Developing a Dynamic Onboarding Program

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  • June 26, 2016
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Make a Lasting Impression on Your Employees by Developing a Dynamic Onboarding Program

First impressions are the most lasting. – Proverbs

Everyone remembers there the first day of work; it is something new and exciting but the nervousness is there we want to impress those we meet. Our first impression that we give our employees is critical, but so is the first impression that they leave on us.

A lasting impression that we both want to make is memorable in a positive way. No one in their right mind seeks to make a wrong impression their first day at work. I’ve seen, as many others have as well is that sometimes the onboarding process for companies is not always the most organized onboarding system that is out there. I get it, the boss is busy, human resources is busy, but asking someone just to sit there and fill out paperwork by themselves is not the best impression to give during onboarding.

Key HR Questions

Questions run through our minds when we are someplace new, and we want help; we want someone to be able to answer them for us. Onboarding programs need to consider that new employees have questions and that the best onboarding programs are there assisting employees get settled and acclimated to their new surroundings.

Think of boarding a train or a cruise ship as you would onboarding a new company; an usher is there to show you where your seat is our answer questions you may have about how long your trip will be. This is the type of impression that companies need to make. As cited by Dai, and De Meuse (2011), “Another onboarding study of more than 100 organizational leaders, ranging from senior-level managers to CEOs, reported only 39% were satisfied with their company’s efforts to integrate them into their new organizations” (Wells, 2005).

Potential HR Actions

This can be related to a few things; the study found that many companies just view onboarding as a check the block checklist. Onboarding too often consists of information overload and drinking from the firehose. Onboarding can be improved to lead an impression by taking some simple steps.

  • Give a tour of the office and introduce the new employee. Make them feel welcome during onboarding.
  • Assign a sponsor or mentor, someone that the new employee can reach out to ask questions.
  • Make them feel welcome, leave something at their workstation to make them feel at home in their new environment, this will leave a lasting impression.

These are just a few suggestions that can help take and improve anyone’s onboarding system. Remember, first impressions do matter and in this case, can go a long way in retaining employees.


Keywords: onboarding; impression



Dai, G., De Meuse, K.,P., & Gaeddert, D. (2011). Onboarding externally hired executives: Avoiding derailment – accelerating contribution. Journal of Management and Organization, 17(2), 165-178.

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