Monthly Archives: July 2013

Onboarding Activities Spread Over Time

I’ve been working with a Belgian company recently to re-define their onboarding process. Faced with a regular influx of young starters, a bored team of “induction presenters” and a realisation that they can do much better, they are revamping their onboarding for the future. This short post simply outlines the activities we have considered  – it may give you some ideas. Nothing here is more expensive to implement than the previous processes. 

During recruitment

  • Recruiters explain the basic onboarding process and give potential starters a flyer about their first weeks in the company

Upon contract signature

  • First “handshake tour” of the office
  • Give branded “care package” handed-over
  • “Welcome video” from CEO waiting in email inbox
  • Access to internal Yammer network

Start minus 2-weeks

  • Assignment to starters: Introduce yourself on Yammer network
  • Information presentations (PPTs, Prezi, video) delivered  to starters with important information (compliance, processes)

Start minus 1-week

  • Onboarding agenda delivered (and Outlook calendar pre-populated)
  • Starters given a joiners company quiz to complete in their own time prior to day 1 – answers can be found in various online resources

Start minus 1-day

  • Courtesy phone-call from manager: “Everything OK for tomorrow?”

Day 1

  • First beautiful welcome in reception: We wait for you
  • Orienteering game in the office
  • Fire drill (do, not tell)
  • Short Q+A sessions in place of long classical presentations (you already got the information; now bring your questions)
  • Lunch with other new joiners (not manager)
  • Answers to quiz questions
  • Time at desk with one real job to achieve
  • Hand-over laptop, phone etc at the end of the day


Day “2” (or maybe 3…)

  • Manager gives first week focus: 3 priorities to be achieved
  • Lunch buddy or “parrain”
  • Courtesy call from IT helpdesk: “Everything OK?”
  • Colleagues start welcoming via Yammer network


End week 1

  • First status-update meeting with manager
  • Video presentation from CEO: “Company mission, vision and strategy”
  • Online satisfaction survey: “Week 1 onboarding”
  • Sweets for the weekend 🙂

End month 1

  • Meeting with recruiter: Compare notes on recruitment, function and onboarding
  • Manager sets performance targets for next 2-months
  • Meeting with other new starters: Starters present their job/projects to other starters
  • Workshop with other new starters: SWOT and company strategy
  • Online satisfaction survey: “Month 1 onboarding”
  • Networking event with other new joiners

End month 3

  • Knowledge (compliance) test regarding specific company processes
  • First formal performance evaluation meeting with HR
  • First formal performance evaluation meeting with manager
  • Online satisfaction survey: “Month 3 onboarding”

End trial period (6 months in Belgium)

  • Golden handshake from CEO
  • Letter sent home with good news
  • Discussion about career development and talent development processes in company
  • Party

There are many other things that could be done to make onboarding a success (gamify the whole thing??) and I’ll be going through the major principles behind success in future blog posts…

Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter..

Leave a comment

Follow this blog