Onboarding is critical to a positive Employee Experience: companies cannot take it for granted

I left an organisation within three days of joining.

In the overall scheme of things it wasn’t working out for me, and I had to make the tough decision to amicably resign before committing to projects internally.

I did get to be part of their onboarding, but, the experience left me quite dry.

Three-month-old versus Experience

How serious do you think is an organisation of its talent if they call in a junior employee to take new (experienced) hires through the onboarding process? Not very serious right?

Content will always be King

Passion is great, but having experienced (and informed) employee presenters is what sets up a great beginning towards a positive employee experience.
Tell me stories of how your values are reflected internally. What are the key employee specific programs? What am I really getting myself into? etc.


It is annoying to see an onboarding presentation that is simply a copy-paste of the external website. Of course, there will be some internal data shared, but it needs to excite the employees to be encouraged of a great time ahead.

Lone warrior

There wasn’t any onboarding “team”. It was a one-woman army. Poor girl managing the entire induction process without any help was like a fish-out-of-water. I tried to ease her burden by offering to take care of a few things myself. She wouldn’t listen because she was too badly indoctrinated to believe all that work had to be done by her alone.

Meeting Stakeholders

The HR person responsible was just trying to get done with her job. She would drop into my office randomly and take me to meet stakeholders. Most wouldn’t be in their cabins or seats. Of the 25, I met up with only 5 stakeholders. Despite my telling her that I will reach out to them and fix a time for these meetings. She was insistent as her manager wanted HER to get it done.


There was no physical space to park myself for the 9 hours at work. Yes, they even had “school” timings. If you are 30 minutes late to work, then an entire days salary would be deducted. No ID cards, I was told it would take a month or two, facilities were uncared for, and there were only two overworked Admin staff to handle daily issues. Did I tell you about the interview process? They needed a medal for wasting peoples time. Aenywhoo!

In the three days I was there, I noticed people would come on time and leave late. No one wasted any time loitering around. There wasn’t any space to do that. People seemed busy all the time. Work was worship. With top companies leaving the city because of an unfavourable business environment, people would spend a lot of time in office.
With no companies to switch to and personal reasons to stay in the city, most employees did not have an option. Trying to set up non-core work meetings (core for me as IC) would mean getting to meet employees after 4pm or 5 pm. Goodbye life!

Glassdoor reviews were spot on. Employees complained about being over-worked and disconnected, apart from being paid below-industry salaries and dissing HR.

Leaders need to spend time understanding people requirements to sustain high-level talent. HR is still considered just a recruitment function in most organisations – remain understaffed and overworked.

Pre-Internet, one would hardly know about a company before joining. Today, candidates are able to make an informed choice about joining any organisation. Set your expectations right before you accept an offer letter. Oh, I hadn’t received the offer letter too. Repeated promises of sending one before I joined stayed consistent with me not receiving it at all (Even after being there for three days!!!).

The Employee Experience really begins much before Onboarding, at the time when your selection is announced. I chose to ignore the earlier signals and took a leap of faith in. Then I had to take the leap of faith out.

It was one of the best decisions I made professionally. Not giving in to the pressure of unemployment and saying no to a large brand.

Moving on…

The wait will be worth it.


About Joe

Communication professional. Public Relations, Employee Communication, Employee Volunteering, and Nonprofit Communication.

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