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The Foundation of Successful Employees
Thursday, June 22, 2017
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Having a strong onboarding program is one way to retain key talent. Onboarding (sometimes called orientation) is the process of new employees acquiring the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to be effective contributors. Without a thoughtful onboarding process, organizations may see decreased productivity, increased turnover, and lost revenue. In fact, some research says that employees decide to stay with an organization during their first 90 days. Organizations with lower turnover rates tend to focus time and resources on structured onboarding programs.

Designing onboarding programs can be tricky. Different roles require different types of onboarding. The information a new executive needs isn’t the same as what a new call center agent needs. Yet, they both must understand how to work within the organization to produce results quickly. ATD Research has reviewed onboarding programs of award-winning organizations and written individual case studies highlighting how each organization created, improved upon, and measured the effectiveness of their onboarding programs.

Here’s a quick overview of five case studies. ATD members have access to the complete case studies including detailed descriptions, lessons learned, and additional resources. 

New York Community Bank: Bringing New Hires Up to Speed in 8 Days 

In 2014, Claudette Nunez, director of employee development and training at New York Community Bank (NYBC), and her team decided to focus on improving onboarding. With a growing business comprising 226 branch offices spanning five states, NYCB needed to find a way to more efficiently prepare its new employees to perform their job responsibilities. Recognizing this, Nunez, working with NYCB’s talent development team, decided to focus on onboarding for retail-banking employees ranging from bank tellers to regional managers—many of whom are the main point of interaction for customers. In 2013, it took up to 30 days for new retail-banking employees to receive the training they needed to start in their new position. NYCB redesigned its training program to ensure that new retail-banking employees, regardless of their position, quickly developed the skills needed to perform their jobs well and deliver the stellar customer experiences that drive sales and customer loyalty.

Click here to read more. 

Mindtree: Developing New Employees' Skills With Residential Learning 

Mindtree Limited, an India-based IT consultancy with offices in 14 countries, operates in a hypercompetitive industry. The company faces constant pressure to reduce costs or risk rivals undercutting prices.

The engineering skills it requires are scarce in India or come at a premium. This scarcity leads to the organization adopting a strategy to reduce overhead by recruiting a sizeable portion of its workforce directly from undergraduate engineering programs, then providing them specific technical training. For Mindtree, this meant more time paying the engineers’ salaries without profiting from their work.

By 2014, it became clear to Mindtree’s leaders that the talent development function would need to find a faster way to develop new hires’ skills.

Click here to read how they did it. 

Cerner: Using Progressive Onboarding Programs to Launch Employee Performance 

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Cerner is a healthcare information service provider that supplies customers with a variety of solutions and services developed and delivered by associates who must be equipped with the most up-to-date knowledge of information systems, software, and industry expertise.

Onboarding of new associates has been a key focus area for learning, and software engineering onboarding in particular has been a challenge given rapidly changing technology. Cerner implemented an updated onboarding experience for new hires called DevAcademy. The goal of the new approach was to increase engineer code quality, decrease product defects, and improve client satisfaction. Cerner also anticipated an increase in participants’ knowledge of their roles, a decrease in the recruiting costs associated with hiring more experienced programmers, and an increase in manager satisfaction of new hires.

Click here to see if they met their goals.

Florida Blue: Improving Business With Onboarding 

In 2010, Florida Blue served 4 million of its own healthcare members and covered another 15.5 million people in 16 states through affiliated companies. Florida Blue needed a steady flow of knowledgeable call center sales agents to respond to business growth in the consumer segment because of healthcare reform. This demand called for a talent initiative that would give new call center sales agents the sales skills and product knowledge needed to meet the changing needs of the healthcare industry.

The sales training team initiated the Sales Talent Management Program (STMP), a program that represented a major update and relaunch of the existing training program for call center sales agents. SMTP’s goals were to: reduce the time for new call center sales representatives to reach competency levels, increase revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and increase first-time call resolution.

Click here to see their results. 

Genpact: An Integration Program to Onboard New Executives 

In 2011, Genpact, a global leader in digitally powered business process management and services, needed to hire outside executives. Advances in technology had changed its market; to keep growing, the company needed new technical expertise from its leaders.

To protect Genpact’s interests, the organization’s talent development function created the Global Integration Program to introduce the executives to company culture and the demands of their jobs. Designed by the Global Leader Integration team, the program aimed to enable the individual success of new hires at the vice president level and above by sending knowledge in two directions.

Click here to learn how they did it.

ATD members have complete access to these five case studies and many others on topics such as performance management, leadership development, and knowledge management. Check out this free resource at casebycase.td.org today.

About the Author

Clara Von Ins is the Human Capital Specialist at the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Prior to working for ATD, Clara worked for the American Red Cross as the disaster program coordinator in Santa Barbara, California.


Clara received an bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University in psychology and education. She is currently attending the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill remotely to obtain a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on nonprofit management and community and economic development. 

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