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You see the value and benefit of world-class new employee orientation and onboarding for your organization. You know the direct correlation such efforts have on employee engagement, productivity and the bottom line.

Yet, you are running up against leaders who don’t see the value in taking the time to support, attend, talk about, or make resources available for new employee orientation (NEO) or a winning employee onboarding process.

Often times, senior leaders are wrapped up in exterior issues - revenue, sales, profit, investor relations - rather than the interior opportunities which directly affect those metrics. This is a very common miss from a leadership standpoint. There is a direct correlation between the time and information invested in the onboarding of a new employee and the degree to which they are prepared and productive on the job. Yet, senior leaders continually underestimate the amount of time and information that a person needs to reach optimal productivity.

Here's one tactic to get senior leadership to buy into the value and benefits of NEO. “Dare” them to take the Persona Challenge:

  1. Assign key leaders sample personas- of various new employees at your organization at different levels and responsibilities (ie Julie in Accounting, Francis in Operations, or Yolanda in Shipping).
  2. Challenge each to experience NEO through the eyes of their persona (think Undercover Boss)
  3. Debrief with the following questions:
  • Is the organization putting its best foot forward in welcoming/preparing its newest team members? (Ie proper training room, great facilitator, welcoming messaging, excitement about the organization, etc.)
  • Is your persona clear on quality standards and the expectations around behaviors?
  • Is your persona in any way emotionally connected to the organization?
  • Is your persona set up properly to take the next steps of employee onboarding?

This experience will compel leaders to see first hand how an effective NEO benefits the individual, the team and the organization. Those in senior leadership already know specific organizational norms, information and expectations; and they often don’t realize that a new employee needs to fill that bucket of knowledge to be able to go out and be productive in the organization. Learning this in a formal manner at the beginning of employment catapults employees into greater success that otherwise would take several months or even years.

I'm betting you'll get buy-in after they experience a day in the life of a new employee at your organization. Senior leaders often see orientation as simply a delay in getting an employee to the front line. However, if they knew the potential that a world-class new employee orientation could deliver- they would not only take the time to support it; they would demand the finances to fund it.

For more information on the New Employee Onboarding process, download our step-by-step infographic and see these additional blog posts:


ABOUT DONNELLY EFFECT: With over 20 years of Disney leadership experience, Mike Donnelly, Chief Experience Officer (CEO) of Donnelly Effect shares his insights on Talent Selection and Hiring, New Employee Orientation, Customer Experience, Workplace Culture and Leadership- among others. Donnelly Effect is home of the exclusive "World-Class Workshop" series and offers consulting services and keynote addresses to audiences of all sizes and industries. Since 2004, Mike Donnelly has been a contracted Disney Institute Facilitator, delivering Disney training to audiences across the United States.

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