Does Onboarding Come Before Orientation?

Laura Parker
May 2024

When it comes to integrating new hires into an organization, the terms “onboarding” and “orientation” often come up, but it’s crucial to understand that they are not synonymous. Employee onboarding is a comprehensive process that aims to fully integrate an employee into the company, involving everything from understanding the company culture to completing essential paperwork. It’s a strategic approach that extends over time, typically encompassing the first several months of employment. On the other hand, orientation is a component of this process—usually taking place on the first day or week at a new job, focusing on logistical details and initial introductions.

The confusion between onboarding vs orientation can lead businesses to overlook the broader benefits of a thorough onboarding process. By fully recognizing the scope of onboarding, companies can enhance employee engagement, reduce turnover, and improve overall productivity. This understanding aligns perfectly with the ethos at beSlick, which emphasizes the efficiency and effectiveness of clearly defined processes that are not just created but actively followed and optimized.

Does Onboarding Come Before Orientation?

Is onboarding more than orientation

Onboarding is indeed more than just orientation. While orientation might be the initial introduction to a company—a day or a few dedicated to paperwork, tours, and basic training—onboarding is a comprehensive, long-term process designed to integrate new hires into their roles and the company culture more fully and effectively.

Onboarding includes multiple components: orientation is just the beginning. Effective onboarding programs extend well beyond the first week, incorporating ongoing training sessions, one-on-one mentoring, and periodic reviews to ensure that the new employees not only understand their roles but also feel valued and equipped to contribute to the company’s success. For instance, new hire orientation examples often highlight day-one activities like receiving employee handbooks and learning about company policies, but these activities alone do not constitute complete onboarding.

A robust onboarding process aims to foster a deeper connection between the employee and the organization. It ensures that new hires are not just informed but are also engaged and motivated. This holistic approach aligns with the beSlick ethos of creating dynamic and effective workflows that adapt to real-life scenarios and improve over time, enhancing employee satisfaction and organizational productivity.

What comes first orientation or onboarding

In the sequence of employee integration, orientation technically comes first as a part of the broader onboarding process. Understanding the difference between onboarding and orientation is crucial for companies aiming to enhance their employee onboarding strategy and, ultimately, their overall efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Orientation: Typically a one-time event that occurs at the very beginning of the onboarding cycle. It’s designed to introduce new hires to the company culture, policies, and their immediate colleagues and work environment. This phase is critical as it helps new employees feel welcome and provides them with the necessary tools and information to start their journey at the company.
  • Onboarding: An extended process that may last several months and includes multiple touchpoints beyond the initial orientation. This phase includes in-depth training, the establishment of performance metrics, integration into company projects, and regular feedback loops. Onboarding is aimed at not only helping new hires adjust to their new environment but also at ensuring they are fully integrated into the team and are progressing well in their roles.

The distinction between these two processes reflects a fundamental shift from simply informing to actively engaging and developing employees. This shift is a core component of the beSlick platform, which facilitates not only the documentation of processes but also their active execution and refinement, ensuring that the transition from orientation to full integration is as smooth as possible.

Does onboarding mean first day of work

Onboarding is much more than just an employee’s first day. The term refers to a comprehensive integration process that begins well before and extends well after the first day at a new job. This process is designed not only to orient but also to fully integrate a new hire into the organizational culture and operational dynamics.

The initial day, commonly referred to as orientation, is crucial as it helps set the stage for a new employee’s journey. It typically involves introductions to team members, an overview of company policies, and initial training sessions. However, true onboarding continues to unfold over the following weeks or months. This period includes deeper training, mentoring, and progressive responsibilities that are critical for a new hire to become fully proficient and comfortable in their new role.

Employee onboarding orientation meaning a blend of immediate orientation activities and ongoing development efforts that together ensure a smooth and effective transition into the company, clarifies immediate job expectations but also supports the long-term success and retention of new employees, which is a core aim of using platforms like beSlick that advocate for continuous improvement and engagement in workplace processes.

How long after onboarding do you start working

Understanding the timeline and benefits of onboarding for employees can shed light on why this process is crucial for both individuals and organizations.

Onboarding isn’t just a single event but a phased process that gradually brings a new employee up to speed. While the actual “start” of work may occur on the first day in a technical sense, the effectiveness and productivity of a new hire typically ramp up as they progress through the onboarding process. This phase is designed to equip them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and company-specific nuances to perform their job effectively.

The benefits of a well-structured onboarding process are substantial. For employees, it significantly eases the transition into a new work environment, reduces stress, and builds confidence through clear guidelines and support. For employers, the advantages include enhanced job performance, higher employee engagement, and lower turnover rates. Effective onboarding ensures that employees are not only prepared to start working but are also aligned with the company’s goals and culture, leading to better long-term outcomes.

Incorporating a thorough onboarding strategy, supported by tools like beSlick, helps streamline this process, ensuring that every new hire has a clear pathway from their first day towards becoming a fully integrated, productive team member.

Does Onboarding Come Before Orientation?

Understanding the nuances between orientation and onboarding, and recognizing the strategic importance of a comprehensive onboarding process, can significantly enhance an organization’s effectiveness in integrating new employees. As we’ve discussed, onboarding is more than just a single event; it’s a continuous commitment to employee development that begins before the first day and extends well beyond it.

By investing in thorough onboarding strategies, companies not only support their new hires in becoming productive and satisfied team members faster but also contribute to a culture of continuous improvement and operational excellence. These practices are not just beneficial—they are essential for reducing turnover, fostering employee loyalty, and achieving sustainable growth.

To transform your onboarding process and ensure you are fully leveraging the potential of every new team member, consider implementing a platform like beSlick. With its ability to document, execute, and refine processes, beSlick helps businesses streamline onboarding, making it easy to adapt and improve over time.

Embrace a smarter approach to onboarding with beSlick and watch as your organization becomes more efficient, your teams more cohesive, and your new hires more quickly adjusted and productive.

Need a better way to track team tasks & workflow?
Need a better way to track team tasks & workflow?

, Author of The Dirty Word and CEO at beSlick

Alister Esam is a successful entrepreneur and investor, having bootstrapped his fintech software business eShare to international status operating in over 40 countries and servicing 20,000 board directors, before successfully exiting to a multibillion-dollar organisation in 2018. He now invests in a variety of startups and on a global mission to make work, work.