Successful employee onboarding: The science, benefits and tricks

Successful employee onboarding: The science, benefits and tricks

Inductions for new starters can cover organization structure, HR procedures, health and safety, equipment overviews, job requirements, training and development programmes, meetings with colleagues and more. New starters can’t be expected to remember all of that in one go, though – our brains simply aren’t geared up for it. But, it’s important. Successful employee onboarding significantly improves employee morale, performance and retention, all of which have a positive effect on your organization’s bottom line.

Despite that, organization onboarding processes typically take a traditional, classroom-based approach to learning, with information given to new starters in big chunks. This is down to time and cost pressures, of course, but it’s counterintuitive because it costs more time and money in the long run through a lack of effectiveness and efficiency. But how can we make sure the onboarding we deliver is effective? And what makes it effective?


For employee onboarding to be successful, new starters need to both take in and retain a large amount of information. We’ve known as far back as 1956 that we learn lots of info better when we break it up into small chunks. American psychologist George A. Miller termed this approach “chunking” and it’s the basis for what we today call “Microlearning”. Even further back in 1885, meanwhile, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus had hypothesized that we forget up to half of what we learn within a matter of days and continue to forget information over time, albeit at a decreasing rate. The “Ebbinghaus Forgetting” Curve also suggested that the rate of forgetting is reduced each time newly learned information was reviewed, implying that knowledge retention can be improved with repeated exposure to information. This last insight underpins the modern-day learning technique Spaced Repetition.



Microlearning breaks topics down into small pieces. It aids the learning process because it suits the brain’s ability to learn short, easily consumable segments, rather than overwhelming it with large volumes of new information in one go. For onboarding, microlearning could be delivered to a new starter’s work computer at their desk, or via a mobile app.


Personalized Spaced Repetition

Taking Microlearning a step further, learners can be tested on a topic, with the information they’ve failed to retain or recall shown to them again for reinforcement and information they have retained not shown again, or shown at rarer intervals. This is known as Spaced Repetition. By adapting it to a user’s needs, it becomes Personalized Spaced Repetition. Testing can be web or app-based, while prompts can be sent via email or as push notifications.



There are a number of employee onboarding benefits to hosting learning materials and activities online. To begin with, new starters can access them from anywhere at any time, meaning learning is made more convenient and more effective. It also means they can revisit materials or activities to refresh their knowledge as required. Elsewhere, online platforms typically make it easy to track learner performance, meaning areas of weakness can be identified and addressed.


There are lots of benefits to ensuring the best possible employee onboarding process and they’re not just limited to benefits for the employer. Here are some of the biggest benefits for employers, employees, and customers.


Benefits For employers

  • Acceleration: Employees are brought up to speed more quickly, adding value sooner.
  • Productivity: Workforce performance is improved, meaning productivity increases.
  • Retention: Employees are happier and more engaged, making them less likely to leave.

For employees

  • Confidence: Employees have more belief in their abilities, are more comfortable in their roles and are happier.
  • Performance: Employees are better equipped to deliver their roles and do so to a higher level.
  • Belonging: Employees feel more engaged and more a part of the organization.

For customers

  • Quality: Customers receive a better quality of product or service, improving company reputation.
  • Responsiveness: Employees are able to respond to customer queries more quickly and with better answers.
  • Communication: Employees can speak with customers more comfortably and more authoritatively


Start before they start

Don’t wait until a new employee’s first day to begin the onboarding process. When you invite candidates to interviews, you should give them information about the company and the role. Not only does this begin getting them up to speed, it builds enthusiasm and makes a strong first impression.


Involve everyone

Although a new starter will only be working in one role on one team, they are still a part of the organization as a whole and they need to feel like that is the case. Introducing them to different employees and teams is crucial for this. Other teams should also provide overviews of how they will work with new starters and the working processes involved. More broadly, it’s important to give starters a sense of the company’s culture, customers and place in the industry.


Keep it continuous

Delivering onboarding as a one-off event rather than an ongoing process not only makes it harder for new starters to remember everything they are told but puts them under more pressure to do so. By making it an ongoing or “revisitable” process, employees can continually refresh any areas of knowledge weakness that they think need addressing. What’s more, a greater sense of engagement and belonging is developed.


Enhancing your onboarding initiatives with Wranx is a sure fire way of increasing productivity. Your new starters will quickly and confidently feel equipped to start working independently which will add value to your organization.


The benefits of onboarding your new starters with Wranx are:

– Quick and effective onboarding on products, policies, procedures and services

– Improved productivity

– Increased staff retention

– Enhanced confidence

– Increased performance

– Increased sense of belonging


To find out more about how Wranx can enhance your onboarding program click here.

5 Reasons Your Onboarding Isn’t Effective

5 Reasons Your Onboarding Isn’t Effective

Onboarding is an essential process for any organization, large or small. It helps ensure that new hires feel welcomed, valued, and equipped to do their job. However, despite its importance, onboarding doesn’t always work as it should. There are many reasons why onboarding can fall short, leaving new hires feeling lost, overwhelmed, and underprepared. In this blog post, we’ll explore five common reasons why onboarding doesn’t work and what you can do to fix it.

Lack of Structure

One of the most common reasons why onboarding falls short is a lack of structure. Onboarding should be a well-planned and structured process that covers all the essential aspects of the job, from training to company policies to goals and expectations. Without structure, new hires may feel disoriented and unsure of what’s expected of them, leading to decreased job satisfaction and productivity. To fix this, make sure your onboarding program has a clear structure and covers everything your new hires need to know.


No Follow-Up

Another reason why onboarding may not work is that there is no follow-up after the initial training period. Onboarding is an ongoing process that should continue beyond the first few weeks of employment. Regular check-ins with new hires, feedback from managers, and continuing education opportunities can help new employees stay engaged and feel supported. Without follow-up, new hires may feel neglected and unsupported, leading to higher turnover rates and decreased morale.


Lack of Transparency

Transparency is another essential aspect of successful onboarding. New hires should have a clear understanding of company policies, procedures, and expectations. They should also feel comfortable asking questions and seeking clarification when needed. Without transparency, new employees may feel unsure of where they stand and may be hesitant to ask for help or raise concerns. To combat this, make sure that your onboarding program is transparent and encourages open communication.


Ineffective Training

Training is a critical component of onboarding, but it’s not always done effectively. One common mistake is providing too much information at once or using outdated training methods. To make training more effective, focus on providing relevant and up-to-date information in small, digestible chunks. Use interactive training methods, such as role-playing or job shadowing, to help new hires apply what they’ve learned in a real-world setting.


Lack of Personalization

Finally, onboarding may falter if it’s not personalized to the new hire’s needs and interests. Every new employee is different and has unique requirements. One-size-fits-all onboarding programs may not work for everyone. To make onboarding more effective, tailor it to each new hire’s individual needs and interests. Consider their background, work style, and goals, and find ways to incorporate these into the onboarding process. This personalization can help new hires feel seen, valued, and invested in their work.

Onboarding is a critical part of the employee experience, and when it doesn’t work, the consequences can be dire. However, by understanding the common reasons why onboarding falls short and proactively addressing these issues, you can create a more effective and engaging onboarding experience for new hires. Whether it’s by providing more structure, keeping the lines of communication open, or personalizing the experience to each new employee, there is always room for improvement. With the right approach, you can turn onboarding into a positive experience that sets the stage for long-term success.


See how Wranx can enhance onboarding at your organization by providing a fun, engaging and standardized onboarding program that will delight new starters, and take pressure off your hiring managers.