Onboarding New Employees: 5 Ways NOT To Do It

Alissa Bakker


We all want our new hires to hit the ground running, but neglecting an onboarding plan and moving too fast on the first day invariably leads to huge hidden costs down the line—for both sides.

One poorly trained employee will affect your next generation of employees. Without a clear onboarding plan, problematic processes will only compound over time as they’re passed from one poorly-trained employee to the next.

If you want to guarantee your new employee has an awful first day, be sure to adopt the 5 terrible practices. Or better yet, adopt the checkmark options for a much smoother, pleasant onboarding experience for everyone.

Onboarding Employees

5. Out-To-Lunch Mentorship

No face time with management. Keep mentors out of reach.

Do this if you want your new hires to feel lost, aimless, and cut off from leadership.



Schedule at least a 1/2 hour of face time with managers and informal mentors to help new hires feel valued and supported in their role.

4. Sink or Swim!

No plan or guidance. Keep responsibilities a mystery.

Do this if you want your employee to waste time, slow down the pipeline, and produce poor results.



Make your employee’s first day a blend of orientation and work. Outline clear expectations, and provide your new hire with the necessary tools to achieve their first goals with clarity and confidence.

3. Fast & Furious Training

Information overload! Give a rushed presentation on job expectations.

Do this if you want to overwhelm your new hires and ensure they don’t retain any valuable information or skills.



Provide employees with an overview of what is expected of them in their new role. Minimize lengthy presentations and verbal instructions.

2. Enter the Culture Void

No vision or values. Bad habits are normalized.

Do this if you want your people to get lost in the weeds, and feel confused about what’s important to your company.



Prioritize culture training by providing your new hires with a comprehensive guide to your company’s vision and values.

1.  Train ‘em & Forget ‘em

No follow up support. Leave performance management as an afterthought.

Do this if you want your employees to leave after the first 90 days.



Before the first day, introduce your hire to the team over email, and set up a recurring 1-on-1 meeting to keep communication channels open between you and your employee, long after their initial week with you.

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