Picture this: a new employee walks into your office on their first day, brimming with excitement and eager to contribute. How do you ensure their transition into your company is smooth, engaging, and sets the foundation for long-term success? That’s precisely where exceptional employee onboarding demonstrates its value.
From tech giants like Google and Microsoft to disruptive innovators such as Airbnb and Netflix, companies have distinguished themselves and risen above their competition through offering the best employee onboarding experience possible. Their employee onboarding examples serve as a guide for organizations who wish to engage their workforce and promote an award-winning culture.
These companies and others have set a high bar by creating immersive experiences that embrace their unique cultures, encourage collaboration, and empower new hires to contribute their best work, while being set up to maintain success down the road.
A well-designed onboarding program sets the foundation for a strong and thriving workforce, ensuring that new hires feel valued, supported, and equipped to make a meaningful impact from day one.
What is an Onboarding Experience and Why Does It Matter?
Before we dive into employee onboarding examples, it’s important to understand exactly why a great onboarding experience is so important.
Employee onboarding refers to the process of integrating new hires into your organization, helping them acclimate to their roles, team dynamics, and company culture. It’s much more than just paperwork and orientation sessions — well-designed onboarding experiences set the stage for long-term success.
Whether in person or done remotely, proper onboarding will help foster a sense of belonging, accelerate productivity, and create a positive impression that can influence employee engagement and retention.
What Makes the Best Employee Onboarding Experience?
While every company and the culture they create is unique (and requires a tailored onboarding strategy), there are some best practices you can follow to offer an effective experience. These key elements offer employee onboarding examples and characteristics that go beyond administrative tasks and embrace a holistic approach that combines the following elements:
Start with a thorough introduction to company values, mission, and culture. This is your chance to introduce your new candidate to the spirit of your organization, and gives them a sense of how they’ll fit into the overall structure.
This is where you should offer transparent communication regarding their role, responsibilities, and performance expectations. Clarity is essential here — you’re setting the stage for their ongoing performance expectations.
Assigning mentors or buddies to guide new hires and provide ongoing support is a great way to kick off a sense of camaraderie and give your new hire a chance to get a real slice of life at your company from an experienced coworker.
In addition to less formal, on-the-job experience, offering structured training programs will help new employees develop necessary skills and knowledge.
Beyond mentorship, create opportunities for new hires to build relationships with colleagues and stakeholders. This could be as simple as helping them book 1-on1s, or remind them of upcoming social events.
As they’re settling in, prepare your new candidate for their schedule of regular check-ins and feedback sessions to ensure alignment and course-correct if performance tweaks are needed.
Helping new hires feel they’re able to meaningfully contribute early will pay dividends down the road. Look to provide meaningful projects or tasks that allow new hires to contribute from day one.
Evaluation and Growth
Establish a framework for assessing progress, identifying growth opportunities, and career development. Showing your new hires you’re thinking about how to develop their skills down the road will have a positive impact on their motivation moving forward.
With these elements in mind, let’s take a look at 10 employee onboarding examples from companies that have set a high standard for offering the best employee onboarding experience.
10 Best Employee Onboarding Experience Examples
Onboarding Process and Practices: Google is well known for its comprehensive onboarding program. New hires participate in an incredibly thorough orientation that offers deep insight into the company’s mission, values, and culture.
They are also assigned a “buddy” who serves as a mentor, guiding them through their first weeks. Google emphasizes opportunities for new hires to jump into meaningful projects right off the bat, and encourages open communication channels with managers and colleagues.
What’s Unique: Google’s onboarding experience stands out for its emphasis on fostering a sense of community and driving innovation. Google incorporates an abundance of team-building activities, encourages collaboration, and provides access to resources that support continuous learning and development.
Onboarding Process and Practices: Rather than take a “one-size-fits-all” approach, Airbnb focuses on creating a personalized onboarding experience, in an effort to deepen immersion. They provide new hires with a detailed pre-boarding package that includes information about the company’s mission, core values, and the onboarding process.
Once onboard, employees engage in a comprehensive orientation, receive mentorship from experienced team members, and are given ongoing training materials so they can continue to grow independently in their first few weeks.
What’s Unique: Airbnb’s onboarding process is defined by its emphasis on cultural immersion. New hires are encouraged to experience the company’s core values firsthand through unique experiences, such as staying at an Airbnb listing. This helps employees understand the company’s mission while building relationships with colleagues and having a fun time doing it.
Onboarding Process and Practices: Netflix offers a unique onboarding experience centered around its culture of freedom and responsibility. New hires receive an extensive welcome package that includes a handbook explaining the company’s values, culture, and expectations.
They are encouraged to take ownership of their learning and contribute from day one. Netflix focuses on building a culture of continuous feedback and learning through open communication channels and regular check-ins.
What’s Unique: Netflix’s onboarding approach is characterized by its emphasis on employee autonomy and trust. The company values a culture of freedom and responsibility, allowing new hires to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas without excessive bureaucracy.
Onboarding Process and Practices: Where newer disruptors offer a process built on individualism and autonomy, Microsoft prioritizes a comprehensive and structured onboarding process. New hires are provided with a personalized onboarding plan that includes a series of training modules tailored to their roles.
