Your onboarding procedure can make a difference on the impression and productivity of your new hire. Establishing a clear onboarding process, from day one, can decrease your turnover rate AND enhance your company culture. So roll out the welcome mat!

The Onboarding Experience | Episode 67

Welcome to the epic company culture Podcast, where your host, Josh Sweeney will give you the business leaders, HR professionals and company culture aficionados, the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.

JOSH: [0:16] Hello, my name is Josh Sweeney, and welcome to the epic company culture podcast. This is season two, which is all about hiring. And we are here today with my co-host, Annelle Barnett.

The Onboarding Experience

[0:29]This is going to be an amazing podcast, we’re going to talk about what onboarding is.

Onboarding from a marketing recruiters point of view, onboarding from my point of view, and we’re going to bring it together to give you the content you need to make some better decisions in your organization, or enhance your onboarding.

Onboarding is a crazy thing. When someone get hire what happens at the onboarding?

The Onboarding Process

ANNELLE: [1:04] Typically, when someone is hired, they give to anywhere between two weeks and four weeks of notice to their current employer. Often with the recruiting process, the transition is in the hands of the employer.

[1:24] In my history, most of the people that I’ve placed have been very happy with where they’ve gone. They’re integrated into the organization pretty well. You hear stories about how employees are on boarded or not on boarded, probably the better way of saying it. Showing up on the first day and having no clue what to do.

JOSH: [1:52] I’ve been there myself, personally.

Engaging the Employees

ANNELLE: [1:54] Yeah, I’ve certainly been in situations where they didn’t even have a computer for me. From an employee’s perspective, what’s the point of being there if you don’t have the equipment and tools to do the work that they’re gonna be doing?

JOSH: [2:09] We just did a company culture check video which is our interviews with other companies about their amazing culture. We did one with PayScape. They were diligent in making sure that their staffs’ desks were set up and their laptops were ready. They even had their business cards printed on their desk the day that they started, especially for sales people to make sure they hit the ground running a lot to get done. Pretty impressive compared to some of the places I’ve been, and maybe you’ve been,

Adapting to Precedent

[2:36] It sets a precedent, if you walk in and there are no processes, there’s no equipment, there’s no training or anything for the employee to be engaged very quickly.  They also adapt that precedent as well. Like you said, what hit the ground running at the sales position if they don’t have the things that they need. Then, they already adopt a mentality of “the things that I need in this organization are not going to be supplied”.  

So, I’m just going to wing it and go with the flow as well. If you establish those that precedent in the beginning, then it helps people get started and get kicked off quickly. It really energized them and be enthusiastic of the position they have.

JOSH: [3:37] Yeah, it’s a totally different company culture in that one. It’s already starting off lagging and the other ones accelerating. Then, you get a vibe for that environment. One’s going to continue to accelerate and go the other one. Well, you’re probably going to run into things like that all across the board, from the company culture perspective where things are going to take a little longer there.

Surprise and Delight

ANNELLE: [4:03] I made a mental note of surprise and delight.  You try to surprise and delight your clients  so, why don’t we try to surprise and delight our employees? It also works on your behalf from a social media perspective, and the building of your employer brand as well.

I remember seeing a post on LinkedIn where someone started a new job. That very first day, they had a huge Apple monitor, an Apple Computer, their iPhone. They had several other things like a coffee mug, and kind of a welcome kit waiting for them when they started that day. They were really excited and really proud of it that they posted it on LinkedIn for the world to see. Those kinds of things are beyond employee onboarding into your company, they can also help your exposure through social media.

Considering Employment Duration

JOSH: [5:01] Another thing that comes to mind is the duration of employment now. If you won’t change your mindset on how you operate and how you onboard based on the new generation and the new 10 years, then you’re already behind. Because if you had this concept that you’re a manager, you hire people who are going to be around for five to eight years on average.  Maybe you could afford to spend a little more time on boarding or things can be a little bit slower.

Two years then you have literally 104 weeks right of that person.

Now, when you start thinking about 104 weeks and they’re not even up to speed, they don’t have their laptop in the first week. They’re just getting on boarded.

I think of a lot of people change their mindset. They still have that stake in the ground, if people are going to be here for a long time. They haven’t moved that mental stake and say, “I have 104 weeks to make sure that this is an awesome experience, that they’re highly productive, and then they get rolling quickly.”


ANNELLE: [6:21] It’s also important to socialize the individual within the organization.

