Barista at a coffee shop showing the till to to a new employee during employee onboarding
By | Published On: 20 April 2021 |

Digital Onboarding; the process of integrating a new employee into the company so they’re fully prepared with the necessary knowledge, tools, skills and connections to succeed in their new role. It’s immersing them in the company culture so they want to contribute towards the long-term goals and strategy. 

The benefits of digital onboarding are far-reaching. They give an employer a sustainable way to onboard new employees from wherever they are…in the world. It’s cost-effective and will ensure accuracy and a much more personalised experience.

This blog focuses on how you can use  Microsoft Teams to onboard new talent within your organisation and make them feel part of the business from the first touch by: 

1. Having a structured and consistent approach

2. Scheduling regular onboarding meetings

3. Making training fun and accessible

Get these right and the impact can be felt throughout the employee lifecycle.  

Get it wrong and it could be costly. According to the Harvard Business Review, nearly 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first six months in a new position.  

Here are a few tips and features of Teams that will help your onboarding programme: 


1. Have a structured and consistent approach 

Digital Onboarding doesn’t just start on day one. It starts at the very first moment they have any connection with your company, continues when you hire and they start work, and for some months after their employment starts.  

Having a structured and consistent approach can: 

  • Improve new hire performance and time to productivity 
  • Improve new employee retention 
  • Save time 
  • Reduce the possibility of overwhelm for new starters 

Onboarding can be time consuming with a lot of manual tasks and deliverables. Microsoft has again come to the rescue with a New Employee Onboarding (NEO) Teams template.  

The New Employee Onboarding templates are designed to deliver a flexible and consistent experience for new starters. These sites help organisations by: 

  • Providing new employees a place to get started 
  • Connecting new employees to people and culture 
  • Helping stakeholders easily contribute to new employee onboarding 
  • Generating data and usage reports that help measure NEO content effectiveness 


The templates can be built to replicate the different levels of digital onboarding – pre-onboarding, corporate onboarding, and departmental onboarding and can be used individually or together.  


1. New employee pre-onboarding site: This site is for new starters who have yet to officially join the company. They can learn more about the company and get ready for their official start date.  


2. New employee corporate onboarding site: A place for new hires to visit to get the information and connections they need to successfully onboard to the organisation. 


3. New employee departmental onboarding site: A place for new hires to visit to learn more about the department they are joining, its people, culture, and priorities.  


You can start building your organisation’s onboarding page now. Here’s how


2. Schedule regular digital onboarding meetings 

Getting to know new colleagues without meeting them, learning about the company culture, helping new hires feel welcomed, integrating them into the team and not overwhelming them with loads of information are just some of the concerns of managers when hiring a new employee remotely. 

Scheduling regular onboarding meetings through Teams is a good way to welcome them into the business. On their first day, scheduling a 1:1 meeting to explain what the coming days, weeks and months will look like will help to settle those first day nerves. Making sure they know what to expect and that someone will be with them on their journey will really make a difference.  

Keep the 1:1 meetings regular, first daily and then weekly depending on the level of support you, and they, feel they need. Use the time to discuss how they’re doing, if they need any help and if they have any feedback or ideas on how things can be improved. 

It’s also important to introduce them to the rest of their team members using Team virtual meetings.  

You could continue to hold a short weekly team meeting where colleagues have time for a tea or coffee and a chat about non work-related topics. You could even use the Teams app Icebreaker to strengthen personal connections within the team.  

The app really helps new employees learn more about their colleagues and can be likened to a buddy system where new hires get a peer acquaintance to show them the ropes, answer their questions, and help them get to know the team. 

You could also use Yammer alongside Teams to welcome them to the business, link them up with useful connections or even other new hires.  


3. Make digital training fun and accessible 

As there’ll be no face-to-face training for the foreseeable future, companies are having to rely on virtual training sessions.  

In order to familiarise your new employee with their new responsibilities and train them for the job, you can schedule a live event to host an engaging training session. Explain how to master different tools that your company uses daily, share some best practices and techniques they could use to do their job better. Don’t forget to have a questions and answer session afterwards to address any pressing question your new hires might have. 

Trainers and meeting hosts are using apps like Ask Away to conduct real-time Q&A sessions during training sessions to ensure the attendees understand what’s being delivered.  

Team members can submit questions and upvote/like others shared by colleagues. This results in everyone being able to view all questions and associated upvote counts, with personally asked and top questions organised in the leaderboard. 

You can also use Teams to store and share training materials that new starters may need.  

And if you have training videos for your new employees, you can make them more visible with Microsoft Stream. These videos are very easy to access and can be streamed right in the Teams environment.


Microsoft 365 has a wealth of tools to support with onboarding new starters, all designed to help them understand their roles and get them ready to succeed in your organisation.  

Does your onboarding need an overhaul? Do you want to make your new hires feel part of the company from day one? Then we can help. Contact us at [email protected] to discuss how we can use the power of Microsoft 365 to turn your new talent into company advocates from day one.  


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