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April 08, 2010
5 Steps for Onboarding a New Employee

In a BLR webinar titled "Onboarding: Innovative Strategies for Energizing New Hires Right Out of the Gate," Ronald M. Katz, SPHR, outlined a five-step process to onboarding a new employee.

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We all know our vowels, AEIOU, right? Well, our five-step onboarding process is OAIEU. This stands for:






These are the five steps and each one is different.

Onboarding is everything leading up to getting them in the door.

Acclimation is making them feel welcome during their first days. They are in a new climate and have a lot to learn and you need to do everything to help them feel welcome.

Integration is what happens during the next couple of weeks. These are the things you're going to do over the next several weeks to cement the employment relationship.

Expectations need to be set. The manager and the employee need to discuss expectations, including performance objectives, within the first week. Employees want to be sure they're working in the right direction, so we need to give them directions and goals.

Updates involve keeping new hires involved and keeping the discussion open. The new hire's manager needs to touch base with the employee at least every day for the first week, every week for the first month, and every month for the first quarter. That's not to imply they will only talk that infrequently, but there needs to be a specific time to talk about expectations and how things are going.

Ronald M. Katz, SPHR, is the president of Penguin Human Resource Consulting, LLC. He has extensive experience in the areas of HR, training, and management development. Katz is an adjunct instructor with the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, teaching performance management, effective interviewing, and strategic staffing and selection. He is also an accomplished public speaker and has spoken nationally on HR issues. He can be contacted at Ron@PenguinHR.com.

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