The Ripple Effect of a First Impression

            OnboardingOnboarding.  We often treat it as a checklist procedure, right?  It’s something we do using a clipboard (or the electronic equivalent of one).  Usually the HR team  monitors the clipboard, and we consider we’re being successful when all the blocks get checked within a certain time frame for each new hire.

So if we’re checking all the blocks in a timely fashion why do many of us have so much turnover?  One key reason is we don’t create a strong first impression when someone joins the team.  According to a recent article in Process Street by Benjamin Brandall, “The most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to retaining your best employees is the onboarding process.  Why?  Because first impressions count for everything.”

And it stands to reason, then, that the ripple effect of doing it poorly sets conditions for even those with the most potential to grow within the organization are going to soon look elsewhere.

Here are four proven techniques to set yourself and your company up for success in keeping the good people you’ve worked so hard to find:

  1. Use leaders and peers for onboarding. This is not a task you delegate.   Make it a team effort to bring in new members in a deliberate way, starting with positive, personal interaction.
  2. Make onboarding a performance objective. Describe what you expect of your leaders and team members in bringing in new people effectively.
  3. Conduct a Debrief (After Action Review) after each onboarding. Collect the team and review what worked well, what didn’t work per plan, and what to do get better.  Do it right after the onboarding schedule is met.
  4. Ask the new team member for input. Use a survey 30-60 days after a new member comes on board to see how she thinks she was brought in and prepared for her new responsibilities.  Include expectations, too. Then, act on the results.

Performance, retention, and recruiting are but a few of the real benefits of your focus on effective, genuine involvement in bringing new members in.  Take the time to make it stick.  Enjoy the journey!


We're All InThis blog is based on material from my book “We’re All In.” You can get a copy of the first chapter for free here.

If you’d like a full copy of the entire book, you can get it here.

Enjoy the journey!




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