Read this before you design your new employee onboarding process

The science behind excellent onboarding

We don't have to tell you how important onboarding is. You wouldn't be here otherwise, right?  But, do you know that there is a scientific framework that increases onboarding effectiveness? Preppio's Chief Scientific Officer, Talya Bauer, Ph.D., developed the 6 C's framework based on years of research. You'll find it in many academic and HR industry publications, but we're distilling it for you here into a quick read. In 3 minutes we'll tell you what the 6 C's are and their impact when you design your new employee onboarding process with them in mind.

Compliance: SAVE TIME

You know the tasks that need to be completed, but getting them done timely and consistently is another story. Paperwork and other compliance-related tasks need to be ready in time to ensure a flying start. More importantly, these action items need to be completed before the new hire's first day during the pre-boarding phase of onboarding. This shortens the time to full productivity by ensuring that new hires have access to the right tools, equipment, and paperwork at the right time.

Preppio helps companies set up a great pre-boarding process to get help save time on practical things. Read this article about pre-boarding to learn more.


Human connection is a deep human need, and the very best companies connect new hires to their manager, mission, and co-workers in the pre-boarding phase. A large airline we work with learned this the hard way. They had 200–300 employees ghost them after signing the job offer. The employee no-show rates were reduced to 50 a year after the airline started personally following up with them in the pre-boarding phase.

Why? Because emotions matter. When you show that you care and employees feel like they belong, it is harder for them to quit. This also applies in the later stages of the employee onboarding process. According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), 20% of employees that quit do so in the first 45 days (1). In the first days and weeks on the job, the key to a well-thought-out and designed onboarding process is connection.


design your new employee onboarding process

It is important for new hires to quickly learn the culture and "how things are done around here". Connect new hires to your culture by conveying how their role within the company relates to the greater objectives.

Create a story to illustrate how they contribute to the culture.  Your goal is to make the outsider feel like an insider as soon as possible. Culture first onboarding is what makes employees be more engaged - these are your raving fans and really help with your employer branding and recruitment.

Design your new employee onboarding process - Get started with our best practices checklist for new hires


We believe that clarification is the most underrated of the 6 C’s. It is very powerful when done right, and it should start in the recruitment process. If you do not clarify the role and set expectations, the employees do not have clear goals to move towards and you will have a harder time managing them.

Tell them the standard you expect and it will be easy for new hires to fulfill your needs. It is not uncommon for employees to feel like they have been successfully onboarded, but the managers still feel they are not up to speed. High-performing new hires want to know what to do, where to find help, and what is expected of them. Make it easy for them to know how well they are doing and how they can work towards the organizational goals.


Dr. Talya Bauer explains confidence best in this excerpt from her article, "New employee onboarding framework": 

"Confidence refers to how much new employees feel like they can do the job well and tackle new challenges. It is a state of mind. While an organization cannot directly help new employees feel better about themselves, they can design onboarding experiences that help build up employees rather than tearing them down.

When employees feel more confident, they are more likely to feel good about those around them as well as the choice to join your organization. Research conducted by Dan Cable and his colleagues found that onboarding, when done right to focus on the value of the new employee and encouraging them to share themselves at work, can immediately increase performance and retention.”


Have you ever experienced an onboarding process that was clearly outdated? That is, a great onboarding program was developed at one point and then left for years without any follow-up.  Too often we hear from managers who believe they've got a good process, but learn that their employees had a bad onboarding experience.

Without a system of continuous feedback loops, it is hard for you to know how well your employee onboarding program is truly working. Worse, you have no reference for improvement. Onboarding often is the hiring manager's responsibility, but HR is building the onboarding process. Design a system that ensures check backs to ensure that your onboarding is always delivering and that everyone gets a good onboarding experience.

Are you worried your onboarding process might be letting down new hires and onboarding stakeholders? Learn tell-tale signs in our article, Is Your Employee Onboarding Process Failing?

At Preppio we turn HR professionals into onboarding superstars 🤩

Our company is built around one thing: Onboarding.  It's our focus every day, all the time. By staying on top of the latest trends and research we are able to bring you the most important "need to know" onboarding news, tips, and expert advice.

Or, book time with one of our experts to learn more about Preppio's onboarding software

How automation fuels onboarding best practices and fast tracks business success

Building a premium new hire experience requires the right onboarding software.

You know the importance of a strategic onboarding plan. But, do you know how automation fuels onboarding best practices? The right software solution gets everyone engaged in the process, and it also saves time on repetitive tasks with automation. Your business will see game-changing improvements when strategic onboarding planning is executed with the right software solution.

