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How Do You Handle Onboarding of New Employees?



onboarding new employees

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The CEO and his deputy were incarcerated. They had it coming. I should have seen it coming … on Day One.

Your Business Professor was retained as a consultant for Business Development — these are code words for Sales and Marketing. However, few companies use these actual words.

Sales invokes visions of a used car salesman. And nobody knows what marketing is.

Anyway, I was preparing a seminar on sales management and followed the CEO as he greeted his three new sales hires.

The boss pointed at some desks at the end of a cubicle prairie and said, “Welcome to the company.” That was it.

No introductions. No meet-and-greet. No computers. No chairs.



This was my first clue: The Big Boss didn’t know about new employee orientation or onboarding.

He didn’t know big things, like the law.

He didn’t know little things, like welcoming new hires.

The folks in the C-suites would soon run afoul of all manner of regulatory practices, get caught, tried in a court of law, and carted off to jail.



Now, of course, no manager should be imprisoned for failing to competently run an on-boarding program. And the CEO’s failure to obey the law might not be a proxy for management failure.

Or maybe it was…

Consultant Tom Peters writes in his book “Chaos” that people must be a prime source of value-add. People, let’s not call them — us — ‘human resources,’ can never be trained or involved too much.

The employee training does not end at orienting the new guy on the points of the company compass: restroom, cafeteria, office supplies, fire escape plan. The company and the new hire need more from the new relationship.



Thomas Bateman and Scott Snell detail the new hire process in their text book, “M:Management“. They write that orientation can be explained as training that familiarizes:

“New employees with their jobs, work units, and the organization in general. Done well, orientation training can increase morale and productivity and can lower employee turnover and the costs of recruiting and training.”

Managers will use the term ‘orientation’ because ‘onboarding’ sounds too close to ‘water boarding.’ Whatever the nomenclature, a proper personal personnel introduction to the organization will reduce turnover by about a third (PDF). It makes good business sense.

A good onboarding program will cover three points: equipment, culture and check-up.

The new arrival should be outfitted with equipment and a guide.



In the Army, we would lovingly call the newbie a “turtle” because he was expected to ride the back of his mentor as he learned the ropes.

The best companies will have a bag of SWAG (Stuff We All Get) ready for welcoming the incoming employee: polo shirts with the company logo, first impressions and all that. Profiles International, a company that solves talent management challenges, suggests having a “prepared desk and equipment.”

“In addition to structure, make sure that everything — from the desk, office supplies, security badges, computer passwords, phone numbers, and access keys — are prepared for the new hire. You want them to feel at home!”



Company Culture

Culture will encompass the training and the expectations of how business gets done around here. Corporate culture training details how staff and management interact and how the organization interacts with customers and stakeholders. More important, Andre Lavoie, the CEO of Clear Company, advises that:

“New hires must understand how their daily work fits into the big picture in order to be productive and engaged. When on-boarded into a system that allows them to visualize how their projects contribute to the bigger strategic picture, it will be easy for them to hit the ground running.”

A Check-Up

A check-up should be done within 90 days to follow-up on the performance and integration of the employee with the organization. There should also be a small win; some small measurable success where the new hire can feel and demonstrate value to the team.



During this new phase of accountability, some companies go even further by going in reverse:

“Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, offers new hires a $2,000 bonus to quit after only one week on the job. Sound crazy? Maybe, but it’s much less costly to weed-out job-hoppers and the uncommitted before investing more into them. The sooner you can identify a bad investment and cut your losses, the better. Making a bad hire may be unavoidable every now and then, but the more selective you are—and the more time you take to hire — the more likely you are to avoid hiring mistakes.”

On-boarding might not create a workers’ paradise but done right can enhance the experience of joining our small businesses. This will make sure that the valued new hire stays for those critical, impressionable first days.

Boarding a Train Photo via Shutterstock

69 Comments ▼



Jack Yoest John Wesley (Jack) Yoest Jr., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management at The Catholic University of America. His expertise is in management training and development, operations, sales, and marketing. Professor Yoest is the president of Management Training of DC, LLC. A former Captain in the U.S. Army and with various stints as a corporate executive, he also served as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Resources in the Administration of Governor James Gilmore of Virginia.

69 Reactions
  1. The on-boarding process is even more important than I imagined. This is evident in the severity of what happened to the CEO, who did not incorporate one in his business. Employees are a crucial part of business. “Done well, orientation training can increase morale and productivity and can lower employee turnover and the costs of recruiting and training.” A proper on-boarding process in important in order to be successful.
    Thinking back, the company I intern for did and still does things that are part of the on-boarding process that I didn’t even realize. In regards to our SWAG Bag, they gave us company folders and pens, login passwords, and emails with company signatures at the end. I didn’t think much about those things, but they did in fact make me feel welcome and part of the team. The culture of the company was shown in Orientation. We had an old intern come in to guide us through some daily activities. He showed us what they company culture was like by how he worked and showed us the way. I like how you mentioned checking-up as part of the on-boarding process. We have weekly intern meetings and workshops. I thought of theses more as some of my responsibilities, but now I see them as a way for my boss to check up on me and make sure I am doing well, while feeling comfortable doing so.
    First hand, I have felt the impact of on-boarding. I greatly appreciate my company’s effort in the process and I hope that on-boarding only continues to be positive in my future.

    • Tayler, good observations. It sounds like your orientation supervisor has outstanding attention-to-detail in introducing people to the organization.

      If your company does that well with the interns, we can imagine that they would also have the same commitment to excellence with full time staff.

      Well done,
      Jack

  2. There are now a lot of companies who have some sort of employee orientation. It is slowly becoming a new trend although not yet for most small businesses.

  3. Aira, you are right. Larger companies with greater resources can more easily orient and mentor new hires. The challenge for the small business owner is to find a process to welcome incoming staff.

    Hopefully the three steps involving equipment, culture and check-up will be a short, simple list for businesses of any size.

    Cheers,
    Jack

  4. I agree with this article because I believe that it is important to give a new employee an orientation as they begin so they can feel welcomed and ready to work. If they do not know what is wanted or is expected this can cause a confusion or mixed communication with the boss and what he wants. I like the example of the army because not only in a job it is important to have this orientation, but in anything that is going to involve working as a team it is essential to have. Like we have discussed in class many times bosses are new and don’t know how to manage a company.

