The morphing of the notion of new hire orientation training to “on-boarding” is significant. It explicitly recognizes the long overlooked role acculturation should play in the hiring process.
Traditional new hire orientation training programs do little to acculturate new employees into the organization. Completing insurance and tax withholding forms, reviewing the personnel manual and watching a video about the history of the company does little to nurture a new hire’s sense of belonging to, or understanding of the norms of, a company. Acculturation is left to happenstance.
Unfortunately, this frequently seems to also be the case with many new on-boarding programs, i.e., acculturation is not consciously addressed in the design of the program. While, the increased time devoted to on-boarding tends, to some extent, to facilitate the acculturation process, whatever acculturation occurs, occurs more by accident than by design.
On-boarding programs could be significantly enhanced if specific acculturation issues and concerns were addressed up front during the design of the on-boarding program. In addition, conscience design of a well thought out on-boarding program would significantly enhance any monitoring and evaluating efforts to ensure on-boarding is as effective and efficient as possible.