The Process of Creating an Effective On-boarding Program

If you conduct an online search around onboarding you’ll get a ton of information and statistics about the impacts of ineffective onboarding. You’ll also get a ton of pictures like the one above. While the stats vary, one theme rings true. Ineffective onboarding costs companies tons of money and can lead to employees leaving earlier than anticipated, or worse, sticking around even though they are completely disengaged.

If you don’t think the latter is worse, we need to talk.

One of the issues I have with a lot of the stuff written about onboarding is that it starts with the employees first week. I strongly disagree. Onboarding starts in the recruitment process. Every single candidate should experience some sort of onboarding. The longer they last in the process, the more entrenched in the onboarding process they become.

One of my most visited posts on this site is The Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding. A few days to a week long program is orientation. Onboarding takes much longer and requires a plan. Businesses of all sizes, from 2 employees to 2000, should have a robust onboarding program. If a business hires one person per year or 100, onboarding is needed, and not just in the first week.

I recently presented my process for creating a robust onboarding program with a client’s executive leadership team. In an effort to combat a higher turnover rate in the first six months than they are comfortable with, we are looking at assessing and adjusting two distinct areas. The first is on the recruitment side, how we are attracting, interviewing and assessing candidates. The second is with onboarding. The two projects will have a lot of overlap as the executive team agreed with my assertion that onboarding starts well before the first day.

I’m excited about this project. Concrete objectives, measurable outcomes and improving processes. I will keep you posted on our progress and may even do a case study around the outcomes.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a condensed version of my presentation, a primer if you will. I took out the company specific stuff and the nuts and bolts of the how to in order to share a bird’s eye view of what effective onboarding looks like. I do not believe that onboarding is a one size fits all solution. The slides reflect my ideas around onboarding and the process I use to create effective programs for my clients.

Does you company have an effective onboarding program or just an orientation program?


Post last updated September 20, 2017

One thought on “Onboarding: A Primer to Effective Programs

  1. Pingback: The Difference Between Orientation and On-Boarding

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