Corporate Culture: Plan Out Your On-boarding Process

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Corporate Culture: Plan Out Your On-boarding Process

Winding Down The Series

As I prepare for a live panel discussion next week where I’ll be sharing my thoughts on corporate culture, I’ll start to wind down my blog series on the same topic.  If you haven’t had a chance to look through the series yet, here’s are all the posts so far:

  1. Corporate Culture: A Competitive Advantage
  2. Winning The War 4 Talent
  3. Hungry For More: A Conversation With The Modern Employee
  4. Thanks For Your Insights!
  5. Improving Your Corporate Culture: Part 1
  6. Improving Your Corporate Culture: Part 2
  7. Nurturing Your Team
  8. The Art of The Exit Interview – 4 Things You Need To Know
  9. Corporate Culture: I Want To Hear From You!
  10. My Survey On Corporate Culture: A First Look
  11. Corporate Culture: 4 Steps To Better Succession Planning

Today I’m going look back in order to help you move forward.  We’re going to peel back the layers of employee on-boarding because, believe it or not, your company culture starts before your new hire’s first day!

On-boarding Done Right

When it comes to on-boarding I suggest implementing a checklist that actually starts as early as the 2nd interview.  Here’s what I recommend:

  • When you bring someone in for a 2nd interview, ask them to set aside a few hours so that they’ll have enough time to get a feel for your company culture
  • Take them on a tour of the office or worksite and introduce them to everyone on the team.  Spend a little extra time when introducing the candidate to anyone they’ll be working with directly
  • Have your candidate shadow a few people at your organization during their 2nd interview
    • The person currently filling the same (or a similar) role
    • The person who will be their direct supervisor
    • Any other team members who will work directly with the candidate on a daily basis

Once the candidate has been officially hired, you can then:

  1. Send them a “welcome pack” that includes their paper work, ID badge, key cards, etc
  2. Share your planned schedule for their first day, week, month, and 90 days
  3. Officially introduce them to their assigned mentor or buddy
  4. Prepare their desk, materials, and office supplies

Pro Tip:  If you don’t currently incorporate mentorships into your on-boarding process, you need to consider it.  The mentor/buddy should be someone who understands your company and management’s expectations at a deep level.  This individual should also be involved in developing the training and testing schedule for everyone they mentor.

If you tackle these items ahead of their first day, you’re going to take a great deal of stress off of you new hire’s shoulders.  This is a great way to set the tone for your company culture as early as possible!

The First Week

Just as with anything else, establishing a routine helps people settle into their new reality.  Whether you’re the hiring manager or the supervisor of a new hire, here’s what you should be doing:

  1. Check in with the new hire at the start and end of each day
    • If you’re not sure what to do during these check in’s – have a look at this post for some inspiration
  2. Check in with the mentor/buddy at the end of each day and compare what they’re experiencing with what you’re hearing from the new hire
  3. Identify problems or skills gaps ASAP and address them in real time.  Remember, stay positive and helpful, to avoid coming off as critical!  Give them room to learn, and provide them with the tools and skills that they need to get better every day

You don’t want to overwhelm them so take the time early on to gauge their ability to process new information.

The First 90 Days

Obviously, there’s going to be a lot going on with your new hire during the first few months so it’s important to keep the routine going.  Measuring progress can be difficult this early on so here’s what I would suggest:

  • Make sure that your new hire has a firm grasp of your expectations and that they are working to reach them.  A solid working level of communication is key here so until you are well versed in how they send and receive feedback, it’s a good idea to include as much detail as possible when you’re asking questions or sharing your thoughts
  • Don’t just look at the hours they’re putting in, focus on whether the quality of their production is increasing from week to week.  The mentor/buddy and the direct supervisor are going to be a great resource for that type of information
  • Be honest with them, and yourself too!  If it’s not working out for either party, figure out if that can be fixed
  • If you need to part ways, make sure you have documented why things didn’t work – you don’t want to repeat the pattern with the next new hire

Remember, a solid recruiter will usually offer a guarantee through the probation period for your new hires.  This means that they’ll do a lot of the leg work during their interviews to get you candidates that are more likely to fit into your existing company culture


The key thing to remember is that company culture isn’t just about catered lunches and video games.  it’s about showing your commitment and support to the people that make your company what it is.  The earlier you can put these roots down with an employee, the more chance they’ll stick around for the long haul!

Also, just a reminder, if you haven’t already taken my survey on company culture, please click HERE to do so!  I’m getting ready to analyze the data but I want to collect a few more responses first!

Tyson Conrad



By | 2018-06-14T19:25:29+00:00 October 15th, 2015|Blog|1 Comment