IceHrm Looking for an HR software for Your Company?
Masha Masha is a content developer at IceHrm. You can contact her at masha[at]

Agile Onboarding: Modern Employee Integration

  Reading Time:

These days, old-school induction practices feel like a snooze. When people start a new job, they want to make a good impression, of course. But what they really want is to feel engaged, respected and valued. But most of all, they want to be excited! But presenting them with a list of accounts to open and a bunch of paperwork doesn't exactly pique their curiosity.

An agile onboarding approach gives new employees freedom and focuses on the most important things they need to learn and do. In this way, the first days, weeks and months in your company will be employee-oriented and the foundation will be laid for a fruitful and lasting relationship between employee and employer. That's much better!

Below you will learn exactly what agile onboarding is, why it is a better alternative to traditional methods and how you can implement it in your company.

Understanding Agile Onboarding: Breaking Down the Methodology

Agile onboarding follows the principles of agile project management methodologies traditionally used by software development teams. These methods focus on iteration, flexibility, feedback and user orientation. So, an agile approach to onboarding creates a more engaging and dynamic experience for new employees.

But what does agile onboarding look like in practice? Let’s look at some of the key principles of agile and how they can translate into your onboarding practices.

7 key components of agile onboarding

Whether you call it agile or not, your onboarding process may already follow some of the guiding principles of this methodology. Here are some core components you can evaluate:

  1. Adaptability: Adapt the process to individual needs, accommodate different learning styles, and adapt to changing circumstances.
  2. Flexibility: Keep processes and schedules fluid so new employees can complete their to-do lists and manage their schedules at their own pace.
  3. Prioritize: Focus on the most important tasks first and accelerate the time in which a new employee can make a meaningful contribution.
  4. Feedback: Gather insights into the onboarding experience of recently hired employees to fill any gaps and improve it for the next new employee.
  5. Collaboration: Involve diverse team members, departments and stakeholders in creating onboarding plans and welcoming new team members.
  6. Iterate: Regularly review and refine the onboarding process to ensure it keeps pace with changing goals and needs.
  7. Transparency: Keep onboarding and other processes clearly defined and easily accessible to all employees.

Why an agile approach to onboarding?

Traditional onboarding processes are unable to optimally prepare new employees for success in modern workplaces. 50-item checklists and detailed itineraries seem outdated in the context of distributed and distributed workforces, an accelerated work pace, and the updated expectations of Generation Z. And the first impression is quickly made:

An agile onboarding approach gives new employees a sense of ownership over their work and helps them feel more connected to their team and company goals. And that's just the tip of the iceberg...

5 Benefits of Agile Employee Onboarding

There are many reasons why agile methods are more suitable for employee onboarding today. But what results can you expect from this approach? Here are 5 tangible benefits of agile onboarding:

  1. Shorter time to productivity: New hires can slowly take on work tasks in addition to their onboarding tasks to familiarize themselves with their new role. You'll feel like you've accomplished something and you'll quickly realize their value - a win-win.
  2. Adapts to individual needs: Introverts can split up meetings and greetings, people can take time away from their work, etc. Flexible work arrangements are among the top 3 motivators for looking for a new job, so you should accommodate that become.
  3. Give new employees a voice: Asking for feedback encourages employees to share their thoughts, questions and opinions early on. Healthy communication channels eliminate confusion, provide clarity, and show new employees that they can speak up (and be heard).
  4. Builds Trust and Autonomy: Giving employees ownership of their work is a surefire way to make them feel trusted. When you give trust, you earn trust. Employees in high-trust companies are 76% more engaged and 50% more productive than in low-trust companies.
  5. Improved Engagement: Each and every one of the above benefits helps increase engagement. With the ratio of engaged to disengaged employees in the U.S. at its lowest level since 2013, fostering engagement from day one is critical.

Implementing Agile Onboarding in Your Organization: A 4-Step Framework

You may be convinced of the benefits of agile onboarding, but how can you put it into practice in your company? Interestingly, the best way to design your Agile onboarding process is to use an Agile framework itself. You should practice what you preach!

To enable a smooth transition to agile working and get your leadership, HR and management teams on board, follow these essential steps:

1.Evaluate your current process

Start with an inventory of your existing onboarding practices. Answer questions like:

  • Who is responsible for what?
  • How is the process communicated to new employees?
  • What documents are included and are they up to date?

Review onboarding practices across your teams and departments and ask leaders to share their most recent onboarding plans with you. Collect all this information and get a clear overview of the current status of onboarding.

2.Identify areas for improvement

Be critical and think carefully about what works and what doesn't. This is also a good time to get feedback from your employees. That's how it's done:

  • Brainstorm with employees from different departments and management levels. Discuss how you can make the process more efficient, more personal, more useful, or more powerful.
  • Collect feedback from new hires about what was helpful, what they noticed, and what they felt was missing.

3.Prioritize your customizations

Before you dive headfirst into your remodel, take a step back. An agile prioritization method can help you choose the most impactful place to start. Here are some you can try:

  • Effort versus impact matrix
  • RICE: (Reach x Impact x Confidence) / Effort
  • MoSCoW: Must, Should, Couldn't and Won't have

4.Repeat, repeat, repeat

Iteration and continuous improvement are the cornerstones of the agile approach. So remember, this won’t be the last time you review and revise your onboarding process. Over time, you can build your feedback cycles into your onboarding process. Every time a new employee goes through the process, improvements are made and the iteration is built in!

Overcoming challenges in transitioning to agility

Like any big change, converting your onboarding process to agile procedures can involve an adjustment period. You might face the following common challenges:

  • Resistance to change from employees or managers
  • Balance between consistency and personalization
  • Limited HR, IT, leadership or management capacities
  • Lack of resources (technology, time, budgets, etc.)

The transition won't happen overnight, so remember that the guiding principle of agility is continuous improvement. You don't have to revise everything at once, just gradually until one day you step back and see a much bigger change.

Agile onboarding for a fresher start

By integrating agile principles into your onboarding process, you create the conditions for new employees to not only perform, but also be successful. They feel confident that they can contribute to their role and are empowered to do their best work. You give them the path to success and they will follow their own path.

Agile onboarding ensures new employees are engaged and productive from day one. Implementing IceHrm's agile approach can streamline this process, fostering a supportive and adaptable environment.

Top 5: Ways To Help You Attract Passive Candidates

We have created a list of the 5 most important technological aspects that are important for attracting passive applicants. Keep reading the blog and become an expert in recruiting this special and demanding group of candidates!...

Strategic KPIs: Transforming Performance Metrics into Assets

Effective performance management KPIs align with company goals, measure success, and motivate employees, driving overall business performance....

IceHrm   Create your IceHrm, installation today.