Guiding Principles to an Effective Onboarding Program: Gnowbe as a Use Case

Ai Leen Han
October 25, 2021

Maximize your employees’ potential, right from the start

31% of employees quit within 6 months of starting.
– BambooHR

Onboarding is one of the foundational building blocks of employee retention and should not be taken lightly. Research by Glassdoor found that organizations with strong onboarding processes improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. On the other hand, according to Digitate, employees who had a negative onboarding experience are 2x as likely to look for other career opportunities in the future.

An effective onboarding program will greatly contribute towards protecting the precious time and effort that has been invested into training and assimilating each employee. Hence, consider the following guiding principles that will help your organization create an effective onboarding program. We’re also showing how we’ve applied these principles in-house, in order to give our teammates the best experience possible.

Guiding Principles:

1. Begin onboarding even before Day 1

Make a strong impression on your potential hires by showing off your company culture and what makes it a unique place to work for, thereby attracting the right talent to join your company. All this information can be delivered to people as they browse for your presence online – through your website, social media channels, job portals and other platforms.

At Gnowbe: All potential hires have to author a Gnowbe program about themselves as part of their interview protocol. Whilst typically a harrowing experience, our proprietary authoring tools make it easy, and many a new hire have expressed their delight in the ease of crafting their very own story. In doing so, we empower potential candidates to bring their resumes to life in an interactive digital format, which enables both the recruiter and hiring manager to assess key characteristics such as openness to new technology and creativity, before they decide to interview the applicant.

2. Onboarding occurs over time, not just the first 2 weeks

It is an iterative effort and an on-going process, not a one-time event. Per Gallup’s research, it is found that new employees typically take around 12 months to reach their full performance potential within a role.  

At Gnowbe: We recognize that onboarding doesn’t just stop at the end of the onboarding program. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we make sure to send our employees for workshops like the Clifton StrengthsFinder, Strategy Sessions and more throughout their employment journey so that they are more aware of their own and their teammates’ strengths, eventually increasing their team awareness, alignment, and cohesion.

3. Make onboarding a community-based, socialization opportunity

According to Gallup’s findings, employees are 3.4 times more likely to strongly agree that their onboarding experience was exceptional when their managers took an active role in onboarding. To make the new hires feel at home, existing employees must welcome them with open arms. Onboarding is not just an “HR thing”, everyone plays a part in this – from the leadership team to individual team members. Every single employee has a responsibility to make each new hire’s onboarding process smoother and better.

At Gnowbe: We have a group board conveniently embedded in our platform that allows new hires to post about themselves, their opinions and thoughts during the onboarding process to the entire team. It serves as a community space for new hires to interact with other employees as people can comment on each other’s posts and provide feedback.

Now that you know about these 3 guiding principles, you might ask, “What now? How can I apply them in my organization? How may I actionably use these principles?”. Fret not, Gnowbe has a solution for you in our free onboarding templates.

Here’s how Gnowbe’s onboarding template can help you establish a holistic onboarding experience

1. It creates a dynamic and engaging onboarding experience

The paperwork-heavy conventional onboarding process is a bore. With Gnowbe, you can expect an arsenal of tools like videos, polls and quizzes that will assist you in ensuring consistent engagement. Furthermore, we balance must-know administrative information with fun tips, like the best food places around the office (very important!) to keep the new hires engaged and well-informed during the onboarding process.

Rest assured that your new hires can hit the ground running happily, having been brought up to speed on company goals, culture, customer motivations, competitors, and much more in an engaging, multimedia-focused format. Compared to traditional eLearning platforms, Gnowbe has been known to dramatically accelerate knowledge acquisition with 10-15x higher completion rates.

engaging onboarding experience

2. It humanizes the onboarding experience

In this new ‘low touch’ economy where remote working is the new norm, prompts for human interaction are necessary to help the new hires become acclimated to the company’s values and culture. We have moved beyond “check-the-box” technologies, as they reflect a completion of the program that lacks a true understanding of the human experience of completing it.

Gnowbe’s onboarding program empowers new hires to build authentic relationships while completing the onboarding program. This is done through prompts that encourage new hires to schedule catch-ups with their colleagues and to upload a photo of themselves and their new colleagues on the group board.

Gnowbe onboarding experience

3. It enables new hires to personalize their onboarding process

For authentic personalization to occur, the onboarding experience should be tailored to the new hires’ prior knowledge and experiences. As the person in charge of onboarding, you might wonder how you can design the onboarding process to ensure that new hires don’t have to experience the tedious procedure of working through “superfluous” onboarding material that covers content they already know or don’t need.

The good news is, at Gnowbe, we have developed a standardized onboarding program that could be easily shaped into different versions depending on the interests, skills and needs of each individual new hire.

Let us show you what it looks like:

4. It is coupled with robust analytical capabilities to help you measure onboarding effectiveness

Data is the most lucrative resource in this digital era. We can’t stress enough the importance of data in supporting your business judgements and decisions. It provides the insights your team needs to set goals, measure progress and success.

With our Analytics Suite, your HR personnel will have access to quantitative data to evaluate the effectiveness of your onboarding program. It can monitor your team’s progress, engagement rates, program completion rates, interaction measures, user happiness, program effectiveness, feedback scores, and more with just a click.

Performance analytics

At Gnowbe, we love to see people thrive at their workplace, especially when they are new; it is so important to start off a brand new season of life on the right foot. Our user-friendly and effective onboarding template is the result of carefully engineered features and workflows which allow both employer and employee to execute and experience a pleasantly memorable and effective onboarding process.

Did we mention that the onboarding templates are FREE?

Simply register for a free Gnowbe account and try out the onboarding templates today at!

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