Your Onboarding Program Can Determine Whether a New Hire Stays Long Term

June 27th, 2013 by

A new hire’s first day can spur a number of emotions. Excitement, fear, anxiety and happiness are just a few. In today’s video post, CAI’s Director of Membership, Doug Blizzard, takes you through two examples of a new hire’s first day on the job. Which experience sounds like your company’s onboarding process?

Story A

In the first senario, Doug introduces us to Jane Regret. Jane arrives early on her first day. The receptionist asks Jane if she has an appointment, not realizing she’s the company’s new hire. She rings Jane’s supervisor. The receptionist says she hasn’t seen her manager, Joe Smith, today, but she tracks him down. Joe is in a meeting but wants Jane to fill out paperwork in HR, and he assures Jane they’ll speak later.

Jane spends time learning about benefits and filling out documents. Then HR takes her to her temporary office. They’ll  find a permanent home for her soon. Jane then receives the policy manual and a catalog to order supplies. She doesn’t have a computer but is told one should arrive in the next few days. Her manager finally pops in but encourages her to get settled.

After going to lunch by herself, Jane attends the party for her coworker who’s leaving the company after five years and she never gets a chance to connect with her manager. When she gets home, she tells her husband, “I think I made a big mistake.”

Story B

Before arriving t0 his first day of work, Tom Happy’s wife finds a package from her husband’s new employer. The two are surprised and interested to see what‘s inside. Tom opens the package to find company gear and two tickets to a baseball game with a note from his boss: Welcome Aboard! Can’t wait to start hitting homeruns together. See you in a month.

Tom arrives at his first day of work and notices his picture in the lobby with a message that read: Welcome, Tom! The receptionist tells Tom they’re glad to see him and his boss will be right there. Jack, the boss, greets Tom and says that he needs to get to HR to fill out paperwork. However, he wants Tom to meet his new teammates first.

As they approach his new area, Tom sees that his teammates have gathered with coffee and bagels to welcome him. All of his supplies are in his office, and after a quick visit with HR, Tom meets with Jack to review his 90-day performance plan.

Tom gets home and tells his wife, “You can’t believe the day I’ve had!”

A few thoughts from Doug on onboarding:

  • Don’t start a new employee unless their manager is able to commit time to them
  • The first day is the most important day for a new hire
  • You won’t overcome first impressions easily—if ever
  • Think about what you want your new employee to say to their friends and family about their first day and your company
  • Celebrate your new employees. Don’t just throw parties for your employees who are leaving
  • Do your new hires have a clear onboarding program?

Please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 if you need help improving your company’s onboarding practice.

2 Responses to “Your Onboarding Program Can Determine Whether a New Hire Stays Long Term”

  1. Katie says:

    This is an excellent blog post! Many organizations do not think through how they want to present themselves to their new employees; you only have one chance to make a great first impression!

    Think about how much it cost to recruit that one employee. That’s how much a great first impression is worth!

  2. […] today’s video blog, CAI’s Vice President of Membership, Doug Blizzard, asks you to recall the onboarding stories of Jane Regret and Tom Happy. He then explains that whether a new hire decides to stay with your […]

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