An image of a pair of feet in red sneakers pointed towards a welcome mat which reads 'Welcome on board' to represent a professional onboarding experience.

Designing a unique onboarding experience

With a large number of employees set to embark on their career, the client wanted to make their first year really stand out with a new engaging onboarding programme…

  • Situation:As a rapidly growing business, the client had a large number of new employees joining the business.
  • Challenge:Integrating new employees into the business quickly and effectively with a focus on building connections, a sense of belonging and immersing them in the company’s unique culture.
  • Solution:An onboarding programme that springboarded new employees into their career and helped them rapidly understand and become part of their new organisation.
  • Result:Ongoing programme currently expanding to include wider EMEA and US onboarders as a result of the successful UK pilot programme.

Retention and hiring can be tricky to get right at the best of times. But, in the wake of the great resignation — employing and retaining employees is harder than ever. With the spiralling costs of hiring, onboarding, and training new employees, something needed to change. As a fast growth business, our client was expecting up to 1000 new colleagues to join their UK business in the next 12 months, they realised now was the time to act.

The metrics

8 cohorts

400+ participants to date

14 events

88% of participants would recommend this onboarding programme


We all know first impressions count. A good onboarding programme can lay the foundations for an employee’s career within the company, ultimately determining whether they stay long term. Whilst there will always be the essential paperwork filling, meetings, and lap top set ups, the onboarding experience needed to deliver much more. Creating connections, a sense of belonging, and immersing the employees in the company culture is vital when it comes to retaining people in the long term. The client wanted a programme designed that was focused on these core values and had set clear objectives for the programme:

  • Inspire long term careers — through developing an understanding of the breadth and capacity of the organisation , and the opportunities for growth and development, this would inspire long-term career growth within the company.
  • Knowledge transfer — understanding the organisation’s values and vision and becoming immediately involved in working towards the strategy and goals.
  • Energy — maintain and enhance the “new starter” energy and enthusiasm.
  • Skills — equip the new onboarder’s with the skills and knowledge they would need to succeed.
  • Building connections — establishing a network of friends, colleagues and mentors that can support them in their work and enhance their role.
  • Fostering a sense of pride and belonging — being proud to work for their new organisation and feeling valued and supported.


  • With up to 1000 new employees to onboard throughout the year and monthly cohorts of c.80 participants “kicking off” at the beginning of each month we knew they would need a blended learning approach to access and embed all aspects of the programme.
  • Central to the design of the onboarding programme, was a series of virtual events each with a laser-focus on the client’s vision — building connections, belonging, and getting involved. Subject matter experts and guest speakers provided insight at the virtual events into all aspects of the company — from benefits to sustainability — as well as introducing the participants to the company vision and goals.
  • Building the learning experience outside the virtual events was essential; pre/post learning topped and tailed each of the sessions. Interactive, fun and engaging, these were designed to introduce new concepts prior to the events, and secondly to apply and embed what they had learnt through “on-the job missions”. We wanted the attendees to leave the events curious to find out more — our extra learning materials gave them “deep dives” from articles, podcasts, webinars and learning nudges.
  • Finally, we wanted to measure the success of the programme. We are committed to continuous improvement, and gathering feedback and results meant we could iterate the programme to ensure it continued to deliver maximum impact for our client. Measuring how the participants responded to each aspect of the programme and providing insights from participants for senior leaders was also an important aspect of our reporting.


  • Expansion of the onboarding programme in year 2 to include wider EMEA and US employees as a result of the successful UK pilot programme.
  • An ongoing programme of delivery which springboards new employees into their new roles and helps them develop their career within the clients organisation.

It is great to be connected and learn together with people at the same point in their journey.


It’s a brilliant initiative! The way in which it was facilitated and pulled together was great. Bringing people from across every different function is a great idea to build on the culture of a business which is people focused.