What’s what? Which is more important? Why does it matter?


Onboarding – is the process of moving a new employee from You’re Hired! to being a functional member of the team and organization.

It runs from signing of an employment contract, to at least, in my opinion, the end of a new employee’s probationary period.

Onboarding activities will, or should, include orientation and training and should also involve organizational socialization (learning the company culture) becoming confident in the new job and understanding company wide relationships and goals.

And it’s not just for new hires, but would also be applicable to transfers within the company and lateral move.

Onboarding also includes administrative procedures, interviews and interactions with company leadership.


Orientation – should be thought of as a more finite introduction to something new and should be found at the beginning of an onboarding process.

Generally the First Day or first few days of activities, an orientation will focus on not just the physical layout of the company and how to get around, but also the organizational structure and culture of the company.

Your orientation should especially cover safety, supplies and tools; giving your new employee everything that’s 100% necessary to know or have IMMEDIATELY.


Training – is a process of passing on skills or knowledge.  It is how we provide education and is critical for learning.

Training should always be found within an onboarding process, as it’s a necessary component of teaching a new employee how to do their job, and is an excellent way to integrate a new team member to the company culture.

Training can and should be found outside of onboarding, as it’s a critical component of a continuous improvement environment, and orientation definitely has its place in longer, more intensive and more complex training events and plans.


As you can see, all are important and interconnected processes that complement each other and together give you the tools to be a strong and thriving company.

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