    • Hally, good point: the number one reason people leave a company (or the manager) is that they don’t feel appreciated. Orientation helps build teams and cohesion.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  5. I agree with this article. I can see how generally having an Orientation can result in lower employee turnover and the costs of recruiting and training. If an orientation was in place, managers wouldn’t have to do as much training.
    The analogy of the name “Turtle” for the newbie is quite funny. I do not think anyone would like to be called a “turtle”. It implies slowness.
    I think making sure the new hire feels at home is also very important because when you feel at home you tend to have a positive outlook on things. Having a positive outlook on work will result in a better work ethic!

    • Danasia, true, “Turtle” might seem to be disparaging — but we (ok, I) didn’t feel insulted. I wanted my trainer, the incumbent to explain things slowly and clearly. I was lucky that there was a process to bring on the new hires.

      Best,
      Jack

  6. This article brings up a very good point. If people are not welcomed, they might feel unwanted affecting their work performance . Also without a proper orientation a worker may take longer to get into the flow of the office, causing less efficient work. Managers and other positions of power need to step up and take charge in making sure their new hires feel wanted and appreciated . When an employee feels good about their employer, they will show more devotion and work harder. Also the check up is very crucial To make sure the new hire is off to the right start, bring the company farther in the right direction . When proper orientation is executed, The company will most likely see improved employee The company will most likely see improved employee results performance.

    • Nicholas, thank you for mentioning ‘the check-up.’ This is the control part of management where the boss — and the staffer — can check performance compared to the plan.

      Well Said,
      Jack

  7. It is so important for a company to be able to create a relationship between them and the newly hired person. The more welcomed that employee feels, the more work that will get done because they feel that they belong there. The company has a real need for those employees because without them, the business wouldn’t run. Orientation training is only going to help the company because the employee will become more productive in their work. The training will help the employee know what is wanted and expected from the company, and when the employee knows the ropes, chances are they will work more diligently.

  8. I didn’t even realize how important the on-boarding/ orientation process was, but the more I think about it the more sense it makes to me. At my current internship that began in January, my first day was strictly an orientation. A received a few emails from a woman in HR leading up to the day that detailed the building address, where to park, and where to meet her in the building. The other interns and I gathered in a conference room where the HR woman presented a slide show of about an hour, teaching us the basics of how the company started, how far it has come, and where it is now; the presentation also went over the names and roles of people in the C-suite and lingo unique to the company. After, we went on a tour of all the floors, which was very specific. We were given a tour of all the kitchens and how the coffee machines work, the mail room, where to go when you need supplies, and it ended with bringing us to our individual desks where we met our managers. My desk had a lot of SWAG and a nice memo on my whiteboard that said “Welcome, Katherine”- although a little gesture, it made me feel very at home. My manager then gave me a more detailed tour of my floor and of course to the people on my team as well as the teams who sit near me. She also brought me to different floors throughout the first weeks, just to show me. This process was certainly helpful and made me feel really comfortable, which is one of the most important aspects of working, I think. Not only does it help me to enjoy my experience but, it improves the quality of my work because I feel confident in my workspace.

  9. Katherine, Not many companies do it right — It appears that yours did.

    Good comment and analysis,

    Jack

  10. Regina Randolph

    I agree with the article. On-boarding is essential to an employee’s assimilation and success.

    Employee onboarding, also known as new-employee orientation or assimilation, is the process by which an organization assimilates its new employees. It is one of the means for improving productivity, building loyalty and engagement, and helping employees become successful early in their careers with the new organization.

    Onboarding of new employees is something that is always done, but often not done well. Too often, onboarding consists of handing a new employee a pile of forms and having a supervisor or HR professional walk the employee around the premises and make introductions.
    When onboarding is done well, it lays a foundation for long-term success for the employee and the employer. Organizations have learned that onboarding is not merely a process for getting new employees to sign off on their new-hire paperwork. Rather, the process manifests value for the organization.

    Thank goodness, my job used the onboarding process when I was hired. By doing so, I can contribute to the organization, have a solid understanding of the organization’s mission, vision and values and how these align with my position and department.

  11. The article on On-Boarding is completely relevant to my job at the moment. We are hiring two new employees and I am on the new hire on-boarding team. When I started my job, I was given a binder and told to teach myself about the job and ask questions. I knew no names, no titles, or anything. My co-worker and I decided that we need to update the manual and help our new teammates learn everything about our job that we were not told when starting. Our job requires a lot of travel and out of office time so we implemented a buddy system to keep in touch with the new employees. Also, planning a small get together and sending their bio and picture around to co-workers so the new employees will at least be introduced during their first week. When you talk about in the article the new employee needing more than just a map of the office and supplies, this resonates exactly what we are trying to do in my office. We are trying to have the new employee feel like a part of the team from their first day, not after their first year here. Having a proper orientation is definitely important to have the employee learn the logistics of the office, but also having them join the culture and be able to have a manager to directly report to and receive guidance from are crucial aspects to the job. Overall, having a strong on-boarding process can lead to a higher retention of the employee over time.

  12. This article highlights the three important aspects of onboarding; equipment, culture, and check-up. I fully agree in the value of executing these aspects correctly, since they inherently impact the development of a company. However, to look at this another way, the entire onboarding process, including the equipment provided and the subsequent check-ups are a part of the culture itself. Corporate culture is a powerful entity that consists of the appropriate ways of behaving, the belief structure that dictates values, and the almost self-perpetuating daily social forces across a company. The culture of an organization is not only representative of the corporation as a whole, but also impacts day to day workings, including retention and productivity, all of which get their start during the hiring and onboarding process.
    A successful employee is able to identify and react is accordance with such a culture to ensure their decisions help align with the organizational direction (i.e. to define what is right versus wrong). Poor onboarding practices can immediately influence the pedagogy of new hires in a negative manner since it sets the tone for the company as a whole. This can repeatedly create dysfunctional individuals that struggle to assimilate with their professional culture.

