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Our goal was to increase employee retention by revamping and revitalizing the onboarding and assimilation process. We found an opportunity for improvement in how we engage new hires during the first few months. In order to prevent the negative impact that low employee engagement can have, e.g. high turnover, we decided to improve new hires’ experience during their first few months, engage them early on, and shorten the time from hire to full productivity.

Our focus was to change the design of our onboarding program from transactional, which consisted mostly of compliance-driven paperwork and a walk-through on benefits, to strategic, which is integrated with the business and serves as a “bridge” between the staffing processes and enabling new employees to become fully productive. We started our efforts with the new employee in mind i.e., shaping better new hires’ experience by incorporating the following:

  • Change the onboarding program from one-time compliance-oriented event to an ongoing process
  • Differentiate the program based on new employee position and familiarity with the organization (individual contributor vs. new manager/executive, internal vs. external hire)
  • Establish an understanding of our Purpose, Values, and Member Experience (who the customer of our services is regardless of who we serve internally on a day-to-day basis).
  • Immerse in organizational culture.


  • Engage employees on the first day – make the Day 1 experience memorable and move HR / compliance-driven paperwork to pre-Day 1.
  • Onboarding is a process, not an event – onboarding program should span a longer period of time to allow unfold an organization’s strategy in context and focus on employee professional growth. Giving all the information in the first week leaves new hires overwhelmed.
  • Get the right people involved – get line managers involved, their participation and support are crucial to the success of the onboarding program.
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