Read on to learn 9 onboarding best practices, based on the 6 C's framework. They are even more effective when implemented with onboarding software. Best onboarding practices create a memorable employee onboarding experience for your new hires. Following best practices is higher employee and retention and engagement. On the other hand, onboarding software enables businesses to complete those best practices quicker, easier, and more effectively. Meanwhile, HR professionals and managers will focus their time on leadership as opposed to the tedious details. 1

Nine ways automation fuels onboarding best practices

Download the Onboarding Best Practices – Tech Check List


Best Practice 1: Implement the basics prior to the first day on the job to leverage Compliance.

  • You have a golden opportunity to start building connections with new hires before their first day.
  • Align new hires with buddies and other newcomers.
  • Introduce the company and send out pre-hire paperwork.

Best Practice 2: Make the first day on the job special to leverage Connection.

  • Research shows that the first day on the job is critical. Help new employees feel valued and special. It follows that they will be relieved and happy that they made the right choice to join your organization. So, have a plan and do not leave it to chance!
  • Employee turnover will increase over time if you treat new hires like another number. On the contrary, send a pre-boarding survey and ask about their favorite lunch. Moreover, use technology to automatically remind managers to order their new hires' favorite lunch.
  • We all remember our first day. How hard is it to get a laptop organized and an email set up? “I have a temporary desk for three months!” Really? In contrast, imagine connecting with a new friend on day one followed by receiving a hard-bound notebook and a welcome gift. Onboarding technology utilizes automation to make this happen effortlessly.

Automation fuels onboarding best practices

Best Practice 3: Formalize your orientation program to leverage all 6 C's of onboarding.

  • The more consistent you are with your onboarding process, the more effective you will be and like any other important business process, you should have a system of checks and balances to ensure that things are done.
  • Use an onboarding software solution that focuses on managers and buddies to help communicate information to employees.
  • The right technology partner can seamlessly facilitate onboarding communications. For example, it can send welcome messages, remind managers to assign mentors and buddies to new employees, and make introductions. Preppio´s customers set up an onboarding chatbot that would do all of the intros in Microsoft Teams, Slack or Workplace from Facebook.

Try Preppio's onboarding solution on your phone now:

Best Practice 4: Develop a written onboarding plan to leverage Clarity and Connection.

  • Determine your onboarding plan and then formalize it. An onboarding software program can help you leverage the best practices.
  • Beginning with your team, share the onboarding plan and best practices. Use illustrations and give best practices to hiring managers who will be onboarding new employees. Meanwhile, share stories where applicable to nudge and coach managers.
  • Earn buy-in from the organization that "this is how we onboard"! Communicate it to the organization to create an onboarding culture!

Best Practice 5: Participation in onboarding is a powerful way to encourage communication.

  • Go beyond the checklist for compliance. Make onboarding participatory and experience-driven to leverage Clarity and Connection.
  • Many organizations miss the opportunity to learn from new hires despite its importance. Use technology to ask what works for them and what could use improvement. Next, create a feedback learning loop.

Best Practice 6: Ensure that the program is monitored to ensure that all 6 of the onboarding Cs are covered.

  • Use technology to monitor programs over time.
  • Are new employees using the system and accessing information?
  • Did they get assigned buddies?
  • Are team members welcoming them to the organization using the system?
  • Onboarding dashboards can be a great tool for keeping up with utilization.

employee onboarding software drives success

Best Practice 7: Use milestones to check in on employee progress to leverage all 6 of the onboarding Cs.

  • Research shows that key milestones are important for new employees. For that reason, use technology to set up check-ins at key points to keep your program on track. For instance, schedule check points at 30, 60, 90, and 120 days on the job. Finally, schedule a meeting to check in following one year of employment.
  • Resolve little issues before they become big problems that can lead to quality employees leaving.
  • Treat new employees like team members. They are eager to be seen as “regular” employees as opposed to new ones.

Best Practice 8: Engage stakeholders in planning to leverage Connection.

  • Everyone is busy, but technology makes engaging with managers less tedious.  That is, it can be done for individual employees and then scaled as needed.
  • Assign meetings to new employees with specific time guidelines to meet with key personnel. Next, use technology to facilitate and track completion of these meetings over time. For example, an automated message reminds a new hire, "Meet with Barbara in Finance within your first 30 days".

Best Practice 9: Be crystal clear with new employees in terms of objectives, timelines, roles, and responsibilities to leverage Clarity.

flying klm royal dutch airlines GIF

  • Provide information, forms, activities, to-do lists, maps, and photos of team members.
  • Onboarding software provides a personalized onboarding access portal. Employees can store and access all of this information conveniently and efficiently.

