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Onboarding concept & plan for structured familiarization
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Create onboarding concept & plan
Table of contents

Create onboarding concept & plan

Fortunately, companies are paying more and more attention to the onboarding of new employees. The shift towards a hybrid working environment with more and more flexibility in the choice of work location or working hours is creating additional challenges for onboarding. An onboarding concept is a helpful tool for ensuring a structured process when inducting new employees into the company. Here you can find out what is important and get tips on creating a concept and plan.

What is an onboarding concept & onboarding plan?

Both an onboarding concept and an onboarding plan serve as guidelines for implementing a structured onboarding process. The difference between the two lies in their level of detail. While the onboarding concept defines the strategic direction of onboarding, the onboarding plan is derived directly from the concept, but is geared towards practical implementation.

Onboarding concept

Onboarding concept & onboarding plan - What do they mean?
The onboarding concept defines the general direction and structure of the induction phase. The concept therefore serves as an overarching guideline for onboarding throughout the company, regardless of the position or department of the onboardee. At the same time, the concept should also reflect the corporate identity that is to be conveyed during onboarding.

To act as a guide, the finished onboarding concept must contain answers to the most important general questions. These include, for example:

  • What is the aim of onboarding in the company?
  • How comprehensive should onboarding be?
  • How much time should onboarding take and how long should it last?
  • Where (with which person or in which department) do which responsibilities lie?
  • How is information provided for new employees?
  • In what form will knowledge about the company, internal processes and tools used in the company be communicated?
  • At what stage do which documents need to be provided by or for new colleagues?
  • How often and in what format should feedback be given?
  • Should employees in the office / home office / remote work be equipped?
  • What equipment(furniture, technology) should teams receive?
  • and much more.
Onboarding concept & onboarding plan - examples

Onboarding plan

The onboarding plan is derived from the onboarding concept. In contrast to the general concept, the plan is designed to be much more practical. Specific tasks for the employer and the new employee are now derived from the still general requirements.

The tasks are then supplemented with time specifications so that it is clear in which phase of onboarding the respective tasks are to be completed and when. The result is a detailed roadmap for the first days and weeks in the new company.

An onboarding checklist is the ideal supplement to the onboarding plan. The checklist clearly lists all the tasks to be completed. These can simply be ticked off as soon as they have been completed. This way, you always have an overview of the current status of your onboarding. 

In order to digitally map the onboarding plan, there are now a variety of software solutions that support the digitalization of onboarding. These include, for example

  • Personio
  • Kenjo
  • Factorial
  • BambooHR

Onboarding concept and plan - what's in it for me?

Onboarding concept & onboarding plan - Why are they so important?

Onboarding comprises a large number of tasks, some of which are very detailed. In order to

  1. not to forget any important points and
  2. to develop a process that builds on each other in terms of content,
the two documents help at a strategic and tactical level. This also ensures that all employees have the same positive experience and a uniform level of knowledge about important information in the company.
The much more specific onboarding plan serves primarily as an organizational aid, both for employers and onboardess. It offers additional orientation by providing a binding plan with todos and an outlook for the coming days and weeks.

With the help of a concept and a plan derived from it, disorganization during the induction phase can be avoided, onboarding can be made much more productive and a positive impression can be made on the new employee. Last but not least, this contributes to the company's employer branding and can lead to long-term benefits when searching for and hiring new employees.

What should be considered when developing an onboarding concept and plan?

Onboarding concept & onboarding plan - How to create them?

As an overall corporate task, the management is initially responsible for creating and implementing the onboarding process. In addition, the HR department is of course an important stakeholder, as it is not only about the professional but also the successful social integration of new colleagues into a new environment.

To develop the onboarding concept, it makes sense to form a task force to deal with this task. In addition to people from HR, such a task force should also include employees from the various departments. In addition, the members of such a task force should come from different hierarchical levels. This allows different perspectives on onboarding to be incorporated into the concept.

The strategic framework

When developing the concept, the aim is to define the framework for onboarding in the company. The aim is to answer the above questions (and more). Positive experiences from the company's own past or surveys among the current workforce can provide helpful input for this.

The finished concept should of course not be a static document, but should be continuously improved. To do this, regularly collect feedback from your onboardees and incorporate it into your onboarding process.

Guideline for practical implementation

Once the onboarding concept has been created, the onboarding plans are derived from it. Which individual plans you need depends on the individual situation in your company. You will most likely need a plan for each department (marketing, sales, ....). It also makes sense to create a separate onboarding plan for different positions (trainee, management, C-level, ....).

Due to the much more practical orientation of the onboarding plan, there should be aclose exchange with the specialist departments in order to take the individual contents of onboarding into account appropriately. Of course, the onboarding plan should also be regularly reviewed for content and up-to-dateness and adapted on an ongoing basis.

When developing your concepts and plans for onboarding, you should always make sure that you avoid both over- and under-challenging new employees. If new colleagues are already stressed in the first few days, they probably won't be with your company for too long. However, boredom can also be a reason for dissatisfaction.