Invert the model to get far more from your Onboarding effort

Posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 | No Comments

One of the key tenets of our new hire onboarding philosophy is the importance of context before content.    While many orientation programs take a “drinking out of a fire hose” approach of inundating new hires during their first days / weeks with all of the information they will need to become oriented, we subscribe to a very different school of thought.

We recommend that onboarding programs deliver information and resources to new hires over time, with the content distributed over the full course of year one but ideally with the greater majority of the content delivery and associated discussion occurring 3-4 months after entry, when the new hires have the context to absorb and truly understand the content.   The additional benefit of reserving rich content for closer to the end of the first year is that it provides you with a wonderful opportunity to re-engage your new hires and regain…

A Review of IBM’s Updated Onboarding Program

Posted on Monday, December 13th, 2010 | No Comments

We are continually on the lookout for new hire onboarding best practices and examples of world-class onboarding programs to share with you.

Human Resources Executive Online (HREO) profiled IBM’s refreshed, 24-month new hire onboarding program, Succeeding@IBM, in a recent article: http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/story.jsp?storyId=533098421&sub=false.    The HREO article shares some of the highlights of IBM’s updated onboarding program, which incorporates many of the recommended practices and program elements discussed in our book, Successful Onboarding (McGraw Hill, July 2010).

Content with Context

First of all, we commend IBM for recognizing that the company’s legacy program “Your IBM”, a 30-day orientation experience, delivered too much content too soon (e.g., content delivery when new hires did not have sufficient context to fully appreciate and absorb the material, as illustrated in the far left column of the graphic below).

Understanding the value of delivering…

Integrating Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives with New Hire Onboarding Programs

Posted on Monday, November 8th, 2010 | No Comments

While many organizations these days recognize the importance of attracting, developing, and retaining diverse talent – and accordingly, devote resources to Diversity & Inclusion initiatives – few factor the needs of diverse employee populations into the design and development of their new hire onboarding programs.  Neglecting to integrate Diversity & Inclusion initiatives into the new hire onboarding experience is a missed opportunity with significant consequences.

A Wall Street Journal article from September 2010, titled the “Ranks of Women on Wall Street Thin”, highlighted the fact that in the past 10 years, 141,000 women (2.6% of female workers in finance) left the finance industry, while the ranks of men increased by 9.6% during that period.    This trend runs counter to changes in the overall workforce, where the number of women in the U.S. labor market has increased by…

Hiring (and Onboarding) Interns Full-Time

Posted on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 | No Comments

According to a recent Wall Street Journal study that surveyed 479 companies, non-profits, and government agencies that recruit new college graduates, several industries have been converting a substantial number of their undergraduate interns into full-time entry-level hires.  In particular, utility, architecture, and construction firms have reported that on average, 50+% of their entry-level hires previously interned at their organization.

The popularity of this intern-to-full-time hiring strategy in several industries has stemmed from 2 primary factors.  First, several of the surveyed organization companies report significantly higher employee retention rates among former interns.  Second, the organizations also have observed stronger performance among former interns relative to other entry-level hires.  We are not surprised by either of these findings – for in fact, many intern programs themselves are really onboarding programs in disguise, as they reflect many of the principles advocated by the…

Customized Onboarding by New-Hire Segment: A Case Study from John Deere

Posted on Sunday, September 19th, 2010 | No Comments

In Successful Onboarding, we emphasize the importance and value of customizing your onboarding program by new-hire segments.  John Deere is an example of one organization that has subscribed to this approach by developing a tailored onboarding process for its executive hires.

Our recent article published in Human Resource Executive Online features an extended case study excerpt from Successful Onboarding and describes the merits of John Deere’s executive onboarding program.

We are leading Potomac Forum’s New Hire Onboarding in the Federal Government Workshop Sept 21, Washington DC

Posted on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 | No Comments

Willard InterContinental Hotel

Workshop Description

This workshop is led by subject matter thought leaders and business consultants Mark Stein and Lilith Christiansen (authors of Successful Onboarding: A Strategy to Unlock Hidden Value within Your Organization; McGraw-Hill). The workshop is designed to help you improve, design, plan for and implement an Onboarding program for your Government Organization.

Why You Should Attend

Federal executives, managers and staff attending this workshop will gain an understanding into how to establish an effective new hire onboarding program by which your government organization can:

  • Drive increased performance from your new hires
  • Prepare for increased hiring as a result of the insourcing focus
  • Establish itself as the “Agency-of-Choice”
  • Help new members of your organization integrate into the workforce and become effective team members
  • Transfer knowledge from existing employees to new hires, addressing the projected retirement wave
  • Establish the link between recruiting, hiring and onboarding
  • Create transparency in the career development path
  • Integrate political appointees with career civil…
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