written by
Michele Heyward

Winning With Diversity & Inclusion - Companies With The Best Onboarding Practices

DiversityandInclusion WocInSTEM 3 min read
“Cultivating strong relationships with newest team members has proven to increase employee satisfaction by up to 50%. Millennials who reported that they plan to stay in a company for at least five years were among those who were twice as likely to have a mentor.”

If you are not intentional in adopting employee onboarding practices and ramping up the process, you are less likely to hire and retain diverse talent. 93% of employees find a good onboarding process as a positive incentive and influence for new hires to stay. To succeed in onboarding your new talent, you need a process that works. And some companies have managed to do just that.

Let’s take a look at some of the top organizations that stand out when it comes to onboarding employees with a welcoming experience:

Photographer: Carson Masterson | Source: Unsplash


IBM has a unique and interesting onboarding process divided into three stages. The first stage titled ‘affirmation’ begins even before the employee joins the workforce. It involves the company personalizing the new employee experience before they arrive by preparing their workspace and assigning a mentor to make them feel comfortable and welcomed.

The second stage is ‘beginning’ which includes the first month of work. During this stage, the new employee is introduced to their colleagues, their responsibility, and the company overall. They also have to check in with a program on the company intranet called YourIBM, which is a VR Second Life platform.

Finally, the third stage – ‘connecting’ – lasts for a complete year on the job. The purpose of this stage is to equip the employee with everything they need to know by answering their questions about the company, explaining how things are done in IBM, and socializing with other people. In this process, an appointed co-worker acts as a coach who guides the new hire through the IBM guidelines and different aspects of the company culture. Have you heard of thorough onboarding practices than this one?


Zappos is always a name that makes it to this list. The company takes its onboarding process incredibly seriously to ensure that the employees feel welcomed and supported. For them, it is a complete experience of building a community within the organization. They hold a five-week course for new hires on company values and make sure that everyone understands and blends in the organization.

What’s more, is that they offer $2000 to quit to those employees who feel like they do not belong. Moreover, it has been reported that less than 1% of the new hires have ended up accepting this offer. This promotes the culture of belonging, innovation, and productivity while guaranteeing that those who do not feel at home can leave without any repercussions.


Zapier has a system in place to ensure that the onboarding is done just right. There is a People Operations Team responsible for creating onboarding practices and making the new hires feel welcome, valued, and supported. Every department has its playbook so the new employee can get acquainted with the company and know what’s expected of him.

The new hires are given their time to understand the company culture and provided with everything they need to know about their time with Zapier. They pay special attention to employees of color and regularly ask for their feedback to make them feel welcomed and set the precedent for how future diverse hires should be treated and retained.


Asana strives to be the change they want to see in the workplace. The workplace at the tech company is inclusive and works hard to create an environment where everyone is welcomed and empowered. Asana has a range of D&I programs that start as soon as the employee joins the company. The greater emphasis is also on training on the current employees, so they know what their biases are and refrain from discriminating against diverse employees. Everyone is treated the same.

Asana has three key areas - Thriving Now, Recruiting for the Future, Building on the Past – where every current and future employee is trained to contribute to the company’s success. The company has long-established ERGs, which with the help of the management, have a complete onboarding program in place for the new hires. Asana also publishes all race/ethnicity data by the department on their careers site.


If you got inspired by these companies and also want to look into effective onboarding practices for yours, I have something for you too. On PositiveHire, I have created a complete guide on everything you should follow to onboard women of color. You can get the complete onboarding guide here.

Women of Color in STEM Diversity and Inclusion