How to Build an Effective Onboarding Program for New Hires

ASPEFri, 01/04/2019 - 14:18

The initial weeks or months on the job are especially pivotal for new hires, their colleagues and your company. The goal of an onboarding program is to create a tailored, ongoing process of acclimating employees to their new work environment, setting expectations for their new role, and teaching them the skills they need to be successful in that role. Many businesses do not have the resources necessary, or even if they do, don’t take the time to develop an extensive onboarding program even though it is essential to make new hires successful.

Below are some guidelines for establishing a strategic Onboarding Program that will set new employees up for success and ensuring high retention moving forward:

1.      Establish a Business Need

The first and most important step in building an effective onboarding process is determining business needs that are consistent among your organization.  Many companies establish Onboarding Programs in order to increase retention among skilled employees, provide better quality products, or deliver faster to market. An onboarding program will ultimately help meet these business needs by providing consistent criteria that all new employees need to meet to enter the organization. When thinking about how to meet these goals, it’s important to think about skills and knowledge new hires must have in order to be successful in their new roles. The best way to do this is by communicating with various business units within your organization regarding the different skill sets that are necessary for different roles and take note of your findings. You should be thinking about the following questions:

  • Are there any consistent technologies that are used throughout the business units?

  • What are the soft skills that need to be addressed vs. what technology-specific training needs to be covered during the process?


2.      Form a Committee

It is extremely important to have an organized group of internal Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) that can identify the best practices, tools, and processes that the program will build itself around. This committee will ultimately work with a selected vendor to vet the content, flow and duration of how the program will take shape.


3.      Get Senior Leadership Support and Financing

Getting support for an onboarding program is a critical part of the process. It’s best to put together information on how such programs provide value to your organization, tying back to the business needs mentioned in Step #1. It is best to present useful data on successful onboarding programs, and research case studies from vendors to present to leadership.


4.      Partner with Your L&D Department and a Trusted External Vendor

When preparing the program, it is best to look for an external vendor to handle the ins and outs of content development and delivery. ASPE’s Onboarding Programs are designed to accelerate the development of recent graduate and millennial new hires and provide an enriched on-boarding process that enables them to be workplace ready on day one. We work directly with your internal subject-matter-experts to customize a program that aligns to your company goals, best practices, and processes. Partnering with ASPE for your Onboarding Program will prove beneficial to your team because of our extensive list of experts available in different curriculums from I.T. to Leadership to Business Agility.

ASPE has created onboarding programs and coaching agreements that have ultimately helped organizations yield un-forecasted revenue, increase new IT employee retention by 87%, and decrease change failure rate by approximately 15%.

Read more about some of the organization’s we’ve partnered with to develop their Onboarding Program.


5.      Evaluate, Adjust and Adapt

A good Onboarding Program must be flexible to keep up with emerging technologies and business needs. ASPE will facilitate assessments throughout the program to gauge the level of knowledge, prove ability, and allow for corrective actions for any participant that may be falling behind. In addition, after evaluating graduated new hires, it is a good idea to gauge their strengths and weaknesses to determine what parts of the program need to be readjusted.

Read more about ASPE’s Onboarding Programs by visiting: