An effective onboarding program requires various stakeholders

Written by Malique Steenbrink

Malique is an Employer Branding Specialist at Appical. She is responsible for content surrounding Appical's Employer Brand and the entire employee experience. You can also find her on social media. Her mission: to tell stories from the heart of the organization.

Traditional approaches to onboarding tend to be very HR focused. This is mainly because many businesses saw onboarding as primarily an administrative process involving contractual paperwork, personal data, compliance, health & safety instructions and early stage learning – all of which were under HR’s remit. New employees often waited until the first day to have meaningful contact with their new managers and fellow team members. Nowadays we see various stakeholders who participate in the onboarding process, you can learn more about it in this blog!

Less administrative work, more interaction

Increasingly, this administrative based approach has proved to be problematical. Organisations want to give their new hires a proper onboarding – help them become effective and productive quickly, and new employees want to get up and running straight away, making a positive first impression. All the paperwork can get in the way.

New hires tend to decide quickly whether they have made the right move and if they see a long-term future with their new employer. If the role isn’t what they expected, or they don’t get on well with their manager and colleagues, they are likely to either leave quickly or fail to fully integrate. This suggests we need a more dynamic and immersive approach to onboarding. Induction, orientation, and assimilation need to cover the operational and cultural aspects of the business, helping to build a more cohesive bond between the new starter and their team. Such an approach will need input and involvement that yield from a wider range. You can read about this in our previous blog, 4 ways managers and leaders should get involved with onboarding.


There are various departments and people who need to be involved in the onboarding process, since they each have their own added value, both when setting up the onboarding process and when giving feedback. Just as onboarding is not just for millennials, so does the implementation of the onboarding process is not only dependent on HR.

Discover which stakeholders you can involve to best set up an effective training program…and GO!


The most important thing for HR is to minimize administrative tasks, increase the employee experience and prevent turnover.

HR departments still think too little in digital solutions. More than a fifth (22%) of the Human Capital Management (HCM) processes are still being executed manually.


It is important for learning & development that, for example, training courses will be taken at an early stage. Often for compliance purposes, but also to align expectations with the new colleague and for entering into career discussions conveniently. More on gamification scores employee engagement win.

Continuous learning in a digital & fun way


Another important stakeholder in the onboarding of the new employees is the manager. Especially when the manager is often the person who works the most with the new hire and is the first point of contact. Curious as to whether millennials will find you a good manager?

Do not give them a steering wheel, but a coach. Do mutual feedback.


The founder or CEO knows how the company wants to grow and which people skills are most needed. Ideally, the CEO also motivates employees to come up with new ideas. Want to know more? Have a look at An agenda for the talent-first CEO.

Hire great people. This is 90% of the solution as hiring wrong can cost you so much.

Marketing & Communications

Increasingly, HR and marketing work together. Whether it is about recruiting candidates and external communication, trying to bring out stories from the organization, or make employees brand/company ambassadors. It all starts with the question of whether the employees are happy in their work. And believe me, happiness at work is in every little corner!

Customers will never love the company until the employees love it first.


Having a direct colleague to ask questions is a great perk for new employee, especially in the first few weeks. Introduce a kind of ‘buddy’, a confidant to which a new-hire can turn with substantive but also social and cultural related questions.

Let your second-newest hire onboard your newest hire – read more on this.

The employees themselves

And of course there is the new employee itself. Feedback from colleagues who also recently started forms a goldmine of input that can improve the onboarding process significantly. After all, you want your new colleague to stay as long as possible, don’t you?

Therefore, when you start shaping your onboarding process, it is important to involve different stakeholders from various parts of the organization. That way you guarantee that both your new hire and their colleagues get the most out of the onboarding process.

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