Your onboarding strategy might need a reboot if….

Do you remember the old “You might be a redneck…” comedy bit from a few years back? It seems like you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a Jeff Foxworthy standup routine on television or seeing a book about it. Even though it’s been several years since its peak, you still see those jokes bubble up every so often. In fact, I heard a “redneck” reference the other day that served as the inspiration for this post.

Respectfully speaking, the “rednecks” who became the object of these jokes didn’t set out trying to accomplish anything…I highly doubt these folks ever had a goal of becoming Jeff Foxworthy’s comedy cash cow. They were just going about their lives, minding their own business, passing on traditions from generation to generation.

Isn’t that what all we’re doing in our organizations much of the time? We get caught up in our routines – sometimes we just keep recycling the same old processes, procedures and routines from organizational generation to generation as people come and go, and as teams shuffle, reorganize, acquire and be acquired……because it’s “how we’ve always done it.”

Yep, even with our onboarding strategy.

Sometimes, we get so stuck in the “consistency” that don’t realize that those strategies become stale, tired and outdated. Over time, we risk finding our strategy misaligned with our business goals and drivers, and the very programs we’re tasked with delivering are not serving the interests of our people.

So, how do you know that your onboarding program is due (or overdue) for a makeover?  Here are 10 indicators:

Your onboarding strategy might need a reboot if…

1. Your onboarding experience consists of little more than an orientation session.

2. You offer a “one size fits all” onboarding experience, regardless of new employees’ roles.

3. It’s been at least one year since you’ve reviewed or updated your content or materials.

4. Your employee retention data shows that new employees aren’t staying with your organization.

5. Your hiring managers are not involved in the onboarding process.

6. There is little (or no) on-the-job learning taking place as part of the new employee experience.

7. New employees struggle to become connected to your organization’s culture, team, mission or core values.

8. You’re not actively measuring new employees’ feedback and performance throughout the first several months on the job.

9. Onboarding is not explicitly aligned with your business goals or strategy.

10. Your senior leaders and decision makers are not informed and involved in the onboarding process.


So what to do about it?

Good news – even if you nodded along in agreement with EVERY one of these symptoms, it can be improved. There are 4 steps to making your onboarding program more strategic:

The reality check: Discover and TRULY understand the state of your current onboarding strategy/program, and where it converges with your business goals (yes, sometimes this is a punch in the gut).

Get your leaders on board: Build an **irresistible** business case for onboarding that speaks your leaders’ language.

Commit and create: Invest in the development and delivery of an onboarding experience that sets new employees up for success AND impacts business results.

Measure and audit: Evaluate the success and impact of your onboarding program in multiple ways, and take inventory of your content at least annually.
Even better news – you can access this DIY kit to make it FOOLPROOF.

In my annual State of Onboarding survey that goes out to thousands of HR and Talent/Organizational Development professionals each January, it was abundantly clear that phase(two)learning readers and clients were struggling with this.

Who knows – maybe you’re one of the people who expressed this feedback in your survey earlier this year?

83% of survey respondents indicated that their onboarding strategy needed updating and/or had serious blind spots, but they didn’t have the leadership buy-in to get started.

Friends, that’s a problem. If your leaders can’t/don’t/won’t see the significance of a results-oriented onboarding strategy, you aren’t speaking their language.

There’s still time to turn your onboarding strategy around in 2018, or get a jump-start on your 2019 goals. Whether you are part of a small or large organization, you’ll find value in this program.

Gain access to this self-paced course and DIY kit now, and make onboarding more strategic in your organization. (Don’t wait – introductory pricing goes up soon!)


Got questions about this offering? Drop me a note anytime – I’d love to talk more and answer your questions.

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