Automation fuels onboarding best practices and fast tracks business success

The importance of onboarding cannot be overestimated. It is the process of initiating new hires into your company culture and sets the stage for employee success and retention. Whether you are questioning the effectiveness of your onboarding solution or would like to learn more, we are here to help. First, download onboarding best practices tech checklist to determine how well your onboarding software solution is performing.

Is it driving employee engagement or is it a source of frustration? Does it free up your managers to connect one-on-one with employees in a meaningful way? Click below to download our onboarding software worksheet specifically designed for HR professionals who want to take their onboarding process to the next level.

Download the Onboarding Best Practices – Tech Check List


Top 6 Employee Onboarding Challenges

Top 6 employee onboarding challenges to help you identify your company’s roadblocks when designing your new employee onboarding process!

Onboarding challenges are not just getting the paperwork, new hire orientation, and employee training - but the A-Z of employee experience from the contract is signed and the first 3-12 months in the new job. 

Challenge #1: Low Investment in employee onboarding

Onboarding is becoming a strategic growth area. This is particularly the case in companies that need to attract and retain top talent, with a high level of maturity, where HR’s focus is shifting from compliance to experience. The companies that will benefit over time are those that are open to the broad and beneficial outcomes that deeply considered recruiting solutions offer. This strategic approach reinforces that onboarding is an investment that can solve many of the people challenges that come later in the employee journey. 

Challenge #2: Haphazard onboarding and managers failing to give a great experience

The onboarding process is usually left to local managers to handle. Some give new hires a WOW experience, others can fall embarrassingly and drastically short. Unsurprisingly, it’s easier for HR to create a new and consistent onboarding process than to rely on managers, who often end up being none other than a headache for HR. Managers are busy and are rarely trained to give new hires the positive employee onboarding experience they need, to kick-start early employee engagement that in turn will drive a sustainable career with your company. How can you expect to get a good company culture, when the employee's first days and weeks are not optimized by the manager to create the right habits? Preppio’s science-backed, automated onboarding software takes the guess-work out achieving employee success and company profitability.

Are you looking to your human resources or your technological resources to resolve this employee onboarding issue?


Employee Onboarding Checklist

What experience do you offer your new hires in their first 90 days? Take a look at Talya Bauer PhD.'s Onboarding Checklist to see if you have covered the basics.


Challenge #3: Disconnect between hiring and onboarding processes

Talent acquisition is a key function in business and has always had our full attention. It follows that companies invest considerable time and resources in the selection and recruiting process, which is a stark comparison to the new hire’s first weeks and months in the job often. This disconnect is an issue if we acknowledge that employees make up their minds about liking a new job and move into the post-evaluation process as early as the day they sign an agreement with you. We can categorically conclude is that onboarding matters

What experience do you offer your new hires in their first 90 days? Take a look at Talya Bauer PhD. employee onboarding checklist to see if you have covered the basics.

Challenge #4: Lack of employee engagement

If there is one word that comes up time and time again, it’s engagement. It’s a quality that has a far-reaching impact on new hires and those responsible for implementing the onboarding process. Low engagement leads to low productivity, HR and operations inconsistency, poor connection with peers, and challenging workplace relationships on the job. When we consider that 70% of an employee’s experience is related to their direct manager, we can see why it’s important to recognize their role in this process, and that educating, coaching, and supporting managers is key if we are to build positive and lasting relationships amongst team members. Only then will we see and feel real change. 

Are your managers driving new hire engagement, and how? 

Challenge #5: On-the job-training of frontline employees is unsatisfactory

Onboarding high volumes of knowledge-workers and frontline workers is a real-world challenge in corporations the world over. This applies to any customer-facing brand - think national retail franchises, utilities, telecoms, and infrastructure companies. HR can create a great onboarding process, but because they simply do not have the time and resources to provide the experience that new employees expect and deserve. The outcome is not only a worrying variation in results but one leaving local managers to do the work and finding themselves without the time and knowledge needed to give a great and consistent experience to all. 

As a manager, how are you ensuring that your entire staff is up to speed?

Challenge # 6: The orchestration between stakeholders often fails 

Identifying who is involved in each employee’s day-to-day, who their reports are, and who should be pulled into the ecosystem of communication requires asking the right questions and understanding the responsibilities of individual employees. Communication channels must be integrated, enhancing consistency and keeping everyone on the same page. Identifying key team players and their responsibilities in the employee onboarding process can be facilitated with ease using onboarding software. That way all new hires are appropriately supported, getting to work with higher productivity levels, while managers are freed up to get their jobs done too.

Do you know who your stakeholders are and do you have a system that ensures that things do not fall between the cracks? 


Employee Onboarding Checklist

What experience do you offer your new hires in their first 90 days? Take a look at Talya Bauer PhD.'s Onboarding Checklist to see if you have covered the basics.