onboarding process

The Best Onboarding Process Happens in the first 90 Days

The first 90 days of onboarding determine whether the relationship between employer and employee becomes successful when we speak employee experience.

With a high service level during the first 90 days of employment, hires are likely to work harder with a positive attitude. This was the conclusion of a study based on 294 recently hired employees. This is certainly a great factor to include when you want to create the best onboarding process possible for your company.

If the new employee does not receive guidance, there is a significantly higher risk that the employee becomes unhappy and unproductive. So, this employee may leave the company before 3-4 months of employment.


Do You Make This Classic Onboarding Mistake?

Some companies have an onboarding program for new employees, and think that they are 'home safe'. But we have to remember that onboarding is more than just formal training.

Michel Falcon from the Experience Academy says that onboarding is: “The design of what your new employees feel, see and hear after they have been hired.” In other words, in the best onboarding process, we need to ensure great onboarding by involving colleagues and managers as well.

Ensuring that everyone in the company understands their role in creating a great experience for new employees (from day one!) is the right way to go. Combine this attitude with formal onboarding training, and your organization is well on its way to creating great onboarding.

onboarding platformCommon challenges in onboarding

Of course, you need to go through a process before you have everything correct. You will meet some challenges in your towards the best onboarding process which include:

1. Lack of Role Clarity: When onboarding new employees you need to be clear about roles. This means both the new hire and others in the employee onboarding process.

2. Misunderstandings in expectations: Among onboarding best practices in human resources, expectations are key. Be sure to follow up and communicate along the way to meet these challenges ahead.

3. Time management issues: Planning ahead is crucial for hr professionals. Not having the calendar in place for the new team member can create pressure.

4. Manager issues: Be prepared to handle top talent. You keep hires long term, when hiring managers step up their game in onboarding efforts - for example with soft skills.

5. Cultural issues: Make sure your work environment is inclusive and provides safety when the employee starts. The employee’s first day can be nervous, so your onboarding experience is greater as the company culture embrace cultural differences. Maybe your employee handbook needs an update?

6. Relocation: Effective onboarding starts with practical things. Like giving a great experience and a smooth process in the transition and relocation to your company.

Onboarding Tips for your Industry

Onboarding is rarely a one-size-fits-all in all the best practices. Yes, it is obviously important to nail both the practical, social, and digital stuff when it comes to onboarding, but it might be different how you nail it depending on what industry you are in. Here are some extra pointers for your particular industry.


  1. The retail industry has the highest employee turnover, and that’s why creating an unforgettable onboarding process is key to retain your new employees. Here, gamified learning is great, especially, when you have a young audience, who are used to spend time on their smartphones with digital games.
  2. Be sure to have the onboarding process well prepared and planned before times of the year with a lot of rush, for example, if you need to hire a lot of new people before Christmas shopping.
  3. Set clear goals for the new hire to achieve during the first time. Use the onboarding plan template and send it to the new hire, so, he or she knows what to expect, and when they have shifts.
  4. Be sure to be fully prepared for their arrival. Preboarding is a must, so, the new hire knows where to be at what time, and what to expect at the first time at the company.
  5. Create digital content about the company mission, vision, etc. A good idea is also to create a digital map both of the physical workspace and the people hierarchies, so, the new hire knows who’s the go-to person of each area.   
  6. Technical onboarding is also a must, for the new hire to get to know all procedures, software, etc. to get the job done. Here, a knowledge hub with how-to-guides is especially a good idea, so, the new hire can always go back and refresh the knowledge about the technical procedures.
  7. Training is essential before jumping straight to the tasks. Think both digital to get the basics and physical over-the-shoulder training, when creating a thorough training program as part of the onboarding process.
  8. Conduct multiple check-ins to be sure everything is going okay with the new hire, and to see if they need more training or something else to make them thrive at their new workplace. 


  1. Time is a valuable resource in the service industry. Be sure to create digital onboarding for your new hires, so, you will not have to spend multiple hours and energy on over-the-shoulder training only.
  2. Training is essential in the service industry. Make sure your new hires have the right resources to handle, for example:
    - Sales
    - Conflict Management
    - Customer Service
    - Software & Technical Procedures
    - Typical audience, consumers, guests, and their needs
    - GDPR on the floor
    - IT Security
    - (Maybe) Hygiene in practice
  3. Gamify your digital training to make the learning stick and create an unforgettable welcome to your workplace
  4. Use an onboarding plan template to give an overview for the first couple of weeks. Here, the timesheet in particular, is important. So, the new hire knows when he or she has a shift
  5. Be sure to have either a knowledge hub about the products or create digital product knowledge training to increase sales
  6. Conduct check-ins and make sure that the new hire knows who to go to if they need something to make the onboarding process better

Do you work in another industry? Then check out our onboarding guide, where we have more tips for the industries: Construction and Production and Financial Services.

Other Onboarding Process tips:

Now that you know the common challenges, you should start looking at how you can structure the process. Consider how you want to engage new hires in your onboarding process.

The development of employees is crucial too. You need to make sure they are trained on an ongoing basis. Consider digital learning in your efforts as you can provide learning and training anywhere anytime, which makes the employee experience in your onboarding process greater.

You might want to check the needs and future ambitions of your new colleague. At some point, they want to make shifts in their career or develop an interest in other job functions. Make sure you provide the information about how to develop into other departments, for example, so you make sure the new hire stays within your company.

Get even more onboarding tips and best practices in our onboarding guide. Download it right here.