  13. employee begins after the offer letter has been finalized with the candidate’s intention of joining the organization. The “start date” has been established, an escort from our office to the orientation area has been established, and a beginning of new and exciting relationship begins. There are simultaneous actions being accomplished on Day 1, as the orientation to the organizations lasts for roughly 3-4 hours which is executed by the HR. Continuous communication through the process is vital and we ensure that once the new employee is turned over to us, that the reception is professional yet warm. We create the welcome package, their IT account set up, a printed name tag for their work station and all the necessary administrative supplies. As the administrator, I then reunite them with their supervisor, and schedule a brief meet and greet with their next level director. It is imperative to make the new employee feel welcomed and needed, while allowing the employee to “breathe”. Although I may not work directly with the personnel, I am the first face and attitude that they encounter, so I check in on them throughout their initial weeks to see if they have any concerns.

  14. JoHanna Metzger

    This article addresses a very important process to hiring new employees to a company. A new employee must be taught the company’s culture immediately. The culture of the company sets the tone as to what is expected from each position, and the type of work environment in which the business creates. The beginning of this article mentions how a CEO did not perform a meet and greet, or any type of introduction for that matter, with his new employees. This immediately set the tone for how the new employees will work for him. If they feel their boss not care, then they in turn will not care. It is so important to get to know your employees so you are in a safe and positive work environment. You find it easy to communicate with your peers, ask questions, and always offer a hand to help. Before you know it, the staff has a tight-knit community and loyalty begins. Orientation is much more important than one may think. In order to perform to high standards, the bar must be raised immediately. Culture is everything!

  15. Josephine Livingston

    After retiring after many years of working, on-boarding is crucial and should not be confused with orientation. This process is helpful in preparing new hires to adapt to the environment and performance of his/her position. The new hire can learn (on-the-job) the knowledge, skills, and behavior in order to effectively function within the organization. On-boarding can cover the terms of input and practices that can help maximize the success for both the new hire and the organization. It can also help integrate he/she with the company and its culture. Give them the tools, and information needed to become a successful as well as a productive member of the team. Whenever a new hire come on board or an employee is promoted within another department, organized an “meet” and “greet” team, team the new employee with an current employee to help the new employee get acquainted with his/her surrounding, and assign someone to mentor the new hire in gaining the knowledge and skills in succeeding within that position.

  16. Sufficient orientation, while time consuming and somewhat tedious for an employer, holds a very important place in a successful unit. Without an acceptable level of orientation, a new employee will be adrift and unsuccessful. It is hard enough for a new person to join a team and find his place. But when a new employee does not know his responsibilities, let alone how to access and use the tools that the company has in place to do those jobs, it is unfair to expect him to do his job efficiently. Orientation must reach farther than the role that HR plays, offering an explanation of the facility and pertinent benefits. Orientation must be more than handing a new hire pertinent documents and giving him time to read them and orient himself. Orientation must be more than letting a person feel his way through each task, getting attention only when something is done incorrectly. Orientation must be methodical and thorough or employee retention rates will be off the charts. While HR has a vital role, I believe that the manager of a unit must take time to see that a proper orientation is in place and an employee is equipped for success.

  17. On-boarding is very important in the transition of a new hire into the company. This is where they will learn the company culture, standards, mission and more. New hires often come in with a small idea of what the company stands for, through orientation they are able to learn more about the company itself and be prepped for their new journey ahead. In addition, they are able to meet other new hires and associates during orientation which will solidify their relationship with the company teams overall. Looking back to my own orientation at my company, they spent time giving us the tools and motivation to be able to succeed in our roles; while even providing potential future tracks we could take. Without such an orientation, you will have new hires in limbo and often uncertain of how to proceed. I do believe however that it is up to management and HR together to see this through in order to ensure it is done properly. The reason being that with joint effort, the new hire is able to have the support from both sides and will be set on a path to be successful in the company.

  18. On-boarding is a prime opportunity for employers to win the hearts and minds of new employees. It is important to not waste this opportunity. The reason why on-boarding is such an important piece to an organization is because it lets the employees decided whether they want to engage, or disengage. It is also important to know that depending on the impression the employer will stay will the employee for the duration of their career with that employer.

    Typically, new hires who have bad experiences through the on-boarding process usually believes that the organization is poorly managed and decide that it was a mistake for taking the job. I believe that in order to prevent this from happening, organizations will have to give more thought and attention to how they convert attractive job candidates into successful longer-term employees. If organizations do not take this step seriously, then, utimately they will be wasting their time, money, and efforts on the overall recruitment and selection process.

  19. Jelena Cobanovic

    It is extremely important for organizations to understand and don’t underestimate the onboarding. Onboarding is essential for both the employee as well as for the organization. For the employee, it is an opportunity to get additional information about the company and to get a better idea of the company’s expectations. It also helps the employee feel welcome to the new workplace. I like the part in the article saying that “new hires must understand how their daily work fits into the big picture in order to be productive and engaged”. This is so true as onboarding is a vital moment when new employees decide to stay engaged or become disengaged from day one. For the employer, onboarding is a great chance to try to impress new hires and to introduce them to the company’s culture. This is a prime time for employers to gain the attention and dedication of new employees. If the new employees have a bad experience on the first day and see that the company is poorly managed, they might exit the company early thinking that it was a mistake to take a job. This is something that nobody in the company wants to see happening as it is everyone’s time, effort and money consuming. New hires are often unclear about what to expect and onboarding can make them feel comfortable and help them to set up for long-term success. I also like the idea that the new hires should receive everything they need on their first day of work. This will make them feel welcome to the company as they will notice that other employees put effort and prepared, and are also excited for them to join the team. The first impressions are always remembered and are super important for the success!

