March 2022
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TD Magazine

Wow With Onboarding

Monday, February 28, 2022

Implementation specialists and L&D professionals share a common goal of making memorable training.

Many consumer goods today include a link to a video or online content to orient users to the product or service. That is a means to onboard customers. Onboarding could include setting up, configuring, and customizing the product; offering solutions or training; or answering questions.


According to customer onboarding platform Rocketlane's The State of Customer Onboarding 2022 survey, "The customer onboarding phase is your customer's first brush with your product and brand. This is also the phase where your relationship with them takes on a collaborative nature. Customer on-boarding sets your customer up to derive value from your product."

Onboarding or implementation professionals, like L&D professionals, are in the business of knowledge transfer. For them, knowledge transfer is tied to sales. To retain customers, Rocketlane notes that customers "need to have their ‘wow' moments through their first brush with the product and after that too. The onboarding experience should encourage feature adoption and make upselling easier."

Similarly, organizations benefit greatly when onboarding is memorable for employees. According to the Getting the Best on Board report from the online assessment platform Questionmark, "What happens in a worker's earliest days with their employer can set the tone for their entire tenure."


"Only 12% of U.S. employees say their company does a good job of onboarding," according to the Gallup article "8 Practical Tips for Leaders for a Better Onboarding Process." On the flip side, Gallup reports that those who had outstanding onboarding experiences defined their position as "the best possible job."

To develop memorable and effective onboarding, Gallup recommends fostering relationships, incorporating learning and involving new hires' managers, and creating an easy and intuitive process. Other tips include finding creative ways for staff to make connections, sending new hires a welcome package, and incorporating experiences that introduce new employees to the company culture.

Getting the Best on Board warns that "When employers fail to get on-boarding right, they pay the price with higher turnover, lower morale and additional recruitment costs." Invest in meaningful and memorable onboarding experiences to retain talent and set them up for success.

About the Author

Derrick Thompson is a former writer/editor for ATD.

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