On-Boarding: A Requirement for a Variety of Reasons

May 21, 2013

Ten years ago the term “on-boarding” was not even a common corporate expression. Today it is gaining acceptance as a common part of “HR vocabulary,” but it should be a mutually understood term by employees and HR representatives. More importantly, it should be embraced by top management, especially for executive, management, and professional level positions.

But what is on-boarding? It is simply a process to assist the transition of new employees into an organization. Below we will share more details about on-boarding, including the objectives, the primary orientation activities, and how to use orientation to create a great “first impression”.

The Objectives of On-Boarding


The objective of the process may vary somewhat by company. For professionals, managers and executives the objectives are typically to:

  • Help make new employees feel welcome
  • Accelerate a new employee’s contribution and productivity
  • Reduce the risk of turnover of the new employee
  • Improve customer or client satisfaction
  • Align the new person’s role to both short and long term needs of the company

Primary Orientation Activities

Most companies have good orientation programs. A solid orientation program is one part of a comprehensive on-boarding plan. The primary activities are to:

  • Review and enrollment in employee benefit programs
  • Train on phone and email systems
  • Workspace orientation
  • Provide needed supplies, tools, computers, phone, etc.
  • Introduction to management and employees this person will be working with

Creating the “First Impression”

Most companies have good orientation programs. A solid orientation program is one part of a comprehensive on- boarding plan. The primary activities are to:

  •  Consideration of personnel who welcome the new hire at the door
  • Work site orientation: tour of facilities, introduction to colleagues, executives, team members, departments, break room site, etc.
  • Work place preparation: work area (cubicle or office), phone, computer, email, tools and supplies to do the job
  • In-depth orientation to the company’s mission, vision, values, and history
  • Explanation and enrollment into company benefits programs

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