  20. Pierre-Carmel Guerrier

    In any mission statement, HR should value the employees, especially the new comers who will contribute to the company. Diversity, globalization play a vital role in HR. With good practices, HR can go beyond their basics to share the workplace culture, help them to understand and build their projects. Another great way to involve a co-worker in the process, is to assign the new employee with someone else”buddy” that would facilitate the introduction around the workplace

  21. Mary-Christina Onyeocha

    “…Orientation training can increase morale and productivity and can lower employee turnover and the costs of recruiting and training.” The importance of onboarding, which is also called new employee socialization or new hire orientation cannot be overemphasized. To say that it could be challenging and to some extent intimidating to adjust to new jobs (though, possible past job/s experience can offer certain level of confidence) is not far from reality. It feels somewhat strange to step into a new job environment and to meet new people. Things as little as welcoming smiles, hand-shake, a cup of coffee/tea, constructive jokes and more can ease tension, relax nerves; increase awareness and determination for proficiencies. Proper organizational socialization of new hires helps to decrease the fears and doubts of the unknown that accompany new jobs or job environment/workforce and increase the positive behaviors, feelings of welcome and homely. It can go a long way to empowering new employees to determine to become insiders and members of the organization. Onboarding has a lot of adjustment ingredients that would dispose the new hire to contribute more positively to the productivity of the organization. The costs of the SWAG (Stuff We All Get) is nothing compared to incarceration and other negatively costly effects of “welcome to the company.” “That was it.” My first job onboarding made a positive and memorable impact in my work life. It pays to help new hires integrate to their jobs and job environments.

  22. After reading the article, I believe that the most important part about acquiring a new employee is properly introducing them to the company’s culture. As the article mentions, a company’s culture is related to how the organizations gets things done. If employees actions don’t align with the company’s culture, productivity levels will be low. This situation would cause conflict of interest, which often leads to complications with achieving a common goal. Overall an organization or business is created to solve a problem and to achieve a common goal, so it is of high importance for new hires to understand the big picture of the company.

  23. On-boarding is something that every company needs to integrate when introducing new employees. The best way to introduce a new employee is to make them feel comfortable working in this new environment. On-boarding helps the new employee become adjusted to the new company and helps them adapt quickly to the new environment. If there was no on-boarding, employees would be lost when entering a new company. “Human resources can never be trained or involved too much.” As much as people may hate what human resources does, all employees need them. On-boarding is just one of these human resource functions that are so important for new employees. As I have stated before, on-boarding goes beyond just the fire escape plan and office supplies. On-boarding will mainly focus on showing new employees the culture of the company. In my experience, I have not had to deal with on-boarding as much as others. Luckily since I have played under my current boss, I understand the way he works. Luckily this gives me an advantage in my current job. Because I did not have to go through the on-boarding process, I had a head start in my job and was able to jump right into the process of working as a collegiate baseball coach.

  24. First I am glad it is not called on boarding I think I would have been scared like the article mentioned with a word so close to water boardind. I feel like the artlice makes great points in that much like personal relationship you want to feel like your voice matters, and you have a way to speak your mind. When you’re introducing a person to a job you want them to feel important like they matter and feel at home. I think doing the litte things like the article mentioned would be important. Little things like decorating a persons desk would go a long way in hleping someone feel at home. Checking up on a person makes them feel valued. The initial meeting of someone in our personal lives goes a long way and it goes a long way on the job too

  25. I like the visual of the boss who points the new employee to his new desk and then leaves because it shows how some bosses can be very “hands-off” when it comes to new employee onboarding. If a new employee receives formal orientation from HR and nothing more, they are more likely to fall into mistakes and face challenges than if the new boss were to continually reach out to him or her and foster a healthy work relationship. It is important to have a smooth onboarding process for new employees so that they want to remain with the company for an extended period of time, but also so that they feel welcome and capable of contributing positively to the company’s success. The way that a boss treats new employees is a big factor of company culture and will affect overall employee satisfaction over time. A common theme for positive company culture is that employees feel trusted and engaged. Orientation should teach employees the structure of the company, but also inform them of how their job position fits into the overall organizational mission. This will open lines of communication to generate trust and employee engagement for the future. Bosses have a hand in proper orientation techniques and positive company culture, not just HR departments.

  26. On-boarding is an extremely important part of setting the tone for a new employee. On-boarding, and the first two weeks of work, determine how long an employee will ultimately stay with a company and the fit/ compatibility.

    I have been able to predict down to the length how great of a fit a company is by the on-boarding process. My current employer provided me with a mug, notepad, breakfast and my mobile broadband within one week of joining. This may seem minor, or like a normal practice to some, but my last few jobs have not gone the extra mile as a result of being busy mostly. However, best business practices prioritize taking that extra time to ensure comfort and that all necessary resources are provided to new employees.

    I was also personally sent a birthday card from my CEO, personal invitations, gym reimbursements, and other kind (and not essential acts) of kindness that show the character, employee importance that will definitely result in employee loyalty and retention. Best business practices are things that seem so minute or simple that make an employee feel special, invested in and that much more likely to stay. I am so very thankful to be a product of great on-boarding and leadership.

  27. Natalie M Barbieri

    Onboarding is the key to success for any company–without employees, how could things run? And, how do we hire “good” employees that will keep a company going?

    My father told me that any good manager can run a company. After being that manager, I have to disagree. Without the work input from the employees, no amount of micro managing can produce output. Therefore, you have to find employees that do not have to be entirely micromanaged. They should only need minimal amounts of micromanaging before being able to do tasks correctly and efficiently.

    Onboarding is the key to finding these people. And, as the article states, onboarding is a critical piece of the puzzle to success.

  28. I agree with this article because I have always believed that if you give an orientation to new employees, they would be familiar with organization and they can learn what is expected from them which means the more the employees are familiar with the organization , the faster they get used to adopt to organization .On the other hand without a proper orientation a worker may take longer to get into the flow of the office. This cause a problem. it is necessary for new employee to get an orientation. it is an opportunity For the employee to get detailed information about the company and to get a enormous idea of the company’s expectations. It also helps the employee feel welcome to the new organization. based on my experiences once I embarked on board , the captain responsible for familiarization has to wander around the ship to make me comfortable. An orientation does not mean that you can learn everything about the company but you can get some basic idea about the organization or your job.

  29. I completely agree with this article because it is very significant to orientate new employees as they begin, so they feel prepared to work. If an orientation is put in place, managers would not have to do a lot of training. In my opinion, the name “Turtle” for the newbie is funny, because I think no one would like to be called “Turtle”. The good point in this article is, if people are not welcomed, they might feel unwanted, effecting their work performance. When an employee likes his or her colleagues, they show more devotion and work harder. In addition, the check up is very important, in order to make sure the new hire is off to the right start, and bring the company further in the right direction. Any Company needs employees to like and feel good about each other to make the business run perfectly.

