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Top 5 onboarding sins you want to avoid

We have officially entered the high season for job change. You might have noticed it too – at least I’m constantly getting notifications on LinkedIn, encouraging me to congratulate x or y on their new job.

Top 5 onboarding sins you want to avoid

If you happen to be an HR manager or a leader, this time of the year means onboarding is probably on your agenda. You want to see new employees engaged from day 1, integrate with your culture and stay on as long as possible.

But in case you want to give new hires a start that literally scares them away, we have compiled a list of ways how to make that happen – or in other words, sins you should steer away from.


  1. Don’t use too much of your precious time on preparing for the first day. I mean, what would be nicer than being able to just get to know your new office and colleagues the first few days, while waiting for a PC and desk? And is there any better way to ensure your new employee doesn’t work overtime during their first week if they have to wait for their access card and can’t get in or our of the building outside regular hours? “Why do it today if you can postpone it until tomorrow?!”

  2. Don’t listen to all the fuss about culture. We all know the best way to learn things is the hard way. Most of us learn from our mistakes and therefore are not likely to repeat their missteps, and those that do… Well, you don’t want to have them in your team anyway.

  3. Put your new employee to the test by measuring how long it will take until they contact payroll to deliver their account number, other departments to learn about what they do and so on. Initiative is key to success! You don’t want people who expect everything handed to them on a silver platter.

  4. Follow closely to see if the new employee is showing signs of underperformance. You hired them because they said they were able to perform the tasks described in the job description, so everything should be clear from day one! But don’t be too obvious about this – it’s better to wait until the end of their trial period until you give feedback. This gives you enough time to evaluate if you need to secretly begin looking for a replacement.

  5. Employees will only complain if you give them the opportunity to give feedback, so make sure you don’t encourage them. Those that have been with the company the longest will have much more valuable insights.

    We guarantee that with these tips, your employee is going get an unforgettable (unforgettably bad!) start in their new role. If you want to know how to make your onboarding stand out in a positive way, stay tuned – 5 tips for a truly great onboarding are coming are coming soon.

    Would you like to learn how you can improve the quality of your HR processes, starting from onboarding new employees? The answer is HR master data. Download our free e-book to learn more!
Hope Mears Østgaard

Hope Mears Østgaard, 19 January 2018

Hope Mears Østgaard is Senior Vice President Marketing at CatalystOne. She loves tech marketing and has over the course of her career built the marketing teams for successful growth of several SaaS companies. She is a passionate leader, tech advocate and communicator.

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