Overwhelmed by Onboarding?

Sep 1 / Vivienne Bezuidenhout
When last did you assess your onboarding process?

As our workspaces evolve, so too should our approach to onboarding new talent. Whether it's remote-only or the best of both worlds in a hybrid environment, you owe it to your new hires (and the teams supporting them) to set them up for success. Miss this opportunity to create a stand-out experience, and you could miss out on productivity in the process through low employee engagement and high staff churn.

Here are some of our thoughts on removing the overwhelm of onboarding, for both the employee and the employer. Remember that onboarding is an ever-evolving aspect of EX and should be reviewed at least once a year! 

The 4 Cs

Compliance, clarification, culture, and connection are the cornerstones of an effective onboarding experience. Make sure that every touchpoint in your process considers these. It’s so important for new team members to feel welcomed, engaged, supported, and comfortable from day 1, and for their voices to be heard and valued. A company blog (like this one) engagement portals, and communication apps like Slack are great tools for understanding company culture and driving conversations and deeper connection. Torque has many solutions that answer all 4 of the Cs.  Chat to us for more info.  

Understand Your People 

Creating an onboarding experience that speaks to employees in a hyper-targeted and relevant way can inspire a culture of conversation and empathy. When planning the onboarding experience for your new hires, it’s important to keep these points in mind: 
  • Think about how your new employees like to receive their information 
  • Find out what devices they usually prefer to use 
  • Consider what really motivates them and what is the drag on their day 
  • Be clear on what information is most important for their role and to them 
  • Take note of their time zone and how it might affect their daily routine 
  • Be sure to ask for feedback along the way – conversation is a two-way street, after all. 

Persona Mapping

Persona mapping is one of Torque’s favourite tools for companies to better understand their people (and prospective talent) and to tailor their EX. An employee persona is a profile of a specific employee role that details typical characteristics, attitudes, wants, and needs. Employee personas are research-based, written profiles that depict a fictional target employee in your company. 

Inclusive Onboarding

Creating an atmosphere of psychological safety at work is central to creating a sense of belonging.  When people feel they can bring their whole selves to work we see accelerated rates of innovation and creativity. Here are some of our top tips: 
Provide relevant company information before the new hire’s first day to create a sense of belonging early on 
Grant access to your relevant online resources (intranets, knowledge bases, training videos, and communication tools) ahead of time to drive inclusion from Day 1

Include a DEI programme as part of the onboarding experience to establish common ground, like Torque’s interactive “I Belong” series which includes: 

  • A digital component that houses learning, videos, webinars and activities  
  • Printed collateral, including a journal for personal reflection 
  • Invite your new employees to participate in internal forums to share their opinions and discuss issues 
  • Share the company’s common language (acronyms, jargon, glossary) as one of your onboarding resources so that everyone’s on the same page 
  • Have 1:1 conversations early on and often to maintain a balance between digital onboarding activities and personal interactions

Buddy programmes

This trend expands on the idea of having human interactions to complement the digitisation journey (which should always be easy to engage with). With the buddy system in action, your new employee will be teamed up with a company ‘tour guide’ from day 1. Their role is to help the newbie navigate the new environment and answer all their questions in a safe space. 


Gamification is highly effective as a tool to drive engagement in what can sometimes be a mundane process. Onboarding becomes fun with gaming elements (points, rewards, challenges, and leaderboards) to create a more immersive and enjoyable experience. It increases participation and drives a sense of competition and achievement. We love this interactive approach to promote engagement, stimulate knowledge retention, and entrench desired behaviours.   

Make It Easy To Deliver Excellence

For it to be a success, the focus of onboarding (from an EX perspective) must be the user’s experience. The aim is to simplify the process with an intuitive design. The goal is to establish a framework for a smooth journey ahead and a frictionless working environment where people choose to stay because they love what they do, and they feel equipped and empowered to be successful.  

Torque is an Employee Experience Agency. We partner with our clients to build fantastic employee experiences from hire to retire. People rely on us to walk the Torque with them, sharing our expert advice, industry insights, and proven methodologies. The outcome: an engaged workforce and a thriving organisation poised for success.