  30. I really liked the way this article described orientation by three main categories: equipment, culture and checkup. I think the first two are relatively easy, or at least they should be a company manager, boss, or team leader. They should have an inherent knowledge of the organization’s culture and setup. If you are an effective manager or leader, you have a great deal of knowledge on the company’s culture. You live and breathe it everyday. If you cannot do that, then your role as a manager or leader should be reevaluated. How can you lead a group of people if you cannot communicate the company’s main objectives and methods?

    My second thought while reading this is that it is much harder for managers to check up on their new employees. When things get busy, it is easy for managers to forget about their new hires. The more checkup that is done in the beginning of their employment, the less guidance they will need later down the road. Putting in the efforts earlier will have a greater payback months and years later. I think this is something that leaders of organizations should remember more.

  31. It is so crucial to present the company in the best possible way during the orientation week. Those new employees are supposed to help the organization grow. They should see clear goal and the importance of their input.
    Great idea, which I would refer to what is said about the orientation, is presented in the Memo in three words:
    Frame – the structure of the organization and culture must be clear and understanding,
    Firm – it is important to build solid connection and help new employees to get engaged, and
    Fun – which I’d call flow between manager and new employees when both sides know where they stand and, their responsibilities are, what they do together to reach the goals and how their work is correlated. The “fun” describes only the smooth communication between leader and followers.

    The following quotation grabbed my attention and I think, it really reflects the idea of article: Eisenhower once said “I’d rather try to persuade a man to go along because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he’s scared, then he’s gone”. It is basically what should be done during orientation/training time. New employees should believe that they bring the value to the company and their input is going to make the organization grow. They must have a perspective of being part of the bigger picture where they all work for a common goal. The purpose of the orientation is to make people excite about the future so they will be willing to stay in the organization.
    It was prove in the KIA factory in Georgia that yes, investing in the right training make people work more efficient, be more satisfied and happy from what they do.

  32. I completely agree with the article. The onboarding process should go outside of the human resource world. The hiring manager should have a process as well because there are things and norms that a human resource representative will not be able to impart onto the new employee. Also when there is a process done by the hiring manager, there is a sense of worth that is given to the employee. I started a new role a couple of months ago with a new agency within the government. I’ve been with the government for eight years, but my new managers taking the time to acclimate me my new working home, and going out of their way to make sure I had supplied went a long way!!

  33. The hiring process is a lot harder than people think. The employee has to be right for the company, and the company also has to be the right fit for the employee. Once someone is hired though, I believe that one of the top priorities would be to get them settled in. They are now a little fish in a big pond and I think it is important that they feel comfortable in their new environment in order to be successful. Feel good, work good.

    I like the three points that were made about orientation needs: equipment, culture and check-up. The equipment that they need could include SWAG and the orientation kit, which is a supplemental packet of written information for new employees. Company culture is essential for all employees to learn and be able to be a part of. Not only does one make a good fit for a company if they have the technical skills, but having the personal and attitude philosophies that fit in with the company is going to be what makes them really enjoy what they do and where they do it. Check-ins are especially important for new hires because that is when reinforcements and adjustments can be made to their work. When I first started at Catholic in the fall, I appreciated when my supervisor would check on me and the work I was doing so I was able to know if I was satisfying his objectives.

  34. Euclides Rengifo

    This article makes us reflect on how to make an excellent recruitment taking into account the risks that can be had in the future if we do not select very well the human talent that we want to have in our organization, I am very in agreement with this article when it says that a good Incorporation program must cover three points: equipment, culture and revision, but to my way of thinking although these three components are necessary and work together as a system, the policies of the organization must be clearly written in the training kit where the Employee must appropriate the content to ensure no mistakes due to ignorance of their functions, rules, laws and internal regulations.

  35. Priscilla Sanchez

    Prof. Yoest, I would like to say that I agree with the fact that orientation is needed to be handled properly with new hires. Not just pointing them to one direction and let me figure out their way to success. It is important to orientate new employees correctly in the organization in order for them to become familiarized well and how work should be done there. I agree that there should be check-ups every 90 days to make sure that the new hires are working properly and doing their work correctly or they could get in trouble in the long-run and get the company introuble as well. They should also be rewarded as suggested so they are aware that their work is appreciated. As Prof. Yoest, followed his CEO, he noticed that he was not quite fit as the CEO to orientate the new hires because he did guide them or gave them the proper training needed for them to be successful in their job and seemed to just throw them on the playing field and was not right for him to do and can cause the company to fail.

  36. I agree that a well-thought out and executed onboarding process can greatly enhance a new employee’s perception of the organization. Unfortunately, in my experience, organizations are often not ready for new employees on day one. This means that the employee has to sit around and wait for possibly weeks or months before being given assignments or being integrated into the team. I once started a job where I waited for 5 months to be granted all of the access I needed to fully perform my duties. This made me feel like the organization was inefficient, and I quickly became bored with the job. I like the idea of the 90-day check-up, to learn how well the employee has transitioned into the organization. This gives the employee and the manager the opportunity to talk about what has gone well and areas for improvement, to ensure that both the employee’s and the manager’s expectations are being met. Another piece of onboarding that is sometimes missed is the proper introduction of the new employee to the existing staff. Sometimes, new employees are only introduced to upper management, but in reality a new employee should be introduced to everyone on the team, to facilitate working relationships among peers.

  37. I agree that onboarding has to be top of mind when hiring new employees. Companies are excited to hire new people, but they are never actually prepared for them to start. Most smaller companies do not do orientation well, for example my company. When I started I had no set onboarding, orientation, or training. I was just there on my first day doing work I did not truly understand. It’s so important for new hires to see we are organized and can guide them through their first few days, and will help them settle better into the company. Also, I think it is nice for companies to have departmental meet and greets. A lot of people just meet upper management but they need to meet the people who are on their team. I believe meeting teammates will help to build bonds and connect with your team on a personal level.

  38. The on boarding, or orientation, process is extremely important for new hires in the organization but sometimes this process is overlooked by people in the company because they already know all of the nuances. What people in an organization need to realize is if they include the three essentials for the on boarding process (equipment, culture, and check-up) it will make the new hires more productive, quicker. Another point about a good on boarding process is the new employee feels welcomed. The faster the new employee can be accustomed to the culture of the company the better they will be able to produce.
    Usually after the 3 month mark there is a check-in with the new hire to see how they are adjusting to the company and if they still have any questions. It is necessary for a proper on boarding process because it allows the company and the new employee to have mutual benefits and understand each other better.

