What role does ‘engagement’ play in employee onboarding?


employee engagement


The main role of employee onboarding for HR and Hiring Teams is deceptively simple - it’s to bring new hires into your business as quickly and efficiently as possible.

But achieving this administrative task is really tough. HR teams need to juggle the multitude of communications required - from contracts and references to payroll and medical details.

A recent survey by webonboarding found that more than two-thirds (68%) of companies are still managing this task manually, via paperwork, emails, spreadsheet and phone calls.

So while so many HR teams struggle to handle the basic onboarding challenges, should they really be concerned about employee ‘engagement’ and the type of ‘experience’ that’s delivered to new hires?

The simple answer is…absolutely.

The fact that so many HR teams lack the time or resources required to focus on employee engagement doesn’t mean it’s not important. Failure to properly integrate new starters can have serious business consequences.

So what exactly is engagement and how can it be achieved?

What is employee engagement?

The term first started to be used in the 1990s to describe the relationship between an employee and their employer. An engaged employee is one who feels positively about their work and their role within the wider organization.

What role does onboarding play in engagement?

As employee onboarding represents the first interactions a new hire will have with their employer, it plays a crucial role in determining engagement. A negative onboarding experience creates the worst possible first impressions.

Get it right, however, and you create the solid foundations on which a positive and lasting relationship can be created.

How can engagement be measured?

One of the challenges with engagement is finding ways to assess something which is qualitative. It’s something that was tackled in a 2017 global study of more than 4,000 employees which found that 39 percent reported having negative onboarding experiences.

For 15 percent, this had resulted in them pulling out of the recruitment process and nearly one-in-five (19%) of them had left their jobs within the first month because of negative first impressions.

These kinds of drop-out rates can have a major impact on HR, eating up resources and ramping up costs. There’s also the long term impact caused by those who don’t drop out but are demotivated with their work.

How can engagement be improved?

Improved handling of the onboarding experience is a major reason for the move to cloud-based management systems. By dramatically reducing the time and resources required to bring handle new hires, HR teams can start focusing more on engagement.

The efficiency comes from removing any reliance on manual management methods. Instead, all of the information that needs to be exchanged between HR, hiring managers and onboardees is dealt with digitally.

It allows HR teams to create an onboarding process that’s designed, not just to be fast and efficient, but also to be engaging - to integrate a new hire into an organisation’s culture.

Alongside handling all of the essential documentation, a system such as webonboarding allows company videos, welcome packages and guides to be integrated into the process.

The system also includes an integrated rating system so new hires can provide feedback on their onboarding experience. It allows HR managers to accurately monitor engagement levels and to keep tweaking and refining the experience.


Webonboarding provides a smarter way to bring new hires into your business - reducing admin time, boosting efficiency and improving employee engagement. Contact us today to find out more. 



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