Organizational Wellness

What is Inboarding and Why is it So Important for HR Teams?

Feb 22, 2023
Last Updated May 24, 2024

When you join a new company, you get to go through their full onboarding process while you find your feet. But many companies expect internal hires to hit the ground running in their new roles.

This movement between teams can feel like you’ve just joined a brand new company. Sure, you’ve seen most people around the office or on Zoom, but that’s very different from working directly with them every day. Everyone on your team already knows what’s happening—they have their own routines, processes, and in-jokes…

It’s a lot to take in. Inboarding can help.


What is Inboarding?

Inboarding is the process of training and supporting an established employee when they switch teams or roles within your company. It helps them learn about their new job quickly, just like when someone joins a new company for the first time.

If employees stay with your company for a long time, most of them will need inboarding at some point. Some common reasons include the following:

  • When an employee transitions to a new team or role within the same company
  • When someone is promoted to a managerial role
  • If the company is restructuring and employees need to transition roles or departments
  • If the company goes through a merger or acquisition and existing employees need to adjust to new procedures or teams.

Inboarding normally combines training and orientation programs to help employees adapt to their new role or department. This program can be provided by their manager, HR team, or dedicated internal training manager. 

Inboarding often includes:

  • Cross-training and retraining: Learning different skills that help you do your new job, like using  new software and tools.
  • Upskilling: Developing new skills to use in your current position that you haven’t learned in previous roles.
  • Team and role orientation: Explaining the responsibilities of the new role, the new team’s communication processes, and introducing the employee to their new team members. 

Inboarding vs. Onboarding: What’s the Difference?

Employee onboarding and inboarding share a common goal. Both aim to help people familiarize themselves with their new position, team, and company. But the main difference is who it’s for.

Onboarding is aimed at helping new hires from outside the company learn about their new role and the basics of the business. It covers the company culture, values, and history. It also includes more practical admin tasks, like setting up accounts on the tools they need to do their job, and filling out paperwork.

Inboarding is training for current employees moving to new roles and/or teams within the same organization. It helps companies retain top performers by giving them new opportunities in the organization. People can easily move between open positions within your business and are set up for success when they switch roles, such as after a promotion.

4 Benefits of an Inboarding Program

Inboarding is a win for both employers and employees. Companies keep their top talent, and employees can make the most of new opportunities within the business.

Improves Employee Engagement

Inboarding enables employees to progress within your organization. They can work towards their career goals, such as learning new skills or getting a promotion. 

These achievements give employees a reason to feel excited about work and their future with your company. A Gallup study of over 15,000 workers found that 71% of respondents said training and development opportunities increased their job satisfaction.

This engagement is especially important today, when so many employees aren’t feeling motivated or connected to their work. According to Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workplace report, just 21% of employees are engaged at work.

Give your existing team the opportunity to learn and progress within the company, so they’re motivated to do their best work.

Enables Smooth Transitions Into New Roles

You wouldn’t expect someone to join your company and immediately be up-to-speed on day one. Moving into a new role within the same organization can be just as challenging, stressful, and disorienting as starting a job at a new company.

Inboarding gives employees the training and orientation to help them settle into their new position. It also helps employees build relationships with their new colleagues, which can help them feel confident in their new job. 

Improves Employee Retention

Research by Payscale found the average employee turnover rate was 24%, with more than a third of turnover being voluntary. This churn is expensive: according to Culture Amp, the costs associated with employee turnover range from “30% to 200% of a person’s salary.”

Every time an employee leaves your organization, you also lose valuable knowledge and experience. Then your productivity takes a hit, as you need to find and hire a replacement and train them up.

But inboarding helps improve retention. According to Gallup, 61% of employees said upskilling opportunities were an important reason to stay at their job. It’s an investment in the people you already know and trust, who are already familiar with your company and its priorities.

If you have a comprehensive inboarding process, employees know they’ll get the support needed to set them up in their new role. So when they change roles, they will still feel comfortable and be successful in their new position. Instead of looking for new challenges elsewhere, they can look for internal recruitment announcements and open positions in different locations or departments.

Increases Productivity Across Teams

Inboarding helps employees quickly become accustomed to their new team, role, and responsibilities. This increases their productivity from the get-go. This makes it easier for departments to collaborate and complete tasks more efficiently.

Additionally, it helps strengthen relationships across departments, improving collaboration and boosting productivity. The employee who has just moved into a new role still has all their knowledge and experience from their last position. They can bridge gaps between departments and help teams work together more effectively.

Inboarding is a Continued Investment in Your Team

Inboarding is just as important to your company as a solid onboarding process. You want to attract the best employees to come and work with you, but you also want them to stay and be happy long-term.

Once you start developing your inboarding tactics, you might also think about other ways to retain your top talent, like with employee benefits and wellness programs. To get started on these, talk to a Wellbeing Specialist today!

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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