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Employee Recognition Points Within the Onboarding Process

By Jonathan McClellan | October 22, 2015 | Blog Posts | Engage Employees

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. It’s one of those age-old adages most people have probably both said and been told. It’s easy to forget this concept applies to businesses as well. As employees join your organization, they instantly begin shaping their opinions on your business. These opinions shape each employee and influence their success and career path.

With a formalized, thoughtful and purposeful onboarding process, businesses can influence those opinions and create human moments that strengthen employee engagement and deepen those relationships. These plans are there to make your employee feel familiar and comfortable in their new environment. Onboarding is an opportunity to share the organization’s goals and mission with each new associate, as well as welcome them and introduce the culture of your organization.

  1. Get Started Early: When we say early, we mean early. Communication should begin prior to their first day and new hires should receive daily feedback about their performance for their first week at the least. This feedback could come in the form of an email or, for those employees performing well, formal recognition. Starting to recognize employees early ensures that you create bonds with them and showcase your culture of recognition and engagement.
  2. Encourage Connections Across the Team: The best companies understand that recognition shouldn’t come solely from managers. When you encourage your associates to engage and show recognition, they have the opportunity to build relationships with their co-workers. While management may handle most of the onboarding process, having support from different departments will lead to a greater connection with the company.
  3. Get to Know Your Employees: Recognition programs only work when management has built relationships with employees. The onboarding process provides an ideal opportunity to sit down with employees and get to know them. Ask them to provide light-hearted but unique, personal information such as naming their favorite treat or explaining which nonprofit causes they value. This gives managers the information they need to tailor their formal recognition plans to each individual employee while reinforcing your culture of recognition.
  4. Make it a Priority (Work the Plan): The best-laid plans of onboarding don’t matter if they aren’t implemented. Businesses today operate at warp speed, so time must be deliberately set aside to make employee recognition a priority. By taking an active role, your senior leadership team will create the model for everyone else in the company to follow.

The new employee onboarding process provides you with an ideal opportunity to start building your culture of employee recognition and engagement. Use it to make a real connection and set your organization up for continued success.

What are some ways your business is creating a culture of recognition during the onboarding process? Fill us in and comment below.


  • Great post, Jonathan!

    Tip number 4 is a great point. When you’re still in training mode, you don’t simply want to load new employees with information. That’s not necessarily how everyone learns, and a lot of the information can get lost in the mix, leaving you with an inefficient training schedule.

    Instead, use the base information and first-day jitters as an opportunity to sort of throw them into the fire. Let them learn with only the information they need, helping them to grasp key concepts right from the start. 🙂

    Give them the opportunity to shadow other employees, as well. Sometimes your jargon won’t translate across to a new hire, but seeing the words match up with actions can be enough to instill company principles early on.

    Keep up the great content!

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