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Onboarding: Lay groundwork for success

Onboarding: Lay groundwork for success

Cindy Diehl YangQ. What are the elements of a good onboarding program for employees? 

A. The employee onboarding process is crucial for shaping new hires' perception of their workplace and laying the foundation for their future success. It's more than a checklist; it's a carefully designed integration into the organization. There are three key phases: preboarding, the first day and defining success. 

Preboarding: Building confidence  

Upon accepting the offer, ensure new hires feel welcomed and informed. Provide a comprehensive welcome packet with essential information. A personalized welcome email from their manager and key stakeholders adds a personal touch and reduces first-day jitters. Streamline administrative tasks by digitizing paperwork. Any touchpoints you can offer prior to the first day will help instill confidence the new employee is in the right place.  

The first day: A memorable start  

Make new hires feel valued and at ease. Introduce them to their team members and consider arranging a team lunch. Provide an office tour to familiarize them with their workspace. For remote employees, offer an on-site orientation. Teach them about the company's culture, values and mission through a structured agenda. Define their role clearly, emphasizing their contributions to the company's success. Offer a roadmap for the first few weeks, highlighting important meetings and contacts. 

Defining success: Fostering growth  

Lay the groundwork for a successful career by collaboratively setting short-term and long-term goals that align with the department and company's objectives. Regular check-ins promote engagement and communication. Establish clear and achievable performance metrics, offering constructive feedback for improvement. Celebrate both small and major milestones to boost motivation and job satisfaction. 

An effective onboarding experience goes beyond paperwork. It integrates new hires into the company's culture, equips them for success and clarifies their role in the organization's success. By incorporating these elements, companies set the stage for a successful beginning, benefiting both the individual and the organization. 

Cindy Diehl Yang is vice president at VGM Education. Reach her at


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