10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Onboarding New Employees

96% of companies believe employees make their decision to stay or leave within the first six months of employment. If you are going to spend money and time acquiring top talent and paying them to work, why not prepare them to succeed and stay?

There is no one-size-fits all approach to employee onboarding. Every situation is unique and an effective onboarding program will have direct alignment to a company's long-term strategy and goals. However, the following pitfalls to avoid apply to all conditions:
  1. Not having a clean and ready workstation on Day One
  2. Assuming a new hire cannot be productive in his or her job from Day One
  3. Cramming 20 hours of information into four dull hours of orientation
  4. Neglecting the importance of cultural adaptation to the new hire's success
  5. Ignoring the onboarding needs of mid- and senior level employees
  6. Relying on organizational charts, rather than cultural norms and behavior, to explain lines of communication
  7. Failing to address generational needs and differences in the onboarding process
  8. Starting new hires when their supervisor is absent
  9. Running a disorganized program
  10. Adopting a "sink or swim" approach because it worked for you!
Employees who feel challenged, empowered and acknowledged during the first year of employment will reward companies with loyalty and productivity. Those who feel overlooked or marginalized will eventually leave for opportunities that better meet their needs. To what extent does your onboarding process fit the needs and expectations of your top talent?

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy