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Best Employee Onboarding Training Programs for success (2024 Updated)

Updated: Feb 26

A person dressed in dark blue formal attire, shaking hands with someone.

As we approach 2024, it’s time to rethink our onboarding programs. This rethinking is about more than just welcoming new employees. It’s about starting them on a path of continuous learning and growth right from day one. This blog is for L&D professionals who are ready to make this important shift in their onboarding approach. 

What are employee onboarding training programs? They are a structured series of activities and learning sessions designed to introduce new hires to their company culture, roles and responsibilities. These programs are the first step in the journey of employee integration, setting the stage for a smooth transition into the organisation. 

The significance of Employee Onboarding Training programs cannot be overstated. It’s the foundation of employee assimilation, where new hires learn not just about their job, but also about the ethos and values that make your company unique. A well-crafted onboarding program can boost confidence, foster connections, and start the employee-employer relationship on the right foot.

Trending Employee Onboarding Training Programs 

Employee Onboarding Training programs are not just about welcoming new hires; they’re about setting them up for success. Here are a few trending onboarding programs that are redefining the way we think about employee integration.

Advanced Onboarding: It starts before the first day on the job. It’s a proactive strategy that engages new hires right after they accept the offer. This period is utilised to introduce them to the company’s mission, upcoming projects, and even current events within the organisation. It’s an excellent way to ensure that when the official start date arrives, new employees are already up to speed and ready to dive in.

Specific Skills Onboarding: Each role within a company requires a unique set of skills, and Specific Skills Onboarding focuses on equipping new hires with exactly what they need to excel in their positions. This targeted training approach allows employees to develop the necessary competencies through a structured onboarding curriculum, ensuring they are prepared to take on their responsibilities effectively.

Customised Onboarding: Recognizing the individuality of each employee, Customised employee Onboarding training programs offer a tailored experience that aligns with personal learning styles and career aspirations. Customised onboarding can include personality tests to better understand the new hire’s traits, assigning mentors for guidance, and setting up regular check-ins to ensure the onboarding process meets their expectations.

Social Onboarding: Social Onboarding leverages social media platforms to connect new hires with their colleagues and the broader company culture. New employees can explore and engage with the company’s social life and achievements through private groups or pages, making their integration more interactive.

Company Culture Onboarding: Understanding the company culture is as important as knowing the job itself. Company Culture Onboarding immerses new hires in the values, norms, and social intricacies of the organization. It’s about sharing the stories that shape the company’s identity and helping new employees feel like they’re part of the team from day one. This approach goes beyond onboarding best practices; it’s about creating a sense of belonging and community.

Data-Based Onboarding: Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all employee onboarding training programs. The Data-Based Onboarding approach uses analytics and feedback to create a personalised experience. By collecting data through surveys and assessments, L&D professionals can tailor the onboarding process to address the specific needs and preferences of each new hire, making sure that the onboarding process evolves with the workforce.

Examples of Best Onboarding Ideas for New Hires

1. Day-one Goal Setting 🎯

Begin the employee onboarding training programs journey with Day-one Goal Setting, a practice that instils a sense of purpose and direction from the very start. Encourage new hires to set both immediate and long-term goals that are aligned with their role and the company’s strategic vision. For example, a new hire in marketing could aim to learn the brand’s style quickly and plan to lead a project soon. Offer workshops and mentors to help them reach these goals.

2. Welcome Kit 🎁

A well-crafted Welcome Kit can make a memorable first impression on new employees. It should include not only practical items like a company map and an employee handbook but also personalised elements such as custom mugs and custom business cards. Consider adding a selection of company merchandise, like a branded hoodie or a high-quality pen, to make them feel like a valued member of the team. 

Tip: Include a brief video from the team, sharing their excitement and readiness to collaborate. Make this video accessible via a QR code that you can easily print and add to the Welcome Kit.

Presenting Thinkdom’s Onboarding Toolkit

A collage of Thinkdom's onboarding toolkit.

3. Company-Wide Welcome 📧

When welcoming a new employee, it’s important to inform the entire company. This ensures that senior management and colleagues from various departments are introduced to the newcomers. Opt for a company-wide email or an announcement on the company’s messaging system. People can  respond with welcome messages OR welcome GIFs/ Memes as soon as they hear the news, contributing to fostering a positive and inclusive atmosphere from the very beginning.