They receive support from mentors and have access to an extensive library of resources. Microsoft also emphasizes cross-team collaboration and encourages new hires to network with colleagues.
What’s Unique: Microsoft’s onboarding process stands out for its emphasis on career development. The company offers various development programs, including mentorship initiatives, skills training, and networking opportunities, in an effort to support new hires in their professional growth within the organization.
Onboarding Process and Practices: Salesforce focuses on creating an engaging and supportive onboarding experience for its employees. In addition to learning about their core values and culture, new hires participate in a structured orientation program that introduces them to the company’s technology and product offerings.
Then, new employees are paired with mentors who provide guidance and support throughout their onboarding journey. Salesforce also is well known for offering comprehensive, ongoing training and development opportunities to help employees continue to develop in their role and career with Salesforce.
What’s Unique: Salesforce provides an onboarding experience characterized by its commitment to employee success and well-being. The company prioritizes a culture of inclusivity and provides resources for new hires to navigate their career paths within the organization.
Onboarding Process and Practices: Taking the importance of first impressions seriously, HubSpot places emphasis on creating a positive and engaging onboarding experience. New hires are assigned a buddy who serves as a mentor and guide during their initial weeks at HubSpot.
The company offers a comprehensive orientation program that covers not only the company’s mission and values but also provides insights into the industry and market trends. HubSpot encourages new hires to take ownership of their learning by providing access to a wealth of resources, training materials, and online courses. They also emphasize building connections with colleagues through team-building activities and networking events.
What’s Unique: HubSpot’s onboarding process stands out for its focus on rapidly developing the knowledge and skills of its new hires. The company provides ongoing support and encourages continuous learning, enabling employees to excel in their roles and contribute to the company’s success.
Onboarding Process and Practices: Zappos is well known for its distinct and immersive onboarding experience. New hires go through a detailed training program that covers Zappos’ exceptional customer service philosophy. They also spend time working in different departments to gain a holistic understanding of the organization. Zappos fosters a supportive and inclusive environment, encouraging open communication and collaboration.
What’s Unique: Zappos’ onboarding experience is characterized by its emphasis on creating a positive work environment and customer-centric culture. The company works exceptionally hard to instill its core values in new hires, ensuring they embody the Zappos spirit in every interaction, both internally and with customers.
Onboarding Process and Practices: Similar to Microsoft, Adobe opts for a structured and personalized onboarding experience to new employees. They offer a comprehensive orientation program that familiarizes new hires with the company’s products, services, and culture.
Like most companies on this list, Adobe assigns mentors to guide new employees through their initial weeks, providing support and answering any questions they may have. Additionally, the company encourages ongoing learning through training resources and development opportunities.
What’s Unique: Adobe’s onboarding process stands out for its focus on creativity and innovation. The company fosters a culture that celebrates individuality and encourages employees to bring their unique perspectives and ideas to the table, ultimately driving innovation within the organization.
Onboarding Process and Practices: LinkedIn places a strong emphasis on creating a positive and inclusive onboarding experience. New hires go through an extensive orientation program that covers LinkedIn’s culture, values, and expectations.
The company provides opportunities for new employees to network with colleagues, participate in cross-functional projects, and engage in ongoing learning and development activities. In their onboarding, LinkedIn also encourages open communication and feedback, ensuring that new hires feel supported and well set up for success.
What’s Unique: LinkedIn’s onboarding experience is characterized by its focus on professional networking and career development. The company encourages employees to leverage the power of the LinkedIn platform to build their professional networks and create opportunities for growth and advancement.
Onboarding Process and Practices: Atlassian is committed to providing a comprehensive and engaging onboarding experience. New hires undergo a thorough orientation program that introduces them to Atlassian’s values, products, and collaborative culture.
The company fosters a sense of community by assigning mentors to new employees and facilitating connections with colleagues. Atlassian also encourages ongoing learning and provides resources for professional development.
What’s Unique: Atlassian’s onboarding process stands out for its emphasis on teamwork and collaboration. The company encourages employees to work together, share knowledge, and leverage their diverse skills to drive innovation and work towards collective success.
Offer the Best Employee Onboarding Experience and Inspire Success With Omni
Whether it’s Google’s focus on community and innovation, Airbnb’s cultural immersion approach, or Netflix’s emphasis on freedom and responsibility, these employee onboarding examples have demonstrated the importance of creating an onboarding experience that aligns with their values and engages new hires from the start.
As you set out to improve your own employee onboarding process, take inspiration from these examples and think about how you can incorporate elements such as personalized welcome packages, comprehensive orientations, mentorship programs, ongoing feedback channels, and opportunities for collaboration. Tailor these practices to your organization’s unique culture and industry, ensuring your new hires feel supported, connected, and equipped to make a meaningful impact.
But you don’t need to do it alone. With Omni’s comprehensive onboarding checklist, we’ll guide you through the key steps and best practices you need to follow to create the best employee onboarding experiences for your new hires. Our guide ensures you’ll be well-equipped to design an onboarding program that puts your new hires on the path for long-term success.
Ready to set the new high bar for employee onboarding experience? Download our guide today.