What is New Employee On-Boarding?

New Employee “Orientation”

New employee orientation is the process used for welcominga new employee into your organization. New employee orientation generally contains information about safety, the


work environment, the new job description, benefits and eligibility, company culture, company history, and the organization chart.  It typically occurs on the employee’s first day.

New Employee “On-Boarding”

The term “On-boarding” refers to the process of integrating new employees into the organization, preparing them to succeed at their jobs, and to become fully engaged, productive members of the organization. It includes the initial orientation process and the ensuing 3, 6, 9, or even 12 months.


All too often, orientation programs revolve around filling out forms, speakers droning on about various policies, and watching the obligatory sexual harassment video.  On-boarding programs, by contrast, are designed to create an inspiring experience that reassures new hires they made the right choice and lays the foundation for high performance, morale and engagement.


More About On-Boarding

On-boarding begins with the offer letter, includes the days between the offer letter and first day of work, and are likely to have day 1, month 1, quarter 1, and year 1 goals. Done well, the on-boarding process not only prepares employees well, but leaves them feeling inspired.


Effective on-boarding means keeping in touch with your new hires as they integrate into your organization. It means actively seeking them out to find out how they’re doing and – this point is critical – making it easy for them to tell you what’s on their mind. The more safe and easy you make it for new employees to speak the truth, the more likely you are to prevent employees from waiting until their exit interview to tell you what went wrong.


Quote: Dave Olsen, Starbuck’s chief coffee buyer, when asked by Scott Bedbury, author of A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century, what the critical “difference that makes a difference” at Starbucks is, replied that it wasn’t about the coffee beans.  It wasn’t about the ambience they so carefully create.  It wasn’t about the employees they hire.  “When it comes to on-boarding,” says Olsen, “Everything Matters –  every choice, every action, every communication has potential consequences.”


Think “Experience”

When making strategic and operational decisions related to on-boarding “thinking experience”:

1. “What Emotional Take-Away do I want to create?”

2. “What Perceptual Take-Away do I want to create?”



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