What are the five key steps in order of the onboarding process?

Laura Parker
Jan 2024

Navigating the first day at a new job can be akin to embarking on an uncharted adventure. It’s a journey where the best employee onboarding experiences serve as a guiding star, ensuring a smooth sail for new recruits. At the heart of these experiences lies a well-conceived employee onboarding manual / process, a beacon that lights the path for newcomers. Through this article, we’ll explore the strategic steps outlined in such manuals, delving into the keys to successful Onboarding. By unraveling these steps, we aim to transform the daunting task of employee integration into an empowering and engaging journey.


Five silver metal keys on a large metal key loop

What are the five key steps in order of the onboarding process

The onboarding journey can be distilled into five pivotal steps, each serving as a milestone in crafting memorable and effective employee experiences. These steps, integral parts of any employee onboarding manual, are crucial in ensuring that new hires not only assimilate information but also feel welcomed and valued.

  1. Preparation Before Day One: This initial phase involves setting up necessary tools, resources, and access rights. It’s about creating a welcoming environment where new hires can hit the ground running.
  2. Formal Welcoming and Introduction: This step focuses on introducing new employees to the team, company culture, and their role. It’s akin to opening the first chapter of their career journey with your organization.
  3. Role-Specific Training: Tailored training sessions equip new hires with the skills and knowledge required for their specific roles. It’s a deep dive into the practical aspects of their job.
  4. Integration into the Team and Company Culture: This stage is about fostering connections and helping new employees assimilate into the company’s social and professional fabric.
  5. Ongoing Support and Development: The final step involves providing continuous support and opportunities for growth, ensuring the long-term success of the new hire.

Each step is a thread in the tapestry of the best employee onboarding experiences, woven together to create a comprehensive and engaging onboarding process.

What are the 5 Cs of new hire onboarding

The ‘5 Cs’ of new hire onboarding are more than just steps; they unravel the true meaning of ‘onboarding process‘, transforming it into a comprehensive journey that nurtures and integrates new hires into the organizational fold. These Cs are:

  1. Compliance: The bedrock of onboarding, focusing on legal and policy awareness. It’s the baseline from which a safe and informed start is guaranteed.
  2. Clarification: This C sheds light on job roles and expectations, clearing any fog around the new hire’s responsibilities. It’s about providing crystal-clear understanding.
  3. Culture: Here, the soul of the company is revealed. Imbuing new hires with the organization’s values and norms, this C is crucial for aligning them with the company’s heartbeat.
  4. Connection: Beyond work, it’s about weaving the social fabric. This C fosters relationships, ensuring new hires weave into the company’s community tapestry.
  5. Check-back: The final C, focusing on ongoing engagement and feedback. It’s a commitment to the continuous evolution and satisfaction of the new hire.

Each of these Cs plays a pivotal role in defining the meaning of onboarding process, ensuring it’s not just a procedure, but a transformative experience for new employees.

What are the 5 Cs of successful onboarding

Beyond the basic understanding, the ‘5 Cs’ of successful onboarding delve into creating an experience that resonates deeply with new employees, truly embodying the employee onboarding meaning. These Cs are:

  1. Confidence: Building a new hire’s self-assurance in their role. It’s about empowering them to perform their duties effectively and confidently.
  2. Competence: Ensuring that the employee is well-trained and skilled in their job. This C is about equipping them with the knowledge and tools they need to excel.
  3. Connection: As in the previous section, establishing strong relationships within the team and company is crucial. It fosters a sense of belonging and community.
  4. Culture: Deepening the understanding of the company’s values, expectations, and social norms. This C helps new hires align their personal values with those of the company.
  5. Check-in: Regular and proactive engagement with the new employee to assess their well-being and progress, making adjustments as needed.

These 5 Cs are not just steps; they’re pillars that uphold the true employee onboarding meaning, transforming the process into a comprehensive journey towards long-term success and integration.

What comes after employee onboarding?

The journey of an employee doesn’t end with the onboarding process; it’s merely the beginning. Understanding what comes after onboarding is crucial for sustaining the best employee onboarding experiences and ensuring long-term employee engagement and growth. Here’s what follows:

  • Role Evolution and Skill Enhancement: Post-onboarding, employees are encouraged to expand their skill set and take on more complex tasks, fostering continuous professional growth.
  • Feedback and Performance Reviews: Regular check-ins and reviews provide valuable feedback, guiding employees towards improvement and career advancement.
  • Cultural Immersion and Contribution: Employees become active participants in the company culture, contributing to its evolution and embodying the values they were introduced to during onboarding.
  • Mentorship and Networking: Building deeper connections within and outside the company helps in personal and professional development.
  • Long-Term Career Planning: Employees are supported in envisioning and working towards their long-term career goals within the company.

Each of these 5 stages of onboarding is a continuation of the foundation laid by the onboarding process, ensuring that the journey that begins with best employee onboarding experiences evolves into a fulfilling career path.

Seven people in an office environment fist pumping the air and raising hands in celebration

Securing Success Beyond Onboarding

As we’ve explored, onboarding is just the first chapter in an employee’s journey. The steps that follow are equally critical in weaving a narrative of success and fulfillment. From the detailed orientation in the employee onboarding manual to the ongoing development and integration into the company’s fabric, each phase is crucial. Remember, the best employee onboarding experiences don’t just end with a welcome kit and a first-week schedule. They extend into continuous support, growth opportunities, and an evolving role within the company.

For those looking to enhance their onboarding process or to find more effective ways of integrating and developing new hires, beSlick offers innovative solutions tailored to your needs. Embrace the journey with beSlick, and transform your onboarding process into a gateway for long-term success and employee satisfaction.

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, 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.