Onboarding Vs. Training: The Differences And Importance

The Key Objectives Of Onboarding Vs. Training

Any successful onboarding process aims to create a great first impression on the new hires so you can retain top talent in the long run. One of the main objectives of this procedure is to motivate employees by making daily tasks simple and slowly encouraging them to bring their A-game. The goal is not to pressure anyone to start performing adequately but to offer them the necessary resources so they can perform well. A healthy workplace environment and team cohesiveness are two ingredients that help anyone feel connected to their team. You want to provide flexibility as much as you can to make employees feel relaxed. On the other hand, training is a more practical approach that shows people what exactly they have to do to succeed in their new position. However, onboarding vs. training is not a war where you have to pick sides, but a balance you should maintain.

The 5 Phases Of Onboarding

1. Preboarding

Don’t wait until someone’s first day to discuss the basics of your company. Right after you’ve made a hire, send them a welcome pack including company policies, benefits, dress codes, a corporate overview, an employee handbook, and helpful resources. This way, employees can learn more about the organization and their position and get acclimated to the company culture. At the same time, you provide communication channels and lay the foundation for future discussions.

2. Orientation

The most crucial part of this phase is to introduce new hires to their immediate colleagues. Avoid arranging meetings with the entire company, as new team members may get overwhelmed. Talk more about company culture and values and show them where the various amenities are, including parking spaces, breakrooms, and conference rooms. It might also be a good idea to discuss questions regarding health benefits.

3. Training

It’s not that you have to choose between onboarding vs. training. Training is often part of onboarding. During this phase, employees learn how to conduct their daily responsibilities. Their line managers are usually responsible for this task, but on many occasions, HR and L&D may interfere. In larger companies, job shadowing is often utilized so new hires can observe how their colleagues perform work-related tasks. Additionally, employees may be provided with webinars, video lectures, and audio recordings to get a practical sense of their new job.

4. Transitioning

Now, it’s time to give employees more responsibilities and freedom to perform their tasks. The transitioning period can last between three and six months, and new hires are starting to get the hang of things. Supervisors and managers still need to communicate frequently with new hires to answer questions and ensure corporate functions run smoothly. Don’t pressure employees to become fully independent. Instead, be patient and encourage interpersonal relationships with their colleagues.

5. Ongoing Development Programs

After a new employee has proven that they can work independently and perform efficiently, it’s time to set future professional goals on a personal and corporate level. Managers can guide them through designing career advancement charts and offer them a variety of L&D choices. What courses do you need them to take so they can excel at their position? And what career aspirations do they have that can elevate your business?

Onboarding Vs. Training: Who Is Responsible?

Depending on company size, onboarding, and training are handled by either one single department or multiple professionals. HR managers and administration are the main departments dealing with new hires, preparing all the necessary paperwork, and crafting the overall welcoming procedure. HR professionals organize orientation and oversee the whole process to ensure compliance and completion. However, in larger companies, the L&D department takes on the onboarding projects, with recruiters popping in frequently to ensure employees feel connected with the team. When it comes to training, it’s line managers and supervisors who arrange meetings to show new hires how to perform their duties. They oversee their performance and offer timely feedback. HR managers still stay in the loop regarding the process, while Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) may be utilized to deliver training program suggestions.

Onboarding Vs. Training: How To Effectively Combine Them

Invest In Continuous Learning

Learning and training never end, even when employees have mastered their daily responsibilities and can operate independently. You should foster a culture that encourages progress and evolution by assigning team members to educational courses, webinars, and workshops and inviting them to industry conferences. When these habits are cultivated from the beginning, employees are more eager to keep exploring their learning opportunities.

Arrange Frequent Check-Ins

Feedback sessions and weekly meetings are pivotal for employees to adapt to their new position and understand the right direction. You may automate your feedback process through your onboarding software by sending surveys and questionnaires to team members. Therefore, when they have a one-on-one with their manager, the latter already knows what questions they need to answer and what challenges to address.

Craft A Checklist

Most professionals have a daily to-do list, including all the tasks they must take care of. Onboarding and training are procedures that entail many different elements and details. That’s why you should create a checklist with all the necessary steps. Share the document with the recruit and explain the process in detail. Once a milestone is reached, you can cross it off your list.

Define Your Structure

The onboarding structure extends a checklist as employees start to understand their jobs and how they should conduct them. You inform them of the various challenges they might endure so they are prepared for mishaps and delays. Managers encourage learning opportunities and provide guidance whenever necessary. Therefore, new additions feel supported, and their engagement skyrockets.

Involve The Entire Team

Induction is part of the onboarding process, as new hires must get acquainted and connect with their team members to start thriving in their new positions. You can arrange frequent team meetings where you discuss work-related and personal matters. Managers should be present during these meetings to ensure smooth conversations, too. Each professional has their own unique perspective, and they can share their knowledge with the new hire to enrich their experience.


Creating an onboarding vs. training dichotomy is necessary, even though the latter is actually part of onboarding. That’s because many companies jump straight to training and skip all the crucial steps onboarding entails. Employees must not feel like corporate machines that are expected to perform at the top of their abilities all the time without feeling motivated or connected to their team. No matter how great your training sessions are, professionals will lack engagement and emotional investment if their onboarding experience is poorly designed.

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