ROI of a good onboarding program

Appical empowers their customers to share real-life content with their new colleagues before day one, therefore having more engaging interactions, higher knowledge levels resulting in an accelerated time-to-productivity. Appical is disrupting HR. They offer a cutting edge approach to onboarding and help turning talent into heroes.

Their business case: “what is the ROI of a good onboarding program?” can surely provide a better idea to understand over a investment on an onboarding program.

Here it’s goes..

Our team has the pleasure to work with many amazing enterprises in a variety of industries. During the conversations with our prospective customers and partners we are frequently asked: “How much does a good onboarding programme will save us in terms of ROI?” To answer this question we recently published a renewed calculator. This calculator points out the four key touching points of a new hire joining any company, either SME or multinational.


Appical believes companies should focus on the employee as the key to a successful employee journey instead and that it is important to provide them with an immersive and people-driven experience to have a seamless start in their new roles so that the new hire feels WOW’ed instead of disappointed. Most importantly, the ‘expectation gap’ between the recruitment promise (you’re joining a Cool Company) and reality (dusty intranet onboarding) can be bridged.


#1 Pre-boarding: the direct flight to productivity.

Pre-boarding is a golden opportunity to sustain the euphoria of a new job. For a new hire questions and doubts arise at this stage when a new hire signs the contract and prepares for the first day in the office. Answering these questions and creating structures for addressing their doubts is a good first step to keep the conversation going and keep them excited. Based on our experience in the field I came up with three soft pre-boarding winners that can be applied to any organisation.

We found out that in the pre-boarding fase HR is already engaged in preparing the required paperwork such as code of conducts and the logistics related to the first day in the office. HR usually spends around 5 hours of work in this phase. A new hire spends around 16 hours to flip through the documentation and to prepare himself.

#2 Job Orientation: getting a real life experience

Usually, it is not until the first day in the office that a new hire is able to get familiarized with his work environment and new colleagues. Job orientation includes the first weeks in the office with a lot of face-to-face sessions, and most companies have a obligatory tour throughout the premises to make the orientation stick. Questions like ‘Where is the coffee machine?’, ‘What is the printer number?’, ‘How can I book a meeting room?’ are usually top of mind. On average this takes four hours for a new hire to attend a tour and a welcome session with a senior management on the low end. HR usually has a colleague appointed to guide the new hires through the office.

While it’s a challenge for the employee to familiarize him or herself quickly with the office, the job responsibilities, new co-workers and more, it’s just as important and stressful for their managers. Making a new hire feel comfortable and a part of the team from day one is imperative to making the employee a successful and productive member of your business.

#3 Company onboarding

Onboarding is more comprehensive in its reach than job orientation and focuses on decreasing the time it takes for new hire to reach the minimum expected productivity level on-the-job. The company onboarding phase starts from the first day and can last from three months up to a year before a new hire reaches productivity. A new hire is losing approximately 4 hours to search for the information he needs. In more complex environments such as professional services, this may well be 20 hours of more.

New employees will make mistakes and so will you. So feedback is a two-way street and you need to ensure you are able to catch all the relevant insights and improvement points on the go and not only during an annual employee review. We have seen that on average employees spend two hours during a three month onboarding program to share their feedback.

Almost all our customers state that the feedback they collected from the new hires is extremely valuable. They come in and have a fresh look at all your dusty processes. They are not worn in yet, so use their crispy vision and ask for their brisk feedback, this is you’re only chance!

#4 Functional onboarding as new episode

Onboarding not only involves multiple departments and colleagues such as recruitment and HR, but also involves multiple layers within any organization. Dr. John Sullivan outlines in total five layers such a onboarding in a corporate level, locational level and individual level.

We are seeing several high performance organizations focussing on functional onboarding as the new episode in guiding employees through a successful transition.

In fact, onboarding will most likely be different for various functional groups within a company. Let’s say you hire salespeople, developers, customer success reps and tech support engineers on a regular basis. While they are all heading into different roles, they will need an introduction to the core information such as company and locational information about the company they are joining. Once they have been exposed to that information, they need to be fueled with functional training, depending on the role. That means their onboarding needs to continue. Therein lies the challenge of a successful onboarding program. How do you create baseline viability consistently when it’s different for each functional group? On average 11 hours per employee are spent on functional onboarding, dedicated classroom training not included.


Sum-of-the-parts: don’t forget off-boarding

Rather than being considered an HR only activity or an overhead cost, onboarding is considered a business impact activity that directly influences the bottom line. Don’t forget that it is the only key event that delivers energy and enthusiasm to the team besides the recruitment decision. As the Boston Consulting Group indicated, it is the first key priority after recruitment and is costing serious money.


Although back office functions are involved, it is managers take ownership because their results suffer if onboarding is not done correctly. Results are measured using performance metrics that can be translated into euro impact.

You’re to-becoming-ex-employee can leave your organization as a fan. Use this opportunity!

We have created a calculator to determine the business case for your onboarding ambitions, you can easily check out the ROI in terms of the hours your organization can save on the various key touching points for your employees.

This article has been taken from the original publication from Appical Blogs

Original Post


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s