  39. On boarding is very important for new employees to know company and the job they are going to do well. Some employers are not good for orientation of employees and It might cause employees to be dissapointed . It doesn’t matter how big is the organization, on boarding process should be organized and effective.

  40. At my current organization, I assist with narrowing the potential job candidate pool for certain positions. Candidates are almost always hired after they come through my team unless there are certain details omitted in their application or medical history. At the same time as my processing, we give them reading the material and verbal orientations by the means of briefings. These organizational and departmental briefings cover the importance of their position to the strategic plan by adding value to the position beyond the sum of its parts. We characterize which location they will be deployed to, the current status, our goals and how we will satisfy our customer’s requirements. If we fail to enlighten our future new hires, they often become half-way invested in our organization or violate policies that may have not been aware of.

  41. New employee orientation/ On Boarding orientations a very improtant for a companies structure. having these functions makes new employees feel like that they are apart of a family rather than this is just a job. Bringing this type of feel to your new employees and company can make a better experience while working. the company I previously worked for had an on boarding orientation the thing about I.T was that they only would do it every few months. You would have people that have started in a company for almost a year and then they would have it. By that time people were already familiar with the company and the people around it. I always thought that by that time that it was kind of pointless. I think the thing that would make you feel welcomed or even having a feel for your job before going in is having those orientations within the first week of starting. you then get the chance to meet management and know they’re expectations; also seeing them will allow you to see what kind of people they’re because with working a lot of companies you don’t see the big wigs, other than supervisors and lead personnel.

  42. Mayara Correa Bonamichi

    I really enjoyed reading this article because I believe it is very important to welcome a new employee into the company. I agree with the quote from the book “M:Management” when it states that “orientation training can increase morale and productivity and can lower employee turnover and the costs of recruiting and training”, if an employee feel welcome and knows what to expect from the organization and what the organization expects from him/her, there are more chances of increasing the employee’s productivity and motivation. Another topic that caught my attention was about doing a check-up within the first 90 days of the employee in the company and I agree with that, it is necessary to follow-up and check if the employee made progress and also if the he/she has any complain or any suggestion to the organization. I think this follow-up makes the employee feel like part of the organization, it is the opportunity he/she has to hear about his/her job achievement and goals.

  43. Strategy-linked Human Resource Planning (HRP) is an important practice that organizations & HR departments implement. The sharing of information and ideas between the two parties help to establish better relations. This approach is intended to intersect the two factions in order to strengthen the organization.

  44. New employee orientation, or onboarding, should be a key part of any organization’s initial introduction to the organization for all new employees. Whether required by law to conduct the orientation, or not required, onboarding can introduce the new employee to valuable information that can help guide them throughout their entire time with the organization, and help them to be more engaged and ultimately more productive for the organization. Onboarding can help the employee understand their function within the organization. It can also give them a good idea of how the company operates. Such information can help the employee understand what it is that they have to do to make the organization successful. It can also help them understand with whom, and in what manner, they have to interact within the organization.
    Besides introducing the new employee to information about the organization, onboarding can convey to the employee that the organization cares about them and the organization’s people. Taking the time to conduct the orientation demonstrates that people are important. When a person knows that they are important to the organization they may be more willing to support the organization and work towards its success. The organization should also want to do the onboarding. Reducing employee turnover by one third just by having a proper personal introduction, as mentioned in the article, should be incentive enough for the organization to conduct new employee orientations.

  45. It seems straightforward: provide a proper welcome and meaningful orientation to a newcomer (to an organization). Obviously, organizations only get one chance to make their first impression on a new member. (And vice versa of course.) The problem is that I’m sure I’m not alone in having personally experienced or heard of an onboarding horror story. I guess it’s not so “straightforward” in some organizations. Here’s a sorry explanation for failure to provide a proper orientation to newly arrived personnel that I heard as a young commander in U.S. Army Recruiting Command many years ago (paraphrasing): “I wasn’t onboarded properly…so…” I sensed that over time, a general, if not normal, attitude of indifference toward the “new guy” had morphed into some twisted rite of passage and had become the norm. The good news was this counterproductive and culturally destructive situation provided me with a good opportunity to exercise positive leadership and instill better management. Looking back, I think the situation improved slightly thanks to the efforts of a few like-minded sergeants. Conversely, we’ve all likely heard stories or seen instances in which the “baptism-by-fire” approach to newcomer orientation was employed successfully. However, this should be the exception – not the rule.

  46. Great article!

    As the current Career Development Intern at The Busch School of Business and Economics, we are in the process of orienting a new Career Coach in the Office of Career Development.

    A recent project of mine was creating an orientation packet for the new employee upon arrival to campus. I believe that one’s orientation has a great impact on their time in a new company since first impressions are everything. Within the orientation packet, we included information such as the job description, tasks, important contact information, upcoming events during the semester, and miscellaneous FAQs.

    I enjoyed this article as it stressed the importance of orientation if done correctly. If not, oftentimes orientations can and will only confuse new employees.

    I hope that in my post-graduate job that it will be a smooth and professional orientation process.

  47. On boarding, as explained by the article is an essential task that has to be taken seriously by any company out there , whether they are big corporations, medium firms, or small businesses. It is fair to say that, the most important asset of an organization is not something company’s factories or plants, its is indeed the company people, or what it is called the human capital that brings successes. In reality with great employees come better and increase bottom lines, markets capitalization, increase sales numbers, and surely the greatness of such firm that has the right people. Therefore, and in order to attire and maintain the right people, they need to feel at home from the get go. New hires should feel welcome, wanted, appreciated, and being a part already of a family. Companies should then taken on boarding seriously and give new hires and very warm welcome.

  48. Calvin Chinanzvavana

    This article is worth reading!!! I have witnessed the downside of having a poor or lack of a well thought through onboarding process. This has led to low employee retention with the very first year of employment. As new employees go through the onboarding process, they quickly get up to speed with the employees who have been with the company for longer. This lets them achieve results much faster without second guessing themselves than if they had to figure everything out on their own. Unfortunately, in most of these big corporates this function has been transferred onto individuals who don’t have the particular know how and skill to successfully implement this process and it’s been a resounding failure and only created more questions than answers.

