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Employee Onboarding Programs: 3 Real-Life Case Studies and Successes

BY -

Emmanuel Smith

September 14, 2021

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In the words of the revolutionary Steve Jobs, former CEO and co-founder of Apple, “You cannot mandate productivity; you must provide the tools to let people become their best.” Providing the tools (and the environment) for employees to thrive is precisely what the onboarding process is all about. 

Employee onboarding processes are very crucial to the efficiency of the new employee (and by extension, their contribution to company growth), as well as their longevity with the organization. So much so that 77% of employees who had a formal onboarding process hit performance goals in their first year, and companies who conducted employee onboarding programs recorded a 25% increase in retention rate

Apple and Steve Jobs understood the importance of integrating new hires with their company values and operational processes. Little wonder they report making, on average, $2 million in revenue per employee.

Other companies understand the importance and benefits of employee onboarding programs besides Apple. And in this article, we will take you through the great onboarding programs employed by top companies, as well as their success metrics and outcomes.

3 Examples of Employee Onboarding Programs

Google — Just-in-Time Nudges

Google's Just-in-Time Nudges Onboarding program

The first on our list is the second-highest-valued company in the world with over 130,000 employees as of 2021. 

In a company like Google, where expectations are high, the responsibilities of the new employees to develop vital relationships with co-workers, work with team members, and prove their worth can be overwhelming. 

The HR team at Google understands this predicament and implemented a simple interactive onboarding program that prepares employees for their new roles.  

How?

Google employs what is known as “just-in-time nudges” to acclimate new team members with company policies and boost employee engagement. 

Nudges are a set of reminders given to inform the recipient of the next course(s) of action. These nudges have four characteristics: gentle, timely, relevant, and easy to execute. They are also used as check-ins to monitor the employee's progress in the company.

These gentle reminders are given to both the handlers of the new employees as well as the Nooglers (new Google hires) themselves.

The Results

“Nudging” Nooglers exposes them to relevant information fast. And the timely nature of these nudges makes it easier for new hires to execute tasks efficiently because the information is delivered right at the time the task is to be executed.

In the end, Google’s effective new hire onboarding process improved employee experience and led to a 25% increase in new employee productivity.

Netflix — The Netflix Culture Deck

The Netflix Culture Deck Onboarding Program

Netflix has experienced tremendous success since they were founded in 1997. Much of their success has come from how they treat their employees, which in turn improved their productivity and contribution to the company’s astronomical growth over the years. 

In fact, Netflix was named as the most appealing place to work according to this report by Hired.

How?

It all starts with a deck of slides. 

Netflix upholds their culture of balancing freedom with responsibility, a culture they hope to instill in their 12,000-plus employees. They do this by sharing a deck of slides with their new hires in their first week. 

In these slides, the seven aspects of the Netflix culture are explicitly highlighted and described. In addition, other slides that contain useful information such as a thorough explanation of the Netflix technology stack and what to expect in the new job at Nexflix, are also made available.

The Results 

Providing all the necessities for employees to acclimate with the Netflix company culture and the software itself makes things a lot easier for the new hires right from day one. Also, it leaves little room for errors and confusion about company policies.

The success of this onboarding program reflects in their turnover rate. In 2020, Netflix boasted a staggering 11% employee turnover rate — better than Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

LinkedIn — [In]troduction


LinkedIn [In}troduction onboarding program

For a social media company who has built a niche around career, HR management, and business networking, one would expect they would excel in this aspect of onboarding. And they have. Through their new hire orientation program: [In]troduction.

How?

LinkedIn’s [In]troduction includes seven key components of education and integration exercises, such as lectures on company policies, chat sessions with senior leadership, a campus tour, and even lunch. It gives a well-rounded, effective onboarding experience on the employee's first day.

The Results

[In]troduction is so successful that in 2014, it was given a bronze Brandon Hall award for best onboarding program. Its success rate is also reflected in LinkedIn’s year-after-year revenue growth of 27%.

Final Thoughts

Successful companies engage in onboarding practices. We mentioned a few big tech companies in this article, but the list is endless. 

It is also worth noting that no two companies mentioned above applied the same onboarding process. Where Netflix’s process focused on their company culture, Google aimed to rapidly improve the productivity of their new hires. In other words, onboarding programs should be customized to fit with the company’s aims and objectives.

If you are in human resources or a hiring manager looking to build a successful onboarding program for your company, you can use some of the best employee onboarding software in the market to draft your onboarding training programs. 

Such software platforms have helped big companies like InVision, Nissan, Daimler, etc., build formal employee onboarding processes and automate employee workflows.

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