What Are The 4 Phases Of Onboarding?

What Is Onboarding?

No one likes to feel lost when starting a new job, but most people feel some level of nervousness on their first day and even during their first few weeks. The best thing you can do to welcome newcomers into your company is set up an onboarding program. Through that, you’re not only helping them with the paperwork (which can be a lot), but you’re also showing them what the company stands for, what their role is, and how excited you are to have them on board. Training sessions, introductions to team members, and presentations on policies and procedures are all necessary steps during onboarding to help your new hires acclimate. Let’s see why it is always a good idea and what the 4 phases of onboarding are.

Why Do You Need An Onboarding Process?

When you bring new employees on board, your main aim is to show them they’re appreciated right from the start. By giving them a solid onboarding process and a warm welcome, they’ll feel like they’re part of the team and that the company is invested in their success. This can really boost their confidence and motivation, making them more eager and effective from the beginning.

Clarity is equally important. New employees just need to know what they’re supposed to do and what the company is all about. If they don’t, they could get confused, mess up, or pick up some bad habits that are tough to shake, like performing tasks incorrectly. Giving them a clear idea of their responsibilities and the company’s objectives helps them stay on track.

And let’s not forget about efficiency. Just imagine how much time and effort is wasted when new employees have to figure things out on their own. A good introduction can really help them get up to speed quicker and make their job easier. Plus, it saves everyone else from having to constantly answer questions or fix mistakes.

The 4 Phases Of Employee Onboarding

1. Preboarding

Preboarding is the initial phase of the onboarding process. It starts once a candidate accepts your job offer and ends on their first day at work. The first thing you should pay attention to here is communication. For instance, you can send a heartfelt welcome email, greeting them and expressing how you look forward to having them on board, as well as offering them an insider view on what to expect and other important information. Next, take care of logistics. Ensure all the necessary paperwork is completed before they begin, including tax forms, contracts, or any other relevant documents. Onboarding software can help you with that, automating the process of collecting and reviewing papers. Lastly, keep the excitement alive by regularly checking in with them before the start date and making them look forward to it.

2. Onboarding And Welcoming New Employees

From the moment a new employee steps foot in the office, you must make them feel like they are a valued member of your corporate family. During the onboarding phase, you focus on officially welcoming them to the team,  whatever this entails. The most important aspect is providing them with all the equipment, tools, and software they need for their roles. Give them their laptops, create a work email, give them access to company platforms, and help them navigate through the programs if they aren’t familiar with them. A buddy system works wonders during this phase. Pair your new employees with seasoned ones, and help them acclimate and form strong relationships with their peers. An onboarding buddy can show them the ins and outs of their position, share tips, and introduce them to the rest of the team organically.

3. Training

During training, your new employees will learn everything company-related. The courses should really dig into the work environment, offering newcomers the chance to get a sense of what the company is about and what their workdays will look like. Remember that it’s not just about them memorizing company rules and policies; you’re training them because you want to give them all the tools they need to succeed in their roles. But how can you do it well? First, have a solid plan. Before the new hires start, you must create a training program based on their roles and responsibilities. Then, choose the delivery method—is it workshops, in-person sessions, mentorship programs, or online courses? Make training as engaging as possible, because employees start learning better once they feel comfortable using their skills.

4. Transition To The New Role

Onboarding doesn’t stop when new employees have started figuring everything out. It continues with them taking on more responsibilities and ownership. During this phase, new hires focus on fitting in and becoming a valuable part of the team. But they also need to stand out. They must grab every chance they get to showcase their skills and knowledge in their new workplace, showing that they are the perfect fit for the role. So, you must encourage them to step up, take initiative, express their opinions, and, of course, continue learning new skills. Training is an ongoing process, and whether they want to stay updated on industry trends or learn how to use the latest software, they must stay curious. Lastly, adaptation is key. New hires must be open to new experiences and embrace challenges.


It’s important to keep in mind that onboarding isn’t a one-time task; it’s a continuous process. Companies should always be improving their onboarding procedures to meet the evolving needs of their employees and give them the best experience possible. By familiarizing yourself with these 4 phases of the onboarding process and putting them into action, you can create an atmosphere where everyone is engaged, productive, and wants to stay.

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