Coaching from the Start – Supporting Employee Onboarding and Integration

CoachHub · 18 May 2022 · 4 min read

The first 90 days in any role is one of the most critical moments in the employee experience. It’s the first introduction to the organization – a first impression. As employees move from this initial onboarding period to integrating, the subsequent six months to one year are even more impactful. According to Brandon Hall Group (2017), more than half of organizations indicate that most new-hire attrition occurs during the first six months of employment. It’s a disappointing outcome, considering the time, resources, and money companies invest in sourcing, interviewing, and training new employees. Employee onboarding is often an overlooked area to provide transformational support to employees, beyond the transactions needed for ramping into a role. Digital coaching can be an important lever to better support employees in their onboarding and integration experiences.

Great Onboarding leads to impressive outcomes

Employee onboarding and integration are the first steps in relationship-building with a new employee. They are critical transition periods  that are filled with many processes to learn, countless tasks to complete, various relationships to build and so much more.  There is a lot to navigate for new employees, including but not limited to:

  • Understanding their role and responsibilities
  • Learning the culture and values of the organization
  • Building relationships with their managers and teammates
  • Learning the business model and ways of operating
  • Completing important employment paperwork and required trainings
  • Learning a myriad of company policies, systems, and protocols – both for the organization and role-specific

Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70% (Brandon Hall Group, 2015).  Research by OC Tanner (2018) , indicated that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. When it comes to executive transitions, 40% of leaders going into new organizational roles fail during their first 18 months. The estimated organizational costs of just one such failed executive-level hire can be as high as $2.7 million (Bradt, Check and Pedraza, 2006).

With these staggering statistics, the opportunity is clear – first impressions are lasting ones. However, great onboarding is more than the administration and paperwork that are the basic elements of an efficient onboarding process. The acculturation and socialization parts of onboarding and further integration, as well as support, are far more important to invest in a strategic employee onboarding process. In fact, 60% of HR professionals say the top purpose for onboarding is to integrate employees into the culture, yet people and culture make up less than 30% of the focus in programs (HCI, 2018).

Digital Coaching Can Make a Difference

Changes in the workplace and the workforce require forward-thinking organizations to reassess how they assimilate new employees into the company culture and get them up to speed so they can be productive as quickly as possible. Leveraging coaching at the mid to later stages of onboarding and for employee integration can make a huge difference.

Personalized one-on-one coaching integrated with traditional onboarding programs help employees assimilate more effectively. Because of the myriad of things that a new employee is navigating, a variety of challenges can arise that further impact the early days of an employee’s experience.

  • New employees can often feel overwhelmed because of all the new things they are acclimating to
  • Limiting beliefs and assumptions can get in the way and “imposter syndrome” may creep in disproportionately because of the newness of these experiences. 
  • Increased sense of loneliness can be experienced as onboarding often feels a bit isolated when there are limited support structures and a lack of strong relationships since building new relationships takes time.

Coaching for different types of new employee transitions

Coaching can be leveraged for many different employee segments and depending on the combination for the type of transition, level of career, and unique experiences of each individual, coaching can provide focused ways to tackle these changes. Here are a few examples of how coaching can help with several employee segments.

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Employee Persona How Coaching Can Help
Individual Contributors
  • Setting goals for early success in a new role and company
  • Navigating new relationships and building networks to integrate
  • Managing stress that comes with new transitions
Unique Employee Transitions (e.g., former military, underrepresented groups in key professions)
  • Identifying new ways of operating in new industries or professions
  • Understanding your own influencing style to adapt and thrive
  • Building a network and mentor relationships
  • Recognizing and responding to microaggressions
New Leaders
  • Developing own leadership style and ‘executive presence’
  • Facilitating changes needed to create an effective working environment
  • Building teams and supporting team members
  • Increasing productivity
  • Creating a psychologically safe and inclusive work environment


Onboarding new employees is a make or break opportunity for organizations. These early experiences are highly influential to new hires’ overall perceptions of the company and impact future engagement, motivation, and even intentions to stay. It’s a time to ensure you meet the expectations set during hiring, to reaffirm their choice to join, and maximize their ability to connect and contribute in the way they anticipate.

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CoachHub is a leading global talent development platform that enables organisations to create personalised, measurable and scalable coaching programmes for the entire workforce, regardless of department and seniority level. By doing so, organisations are able to reap a multitude of benefits, including increased employee engagement, higher levels of productivity, improved job performance and increased retention. CoachHub’s global pool of coaches is comprised of over 3,500 certified business coaches in 90 countries across six continents with coaching sessions available in over 80 languages. Serving more than 1,000 clients worldwide, CoachHub’s innovative coaching programs are based on proprietary scientific research and development from its Innovation Lab. CoachHub is backed by leading tech investors, including Sofina, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Molten Ventures, Speedinvest, HV Capital, Partech and Silicon Valley Bank/SVB CapitalCoachHub is committed to creating a greener future.

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