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The Importance of Onboarding

As a newly retired Chief Human Capital Officer I can now offer some suggestions to agencies.  My first suggestion is to ensure that new employees are welcomed properly to the agency.  Done properly, onboarding should take 3-6 months - beginning with a full first day, to a few hours a day, then weekly information and finally monthly.  The first day should include the paperwork review and a general walk-around.  Every employee needs to learn the value of their position and how it relates to the overall mission of their office, their organization, and finally the agency.  Executives from each department should take the time to meet new staff once a month and describe the work of their department and how they will work together.  Strategic Planning staff should review the agency mission, vision and goals.  First line supervisors should discuss individual performance goals, job expectations, and the linkage to the agency.  This should not be done by the end of the first week on duty.  And supervisors who do not get this done timely need to be admonished.  Onboarding is more than getting a new hire in place - it's about orienting them to the agency as well as to their position.



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