Tip: Consider a fun Welcome Ritual like a ‘Welcome Quiz’. The new hire shares fun facts and the team guesses. Also, try ‘Newbie Trivia’. The team asks trivia and reveals a company fun fact for each correct answer.

Engaging Learning Modules Speed up onboarding and maintain new hire interest with automated, interactive modules. Swap out the piles of handbooks for a dynamic course filled with videos, quizzes, stories, and audio for an immersive experience. For instance, you might create a module that guides new employees through a virtual company tour, interspersed with interactive quizzes about company policies and fun facts.

5. Decorated Workspaces 🌟

A welcoming workspace sets the tone for a positive work experience. On the first day, adorn the new employee's workspace with festive decorations. This not only showcases enthusiasm for their arrival but also creates a visually appealing and comfortable environment, reinforcing the idea that their presence is celebrated.

Tip: Personalise the workspace with a small desk plant or a framed welcome message. 

6. Ice Breaking Activities 🤝

Breaking the ice is crucial for building strong team dynamics. During group onboarding sessions, incorporate engaging icebreaker activities like ‘two truths and a lie’. This not only lightens the atmosphere but also encourages genuine interactions among team members, fostering a culture where collaboration and open communication are valued.

7. Breakfast Together 🍳

The bonds forged over food are often the strongest. Prior to their first day, new employees can receive a brief survey about their breakfast preferences. Use this information to organise a welcome breakfast, providing an opportunity for team members to connect in a relaxed and casual setting. This initiative not only fosters connections but also highlights commitment to considering individual preferences.

Tip: Ensure the breakfast options cater to various dietary preferences and restrictions, creating an inclusive and considerate environment.

8. Onboarding Sessions 💼

For a comprehensive understanding of the company's ethos, detailed onboarding seminars cover employee policies, company culture, and HR processes. To facilitate easy reference, attendees receive supplementary resources, like a summary book or a video. These sessions go beyond information dissemination; they serve as a platform for discussion and clarification, fostering an environment of transparency and open communication.

Tip: Incorporate real-life examples and anecdotes to make the sessions more relatable. This provides insights into the organisation culture in an engaging manner.

Enhance Onboarding Experience with Thinkdom. Check out our Demo.

9. Relaxed Social Hour ⌛

A Relaxed Hour can be an excellent way for new hires to unwind and connect with their colleagues in a more informal setting. Plan a trivia night focused on company history or a casual mixer with team-building games. This creates a friendly atmosphere where new hires can form connections that extend beyond the workplace.

Tip: Introduce a casual ‘introduction game’ where employees share unique facts about themselves. This not only adds a fun element but also helps in remembering and connecting with new colleagues.

10. Coffee Chats ☕

Set up Coffee Chats for new hires with various team members, including senior leaders. New team members can meet various colleagues, discuss roles, seek advice, and build valuable connections. This personal touch extends even to leadership positions, and establishes an open-door policy from the start, encouraging new employees to feel comfortable seeking guidance and forming mentorship relationships.

11. Free Product Samples 🛍️

In industries where products take centre stage, a warm welcome is extended by offering free samples. This not only introduces new hires to offerings but also allows them to experience firsthand the quality and significance of the products. 

Tip: Encourage new employees to provide feedback on the product samples. This feedback loop reinforces the idea that their opinions and insights are valued.

12. Partner Support System 👬

Transitioning into a new environment is made easier with a buddy system. Seasoned employees are assigned as buddies to guide new team members through their onboarding journey. This personalised support accelerates the learning curve and strengthens team dynamics. Buddies act as mentors, providing insights, answering questions, and offering a friendly face in a new workplace.

Tip: Train buddies to be approachable mentors, encouraging open communication. By incorporating these elements into employee training onboarding programs, you can create a comprehensive and welcoming experience that helps new hires feel valued and prepared for their new roles. 

From unique experiences to practical examples like day-one goal setting, we see onboarding moving beyond just a welcome. These strategies ensure a smooth transition and build a foundation for a thriving work culture. As we move forward, let's champion onboarding practices that set the stage for meaningful professional journeys. Ready to elevate employee onboarding experience? Try our induction & onboarding programme for a seamless and successful onboarding.


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