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New Employee Onboarding Process Template

This template will help teach your HR or people teams how to conduct new employee onboarding at your business.

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New Employee Onboarding Process Template

This template will help teach your HR or people teams how to conduct new employee onboarding at your business.


Why Onboarding Is So Important for Our Business

Hooray! We’ve got a new employee that’s starting with us soon. They’ve accepted their offer letter, and we’ve got them set up with all their accounts and hardware tools. Now, the fun begins as we get them started with their new employee onboarding.

Onboarding is crucial. We’re gonna say it again — crucial. 

It helps new employees integrate into the team, understand their roles and responsibilities, and contribute to the overall success of the business. 

Let us hit you with some stats: A well-structured onboarding process can increase early productivity by 70% and improve retention of new hires by 82%. When we find good people, we want to keep them (especially because the costs of hiring, losing people, and rehiring can add up quick).

Effective onboarding involves more than just paperwork and orientation. It includes introducing our new hires to our culture, values, vision, and mission. This helps create a positive work environment, leading to better customer experiences, greater customer retention, and easier integration of new team members.

The best onboarding process will help our new employees become productive and effective members of the team. That’s why we’ve spent so much time optimizing our onboarding — to fully integrate our new team members faster and more efficiently.

What We Cover During Onboarding

The answer: a lot. From who we are as a company and what we do to the benefits we offer, the policies we expect employees to follow, and the role they’ve been hired for, onboarding covers a lot of information. 

Yes, this is information that our new hires have been exposed to over the course of their interview process, but onboarding is the time for them to fully internalize that information to prepare them for their time as an employee here. That’s why our entire onboarding process from start to finish takes roughly 3 months to complete.

Overall, we try to answer the following questions:

  • Who works here?
  • What does everyone do?
  • How is everyone connected? How do I fit?
  • What does the company do?
  • What is the culture here?
  • What are the rules?
  • How do I do what’s expected of me?
  • How do I find answers quickly?

Onboarding vs. Orientation

Onboarding and orientation are two processes that our HR department undertakes after hiring an employee. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Here are the differences between onboarding and orientation:


  • Orientation is a one-time event welcoming new hires to the company, usually on their first day.
  • The purpose of orientation is to generally familiarize the new employee with the company's vision and values.
  • Orientation provides a broad overview of expectations at work, including the company's mission, vision, and values, policies such as dress code or vacation time, and where to find resources, including HR or IT support.


  • Onboarding is the entire process of fully integrating new employees into the company.
  • The purpose of onboarding is to provide new employees with resources and familiarize them with the organization.
  • Onboarding has a series of events that provide more detail into things like job training, best practices, and company policies.
  • Onboarding primarily focuses on improving employee engagement, while orientation helps new employees familiarize themselves with their colleagues, understand organizational policies, and navigate the office space.

While orientation and onboarding may have similar purposes at first glance, the main difference between them is that orientation is a shorter part of the overall onboarding process, which can take months to a year to complete. Orientation is a time to generally familiarize the new employee with the company's vision and values, while onboarding has a series of events that provide more detail into things like job training, best practices, and company policies.

Next we'll go over what orientation looks like at our business!


The First Day

A new employee’s first day is an important one. It’s their first true impression of who we are as a business and what they can expect. That’s why, on day one, we cover the following subjects (found in their Trainual accounts):

But it can’t be all work and no play on their first day! We schedule their events so they have breaks between sessions — that way, they get a chance to internalize all the information they’re learning as well as get to know their new co-workers!

Speaking of, we want to make sure that new employees get a warm welcome. It can set a positive tone for the employee's journey with us.

  • Personal welcome: On their first day, personally welcome them and give them a quick rundown of their first day's schedule. Let them know where they can find their work station and any necessary login information for our systems.
  • Team introductions: Take them around for team introductions. If they are a dental assistant, for instance, introduce them to the team and explain how their role fits into the larger picture of our dental practice. Introduce them to their department and any other team members they will be working closely with.
  • Office tour: Provide a thorough tour of the office, highlighting important areas like restrooms and emergency exits. Lastly, show them the staff break area or coffee station where they can relax during breaks.

If the new hire is onboarding remotely, set up Zoom meeting rooms with their team or department for fun icebreaker activities to get them relaxed!

Role Overview and Expectations

On their first day, it's also important for new hires to understand their role, responsibilities, and what is expected of them. Makes sense — they were hired to do a job, and they should have a good idea of what success looks like in their role!

This is also when the new hire will meet their new team and their direct manager. So, save a good chunk of time during their orientation to cover the following:

  • Job description review: Go over their job description and key responsibilities. Explain the metrics or KPIs that will be used to measure their performance. 
    🔥 Tip: Remember to show them where their responsibilities are documented in Trainual! They can head to their Trainual profile to check them out at any time.
  • Team dynamics and workflow: Discuss how their role aligns with the rest of the team, how work typically flows within the company, and whom they'll be working with directly.
  • Performance goals: Set clear performance goals for the first 30, 60, and 90 days.

👉 Snag job scorecard and 30-60-90 templates.

The First Week


Providing the right training from the start is vital for setting up the new hire for success. Your team will use Trainual for this (more on this later!).

