12 words and concepts about the onboarding journey that you need to know

Appical Team
Navin Suneej
March 10, 2021
min read
Table of Contents
The world of HR and the employee journey can be overwhelming with many concepts and terms that are used in today’s work climate. Onboarding-related concepts can be confusing, so if you want to start with the basics or want a quick refresher, we recommend learning these 12 definitions and concepts. Having a good understanding of these key terms will help you turn your talents into heroes.

Employee experience

We’ve discussed the importance of employee experience above, but what exactly is it and why is it so important? This complex psycho-cognitive concept describes the combination of several company-related experiences which has a huge impact on how an employee perceives your company’s culture and values. Every part of the onboarding journey plays an integral role in creating the perfect employee experience, from pre- to offboarding. Giving your employees an unforgettable employee experience can boost productivity, reduce employee turnover and can help create a resilient workforce. 

Employee journey

The employee's journey is the journey that employees make within your organization: from the point that they first have contact with the organization to the point that they leave the organization. Every employee and department has a unique employee journey. Some moments are seen on almost every trip an employee goes through: signing the employment contract, pre-boarding, the first first, onboarding, end of the probationary period, the first six months and, for example, the employee's birthday. Each employee is located in a different stadium of the employee journey.


As the name suggests, preboarding is the process that leads up to onboarding. The moment they sign the contract their employee journey has already begun. New hires are eager to make a first good impression and are happy to invest time to learn more about the company and their future coworkers, even before their first day. This period of enthusiasm and motivation to work is often not made use of by many companies. Preboarding, lets them know about administrative details and get them ready for the day they step into your office. Answer questions like what the dress code is or when everyone has lunch, but also introduce them to the team, so they start working in a team full of familiar faces. Make sure you don’t forget any important steps in pre- and onboarding by using our onboarding checklist for managers.


Onboarding is the process of turning your new hire into a fully productive employee. Joining a company can be daunting, you’re exposed to many new people and a new work environment. The Onboardee needs to learn company guidelines and unspoken rules to fully understand the company culture. The process of onboarding takes care of these steps. With the right platform, you can increase your talent’s productivity and establish a strong employee brand, providing your hire with the employee experience they deserve.

 5 C’s of Onboarding 

The 5 C’s of onboarding encompasses the 5 most important aspects that a new hire should learn through their onboarding process, according to DR Talya Bauer from her ‘SHRM Foundation: the building blocks of a successful onboarding process’. You can see these rules of thumb as the onboarding ABC. 

Compliance: Make sure your new employee is fully briefed and understands any legal, company-policy, or security processes. This not only prevents them from making any mistakes in the beginning, but it also helps them get accustomed to certain workflows that your company may use for these processes.

Clarification: Helps your Onboardees better understand their role and job in the company. Make sure they understand their tasks, who their team and managers are, and what deliverables they are expected to achieve at the company.

Culture: Each company exhibits different types of company cultures, it is important to let your Onboardee know what they should wear to work and what the company values and mission are. The employee should be able to align their vision with that of the company. 

Connection: Starting to work at a new company is a lot like your first day at school. Most faces are new and initial disconnect can make it hard for a new team member to fit socially within the company. An onboarding buddy helps a lot in this situation, but also coffee dates introduce the new talent to the company network. 

Checkback: Onboarding is not a 1-2 week-long process. It may take months till a new employee is fully onboarded. Frequent check backs can help identify any pain points early or discover previously unknown opportunities for growth. Make your employee feel listened to and provide them with a channel to communicate with you. With the right integrated tools managers can keep oversight of the progress and feedback of all new recruits.

Remote onboarding 

In today's work climate, digitalization and remote work is more important than ever. Companies work globally and in times such as COVID-19, remote work cannot be avoided. However, just because the office tour cannot take place in person should not mean that the employee experience should suffer. Remote onboarding platforms, such as Appical, allow companies to dynamically onboard a person both in person, but also remotely based on their circumstance. With activities such as quizzes and games, the employee gets to know the company better and videos can visualize your employee brand, anywhere in the world. 


So many different types of boarding and it still isn’t boring. Did your office undergo renovations or new COVID measures have changed the office layouts and guidelines? These are all scenarios where reboarding is incredibly important. After months of working remotely, workplaces are opening up again, getting pre-existing employees accustomed to changes in the company and work environment can be a challenge. However, keeping employees informed can be simple and efficient with the right reboarding strategy. Cut down on productivity downtime and increase employee engagement with reboarding!


Offboarding deals with bringing your employees’ journey to a perfect end and giving them a proper goodbye. Just because your employee is leaving the company does not mean farewell. Proper offboarding enables you to collect valuable information and the feedback you need. Allowing your employees to discuss their experiences and say goodbye to their team in a memorable way! The employee experience continues even after they left the company, turning previous employees into brand ambassadors.

30-60-90 Plan

When HR professionals talk about the 30-60-90 Plan they are talking about an onboarding process that strives to integrate the new employee effectively and productively into their new position. The 30-60-90 talks about the first second and third months at the new company. During this time the company guides their employee through an onboarding process that is designed to focus on concrete and manageable goals at each phase of the plan to align them to company-driven goals. To read more about creating your own 30-60-90 plan and find out how it can benefit your company, check out our eGuide

Onboarding buddy 

An onboarding buddy, as the name suggests, is an employee that is assigned to a new hire as a buddy. They help new hires navigate through the organization’s culture and practices. Acting as a clear point of contact, they try to make the new recruit feel welcome and part of the new company. A good buddy helps the new hire feel confident and boosts their productivity. Our onboarding buddy toolbox has all the tips and tricks you need and as an added bonus contains a free card game that allows you to get to know your new talent better. 

Inclusive Onboarding 

Inclusive hiring has, fortunately, become commonplace in many industries, but what about inclusive onboarding? Usually, during onboarding, we try to communicate the company culture and help the new recruit understand the way the company operates. Inclusive onboarding often takes an extra step, where the company tries to understand what the employee’s personality and preferences are. Understanding their cultural preferences and way of doing business can help managers assign them to the right teams and leverage their unique skill sets. It also helps especially ethnic, religious, sexual preferences to be identified to prevent minorities from feeling excluded in a workplace. Inclusive onboarding is as much about teaching as it is about listening to feedback. 

Data-Driven Onboarding  

Digitalizing the onboarding process provides managers with previously masked information about the onboarding process. Minor flaws may never come to your attention and strengths may never be capitalized on. With data-driven onboarding, it is easier than ever to maintain a clear overview of your new recruits and enables you to make the decision that benefits you the most, based on rich data. This helps you constantly improve and optimize your onboarding process to provide your talent with the best possible employee experience

As we can see, employee boarding is a concept with many facets. These 10 words hopefully help you communicate onboarding-related issues better, but also grasp the importance of the little nuances of the employee experience. If you want to give your employees the best employee experience, whilst both improving productivity and efficiency, then consider using our digital employee boarding platform for your organization. 

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