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Are You Orientating or Onboarding?

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Today I gave a webinar that included some conversation about onboarding. I don’t know about you, but I love that topic! It’s a chance to be fun and creative.

But if you’re thinking, “Yikes! Onboarding means new hire, and new hire means lots of extra work that I don’t have time for!” then we need to talk.

Or you might be thinking, we give new hires a tour, introduce them around, train them, and take them out to lunch… But that’s orientating them, that’s not onboarding them.

Orientation is just that, meanwhile, onboarding is about bringing people into the culture. And onboarding should be a celebration, not a burden.

My favorite example of this is one company who has a throne set up in their lunchroom. At the end of a new hire’s first week, they get to sit in the throne and the organization has a party in their honor.

How cool is that! I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have any problems with turnover if you were celebrating new hires like that.

And, this would of course kick off a new hire’s experience with you as a positive place to work.

If you are indeed thinking that onboarding is a lot of work you don’t have time for, I’d suggest getting many more people involved. Afterall, onboarding is about bringing someone into the group, the cool crowd, the bunch, the crew. So why wouldn’t all of those people be active participants in doing just that.

Here’s a couple ways to make the group more involved:

  • Record a welcome video of the new hire’s new team. Ask them to share their names and what they do, and that they’re excited to meet the new team member. Have one of them send the video before the new hire’s first day of work.
  • Ask a team member to create a BINGO card with different information about employees on it, and then tell the new hire to get BINGO by the end of their first week. This gives the new hire a conversation starter when meeting new people, and the opportunity to learn about everyone they work with.
  • Find ways to share the company history beyond the one paragraph in your policy handbook. Perhaps the original founder can make a video sharing his or her story, or take the new hire out to lunch. Or you could give other employees pieces of the story, and leave the new hire to collect those pieces and put it together in order, so they actually learn it.

In my upcoming webinarThe Workplace Culture Makeover Masterclass: Transform culture, get bottom line results, I’ll give you a bunch more tips for getting more people involved in onboarding – so that it’s more effective and takes some of the work off your plate.

In fact, we give our clients a comprehensive list of onboarding activities that are grouped by HR, manager, and team members. But you’ll have to join the webinar to see what it’s all about.

I’ll also give you some tips for measuring onboarding and ensuring it’s a repeatable process – another way to reduce your workload.

The webinar is offered twice so it’s sure to fit your schedule. You can join on either Oct 26 or Oct 27, at 10 am PST.

I look forward to seeing you there.


P.S. Don’t forget to claim your spot

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Catherine Mattice Zundel

About Catherine Mattice Zundel

Catherine Mattice Zundel, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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