The 4 phases of a successful onboarding plan


In today’s working environment, companies are more and more committed to the successful incorporation of new employees. This process, also known as an onboarding plan, is essential when it comes to establishing a relationship between the organization and the employee, and laying the foundations for a successful future for both parties. 

A successful onboarding plan not only promotes rapid adaptation and integration into the workplace, but also significantly contributes to employee retention and increased productivity. However, achieving this requires a well-crafted strategy that encompasses a series of carefully coordinated phases. Below, we explore the key phases of a successful onboarding plan, along with when to implement them for maximum results. 

What is an onboarding plan?

As we’ve already seen, an onboarding plan, also known as an onboarding or integration process, is a strategy aimed at introducing new employees into an organization. This strategy consists of a series of different stages designed to welcome new employees and prepare them with the knowledge and tools they need to carry out their responsibilities effectively. 

Contrary to popular belief, an onboarding plan goes beyond merely introducing new employees to their colleagues or showing them around the facilities. It spans a period that can extend from before the employee’s first day of work to their initial months within the company. It also includes relevant information about the company, necessary tools and resources for their job, as well as the organization’s culture and values. 

What are the phases of a successful onboarding plan?

The primary objective of an onboarding plan is to create a positive experience for new employees, minimizing uncertainty and reducing the time it takes them to adapt to their new working environment. 69% of employees are more likely to stay at a company for at least 3 years as a result of a good onboarding experience but achieving these results requires a structured plan with clearly-defined phases. Each phase serves a specific purpose and contributes to the employee’s integration into the company. 

Phase 1: Preparation

The preparation phase involves everything the company must consider before the new employee’s arrival. This includes preparing their workspace, the necessary equipment, and tools, and informing other team members about their arrival. This phase occurs before the employee’s actual start date, and the person responsible for onboarding must also schedule any interviews or meetings the new employee will have on their first day.

Phase 2: Welcome or integration

In this stage, the new employee is welcomed, and important interviews that were planned in advance take place. They may meet with their manager for example to go over their responsibilities and be introduced to colleagues, facilities and other departments such as HR. , 

Although all phases are crucial, this one is particularly important as the first impression is essential in making the new employee feel valued from the beginning. It is also during this stage that initial doubts are addressed, and new hires are given an overview of the company, its values, mission, and culture.

Phase 3: Induction

Effective training is essential for an employee to start working on their tasks. This induction phase is ideal for involving them in collaborative projects, meetings, and any specific training related to their responsibilities. As part of their induction, an employee learns about the processes and tools they will use day to day, along with other relevant resources they might find helpful.

Phase 4: Follow-up

It is crucial to monitor the new employee’s progress and provide constant feedback to help them grow and adapt to their new role. This should include regular meetings with their supervisor, where they can express concerns or needs.

What timings should the onboarding plan phases follow?

While onboarding processes are unique for each company, one thing is clear: developing an effective onboarding strategy requires time and effort. That being sad only 37% of companies claim to have onboarding experience that lasts for more than 30 days.

Experts suggest that onboarding should take between 3 and 6 months to complete; however, around 15% of companies continue their onboarding plan beyond 6 months, and research indicates that extending onboarding throughout the first year of employment can improve job satisfaction. Below is a rough schedule you can use for designing the phases of your onboarding plan:

Before the first day

Known as “pre-onboarding”, this stage begins once the employee signs their contract and before their first working day. Credentials, dress codes, manuals, maps, and other relevant data should be provided at this point. 

Day 1

On the first day, the employee is welcomed, introduced to their colleagues, given a tour of the facilities, provided with equipment, and any pending paperwork is completed.

Week 1

Throughout their first week, the new employee takes part in training which is relevant to their role. Ensure that proper support and communication are provided to make them comfortable during this process and try to avoid information overload.

Month 1

During their first month, an employee should be focused on getting familiar with the company and its culture. They often also receive training and should start carrying out tasks, making it a good time to review progress and invite them to social events that foster team building. .

Month 3

The third month is perfect for conducting the first formal performance evaluation. By this time, the employee will have started participating in more complex projects and have more autonomy in their assigned tasks. Remember that positive feedback is vital for their ongoing adaptation.

Month 6-12

In the first 6 months to a year, employees should continue to develop skills that give them more autonomy and encourage them to make decisions. After this time, it’s a good idea to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of their performance and achievements during their first 12 months, and discuss their future within the organization. It is also an excellent opportunity to offer new professional development opportunities.

While these steps can be a great starting point, it is important to note that there is no perfect timing when it comes to designing your onboarding plan. Each company should adapt theirs to meet the needs of its employees while establishing objectives, and offering personal development opportunities.  

With this in mind, isEazy Engage is the ideal solution. Our app gives your employees the support they need during each phase of the onboarding process, from training and communication to corporate knowledge. Try it for free.

Sara De la Torre


Sara De la Torre

Content Marketing Manager at isEazy

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