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“Welcome on board” — Meaning (with Examples and Responses)

“Welcome on board” — Meaning (with Examples and Responses)

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This article explains the meaning of “Welcome on board!” and how to use it correctly in a sentence. You will also learn how to respond to “Welcome on board!” today.

Read on to find out how this phrase works in detail.


What does “Welcome on board” mean?

“Welcome on board” means “We are pleased to welcome you.” This phrase is commonly used to greet newly hired employees or vessel passengers, including those on ships, boats, or airplanes. “Welcome” serves as an interjection or exclamation, while “on board” functions as an adverb.


When to use “Welcome on board”

“Welcome on board” is expressed in the present tense regarding subject-verb agreement. It is a shorter way of saying, “I or we welcome you on board.”

“Welcome on board” is also a slightly more formal way to say “Welcome aboard!” to greet people getting on a vessel or starting a job.

“On board” can either be used as an adverb or preposition in a sentence. It is largely found in transportation contexts, but it can also be used in business settings.

Welcoming people “on board” happens when people are just about to get onto a vessel, especially at the main entrance.

In organizational settings, the adverb “on board” is also used to greet new employees on their first day of work or training.

This means that it would be contextually wrong to say “Welcome on board!” when people are about to get off the vessel or exit a company.

Train conductors say, “Welcome on board!” when they greet passengers getting inside. Aircraft and ship cabin crew also do the same.


Thank you for choosing Alpha Airlines. Welcome on board!


“Welcome on board!” can also be used when welcoming new employees. A team leader, supervisor, or training head may use this phrase.


In other words, it can be used to mean “Welcome to the team!” when greeting new employees joining a company.


Welcome on board! We are pleased to have you on our team.

“On board” as an adverb

The adverb “on board” suggests a location. It describes the idea that people are located “on” or about to get “onto” a train, ship, plane, or any other vehicle.

“On board” in human resources refers to the idea of new employees acquiring basic knowledge and skills needed to do the job.

You would more likely hear the single-word noun expression “onboarding” process or program in this case, though.

To use “on board” as an adverb, it must modify a verb, adjective, or another adverb, usually at the end of the sentence.


The plane that crashed had eight people on board.


We are glad to have all of you on board today!


Everyone on board was hired by a partner agency.


Questions like “Should an adverb go before or after a verb?” and “Should we put an adverb after a noun?” really get to our nerves sometimes.

But, just remember that these grammar whatnots have answers, and a quick, deliberate search about them would already do the trick.


“On board” as a preposition

“On board” can also be used as a preposition, which means it must be used together with a noun phrase.

The preposition “on board” suggests the meaning “on,” “onto,” or “toward” a vehicle, such as a sea vessel or aircraft.

In business settings, the preposition “on board” means being part of an organization or team, often for a particular purpose or role.


He wrote that speech while he was on board the sunken steamboat.


A doctor was on board the plane when he had a mild heart attack.


Expect a customer-based culture when you get on board the company.


Starting small talk can be a bit hard and intimidating at times. But you can eliminate the anxiety by learning our 209 business conversation starters for any setting.


Other uses of “on board” (adjective, verb, and noun)

Apart from the adverb and preposition, “on board” may also be used in other parts of speech:  adjective, verb, and noun.

Notice, though, that the spelling needs to change when this happens.

As a verb, “onboard” is spelled as one word. We also either hyphenate “on-board” or spell it as one when we want to use it as an adjective.

When we want to use “on board” as a noun, particularly as a gerund, we spell it as one word and say “onboarding.”

If this grammar concept seems unfamiliar, we have covered the difference between a gerund and a participle in our previous post.


“Onboard” as an adjective

“Onboard” can be used as an adjective to describe a noun. It normally comes before the noun in this case.

In the example below, “exciting” and “onboard” are adjectives that both answer the question, “What kind of performance awaits the cruise passengers?”

An exciting onboard performance from the king of dancehall awaits all cruise passengers.


“Onboard” as a verb

“Onboard” can also be used as a verb, especially in its infinitive form rather than the main verb in the sentence.

Also known as “verbals,” infinitives are verb-like words that may be used as a noun, adjective, or adverb in a sentence.

In the example below, “to onboard” is used as a noun that is part of the bigger noun phrase, “helping to onboard our new sales representatives.”


The new learning management system offers great value in helping to onboard our new sales representatives.


“On-board” as an adjective

“On-board” or the hyphenated variant is also used as an adjective alternative to “onboard.” In general, the hyphenated one is less frequently used than the latter.

