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Microsoft's Onboarding Process — 5 Ways To Make Your New Hire Onboarding Stand Out

The employee onboarding checklist is an essential tool for any business leader who wants to set their new hires up for success. By Dr. Talya Bauer.


At Microsoft, employee onboarding is viewed as a critical process for building a strong and cohesive team.

Satya Nadella was quoted in a Harvard Business Review article as saying,

"The first 90 days of a person's time at Microsoft is the most important. It's when they'll form their opinions about whether they made the right career move and whether Microsoft is invested in their success."

That's why Microsoft has put so much effort into perfecting their onboarding process, and there are several key elements that set it apart from other organizations.

From the start, new hires are given detailed information about the company's products and services, as well as important information about their roles within the organization.

In this post, we will discuss some of the key strategies that make Microsoft's onboarding process stand out from the crowd.

With that in mind, here are five ways special to Microsoft that will make your new hire onboarding stand out.

1. Take advantage of onboarding software

One of the key elements that sets Microsoft's onboarding process apart from others is their use of onboarding software.

Organizing and curating new hire information in a tool provides new hires with in-depth information about the company's products and services.

As well as allows them to easily access important documents like employee handbooks.

In fact here's a small list of all the onboarding tasks you can completely automate today.

Yes, really.

- Send new hire paperwork

- Collect employee signatures

- Schedule onboarding meetings

- Track onboarding progress

- Introduce the company culture

Microsoft is a software company after all.

Adding structure via software streamlines and automates many of the administrative tasks associated with employee onboarding, making it easier for new hires to get up to speed quickly.

2. Provide personalized training

In addition to providing comprehensive onboarding resources, Microsoft also offers new hires one-on-one coaching sessions that are tailored to their specific roles.

These sessions allow employees to quickly get up to speed on their duties and learn the best practices used within their department.

In fact, the company even offers customized career tracks and development plans to help employees map out their long-term professional growth.

If you want to start doing this in your organization, consider building chatbots and integrating with MS Teams (or Slack, if that's your thing) to deliver micro-learning content that's specific to each employee's needs.

The key is bitesized messaging that is easily digestible and personalized for each employee.

By providing personalized training, Microsoft ensures that new hires have the tools they need to succeed in their roles and achieve their long-term career goals.


If you're a business leader who's looking for ways to improve your new hire process, then look no further than the employee onboarding checklist.

It has everything you need to streamline and optimize your onboarding, making it easier than ever to bring on top talent.

Click here to download your copy today.

3. Invest in community among new hires and building bridges

Another important part of Microsoft's onboarding process is promoting a sense of community among new employees.

The company organizes social events and team building activities designed to help everyone feel welcome and get to know one another better.

Some often-copied examples are the "First Day" celebration, complete with a t-shirt and gift, and the "New Hire Reception" where managers and other members of the team meet to welcome the newest members.

These events help new employees feel like they are part of a community and build bridges between different departments.

These initiatives help new hires feel supported in their transition to their new roles at Microsoft, while also facilitating collaboration among teams and departments across the organization.

4. Encourage knowledge sharing

Microsoft also has a number of initiatives in place to encourage knowledge sharing among employees.

The company's intranet site, SharePoint, is a great resource for new hires looking for information about the company and its products.

If you don't have SharePoint in your organization, consider creating a similar space.

It could be as simple as a Google Site or a Wiki.

The important thing is NOT to just provide a space where employees can go to find information and share knowledge.

It needs to be a place HR, hiring managers, and the entire onboarding team can nudge and message new hires at the right time in their employee journey.

In addition to SharePoint, Microsoft also has a "Mentor Program" which pairs new hires with more experienced employees who can help them navigate their new roles.

This program is designed to help new hires feel connected to the company and quickly get up to speed on their duties.

Whether you're a startup or a large enterprise, these types of initiatives can help make your onboarding process stand out from others.

5. Emphasize career development/growth opportunities early and often

Ever heard of the term "lifer?"

Chances are somebody was talking about Microsoft.

One of the company's onboarding hallmarks is emphasizing the long-term career development opportunities.

In fact, microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella recently said: "At Microsoft we believe a team of people with different experiences, backgrounds, knowledge & skill sets: more diverse than any one person or group has ever been able to be".

This is another way that Microsoft sets itself apart from other companies – its strong focus on employee growth and development.

This philosophy is evident from the very beginning of their onboarding process, as new hires are encouraged to come up with ambitious goals and plans for how they want to grow in their roles.

A quick example you can use in your own onboarding process is to ask new hires what their development goals are and how you can help them achieve these goals.

Onboarding is much more than just setting new hires up for success in their current roles – it's also about empowering them to grow and develop as professionals over the long-term.

This gives employees a clear roadmap for success and helps them feel more confident about their future at the company.


Microsoft's onboarding process is an excellent example of how companies can set themselves apart by focusing on employee onboarding best practices.

In today's competitive workplace, companies that take a holistic approach to employee onboarding have an edge over their competitors.

By providing personalized training, fostering community among new hires, encouraging knowledge sharing, emphasizing career growth early on, and other initiatives, Microsoft sets itself apart as a standout example of strong onboarding practices.

Whether you're a small startup or a large enterprise organization, by leveraging these tactics you can create an employee onboarding process that truly stands out.​


Use the employee onboarding checklist to make sure you're doing everything you need to do to get your new hire up to speed quickly, including meeting their needs as an individual.