Onboarding That Rocks

Most of the time, onboarding or orientation falls at either end of an extreme: either you’re handed a couple of HR forms to fill out and left to your own devices, or you’re locked in a break room and forced to watch videos like this one (kinda nsfw because of a MST3k-style comment):

HR is really interested in finding a happy medium: an ideal onboarding program wouldn’t take too much time but would get the new hires up to speed right away, and get them excited about working at their new company (which presumably they already are, but you know).

Workforce tackles the issue with a pretty decent set of suggestions: First, send all the forms before the employee starts, so he/she can have them completed before the first day. Include a “welcome aboard” gift like a T-shirt. (This is incredibly cheesy, but who wouldn’t be tickled to receive a Washington Post branded shirt or a CP+B-branded pen? Maybe we’re just suckers for cheesy crap.)

Schedule activities where employees “gain meaningful exposure to constituents, clients and customers.” Plus, have them sit in on a high-level meeting.

Assign a mentor. Yay! Mentor relationships can be kind of hit or miss but we think it’s better to have someone to turn to that you don’t use than to need someone and not have them.

The only thing we found off about Workforce‘s list is the suggestion that new employees fill out a survey “that asks about favorite food, interests, hobbies, activities, pets, sports, as well as questions about what motivates them and how they would like to be rewarded and/or recognized for success.” Tell us: Are these things cool or lame? We’re leaning toward the latter but bloggers are introverts, aren’t they?