Employee Onboarding Ideas: Examples from Experts

If you are looking for a great employee onboarding ideas, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we will present 8 real-life examples of enchanting employee onboarding practices. Learn from experts and get inspired to improve your own onboarding process!  


How to become an employee onboarding expert?

Kudos to you for wanting to create the best onboarding process for your company! 👏🙂

Investing a bit more time and effort in creating an effective (and fun!) onboarding program will pay back big time!

A good onboarding program has many benefits. It will:

➡️ If you’re just getting started, I suggest you first check out our detailed Guide on how to successfully onboard new employees and download The Ultimate Candidate Interview & Employee Onboarding Checklist!

➡️ Our Ultimate onboarding checklist will also come in handy. It will help you plan, organize and streamline your onboarding process. 

➡️ You can also take a look at different employee onboarding tools that can make your life a lot easier by automating your employee onboarding process.

And if you are interested in improving your existing employee onboarding process and you’re looking for awesome onboarding ideas and examples from experts, keep on reading! 🙂

Best employee onboarding examples from experts

Here are 8 awesome real-life examples of employee onboarding practices used by big brands:


Example #1: Buddy system

Percolate is a tech company that created a very popular content marketing platform for enterprise brands. Their users include Mastercard, Cisco, Electronic Arts, and Bosch. 

Onboarding at Percolate includes a “Buddy system”. It means that each new employee is assigned to a so-called Percolater. A Percolater is an experienced colleague who has volunteered to be the new hire’s buddy.  

The responsibilities of a Percolater include:

The idea to steal:
Implement a Buddy system in your own company!
With a Buddy system in check, you will ensure that your new hire always has someone to turn to during the first few nerve wrecking weeks at their new job.  

Example #2: Entrance interview

Designer Blinds is an Omaha-based company in the line of business that includes the manufacturing of drapery hardware, blinds, and shades. 

Designer Blinds company had a problem with a great turnover. After analyzing their turnover statistics, they discovered that most of their new hires leave between 90 and 180 days into their employee experience. This is why they instituted so-called “Entrance Interviews”. 

These interviews are held to find out what their new employees needed and how they could help them be successful in their new job. By implementing these entrance interviews, this company has reduced turnover from 200% to 8%.

The idea to steal:
Implement entrance interviews to learn exactly how you can help each of your new employees during your onboarding process. This way, you will ensure that your new employees feel valued from day one!

Example #3: Gamification

Essar Oil & Gas is an Indian-based company that produces, refines, and markets petroleum products. 

Essar Oil and Gas company gamified their onboarding process. They partnered up with Indusgeeks, a company that provides game-based trainings. Together they developed an interactive 3D onboarding gamification solution for new hires that takes them through their work environment and lets them meet with the varied stakeholders. 

Introducing gamification into their onboarding process resulted in a reduction of time new employees needed to get up to speed, improved productivity and bigger profit.

The idea to steal:
Think about the ways you can make your own onboarding process more fun and playful!
Even if you don’t have resources to gamify your whole onboarding process, try to think of a way to gamify at least some aspects of it (hint: you’ll find some ideas in our next example 😉).  

Example #4: Scavenger hunt

Bazaarvoice is a Texas-based digital marketing company with offices around the globe. It provides software that allows retailers to add customer reviews to their websites.  

Bazaarvoice onboards new hires with a unique Scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt is a series of tasks and questions designed to expose new hires to all areas of the company. It is also a fun way to ensure that the new hire meets all the other employees and learns what they do.  

This way, the new hires get familiar with all other departments quickly and establish cooperation from day one.

The idea to steal:
Organize a scavenger hunt
for your new employees!
It is a much more interesting and engaging way of getting on board than sitting through an orientation or reading a handbook. 

Example #5: Bootcamp

Etsy is an American e-commerce company that provides a global Internet marketplace for handmade wares. 

Etsy came up with a great idea for onboarding new employees in leadership roles. All the new employees who were hired to lead teams, from middle managers to new C-suite level employees, go through a so-called "Bootcamp".  

Etsy’s Bootcamp onboarding program rotates its new employees through every team in the organization. The goal of their boot camp it that their new managers get to know the teams they'll be working with (and their expectations), before starting to manage them.

Idea to steal:
Think about implementing the boot camp program for your new managers and team leads.
It is a great way for your new leaders to get to know all the teams quickly, learn how they operate and develop strong personal ties with other employees and departments.  

Example #6: Employee handbook

Valve Corporation is an American video game developer and digital distribution company headquartered in Washington. 

Valve has created an awesome 56-page employee handbook that is anything but boring and totally worth a read, even if you’re not their new employee!  