  49. Marina Pontes Oliveira

    I am a strong believer of the importance of a good onboarding. It can be a little intimidating the first couple of weeks in a new company. You feel pressured to start delivering results and don’t really know your whereabouts throughout the company. I believe that it shows a great sense of welcoming when you receive in your new workspace a bag of company good’s, with a notebook, pens and overall office supplies as well as some small gifts. Not only that, I like to properly demonstrate to anyone who enters my team where is everything – from printers to restrooms – as well as give them a welcoming lunch with the rest of the team. The goal is to make the new element to feel at ease, comfortable with the new environment and team. I also like to be the one who introduces him/her to everyone and most important stakeholders. Another thing I believe works well is to spend some part of the firs day really onboading him/her, by presenting the company’s current goals and strategies, if possible with cross-departments presentations, so that the new person can start to better understand the moment and the current job to do. I believe that a good first impression is key to a long-lasting professional relationship.

  50. Onboarding is undoubtedly a very important component of the hiring process. I was fortunate to have a very smooth onboarding with my current company. On my first day of work there was someone there to greet me at the door. She was kind and welcoming, telling me that she was expecting me. She had a folder of all the things necessary for me to get set up on my own, which included, in addition to the basic employee handbook: a floor plan of the office, login instructions for the company WiFi, instructions on how to use the printers, a couple of company trinkets, etc. Having a “bag of SWAG (Stuff We All Get),” as you call it, is very assuring to a new employee who while excited can also be very nervous when starting his/her first day. A well-organized welcome is a wonderful tool that can help a newbie feel comfortable and accepted as a member of the company.

  51. This read underscores the importance of “fresh impression”. The onboarding is an eye opener about the culture and environment of the workplace. If they always get the onboarding wrong, it’s a revelation of the “cancer” within.

    In my view, poor onboarding diminishes the success of the staff and growth of the company. Bad onboarding practice could affect the retention of staffs. According to Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM 2016) the average cost to hire is about $4, 129. In this vein, its not cost effective if a company’s retention program is poor. Zappos’ $2,000 “bonus to quit after one week is a smart fiscal practice. They placate you with half the cost price of a new hire and a good return on their investment.

    In have experienced both good and bad onboarding. The former is vainglorious and the later could cut short the doughtiness of a new hire

  52. Great Read, Prof. Yoest!!

    This article highlights few important points about the on boarding process of companies. I always thought that hiring is difficult, but it seems ON BOARDING is even more difficult and complicated. I agree with you that orientation training can increase morale and productivity of employees. It can lower employee turnover which may reduce the costs of recruiting and training. If the employees don’t feel welcomed and have a sense of belongingness, this could potentially bring adverse results.

    I agree that new hires must understand how their daily work fits into the bigger picture in order to be productive and engaged. Employees should be engaged, believe their capabilities, feel honored, and appreciated for their work. The engaged employee can make a big positive difference as they feel themselves a part of the organization and are ready to go one step ahead.

    “First impression is the last impression”. New employee orientation is the first best opportunity for employers to show that how much they care and value their employees. Employers can use this opportunity to win their new employee’s heart and, in return, earn the value and respect from them, which is important for success.

  53. If I were reading this article several years ago, I would have found it irrelevant because I did not know the importance of onboarding a new employee. However, using my personal experience, I now know how important it is.
    For one of my first job experiences, I had been hired by an international humanitarian organization as a refugees’ camp supervisor. On the first day, we were five new supervisors and were welcomed by one of the managers (a cold kind of man). Later on, we were just put before computer screens to read the policies and procedures. After more than three hours of reading, the manager took us to introduce as to the rest of the staff. During this tour, some of them did not even raised their head from their computer when we were introduced and those who did, just looked at us and said “Hello, welcome onboard” and then just turned back around. The next day, after a two-hour “orientation” meeting, we were invited to join the refugees’ camp barely conscious of what exactly to do. Long story short, none of the five of us stayed in the organization for more than a year and a half.
    I share this experience to confirm how crucial onboarding new employees is and it should be handled very carefully.

  54. Another really interesting article in which I strongly agree that “onboarding” and making new hires and employees, in general, feel welcomed, and valued can go a long way towards overall work productivity. If an employee doesn’t feel valued or has little incentive or job perks he or she may be more of a detriment to your organization then that of an asset. Coming into a new work situation or a new atmosphere, in general, is always challenging as the attention from your peers is that much more escalated. Who is the new guy? where does he or she come from? What is there background? How did they get this job? Are some of the questions and the aurora that new hires constantly deal with right off the bat. If a new employee is thrown right into the fire without any orientation of some sorts they are for sure a lot more likely to fail or be counterproductive in the workplace and with the specific task that they’re attempting to complete. Ultimately from a human nature perspective and as a leader of a company, you would think that making the new hire or employee feel valued and welcomed in an effort to not only make for a streamlined and efficient transition but to help benefit your company overall from a productivity and team morale standpoint with all of the employees putting forth their best effort since they have strong incentives to achieve more.

  55. The onboarding process is a very important aspect of hiring new employees because it’s your time as an organization to introduce the new employee to the company. Making an inviting atmosphere on the first day and introducing the employee to the staff will have a positive effect on their morale as well as in turn make them more dedicated to the organization. My most recent onboarding process, they brought us in we had orientation with senior management went over the rules and codes of conduct as well as got to have someone from each department come and talk to us about what it is exactly, they do. After that, we met with our bosses who would then walk us around the office and introduce us to the staff. Then we were to go to the office that handles badges to go and take our picture and receive our badges. When we returned, we were taken to our desks and given our login information. It didn’t work for the first day or two but then it came through. My boss would check in with me periodically and we’d talk about things outside of work like sports, family, music, pop culture, etc. He’d even go so far to challenge me to see who can do the most pushups in a day. I say all of that to say that a proper onboarding process can better integrate new employees and give them a sense of pride about going to and fulfilling the mission of their organization.