Note that both spellings are acceptable, so feel free to go with the one that you are more comfortable with.


I doubt we could accommodate this request considering our existing on-board storage capacity.


“Onboarding” as a noun

“Onboarding” is the noun form of “on board.” It refers to the process of new employees getting familiar or integrated with the new organization.

Not limited to employees, “onboarding” could also be used with clients, customers, guests, and research participants.

“Employee onboarding,” “client onboarding,” “onboarding process,” “onboarding program,” and “onboarding strategy” are some of the common combinations you’ll find.


Have we yet started implementing our revised onboarding procedures?


Ways to respond to “Welcome on board”

Responding to an acceptance email can be a piece of cake for some yet linguistically daunting for others.

We sometimes find it hard to size up whether our response is a bit too formal or casual for the organizational culture we’re getting into.

So, here are some formal and casual responses to “Welcome on board!” that you can freely choose from.


“Welcome on board! responses in business settings (semi-formal to formal)

When a cabin crew member greets you with “Welcome on board!” on a ship or a plane, a simple “Thank you” or “Thanks” will do as a response.

The tricky part goes to responding to “Welcome on board!” messages in organizational settings, so we’ll focus more on that.

The responses below are better used in replying to “Welcome on board!” messages in business emails because of their formality level.


Thank you very much. I am looking forward to seeing you on [day or date].

This response works well when you are replying to a “Welcome on board!” email and you have never seen the person behind it.

You must not have interacted with the sender before because he or she is probably part of the training team instead of the recruitment.

In these contexts, the sender would likely portray a socially distant role, which might also prompt you to do the same.

Note that you would also need a day or date when choosing this response, which you would have already read from the email you are responding to.

Feel free to leave out the day or date if the information is irrelevant.


Dear Jessie,


It’s my pleasure to receive these instructions early. Thank you very much. I am looking forward to seeing you on Monday.


Kind regards,




Thank you. It will be a pleasure to work with you soon.

Formal in tone and not over the top, this response also works well in responding to “Welcome on board!” emails.

Take note of the verb form “will be,” which suggests future time. The opposite of which should be “was,” which should be used when exiting a company.

So, this response is something you would use after receiving instructions on when you will report to the company for the first time.

Alternatively, you can also drop “soon” at the end of the message if the email you receive does not yet indicate the exact starting time or date.


Dear Alison,


Glad to hear from you today. Thank you. It will be a pleasure to work with you soon.


Best regards,




I appreciate this email. I’m very glad to be part of the team.

This one works when the email sender only sends you a “Welcome on board!” message for the sole purpose of greeting and without stating further instructions.

The sender could be your future team member who just wants to introduce himself or herself and get you on board the team.

Saying that you are glad to be part of the team is present in subject-verb agreement, and this part shows that you are sincere with your message.

In case you want to reduce the formality level, you can remove your subjects and simply use “Appreciate this email. Glad to be part of the team.”


Dear Candice,


I appreciate this email. I’m very glad to be part of the team.


See you next week!


All the best,




“Welcome on board” Responses (semi-casual to casual)

Although also useful in email writing, the responses below are best reserved for spoken contexts because of their rather cheerful and informal tone.


The point of the following replies is to say something like “Thank you for your email” followed by “I look forward to collaborating with you” in a casual way.


Thanks a lot! Looking forward to working with you soon.

Modern business cultures lean toward open and light-hearted conversations, even when exchanging emails.

So, this response works well if you want to show warmth to the person welcoming you on board.

Using this response likely means you have already interacted with the email sender not long ago, either via phone call, virtual meeting, or email.


Dear Henry,


Hey, I got these instructions. Thanks a lot! Looking forward to working with you soon.






Thanks! I’m excited to work with you soon.

This response displays even more warmth and eagerness toward working with the person behind the email you’re responding to.

Short and lively, “Thanks! I’m excited to work with you soon” should make people from your soon-to-be teammates happy.

If you wish to be more specific, you can replace “soon” with time phrases like “next week,” “on Monday,” or “next month” depending on your context.  


Dear Arthur,


Got this. Thanks! I’m excited to work with you soon.


Thank you kindly,




A million thanks! Can’t wait to start working next week.

If your soon-to-be colleagues give you that feel-good vibe based on your multiple interactions, don’t be afraid to use this more personal response.

Use this when you personally know the email sender. He or she could be an old classmate or colleague that you still have a good relationship with.

You could also use this warm reply when you get the job through a recommendation from someone you know.


Dear Ashton,


Copy this. A million thanks! Can’t wait to start working next week.