A considerable amount of time has been spent talking about the importance of the interviewing process and making good, intelligent hiring decisions. Unfortunately, I haven't found any casts talking about the first few weeks after the employee starts -- the on boarding process. Any recommendations for doing this effectively?

Thanks in advance,

Bill D.

Davis Staedtler's picture

Hey Bill,

I have some top-of-mind thoughts for you. I'm sure many people will respond to your post.

• Let the employee begin by shadowing the schedule of either the person they report to, and/or the individual responsible for training them regarding the companies policies and procedures.

• Make sure there's room to breath between getting to know their peers and what responsibilities must be accomplished for the first month.

• Assist them in building a 30/60/90 day plan.

• Of course have them take a D.I.S.C. profile if you haven't already :-)

• Provide them a safe forum for feedback to you regarding current business procedures and the culture of the organization. This could lead to valuable discussion and the discovery of innovative ideas or strategies that you may have not realized yet.

• Ask them from day to day, "Do you feel supported?" "Are you getting all the information you need?" "What concerns do you have going forward?" "Are you having fun?

Just some ideas.



asteriskrntt1's picture

Nice stuff Davis

My last 4 jobs did a horrible job of onboarding me.  Well, actually, not sure I can call it horrible as there was no onboarding process or orientation.  One manager said...Here...we are going to be using the Stage Gate project planning process, read this book.  I saw him again two weeks later.

Businessweek had a couple of podcasts on onboarding.  They had started a career management series but seem to have abandoned it.  Here is the link

I think the podcast about onboarding is the one about the first 100 days.






jhack's picture

Davis's advice is solid.  

Also, share the career tools podcast with them:


And make sure you provide them with clear guidance.  Tell them what you expect in the first week (any training, HR paperwork, mastering the basic systems, etc), and follow up to ensure that they are finding / getting what they need.  

BTW, this is a great way to find out how resourceful they really are!   

John Hack 

bdelfavero's picture

Thanks for all the ideas! I will absolutely take them to heart.

Do you modify your processes at all  for a matrix organization?

One concern that I generally have when bringing someone new into the organization is that I feel like I'm overwhelming them with a firehose (water cannon?) of information. The suggestions you all have made should help to mitigate this risk, and ensure the new associate is engaged from Day 1.


Davis Staedtler's picture


Glad to hear my thoughts were helpful. Thank you for the responses!

The only process I would modify in a matrix organization is following more closely Horstman's 2nd Law, "More communication is better". Communicate as much as you can up and down the line about what's going on with the new employee's boarding.


jcook's picture

Hi Bill

I agree that communication is key, but would suggest that "training" and "communication" are different. I work in a business that uses a lot of detailed processes and confusing systems. The last couple of new hires in my department were sent straight away on system and process training and then left very soon after as they felt overwhelmed (not my reports I hasten to add!)

I have another new guy starting on Monday in my team and plan to introduce him to the work more gently. He will be shadowing his predecessor for 2-3 weeks before any intensive system training. I think it is better to give them a business context and understanding before the intense system training.

I also plan to follow up on the intensive training in a few months time with a mop-up session. This is to fill in the gaps of things he was trained on at the first session, but that didn't sink in as it was all still very new.

Hope this helps and is relevant to your organisation & job type!

- Jane

p.s. I am new-ish to MT. Been listening to the podcasts for 2 months now and have hundreds to get through still. I've listened to most of the key ones now and have picked up tons of useful info - thanks M&M! This is my first post - so be gentle please ;)

Mark's picture

On boarding is a long process and poorly done almost everywhere.  We have many casts to come on onboarding, and the do it yourself cast is the bare beginnings.


One on Ones.

There's too much more to share in one post...but communicate, communicate, communicate.


Mark's picture

I apologize for not being more clear here....but onboarding begins at date of hire, not date of start.  Let no more than 72 hours go by without an effort at communicaiton and outreach.