  56. This was a nice read. Onboarding is indeed an essential process that organizations should use for their new hires. For a new hire to understand the organization’s vision and mission and act towards them, they need to know more about the organization’s culture, the information, and tools necessary to reach the common goals. This will improve retention rates and productivity. When a company fails to do so, they will have employees who will not be as engaged and in alignment with the company’s goals.

  57. Great reading, this article concretely highlights the importance of onboarding new employees. Computerization had been exerted a bad influence on ourselves, dehumanizing us, as well as some employer tend to receive their new employee as they receive they new material. By breaking down the several points involved in the welcoming of a new employee which are the equipment, the company culture and check-ups it is easier to understand where and how to lead the focus during the introduction. It is not always about the job exclusively, the clients, or the tasks; A new employee needs to know in what kind of environment he/she will be growing, what he/she can add to this environment and what the environment would add to his/ her career. Onboarding is the perfect time to tell stories about the organization’s history, values, people and big-picture vision for the future. It should come from the heart and should be a moment of pleasure.
    A more human integration will help the employee the develop effectively. Thus, his/her work would follow the right path. In contrary an employee who is not familiar or taking time to be familiar to his work place consequently take more time to understand the optimal method to do his/her job. Also, it will be long for the employer to realize that it has done a good investment by hiring him/her or not. Therefore, onboarding a new employee is crucial for the next steps of the work.
    Thank you very much for the sharing professor Yoest.

  58. Darnell Albert El

    Onboarding is the most important part of the orientation process process. If done properly it giveds ther employee all thre information he need to navigate around his or her new job.

  59. Orientation is priceless and needs to be done well. This is because employees are people and need to be involved and valued throughout the life cycle of a job. The very start of that cycle is a key moment to lay the foundations for a strong professional relationship with the employing organization. First impressions in an interview can create a halo effect and first impressions in orientation can do the same…or the opposite! I think we’ve all got a horror-story example we can recall; I was once told “there are lots of good tutorials on YouTube” when I couldn’t understand the software at a new job… The problem is multi-layered though – a CEO is a manager, and probably busy – is there support and coordination within the management team? A CEO needs to be prepared in advance to run orientation, not just thrown in – managers need to be properly staffed. If they are not, then it is hardly fair to walk someone into a room at the last minute and expect onboarding to just happen. On the other hand, a CEO should also be aware of the value of orientation and be asking for better orientation practices from his/her team in feedback.

  60. I never thought much about onboarding. The article accurately details why seemingly small things matter. Most of my adult life was spent working for the government (both county and federal). As a government federal employee, I had to transfer duty stations about every three years. The overall mission was essentially the same, but there were nuances to each assignment. In my agency, sponsors were assigned to help a new agent acclimate to the duty station. The sponsorship program (local on-boarding) was not a defined program within my agency. It was mostly done because someone had done it for them. It was the sponsor’s responsibility to make sure the agent had what they needed. Throughout my career, I had good sponsors and sponsors that did not put much effort into the responsibility. Both types were noteworthy. Because of my experience, I put the time and effort into being a good sponsor whenever I had the privilege of welcoming in a new agent. As the article pointed out, first impressions matter. On-boarding, welcoming, sponsorship, whatever it is called, matters. It is the extra that makes an employee feel embraced. The resume and the interview get an employee through the door, but it is the feeling of belonging that keeps an employee for the long term.

  61. This article was a great read. On-boarding is a crucial part of the hiring of a new employee. I think some organizations tend to forget that it’s not just an extension of hiring a new employee, but it is part of the process as a whole. Just like the article said, when a company practices good on-boarding, their employees are likely to last longer. A new employee is already stressed with many aspects of a new job, it is important that they are welcomed and provided all the pertinent information about the company that human resources can provide. One of the most interesting parts of this article was the quote about the CEO of Zappo’s will give new employees a $2000 check if they quit within the first week. That is definitely not a common thing, but quite tactful if you are trying to weed out any individuals who may not be looking to stay anyway or it just was not the right fit. Bottom line is, nobody who is on-boarded correctly, would take that $2000.

  62. Ayanna Overton

    This article emphasizes the importance of on-boarding and training. On-boarding and training are tied together in the first week of an employee’s job. The on-boarding process is different within numerous organizations. Some company’s depending on your job title will not have an on-boarding process. A human resource manager will give you the employee handbook, tell you what documents to sign, explain your job duties, and you start. Depending on your experience some supervisors will not train an employee, they will assign deliverables and say, “good luck,”. Every company/business should have a training process for every employee just to observe how the new hires can pick up the material.

    Also, I agree with Andre Lavoie. New hires should understand how their daily work fits into the big picture in order to be productive and engaged. Mangers and the human resources team can be careless in the on-boarding and training process. The careless behavior can affect the company and the staff overall. An employee does not want to work anywhere that is not helpful or supportive of their transition into the organization. New hires want to feel welcomed by senior management and their new colleagues.

  63. As demonstrated by this article, proper onboarding of new personnel is essential to the hiring process and should not be taken lightly. All members of an organization at all levels should be aware of the onboarding policy and be prepared to orient the new hire. It is important that from day one the new employee has a great impression of the organization and is properly oriented to the company’s values, practices, and way of life. I truly believe that proper onboarding programs help to retain employees and ensure higher employee satisfaction rates. I’d imagine that organizations without established programs, such as the one shared in the article, see higher turnover and higher rates of employee dissatisfaction. Organizations should take time to create thoughtful onboarding programs for their new hires. They should make sure it aligns with their mission and vision and sets the new employee up for success. I thought that the “equipment, culture, check in” concept was very useful. This simple framework ensures that all of the basics are covered. Personally, I think within each area especially culture and check in there is room for expansion as these areas require more training and are often learned on the job.

  64. Orientation is not only good for the employee, but also the person leading the training. It enhances their ability to communicate skills and information they must use everyday but think nothing about because it’s so rote. I believe onboarding is crucial to every person’s start at a company. It also gives you a glimpse into how you will learn things while at the job. Is training an integral part of the job or are you expected to learn new things as information becomes available and on your own? I also believe that retention is highly wrapped into the company’s ability to fully transition their employee from a new to seasoned employee and that is all done through training. The more you invest in your staff, the more they will invest in you.

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