Re: Need Help with Onboarding #knowledge-retention #onboarding

Patrick Lambe

Hi Lydia

Some great suggestions here already. Some principles I have found useful:

1. Onboarding is a process not a document.
2. Integration and getting up to speed is as much about people connected to the role as about knowledge for the role.
3. Humans can’t absorb a lot of new information all at once, and we don’t need to know everything all at once. 

We did a very successful onboarding support project some years back called “The First 30 Days”. It was a booklet meant to guide new hires, their buddies (per Murray’s suggestion) and their reporting officers. I say successful, because this was over 10 years ago. I mentioned it as a suggested approach for a different client recently, and one of the people on the client management team had been onboarded in that original organisation using that process and remembered it vividly as having been very helpful.

Each double page spread identified tasks on a timeline:
Pre-arrival - ensuring things are in place
First Day - Basic orientation, meeting buddy and reporting officer, job hygiene factors (workplace, physical orientation, etc)
First Week - Orientation to role: key responsibilities and the information/knowledge resources and people associated with them
Second Week - Immersion: working through key tasks in detail, getting involved in meetings, making introductions
Third Week - Reflection: sit down with Buddy and Reporting Officer and reflect on the learning in the first two weeks, filling in gaps
Fourth Week - Looking Forward: sit with Reporting Officer and think about any development or support needs for the first 6 months.

Of course, 30 days is arbitrary, though it is the most critical period. It might extend further.

When you think about onboarding as a process on a timeline, and as social as well as technical and organisational, then a lot of onboarding content can be shunted to a general resources site that would help anyone in that role on a self-help basis, and the key stuff they need in the first month can be chunked out.


Patrick Lambe
Straits Knowledge

phone:  +65 98528511

knowledge mapping:

On 7 Jul 2021, at 8:39 AM, David Eddy <deddy@...> wrote:

Lydia -

Set up like a scavenger hunt.

Have a binder with people & functions the new hire needs to talk with to verify whatever collection of functions & people the new person will need to know.

“Joe Smith works on function X… go ask him what works & what gets handled as exceptions..."

- David

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