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Strategic Onboarding – Building a cohesive culture

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 11:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

When "Lara"* was hired, she was sent to a full day onboarding event. She filled out paperwork, got her ID badge, and enjoyed ice-breaker activities. She learned about the company's health plan and 401K options, and a little bit about where she fit within the organization. She wished she had left knowing more about what her priorities were, but at least the one day she had was better than the alternative she experienced at a previous employer, where there was no formal onboarding program.

Like many organizations, a few years later her new company decided to decentralize the onboarding process within the business units, hence, no formal day one program. Even though there was an “Onboarding Checklist,” employees in one department were onboarded differently than another. Some managers fully engaged in the checklist; others did the bare minimum. The culture was gravely affected by a lack of cohesion felt by employees.

"As I reflected on my initial experience, I am happy that, at the very least, I received the same experience as everyone else on their first day."

Fortunately, the company began to focus on our organizational culture and the importance of the onboarding experience. The onboarding process was once again centralized and a robust program was developed that expanded the experience from the moment the employee was hired to well after their start date. The onboarding process became a priority and a way to build and nurture the culture, shining a light into the abyss.

Does this sound like your organization? You welcome an employee and then dump them into the void hoping that they will understand what is expected of them? Do you believe that they will inherently know what their priorities should be? Or do you plan and execute your onboarding program with a strategy that will build culture, enhance business results, and create an amazing experience for the employee?

According to Michelle Baker of PhaseTwo Learning, “Successful organizations leverage the new employee experience as a competitive advantage and a driver of business results. The secret to getting there….to truly unlocking the results you’re seeking…is to find a link between onboarding and business goals and priorities.” (retrieved from

Perhaps it’s knowing where to start. On May 7, 2019 onboarding expert Michelle Baker will share a strategy for success during ATD Buffalo Niagara’s Webinar Series Event: Driving Business results Through Strategic Onboarding

Webinar participants will analyze the impact (good or bad!) of their existing onboarding programs on business results and explore the results of a case study with simple strategies that can be applied to a new or existing program. Participants, including those who do not currently utilize strategic onboarding in their organizations, will walk away with an arsenal of must-capture metrics to consider when getting started with onboarding program development or modifying an existing program.

More Resources!

Onboarding Tools for HR Managers – by Michelle Baker

*name changed to protect privacy

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