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Key Success Factors in HRSS Employee Onboarding and Training


Ensuring that new employees have a successful onboarding experience is critical as it relates to both their initial integration and ongoing satisfaction.  How major corporations structure the HRSS employee onboarding process, and the initial training that takes place for new hires, can vary significantly between companies depending on a wide variety of factors, including organizational structure, industry, company culture, and geographic design. 

Company Experience

A recent Peeriosity PeercastTM featured a large healthcare company with over 80,000 employees, during which they shared their experiences in the HRSS employee onboarding area.  Their HR Shared Services organization includes Benefits, Compensation, HR Administration, and Employee Relations, as well as an employee contact center and process optimization organization.  A real emphasis has been placed on employee onboarding at this company and they consider a successful onboarding experience as the first step in a multi-phased approach to long-term career path/planning within the organization.

At our feature company, all new HRSS employees attend a 5-day (8 hours per day) new hire orientation in a classroom setting, followed by two weeks of on-the-job training.  Some of the key attributes of this session include the following:

  • Interactive segments
  • Ice breakers, trivia to start the day
  • Participant’s guide with supplemental PowerPoint
  • Online course for hands-on application
  • On-the-job observations, as time is scheduled or permitted
  • Quizzes to assess learning retention

The onboarding is divided into four main segments, which are (1) HR Onboarding, which includes the collection of new hire paperwork and a benefits review, and (2) Corporate Onboarding, which is a full day session covering a company overview, mission, history, and other internal programs and core processes, (3) HRSS Orientation, which provides an overview of HRSS, how each department interacts, and guidance on resources and processes, and (4) Functional Training.

Developing an effective onboarding course curriculum, and then keeping it well maintained, is a common challenge for companies in general, and our feature company has developed a curriculum cycle to address this issue.  It is structured as follows:

  • Content Developed or Revised in Partnership w/ SME
  • Initial Draft Submitted to SMS for Review; Revisions Made and Reviewed
  • Approved Revised Content Sent to QA for Review; Revisions Made and Reviewed
  • Final Draft Sent to Leadership for Review and Sign-Off; Revisions Made and Reviewed
  • Final Draft Converted for Pilot or v.1 for Immediate Use
  • Revisit Content for Updates

An important part of keeping their curriculum up to date is the use of a series of three attendee surveys administered at the end of the onboarding, two weeks later after new hire training, and at the end of the new hire transition period.  These surveys are developed and administered using Survey Monkey and the results are closely reviewed by those overseeing the new hire orientation process, as well as by HRSS senior leadership.

While the company is pleased with the results of its efforts in the HRSS employee onboarding area, they are also continuing to plan further enhancements in this area.  Some future areas of focus include gamification (the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts), enhanced analytics, advanced learning platforms (mobile, etc.), and the use of learner groups.

Closing Summary

The importance of effective new employee onboarding in both ongoing employee satisfaction and long-term retention can’t be disputed since it, along with the initial on-the-job training, set the stage for an employee’s career at the company.  With the proper resources and focus, this can become an area of strength for any HR Shared Services operation.

What is the status at your HR Shared Services organization of your new employee onboarding process?  Does this effectively help prepare a new employee for a successful career at your company or is it just one more step in the overall new hire process?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


“PeercastsTM” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion.  Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content.  Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member.  Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees.   

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