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3 Steps to Developing a Killer Onboarding Program

September 25, 2014
Borderless Leadership
As much as I wish I could tell you that successful onboarding just happens, I’m afraid it doesn’t.
 
A well-crafted onboarding program sets new employees up for success during the vulnerable first months on the job. Implementing this requires thought. It requires planning. It requires knowing your audience and stakeholders. But most importantly, it requires a keen understanding of the business you are supporting. So that’s today’s thought:
 
The first step in developing a killer onboarding program is to know your organization’s pain points, and how onboarding will address them.
 
How do you discover those pain points, especially when you are handed the “simple” task of putting together an onboarding program (with or without a seat at the proverbial table)? Well, let’s make it really, really simple and break it down into 3 steps:
 
1. Capture feedback from multiple points across the organization.
 
Different groups within your organization have different perspectives on the subject of onboarding that will benefit you in your quest to develop a killer program. Depending on the makeup of your organization, consider surveying audiences such as:
 
Executives
HR Leadership
Hiring Managers
New Employees
We can’t be everywhere, and we don’t know what we don’t know. View onboarding through the lens of your key stakeholders.
 
2. Define your program objective, and how onboarding will accomplish it.
 
What are you hoping to achieve through your onboarding program?
 
(Hint: Address those organizational pain points!)
 
Determine the objective; as you develop program content, ensure that it is clearly aligned to those objectives. Based on the feedback you receive, particularly from your company leaders, you should have a road map to navigate – think of your program objective as your onboarding GPS.
 
3. Determine your success metrics from the beginning.
 
If you know what your objective is, your success metrics will help you tell the story and meet that objective. Determine those metrics as you build your case, prior to building content. Use them as an internal “check-and-balance” to assess the relevance of your program, both at the individual and organizational level.
 
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Too often, organizations skip ahead to a program’s aesthetics (I get it – that’s the fun part, right?) before establishing a solid foundation. Don’t skip these crucial first steps. Anything that matters – be it a home, a relationship or yes, even an onboarding program – must have that solid foundation to be successful.
 
If you’ve been handed the task of developing an onboarding program for your organization, keep these 3 steps in mind…and make it a killer experience for your newest employees.
 

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