We have come to the final part of the series, Hiring the Right Candidate the first time & Making them stay.  You have successfully filled your open vacancy and hired the right employee that will fit into your organization and the role. 

Where a lot of companies fall short is they think they are done.  Yes, they can check off the hiring and selection part, but now making that employee stay is next on your list.  Today we are going to talk about how your new hire onboarding process is your first step in your employee retention strategy. 

There have been many studies and research done over the years that give insight as to why a company’s onboarding program is so important.  In one of those studies, for millennials (and I think for any generation really), is that the first 4 hours of the first day of day 1 has an 80% predictability for that new hire to stay beyond year 1!

That is a jaw dropping statistic and it just reinforces why your company needs a new hire onboarding program.  Today we will be digging deeper into how your company can create your own onboarding program by talking about the 3 P’s of New Hire Onboarding.

The 3 P’s are People, Performance, & Paperwork. The below graphic illustrates what you should be focusing on in your own onboarding plan.

Source: 3 P’s of onboarding – Kronos Inc.

As you can see the paperwork area falls into the 1st day of employment and “pre-boarding” which is before your new hire starts. The key to the paperwork piece is that all their office is set up before day 1.  So their email, computer/laptop is ready to be used; their phone/cell phone is set up; any systems or programs they need to access has been already configured and set up; they bring all the original signed employment contracts on day 1; and most importantly you have created the agenda for day 1.  This way your new hire knows what will happen.  Again remember you need to nail day 1 or your new hire will not be staying around too long.  Also notice it’s more than paperwork that encompasses your onboarding plan.  It’s really focused on the People & Performance. Let’s look those areas more in-depth.

Company Orientation & Lunch

Company orientation can be as simple as giving a tour of the office, where your new hire’s desk is, where the washroom’s are, where the lunchroom is, reviewing company policies, etc.  Or it can be more involved where someone in your organization is giving a presentation about the company, how you came to be, what the company’s mission, vision and values are. Whatever you do here, it is crucial that you are sharing with your new employees what your company’s mission, vision, values and your strategic goals are.  And more importantly sharing how their role impacts those goals (more on that in a bit).

Buddy/Ambassador assignment

Think of the one or 2 employees who are your ambassadors.  The ones who are not just great at their job but the ones who are engaged and believe in what your company is doing and see the impact they & your company is making.  It’s these people that you want to take pair your new hire with. 

Meetings with stakeholders

This is another critical part of your onboarding plan because when your new hire doesn’t meet and interact with the people they will be dealing with daily, how else will they get functional in their role?  These stakeholders are people like their manager, the rest of the team/people in your company (if you are smaller), customers they will be serving, vendors/suppliers they will be dealing with, or other employees in your organization.  The easiest way is to do this is to schedule these meetings ahead of day 1 and ensure they happen over the first few weeks of being hired.

Job shadowing

This is where the rubber hits the road as to how your new employee will be trained in their role.  This is where they will learn what their job is, and how to do it.  The job shadowing could be with someone else on their team, another co-worker in the same role as them, or you the business owner.  For this to be effective and efficient, you will need to plan out when and what they will be learning over the first 3 months of employment.  Again this should be all scheduled ahead of day 1 for your new hire.

Senior leader exposure

Another important part of any onboarding plan, whether you have a company of 5, 10 or 100 employees, is for your new recruits to see and hear from their senior leaders.  How else are they to become engaged in what they do daily if they don’t see, and speak to the senior people in the company?  A great way to facilitate this is to have your senior leaders be part of the company orientation when you talk about the company’s mission, vision, values and strategic goals. 

Expectation setting and milestones

Once your new hire has learned what the company’s goals are, this is when the new employee’s manager has a one on one conversation about what their expectations are. Part of this meeting will be the manager (or the business owner, depending on your size) who goes over the job description with them and lays out very explicitly what is expected of them over the next few months.  From there the manager works with their new hire to come up with milestones that they need to hit over the next little while-and these milestones can be ones that will be completed within the first 3 months, or even the first year of employment.

Career goals discussion

Out of that meeting is when the discussion comes around what the new employee’s career goals are.  Once you know this you can create a development plan for that employee, where you will have regular check-in’s to see how the progress is going.

Establish performance goals

At the same time you’re talking about career goals, the manager and the employee will establish performance goals over the next 3 months or longer, depending on how much the new hire needs to learn.  These goals MUST be tied into the overall company’s strategic goals.  If this isn’t done, then how can the employee know and see the impact they are making.  Almost all of employees (especially the younger generations) want to know they have a purpose in their job.


Check in with your new hire regularly.  How else can you know how they are doing without asking them?  In the first month you will want to check in every week, and then slowly move to bi-weekly and then to monthly.  Like anything in business how can you know how you are progressing unless you are checking in and reflecting on how things are going.  What’s going well? What isn’t going well and why isn’t it going well?  How can you change that? 

Performance review

If you have regular check-in’s then once you get to this stage no surprises should come up between the manager and their employee.  You can even treat those regular check-in’s as a smaller performance review especially since doing an annual review is something of the past. Think of performance reviews being the same as checking in with your business.  As a business owner you look regularly at your financials to see how you are tracking.  Why would you not so the same with your employees, since their roles is how your business will hit those goals you set out at the beginning of the year?

Study after study has shown that organizations that design new hire onboarding programs with specific goals and measure their success, experience more positive business and organizational results.

If you want to book a Discovery Call to see how MKS HR can help design and implement your own new hire onboarding program, click here. As always, we want to make your life as a business owner easier so you can work smarter!  We have created a free download, so you have your own 30 day onboarding plan that has the 3 P’s we talked about.

Click here to get your copy today.