It is full of fantastic illustrations and step-by-step guides on everything you need to know as a new employee. The best part? It is written in a fun and quirky way that perfectly showcases their company culture and makes their new employees feel welcomed and at ease.

The idea to steal:
Consider turning your employee handbook into a great and fun read!
Your employee handbook doesn’t have to be just another boring document...it offers a wonderful opportunity for showcasing your company culture in a unique way.  

Example #7: Beer trolley

Perkbox is a UK company that has created cloud-based employee perks and engagement platform for business of all sizes. 

Perkbox came up with a fun new activity for their new employees. They make them push the beer trolley. Yes, you’ve read that right! 😁 

Every Friday, they make the new Perkboxer trudge through the office handing out libations to their existing employees. It’s a great way to introduce new employees to the team and puts a smile on everyone’s face (or maybe that’s the beer). Whatever it is, it seems to work!

The idea to steal:
Brainstorm the fun activities you can implement to welcome and socialize your new employees!
Of course, these activities don’t have to include alcohol. Try to think of an activity that would fit in with your company culture. What is fun for your employees? What do they enjoy? Go ahead and ask them!  

Example #8: Champagne

TINYpulse is a Washington software company that created employee engagement and feedback software that enables companies to measure how happy, frustrated, or burnt-out their employees are. 

TINYpulse has a unique approach to employee onboarding. This company welcomes each of its new employees by giving them champagne on their first day. They always pop a bottle of bubbly on their employees’ first day at the office. While it might seem a bit crazy at first, they make some interesting points on why do it: 

The idea to steal:
Why not throw a surprise party for your new employees? 

Again, the event doesn’t have to include alcohol. Simply think of a delightful way to celebrate your new employees’ first day on the job. It will make them feel wanted and appreciated right from the start!  

3 additional employee onboarding ideas

Yeah, the examples we presented are cool. 😎

But if you are a small company, you probably don’t have the resources to apply those expert ideas.
Even if you do, your company culture might not be that easygoing and relaxed.

But don’t let that stop you from trying to create a great welcome for your new employees! 🙂

Here are 3 additional, budget and time-friendly onboarding ideas you can implement for sure:

Idea #1: Welcome GIF or video

This a great idea to engage your new employee and make them feel welcome even before their first day at the office.

Gather your team and create a welcome video for your new employee! Let your existing employees say a few words about themselves personally, what they do and why do they love working at your company. Don’t worry, this video doesn’t have to be fancy - it only needs to be candid.

It is a great opportunity for your new employees to connect the names, faces, and voices of their future colleagues and feel really welcomed!

If your employees shy away from a camera or you don’t have enough time on your hands, go with the quicker version - create a welcome GIF for your new employee! 

Idea #2: Decorate the new employee’s desk

This is a great idea for your new employee’s first day at the office.

Decorate your new employee’s desk with some balloons, a welcome sign, and maybe even some cake (or at least donuts 🍩)!

Oh, and if you have any kind of company swag (such as branded notebooks, pens, T-shirts, water bottles, etc.), you can pack it as a present! 🎁

Here is a great example to inspire you!


Source: Baudville

Idea #3: 100th-day party

This is a great idea to celebrate your new employee’s first three months in your company.

By then your new employees will be settled in and immersed in their everyday duties. If you did your onboarding well, they won’t feel as the new kid on the block anymore.

Throwing a 🎈 100-day on-the-job party 🎉 for them is a great opportunity to shower them with some attention and remind them how much you are happy to have them join your company.

That way you can renew their excitement, make them feel appreciated, and keep them engaged.

Improve employee experience from day one with the best onboarding process!
If you want to know more about the onboarding process and how to improve it in your company, check out our comprehensive guide to learn what new hires really want from onboarding!
 Download ebook 

Frequently asked questions

How can a Buddy system improve the onboarding process? 

A Buddy system pairs new hires with experienced employees, ensuring newcomers have a go-to person for questions and guidance.

What are the benefits of conducting Entrance interviews? 

Entrance interviews help understand new employees' needs, reducing turnover by making them feel valued and supported from the start.

How does Gamification enhance the onboarding experience? 

Gamification introduces fun, interactive elements to the onboarding process, accelerating learning and increasing engagement.

Why is a Scavenger hunt beneficial for new employees? 

A Scavenger hunt encourages new hires to explore the company, meet colleagues, and understand different departments, fostering a sense of belonging.

What is the purpose of a boot camp for new leaders? 

Bootcamps for new leaders rotate them through various teams, helping them understand team dynamics and expectations before they start managing.

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What New Hires Really Want from Onboarding

What New Hires Really Want from Onboarding

Download this guide to learn what new hires really want from onboarding, and how to give it to them!
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