August 31, 2023

1Huddle’s Guide to Designing a Winning Employee Onboarding Program

Dana Bernardino

Employee Onboarding Program
12/3/2021 Newark, NJ Firehouse Road for 1Huddle Chris Ramirez | Director /Photographer/Producer Cynthia Altoriso | Stylist, Wardrobe Jasmin Rainieri | Hair Shira Aaron | Make-up

Employee onboarding is a critical process that can significantly impact an organization’s success. When done right, it sets the stage for new employees to become productive, engaged, and committed members of the team. However, designing a winning employee onboarding program is no small feat. It requires careful planning, creativity, and a deep understanding of your company’s culture and goals.

In this guide, we’ll explore the key steps and strategies to create an effective onboarding program, drawing inspiration from 1Huddle, a leader in employee training and engagement.

1. Understand the Purpose of Onboarding

Before you jump into designing an onboarding program, it’s crucial to understand its purpose. Onboarding is not just about filling out paperwork and introducing new hires to their colleagues. It’s about integrating them into the company’s culture, values, and mission. It’s about equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their roles. And it’s about making them feel like valuable members of the team from day one.

1Huddle’s approach to onboarding recognizes this purpose. They emphasize the importance of building a strong foundation for new employees by aligning the onboarding process with the company’s goals and values. Start by defining clear objectives for your onboarding program. What do you want new hires to know, do, and feel after completing it?

2. Create a Detailed Onboarding Plan

Once you have a clear understanding of your onboarding program’s purpose, it’s time to create a detailed plan. This plan should outline every step of the onboarding process, from before the new employee’s first day to their first few months on the job. Consider the following elements:

a. Pre-boarding:

This stage begins before the new hire’s first day. Send them welcome materials, including information about the company, its culture, and any necessary paperwork. Assign them a buddy or mentor who can answer questions and provide guidance.

b. First Day Orientation:

Make the first day memorable and engaging. Introduce the new employee to the team, give them a tour of the office, and provide an overview of your company’s history, values, and mission.

c. Role-Specific Training:

Tailor the onboarding process to each role. Provide training materials, job-specific resources, and hands-on experiences to help new hires become proficient in their positions.

d. Company Culture:

Immerse new employees in your company’s culture. Share stories, showcase success stories, and emphasize the values and behaviors that are important to your organization.

e. Ongoing Support:

Onboarding doesn’t end after the first week or month. Continue to provide support, feedback, and opportunities for growth to help new employees thrive in their roles.

1Huddle’s approach to planning onboarding is rooted in customization and adaptability. They understand that one size does not fit all, and they encourage organizations to tailor their onboarding plans to meet the unique needs of each role and individual.

3. Engage and Personalize the Onboarding Experience

Employee engagement is a critical component of successful onboarding. Engaged employees are more likely to stay with your company and perform at their best. To foster engagement, consider the following strategies:

a. Interactive Learning:

1Huddle specializes in interactive learning experiences. Incorporate gamification, quizzes, and other interactive elements into your onboarding program to keep new hires engaged and excited to learn.

b. Personalization:

Recognize that each employee is unique. Tailor the onboarding experience to their needs and preferences. Ask for feedback and adjust the program accordingly.

c. Social Integration:

Encourage new hires to connect with their colleagues. Arrange team-building activities, lunches, or social events to help them build relationships and feel like part of the team.

4. Measure and Improve

An effective onboarding program is not static; it evolves over time. To ensure its continued success, measure its effectiveness and make improvements as needed. Some ways to do this include:

a. Surveys and Feedback:

Collect feedback from new hires to understand their experience. What worked well? What needs improvement? Use this feedback to make adjustments.

b. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

Identify KPIs to track the impact of your onboarding program on employee retention, job performance, and satisfaction.

c. Continuous Learning:

Stay updated on best practices in onboarding and employee development. Adapt your program to incorporate new techniques and technologies.

1Huddle’s commitment to ongoing improvement is evident in their approach to employee training and engagement. They emphasize the importance of data-driven decisions and the continuous refinement of their solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of their clients.

5. Emphasize Compliance and Safety

In certain industries, compliance and safety training are essential components of onboarding. Ensure that your onboarding program includes all necessary compliance training, such as safety protocols, diversity and inclusion training, and industry-specific regulations.

1Huddle understands the importance of compliance training and offers solutions to streamline this aspect of onboarding. Their platform can be customized to include compliance modules and track employee completion and comprehension of critical compliance topics.

6. Leverage Technology

Modern onboarding often benefits from the use of technology. Consider using onboarding software and tools to streamline administrative tasks, track progress, and provide a seamless online learning experience. 1Huddle, for example, offers a mobile-first platform that makes onboarding accessible anytime, anywhere.

7. Communicate Your Company’s Story

Your company’s story is a powerful tool in onboarding. It helps new employees connect with your organization on a deeper level. Share the history of your company, your mission, and your vision for the future. Use storytelling to convey the impact your employees have on the company’s success.

1Huddle’s emphasis on storytelling is evident in their approach to employee training. They understand that stories resonate with people and can make complex information more relatable and memorable.

8. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they should be woven into the fabric of your onboarding program. Ensure that your program promotes a diverse and inclusive environment where all employees feel welcome and valued. 1Huddle’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in their training solutions, which can be customized to address these critical topics.

Designing a winning employee onboarding program is a multifaceted process that requires careful planning, engagement strategies, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Drawing inspiration from 1Huddle, a leader in employee training and engagement, can help you create a program that not only equips new hires with the knowledge and skills they need but also integrates them into your company’s culture and values. 

Onboarding is an ongoing process. By following these principles, you can set your new employees up for success and contribute to the long-term growth and prosperity of your organization.

It’s a win win!

About 1Huddle

1Huddle is a coaching and development platform that uses quick-burst mobile games to more quickly and effectively educate, elevate, and energize your workforce — from frontline to full-time.

With a mobile-first approach to preparing the modern worker, a mobile library of 3,000+ quick-burst employee skill games, an on-demand game marketplace that covers 16 unique workforce skill areas, and the option for personalized content, 1Huddle is changing the way organizations think about their training – from a one-time boring onboarding experience to a continuous motivational tool. 

Key clients include Loews Hotels, Novartis, Madison Square Garden, PIMCO, TAO Group, and the United States Air Force. To learn more about 1Huddle and its platform, please visit

Dana Bernardino, Manager of Digital Marketing at 1Huddle

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