Sometimes you start on the first day, and nobody takes you to lunch. You don’t know where to go for a lunch because you’ve never worked in that area. Before, you don’t know any of the kind of inside jokes of the company, the culture or the people on your team or in other departments in the organization.

It’s really important to socialize them and make sure that they feel welcome and that they have time with other people in the organization. Potentially, even assign a mentor or a buddy to that individual. So, there’s somebody who’s always taking care of them. Somebody that they can go to ask the questions even about where the restroom is or the parking. It might be nice to know which floor is the best for you to get in the parking faster and where there’s always open spaces. There’s lots of things that your current employees can tell the new employees.  Also, in order to socialize them and bring them into the organization.

JOSH: [7:44] You got to get them integrated quickly and make that match very early on.

JOSH: [8:05] On the onboarding perspective, we went over a little bit about the timeline that people have kind of a navigator buddy system.  What are some other ways that you feel that maybe things are falling down on the onboarding side? Like you heard from any candidates where they struggle on this area, in this environment, or any other shares that you’ve gotten back.

Standard Operating Procedure

ANNELLE: [8:37] I think if a company has standard operating procedures that certainly helps.  It gives the individual something to spend time on in the first week. Everyone knows when their time has been wasted. They would rather hit the ground running and work on something that actually makes an impact immediately as soon as they can.

Giving them hyperactive focus type of projects that they can make an impact or succeed on very quickly is a better practice than just giving them stuff to do.


JOSH: [9:33] We’ve been doing a lot of generational studies on the impacts of different areas of retention and hiring that we work in. A lot of the studies that we’ve been reading say that efficiency is a big part of right now, the millennial generation and even Gen Z.

Because they’re so used to being hyper efficient with the tools that they have and getting things on demand that the busy work actually really take away from the value of that company. It impacts retention, if they feel like they get lots of busy work.

You definitely don’t want to start off their first week or first day with busy work. Where they’re going to get the mindset as an employee that they’re going to get lots of this.

Work-Life Presence

ANNELLE: [10:16] It takes away the value of the individual and what they want to contribute to the organization.

I was at a conference a couple of weeks ago. Someone brought up something that I thought was really interesting. His point was, instead of work-life balance, it should actually be work- life presence.

In the life side of your existence, be present in that part of your life. Then when you’re at work, be present at work. But it’s less about balance of time, and more about being present in the situation that you’re currently in. So, if you’re at work, the employers should take advantage of the fact that you’re at work.

[11:08] The goal is for them to be present when they’re at work, rather than working on busy work that they’d rather be at home with their family being present.

JOSH: [11:19] Yeah, and I’ve definitely experienced both sides of that. When I decided to coach my kids in sports, it was a constant decision.

I work a lot, so I need to be in a place where I don’t have a phone, I leave that in the car. I don’t have a computer like I am on the field. I’m present and I’m taking that time focusing. I’ve also seen it as a challenge as being an employer and having interns and employees.  Which actually had to add to our onboarding process like don’t watch Netflix and don’t text at work. We’ve never gotten so far as you can’t text or have your phone. I know people who’ve gone that far with it.

You start to look over and see that it’s not a break, right? Tendency for the person who didn’t walk off, take a break and do what they needed to handle for home, they’re gonna be texting at work. And it’s like, half work, half home stuff. For me personally, I can’t be productive that way.


I don’t really believe that people multitask like they think they do. So we’ve had to work on systems to kind of check that as well. How far do you go without turning off candidates? How do you reinforce that at the end of the day we have to make money and be focused in order for you to have perks and a paycheck and all the other things that come into it?

ANNELLE: [12:52] Being half in and half out on anything would make you a battery that have concentrated effort for a shorter period of time.

JOSH: [13:04] Maybe we’ll try to bring it home in some way. Like a company event where we all play dodgeball, but they have to be on their phones, and we’ll see how it goes.

This is like you’re doing a presentation, but you’re on dodgeball, you have to look at your phone. So, I just want to show you how this multitasking thing really is.

[13:32] All right. Anything else that you’re seeing in the onboarding?

ANNELLE: [13:36] No, I think that cover the good stuff.

JOSH: [13:38] Awesome. Well, for our listeners and viewers, we’d love you to think about your onboarding experience, what kind of value and experience you are giving your new employees? What they feel, how quickly they’re getting, with the average of maybe only two years of tenure and 52 weeks in a year. How are you really utilizing and maximizing that time?

[14:07] Thank you for tuning in to today’s episode of the epic company culture podcast with Josh Sweeney.

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