Employee Onboarding Example: A Sample One-Week Program

Employee Onboarding - Culture DayYou toiled for weeks, maybe even months to get your star candidate all the way through your recruiting process. You rolled out the red carpet and got the whole team involved in providing the candidate with an experience so great they couldn’t turn down your offer. And they accepted! Whew, job over.

Actually, not so fast. Just because a candidate accepts an offer, it doesn’t mean you stop investing in their experience. Your candidate experience is a promise of your employer brand. So now it’s time to deliver on that promise.

New hires (as anyone who’s started a new job knows) are often a combination of excited, nervous, and hopeful. Employee onboarding is your opportunity to put a new hire’s nerves at ease, reaffirm their decision to join the team, and help them prepare for future success.

The process will look different from company to company, and can also vary from department to department. Facebook, for example, has a six-week bootcamp just for engineers, while onboarding at Lever is one week and isn’t team specific.

Below, we’ve outlined one way to structure an employee onboarding program. Keep in mind that these are only guidelines, and the exact structure will always vary based on multiple factors (like your company’s product, values, size, and more).

Employee onboarding program example

Day 1: HR / admin day

Make day one all about setting employees up with everything they need – walk them through benefits, introduce them to company tools, and perhaps give them a few articles about your company and industry. As our Chief of Staff Jennifer Kim says, day one should be the “let’s have you figure out where the bathroom is,” day. The hardest part should be remembering everyone’s names.

Day 2: Customer day

Educate your employees on the customers for whom your company builds a product – after all, without them, you wouldn’t exist. Sessions can include helping employees understand the pains you’re solving, taking them through the customer lifecycle, and having them sit in on a sales call with a salesperson.

Day 3: Product day

Here’s your chance to bring employees up to speed on the thinking behind how you build your product. Give them context for why you made certain product decisions, explain your core differentiators and how you prioritize features, and share the roadmap for what’s ahead.

Day 4: Team day

By now, new hires have had to absorb a lot of information. Let this day be a time for new hires to get to know the members of their own teams and sync with their hiring managers.

Day 5: Culture day

On the final day of onboarding, make new hires really feel like they’re a part of the team. Share your company’s origin story, have them meet the leadership team, and illustrate your culture however it fits. At Lever, for example, we talk about our commitment to diversity and inclusion, play a “Lever lore” game with inside company jokes, and unveil everyone’s “color” by adding them to the color wheel. (Our colors are the results of a personality test that we have every employee take so we can all better understand each other’s communication and work styles)

Conclusion: employee onboarding program example

If some of these steps don’t make sense for your company, don’t worry. Regardless of the exact sessions you run, keep in mind that an effective employee onboarding program should:

    • Reduce employee anxiety and stress through clear expectation setting and a welcoming environment
  • Educate employees on where the company has been and where it is going
    • Provide insight into the value and role of every department
  • Prepare employees for their day-to-day responsibilities
  • Cover logistics (like benefits) so employees can focus on work without distractions

If you cover those five points, you’ll be well on your way to achieving an employee onboarding program that sets employees up for a long, fulfilling career at your company.

For more on how to create a great candidate experience, from employer branding to interviewing and measurement, download our free ebook, Connecting Your Talent Touchpoints: How to Build a World-Class Candidate Experience. 

Further reading