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Yana Yelina


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Remarkable employee onboarding practices


Everybody knows that there are no second chances to rectify the first impression. It concerns not only separate individuals, but also companies that strive to entice best experts and devote a great deal of effort to engage them in an efficient way.

HR managers are those people who are in charge of the onboarding process. That’s why it’s in their (and the company’s) interest to look for fresh, interesting, and unique ways to introduce new employees, put them in touch with the business infrastructure, objectives and missions, and just make them feel comfortable in the workplace.

The following data and statistics prove the importance of implementing effective onboarding programs.

1) In the US, over 25% of workers face career transitions.

2) When the onboarding process is done flawlessly, the company relishes higher job satisfaction and lower turnover, organizational devotion, career effectiveness, stronger performance, and reduced stress.  

3) 60% of HR professionals who can’t boast positive outcomes after onboarding admit they experience severe difficulties in establishing harmonious and long-standing working relationships with new recruits.      

4) New employees who pass through well-structured orientation processes are 69% more likely to continue working in the company for about 3 years.

So, HR managers should create distinctive onboarding programs to retain top-notch specialists. Here are some successful onboarding practices for consideration and inspiration.



This multinational company has its own method of making new recruits feel at ease in an unfamiliar atmosphere. The Google’s HR team sends just-in-time reminder emails to managers on Sunday, the day before new employees start. These emails appeal to reflect on 5 tasks that are considered to be really vital for the onboarding process success.       

Find below those critical tasks:

1. Discuss their role and responsibilities.

2. Find a peer buddy to mentor them.

3. Introduce your new hire to the rest of the team.

4. Check in with your new hires once a month for the first six months.

5. Encourage an open dialogue.    

Managers are not forced to strictly follow the mentioned steps. HR specialists just remind them these points are proved to speed up employees’ adjustment. Here you can learn details on Google’s onboarding processes.    



Twitter’s “Yes to Desk” program is another example to follow. Before new hires start working, they get a warm welcome in the form of T-shirts and bottles of wine awaiting at the desk.  

On the first day, new employees have breakfast with their team mates and the CEO – they don’t have to wander in search of an unoccupied seat. The program also includes a tour around the office and a ramp-up session during which they learn the corporate structure, familiarize with internal tools, current projects, company history, inside jokes, etc.

Furthermore, once a month Twitter prepares a new hire Happy Hour with the Senior Leadership Team and Friday afternoon presentations thanks to which new recruits grasp even more and plunge into tiny details.  



This company does everything to make the new staff feel valued. They carefully prepare the working place for newcomers beforehand and take into account all their desires/preferences: for instance, the laptop choice and configuration. The HR team also assigns a mentor for each new employee to assist them at any time.  

In this Quora discussion, one of the company’s employees shares some other captivating features of the onboarding process he experienced.    

Beyond that, Netflix prefers a so-called “right off the boat” plan. That means they let employees get involved into large projects from the very beginning, thus making them appreciate the trust and motivating to join fast and contribute to the project success with pleasure.      



It is another company that takes onboarding seriously. The four-week Zappos Family New Hire program is aimed at introducing company’s “wow products and services”, training, building long-time relationships with employees and, what is really essential, at growing the corporate culture.

In its program Zappos also puts emphasis on empowerment, team building activities, and core values.     

One of the distinctive features of the company’s onboarding process is the possibility of receiving a quit-now bonus. Company’s representatives say: “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you’ve worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus.”

The fact that only 2% of employees decide to run away is a bright and convincing proof that Zappos’ program really works.   



Taking into consideration the fact that onboardees spend at least 6 months to become accustomed to the company’s unique corporate culture, Valve’s HR managers decided to create a special handbook for new hires. It outlines main values in the funniest way, making employees feel relaxed and better perceive and memorize the necessary facts.   

The handbook is empathetic and inspires to read further. It is also open for editing and adding clever ideas and marvelous rules, i.e. it opens a dialogue.  

Valve has a horizontal management scheme, there are no chains of bosses above employees; that’s why its handbook is essential to understand clearly the company’s unique culture and to shed light on the beauty of this management scheme.    


The article has featured a few examples of imaginative onboarding practices. They are different but have some things in common: they are oriented to involve the whole team, emphasize the importance of the corporate culture, make new hires feel relaxed and valued from the first day, and indicate a clear path towards their full integration.  

You can follow some tips of the corporations mentioned above, get inspiration and generate your own creative ideas for new employees’ adaption, or turn to savvy-tech experts who will offer an array of custom enterprise software solutions to assist in building a solid onboarding program with its digital features.   

Author Profile Picture
Yana Yelina

Tech Journalist

Read more from Yana Yelina

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