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

Create onboarding concept & plan

Companies are fortunately paying more and more attention to the onboarding of new employees. The shift to a hybrid world of work with more and more flexibility in the choice of work location or working hours creates additional challenges for onboarding. An onboarding concept is a helpful tool to ensure a structured process for the induction of new employees in the company. Here you will learn what is important and get tips on how to create a concept and plan.

What are Onboarding Concept & Onboarding Plan?

Both an onboarding concept and an onboarding plan serve as a guide in 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 orientation and structure of the onboarding phase. Consequently, the concept serves as an overarching guideline for onboarding in the entire company, regardless of the onboardee's position or department. 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 finalised onboarding concept must include answers to the most important general questions. These include, for example:

  • What is the goal of onboarding in the company?
  • How comprehensive should onboarding be?
  • How much time should onboarding take and over what duration?
  • Where (with which person or in which department) do which responsibilities lie?
  • How is information made available to new employees?
  • In what form will knowledge about the company, about internal processes and about tools used in the company be imparted?
  • In which phase do which documents have to be provided by or for new colleagues?
  • How often and in what format should feedback be given?
  • Should employees be equipped in the office / home office / remote work?
  • What equipment(furniture, technology) should teams receive?
  • uvm.
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 much more practical. Concrete tasks for the employer and the new employees are now derived from the still general guidelines.

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

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

In order to digitally map the onboarding plan, there are a variety of software solutions available today that support the digitalisation 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 encompasses a multitude 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 onboarders have the same positive experience and a consistent level of knowledge about important information in the company.
The much more specific onboarding plan serves primarily as an organisational aid, both for employers and onboardess. It additionally offers orientation by providing a binding plan with todos and an outlook on the coming days and weeks.

With the help of a concept and a plan derived from it, disorganisation during the induction phase can be avoided, a significantly more productive onboarding can be designed and, as a result, a positive impression can be left on the newcomers. Last but not least, this pays off for the employer branding of the company and can lead to advantages in the long term when searching for and hiring new employees.

What should be considered when developing onboarding concept & plan?

Onboarding Concept & Onboarding Plan - How to create them?

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

For the development of the onboarding concept, it makes sense to form a task force to deal with this task. Such a task force should include people from human resources as well as staff from different departments. In addition, the members of such a task force should come from different hierarchical levels. In this way, different perspectives on onboarding can be incorporated into the concept.

The strategic framework

The development of the concept is about defining the framework for onboarding in the company. The goal is to answer the questions mentioned above (and beyond). Positive experiences from one's own past or surveys among the current staff can provide helpful input for this.

Of course, the finished concept should not be a static document, but should be continuously improved. Regularly collect feedback from your onboarders and incorporate it into your onboarding process.

Guideline for practical implementation

After 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. Most likely you will need a plan for each department (marketing, sales, ....). It also makes sense to create an individual 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 the onboarding into account appropriately. Of course, the onboarding plan should also be regularly checked for content and up-to-dateness and continuously adapted.

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