The 4 Keys to Successful Onboarding

Every incoming new hire during their onboarding process is an opportunity to communicate your corporate message and create culture champions across your organization.  However, with such a short window to make an impactful first impression it is essential your Onboarding Program is simple, effective and most of all, engaging!

1. Communication

You haven’t heard of too many New Hires complaining about being “over-informed”, right?  The more you can communicate with your new hires the more comfortable they will feel on Day 1, and the better job they will be able to do.  Apart from having a clear liaison inside the company (either someone in HR or direct contact with the Hiring Manager) the new hire should not ever be wondering “who to call”.

Make sure your new hire knows where to go for information like your Intranet or your onboarding solution (like SilkRoad technology’s Onboarding Product).  Don’t be shy to reach out (even through an automated email) to keep new hires engaged even before their start date.  Keep the excitement after the job acceptance call going through their first day (and beyond).

2. Transparency

The way your new hires will be most successful is if they know what’s going on inside the company.  Before their first day, the employee should be “in-the-know” on the corporate culture, employee benefits, work/life balance and large corporate goals and objectives.  This is more than including your company’s mission in the Employee Handbook that is given out on the first day.  The Onboarding period is your best chance of recruiting more culture and business champions in your organization really showing the character of the organization.

If it is uncharacteristic of your company culture to be so transparent about company missions with your employees it’s time to start having big picture conversations with the leadership team.

3. Job Expectations

On top of maintaining transparency on company practices, it is also critical to communicate job expectations.  The Hiring Manager plays a critical role in setting expectations of the role responsibilities as well as responsibilities to the entire team.  Is the New Hire filling a pre-existing position or is it a newly created role?  What is the responsibility level?  Who are the direct reports?  Certainly several questions will have been answered during the interview process, but now, as a member of the team, it is important to keep the conversation with the New Hire going.

4. Continued Engagement

After the exciting moment when the New Hire accepts the offer… keep the excitement going!  Nothing is more exciting than a new job (ok, maybe lifetime free ice cream…) energy is on your side!  Employee engagement efforts are certainly a whole lot more effective on an excited new employee than one that is burnt-out and checked-out.  Don’t let too much time pass by.  You only have a short amount of time to make an impactful first impression so don’t let all your recruitment efforts go to waste.  Fan the flame of your new hires and create new culture champions within your organization.


It’s time to take a look at your Onboarding Program.  Are you using this important time in the employee life cycle effectively?  Are you maximizing your opportunity to create culture champions in your organization?  Is your program pumping out engaged employees excited to participate at your company day after day?

First impressions count.  Use the opportunity.

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