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On-Boarding For Retention And Engagement


We are hiring for many positions in the next several months. We want to develop an on-boarding plan that increases engagement and retention of our employees. What is the basic framework for a successful on-boarding process?


The key to a successful on-boarding plan is based on the 3 E’s: Expectations, Execution and Examination.

Developing a model for success begins with setting clear expectations. The job description is a good place to start, but there’s more work to be done. Additional things to consider include goals, projects, key learning and building relationships that impact results. Goals and objectives that can be measured make it easier to define success.

Once expectations have been established, a timeline needs to be developed and executed. Accountability to the on-boarding plan is key. This is where things tend to jump off track. Appointing someone to manage the on-boarding plan over the time period specified, will increase the likelihood that tasks are completed, meetings are held, and learning material is reviewed.

Examining the on-boarding plan during the execution phase will enable those who are involved to address any problems or delays in the plan. Reviewing the expectations and ensuring that objectives have been met will provide assurance to the hiring manager that the new employee is being adequately prepared, and will increase the engagement of the employee who is seeing the company invest in their success.

Often times, an organization will see the value in on-boarding, but will not invest in the totality of the plan. There may be minimal expectations established (limited to job requirements), or routine introductions to peers and support staff. Management may expect the rest of the on-boarding to happen naturally as on-the-job training occurs.

When on-boarding someone new to the organization, develop a plan that encompasses the role, the people/relationships, internal processes (learning), and the culture. Studies show that employees will show more loyalty and commitment to an organization that is willing to invest in their success.

A special thanks to Charis Borchers, Vice President Business Development, with RCSN Executive Search and Leadership Consulting.  If you have questions for her, contact Charis at

On-boarding is a crucial element of engaging and retaining your employees. It’s often overlooked but can make or break your relationship with that new hire. Do you have a strong on-boarding process in place? Strategic HR, inc. has experience with developing orientation programs that can help you provide the best FIRST experience and introduction to your organization for your new employees. Visit our Training & Development page to learn how we can assist you with your on-boarding other types of training and development.