Sharing Your Company Culture during Onboarding

C.C. Holland recently wrote in the Bnet blogs about “How to Upgrade Your Employee Onboarding.” Holland makes several excellent points in the article, starting with two aims of onboarding – making employees feel welcome and helping them ramp up quickly to maximum productivity.

I would argue there is a very important third aim of the onboarding process – introducing new hires to the company culture. Companies already do this, purposefully or not. Holland shares a story in the article about a woman who was not welcomed on her first day by anyone. She had to find someone to set up her computer and phone and even tell her where the restrooms were located. That lack of welcome or preparedness certainly communicates the company culture clearly to a new hire, but it is definitely not the message senior management wants communicated, I’m sure.

This is why it is critical – as we discussed in Wednesday's post – to include your strategic recognition program in your onboarding process. Introduce your employees to your culture of appreciation on their very first day. Show them how much you appreciate them joining your team and set the precedent for them on how their efforts will be recognized. This alone will accomplish the first two aims of onboarding described by Holland – a feeling of welcome and ramping up to maximum productivity quickly.

In today’s economic environment, there is no time for new hires to leisurely settle into their jobs. Show them clearly what their efforts will accomplish – for themselves personally and for the company as a whole – from the very first day. If you follow our best practices for values-based recognition, this also serves as an excellent means to introduce your company values and strategic objectives as you show the employee how your program works.

As Rob Schmitter, corporate programs owner for rewards and recognition at Nortel Networks, said in a recent Workforce Management magazine article:

"We expose new hires to the Excellence at Nortel recognition program (provided by Globoforce) during a two-day orientation workshop," says Robert Schmitter, corporate programs owner for rewards and recognition. "That includes an explanation of the program, how to use the tool and how to recognize colleagues."

What company culture are you introducing your new hires to on their fist days with your company? Is it what you really want them to see? Be sure to take our weekly poll and tell us about it in comments. (

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