But remember that each new hire will need training specific to their role, including:

  • Software training: Organize detailed training sessions for any software or tools they'll be using. We’ve already covered training for our task management tool, but be sure to introduce them to our internal messaging system. Different teams will also use different software tools.
  • Critical processes training: Provide hands-on training and demonstrations on common procedures performed in their department. If they’re part of sales, walk them through our sales process. If they’re part of engineering, walk them through our ticketing system.
  • Customer management training: If the new hire is in direct contact with customers, walk them through our customer training — everything from our escalations process to our testimonial collections.
  • Team collaboration and communication: Emphasize the importance of effective teamwork and communication within the business. Provide training on coordinating with the other departments.

Be sure to reserve time during their first week for new hires to review their Trainual content!

Assign a Mentor

Having a mentor or buddy can significantly ease the onboarding process.

  • Choose the right mentor: Pair the new hire with an experienced colleague who can guide them during their initial weeks. This person should be someone patient, approachable, and knowledgeable about our business' culture and work processes. (This doesn’t have to be their direct supervisor or even someone in their department!)
  • Mentor's role: The mentor will offer insights into our culture, be available to answer any queries, and provide assistance when needed.

Using Trainual For Onboarding

About Trainual

Trainual is a platform we use for efficient onboarding and ongoing training. It centralizes our processes, policies, and SOPs into a searchable, trackable system.

Why Trainual

Trainual allows us to streamline our onboarding process, ensure consistent training, and keep everything updated in one place. It's a great tool for new hires to get up to speed quickly and understand their role and responsibilities better.

Keeping Trainual Up-to-date

Keeping our small business Trainual account up-to-date is important for a number of reasons:

  • Accuracy: Processes, protocols, and procedures can change over time, and having the most recent information is essential to ensuring employees are operating accurately and effectively.
  • Efficiency: With up-to-date information, new hires or existing team members can quickly find the information they need without wasting time searching for it or asking others.
  • Consistency: Keeping all training materials, policies, and procedures in one place ensures that everyone is on the same page and there's consistency in how tasks are executed.
  • Compliance: If there are changes in regulations that affect your business, it's crucial to update this information in Trainual. This helps maintain compliance and mitigates risks associated with non-compliance.
  • Training: When information is updated, you can track who has seen and understood the new material. This helps to ensure all team members are trained on the latest procedures.
  • Empowerment: An up-to-date Trainual account allows team members to self-serve information when they need it, which empowers them to work more autonomously and confidently. And you can say goodbye to those pesky new hire questions that you've gotten over and over (and over) again.
  • Business growth: As our business grows, roles may evolve, new positions may be created, and strategies may change. Keeping Trainual updated reflects these changes and supports your business growth.

Remember, the usefulness of Trainual as a tool is only as good as the information it houses. It's therefore critical to ensure that your Trainual account is regularly updated and maintained for the benefit of your team and the success of your business. 

Always update Trainual when there are changes in processes, tools, or responsibilities. Involve the team in keeping Trainual updated and encourage them to suggest any improvements.

Adding New Hires to Trainual

As soon as the new hire is set up with their official email, invite them to Trainual. When inviting them, be sure to head to the "Advanced settings" dropdown and:

  • Add them to roles. That way, their teammates can see their position, manager, and responsibilities — on the employee directory, org chart, and role chart. Plus, this allows them to access role-specific processes and policies. 
  • Give them a permission level based on their knowledge, level of leadership, and how they can help you document business processes. 
  • Make sure to check the option "Show profile in the directory."
  • Add their manager in the "Reports to" section. This automatically adds them to the org chart.

Your to-dos

After you invite your new hire:

  • Ensure the role's responsibilities are up to date.
  • Add individual responsibilities for the new hire, as needed.
  • Assign them individual subjects as needed (that aren't role-based and automatically assigned to them with the role(s) you added them to).

New hire to-dos

Next, ask your new hire to:

  • Add a bio. Be sure to tell them anything specific you'd like them to include in their bio (like past work experience — in addition to the fun stuff like where they're from, their favorite TV show, and hobbies!).
  • Add pronouns. This is done in My settings.
  • Add a phone number. This is done on their profile!

The First Three Months

Check-in Meetings

It'll likely take your new hire a few weeks to complete all their training assignments in Trainual and get into the swing of things in their new role — but that doesn’t mean onboarding is over!

Frequent communication during this initial phase helps to quickly identify and resolve any issues.

  • Regular meetings: Arrange regular one-on-one meetings during the first few months. Use these meetings to address any issues, clarify doubts, provide constructive feedback, and track progress on their performance goals.
  • Open communication: Encourage the new hire to share their experiences, ideas, and any challenges they might be facing.

Full Integration

To make sure they reach 100% productivity ASAP, you'll want to gradually integrate them into the team after their orientation period:

  • Gradual responsibility increase: As the new hire gains confidence and understands their role better, start to assign them more responsibilities.
  • Team collaboration: Encourage the new hire to actively engage in team discussions, contribute ideas, and fully participate in practice activities.

30-60-90 scorecards

Make sure you’re also checking in with your new hire at the 30 day, 60 day, and 90 day points. This will help you gauge how well they’re integrating into their role!

Similar Templates

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