satisfied and committed employee base and, therefore, to any company’s long-term success. Investing in effective onboarding strategies and tools is, therefore, an investment not just in the new employees but in the future of the company itself.

about the author
Lenita Behncke
Lenita writes articles for great2know as a content creator on topics such as knowledge transfer & knowledge management.