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Action Item: Science Says Make These Elements Mandatory and Formal for New Hires.

Updated: Sep 13, 2019


In a study of 373 employees from 10 organizations, Klien, Polin, and Sutton (2015) found that new-hires perceive required and formal onboarding practices as more helpful.


Since one of the questions we often struggle with is, "Should this be mandatory or optional?" BOOM, here we go.

What does this mean for your onboarding program?


Make onboarding practices like those from the Unique Onboarding Elements Guide, REGULAR, FORMAL and MANDATORY experiences that all new-hires participate in.

These include:

a. Speaking directly to employees about their passions, ambitions and talents

(PATs). In other words, simply ask "What are you really good at?" or "When do you feel like you're at your best?" and let the conversation blossom from there.

b. Have current employees interact with new-hires, sharing their own PATs, values, and stories of company/employee winning moments.

c. Discussions with new-hires (and current employees for that matter) about how

they will grow with the company and grow their own skill-set over the next few years. Get them excited for their development and they'll work harder for you.

d. Provide challenging scenarios for new-hires to develop solutions for. Remember: Get them to solve your problems and make them feel a sense of purpose in the process. This can be done with new-hires as a group, one-on-one or along with current employees.

e. Add more here…Or better yet, add them as a comment for others to see and


(This goes for both skilled and unskilled labor, as well as professionals, managers, and executives. These elements impact where it counts.)

Employees have spoken. They find required and formal experiences more helpful. This matters.


Klein, H. J., Polin, B., & Sutton, K. (2015). Specific onboarding practices for the socialization of new employees. International Journal of Selection & Assessment, 23(3), 263–283.

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