What Are The 4C's of Onboarding and How to Implement Them

Onboarding Best Practices: The 4 C's

As an HR professional, you're well-acquainted with the practice of onboarding. But if your company has never made doing it well a priority, you may not have a full understanding of its benefits. 

We'll attempt to remedy that in this blog. We'll explain why proper onboarding of new employees is so important, and how to do it effectively using the four C's approach. Let's jump in!

The Importance of Onboarding

First off, why do proper onboarding best practices even matter? There are many different reasons. We'll cover a few of the most prominent ones now:


First Impressions

Do you remember the old saying, "You never get a second chance at a first impression"? Well, it definitely rings true in the business world. Especially when new employees are first being introduced to the inner workings of a business.

If your onboarding process is chaotic and outdated, new hires will assume the company isn't well-managed. They may even begin to doubt their decision to take the job. Certainly not the feeling you want new team members to have on their first day!Starting the onboarding process

Employee Engagement

Successful employees — the kind that work hard, help move a company forward, and make the HR department that hired them look good — are engaged employees. There's no way around it. If your company's employees aren't engaged in their work, they'll produce lackluster results.

In fact, studies show that companies that implement a structured onboarding approach produce 50% more productive employees!

Employee Engagement & Onboarding

Engagement also increases employee retention, which directly impacts the financials of the company. Let's talk more about that:

Financial Responsibility

Successful onboarding directly affects a company's bottom line. As we've already mentioned; the process can elevate an organization in the mind of new hires, increase their engagement level and make them more productive. Each of these leads to more profit.

Onboarding can also entice workers to stay with a company longer — an important fact considering the high cost of employee turnover. Think about it, if your employees think highly of your company and are engaged in their work, they won't have much incentive to leave.

Successful onboarding

The Four C's of Onboarding

Can we agree on the importance of onboarding best practices? Great, now let's dive into the four C's approach. Use these techniques to improve your company's onboarding process.

The Four C's of Onboarding


Most companies, regardless of their stance on onboarding, cover compliance when a new team member is hired. After all, it's the law. Compliance measures typically include an outline of company policies, confidentiality requirements, safety regulations, and more.

These measures need to be taken, but they're also just the tip of the iceberg. The first level, so to speak. Let's move on to the second C.

Onboarding Compliance


Unfortunately, for many companies, the onboarding process begins to break down at this step. As an HR rep, you need to ensure that each of your new hires clearly understands their role in the company and what's expected of them. They need clarification.

Questions to answer may range from high-level queries such as what the company's overall objective is and whom new hires should report to; to the ground-level details like where to park. It's all vital to a smooth and successful onboarding experience.



Company culture is often taken for granted. Or mistaken for perks like catered lunches or unlimited time-off policies. True culture goes deeper and encompasses an organization's mission, values, the vision of the future, the way team members interact.

HR departments should make culture a priority during the onboarding process and steep new hires in it from the very, very beginning. This includes the original employment ads and initial interviews; and runs through the employee's entire first few months at your company.

Onboarding culture


For business success to be achieved, connections amongst employees must be made. Your staff is more than random people performing specific functions. They're teammates working together to accomplish ambitious goals. At least they should be.

Foster connection by introducing new hires to their new colleagues. If there are subgroups within your company you believe align with their personality — a band of people who meet on Saturdays to perform community service, for example — arrange for an introduction to be made.

If your organization has the ability, you may even want to assign a mentor to new hires, who can show them the ropes during their first couple of months on the job.

Whatever you do, foster connection and communication between new employees and the rest of your company. Your company will be better for it.

Connecting people through onboarding

Put the Four C's Into Action

In this blog, we covered the importance of onboarding best practices and the four C's approach to doing it effectively. We hope this information has been useful!

If you can implement a system that ingrains compliance, clarification, culture, and connection into each of your new hires — and commit to it — your company will see a lot more success. It's almost inevitable. But it's not necessarily easy…

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That's why we've created tools to help. Our onboarding software, in particular, will help you incorporate the four C's into your process and create more engaged, productive employees for your organization. If you have not yet tried an employee onboarding software, now is the time! 

Practice onboarding

About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.

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