Onboarding is a crucial people process. The success of the onboarding program gets the new employee off to a good start.

Here are 7 reasons why onboarding programs fail:-

  1. Each thinks it is the other’s responsibility. Lack of co-ordination between functions and people concerned make the new hire wander around unattended or pushed from pillar to post.
  2. Existing employees do not support the program simply because nothing similar was done for them. They leave it to the new hire to “sink or swim”.
  3. The new employee, especially the lateral hire, thinks he/she knows everything and does not give the program the attention it deserves. They miss out on issues of culture to their detriment later.
  4. Managers are too “busy” and do not give the program the priority it deserves. They are quick to delegate the task to some one else.
  5. Key elements of onboarding are delegated to those who are not competent enough to do it effectively
  6. Too much information is loaded on to the new hire making them groan under the weight of huge amounts of detail, much of which are not needed for their own work.
  7. The program is largely impersonal and the employee feels processed like a widget in an assembly line.

Apart from this, no program can give you insight into the “politcal” issues which simply must be learned through experience.

What factors have you come across which make a process so powerful in concept a failure in practice?