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Successful "Onboarding"

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 31, 2009

You’ve done the recruiting, found the employee you were looking for, and now he or she has signed the offer letter. Now what?

The onboarding process should begin well before a new employee’s start date. Being prepared for a new hire doesn’t have to be time intensive or expensive. Just a few simple actions can welcome new employees to the team before they even walk in the door.

1. Send every new hire a personalized welcome letter (from the president, CEO, or the person they will be reporting to). By engaging employees from the very beginning, you let them know that they are already considered a valued member of the team.

2. Send welcome gifts/baskets to the employee’s spouse/partner/family. After all, they are making a big commitment to you, as well.

3. Have a gift bag ready for the new hire too. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. A box of candy or chocolates goes a long way and will help make his or her first day a little sweeter.

4. Get the HR department involved. Send out forms electronically, brief new employees on their coworkers, special projects they will be working on and company tips and best practices.

5. Notify all employees of new hires and provide a bit of background about them as well as their start date. During their first few days at the office, encourage staff to stop by to introduce themselves, show them around the office, and include them in lunch plans.

6. Install a mentor program. With each new hire, assign a mentor who will provide guidance during the first 60 days. This mentor should reach out to the new hire before their first day at the office to introduce himself/herself and address any questions not answered by HR.

7. If relocation is part of the hiring process, be sure to also offer assistance in the form of helping your new employee get acquainted with your city. It is, after all, already difficult enough getting acquainted with a new job and office environment.

8. Have the workstation set up and operational before they arrive. This is an easy and simple way to show you’re ready for the employee.

By proactively welcoming new employees and catering to their needs, your company can ensure that your new employees will be more productive and confident with their role in your organization.

Laila Rossi
Platinum Solutions
Reston, Virginia

Reader Comments

Sue Edwards

July 31, 2009 9:40 AM

Great tips! There's a group called "Onboarding Best Practices- Clearing the 90-Day Hurdle" on LinkedIn where companies are sharing their best ideas... we welcome you there!

For leaders that you are bringing into your organization, you may find it valuable to share with them a free research report on "Top 10 Success Factors and 7 Deadly Sins For Leaders Transitioning into New Roles"

A helpful gift to tuck into the welcome basket? "Wow Them In Your New Job", as self-coaching workbook to support people joining your organization in successfully ramping up.

David Lee

August 1, 2009 7:00 PM

In addition to the excellent suggestions listed, I would also STRONGLY recommend that you interview employees who have been with your organization for the following lengths of time:

Weeks: 1,2,3,4
Months: 2,3,6, 9

Ask them for feedback on key Moments of Truth that either helped you create positive "Emotional and Perceptual Take Aways" or created negative ones. Ask them for ideas on what you could do to help them feel more welcomed, supported, and prepared to succeed.

For more info on this, you can download six articles at


"Does Your Onboarding Program Need A Fresh Pair of Eyes?"

13 Questions to Help You Optimize Your Onboarding Program"

David Lee

George Bradt

August 16, 2009 7:57 AM

This article is a good step forward from the "sink or swim" approach that too many organizations still use. You have some good tips for the hiring organization.

The next step is to move onboarding from something done to or for the new hire to something done WITH the new hire. The best way to make new employees think they are a valued member of the team is to make them a valued member of the team - even before they start.

This is one of the core premises of our new book "Onboarding - How To Get Your New Employees Up To Speed In Half The Time". It will be widely available in a couple of weeks (late August, 2009). An executive summary download is available at

George Bradt - PrimeGenesis Executive Onboarding

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