Back to Basics

In a recent article, What Every CEO Can Do In Less Than 6 Minutes To Improve Onboarding, I shared four questions that every business can ask existing employees to shed light on what can easily be done to improve the experience of new hires coming onboard.

I was amazed at the number of responses I received in response to the article applauding me for reminding them to get back to basics.

Why do we always feel the need to over-complicate things?  Onboarding is about welcoming people into your organization and integrating them into your culture quickly so they have the relationships as well as the tools they need to get the job done.  That’s it.  Everything else is a bonus.


Which comes first . . .

I’m still not sure about the chicken or the egg, but I do have some thoughts about which comes first when it comes to a new employee’s first day.

In my travels across the country presenting the topic of “Professional Onboarding” to CEO groups, there is often a spirited debate when I suggest some creative and potentially outlandish ideas to establish a unique first day experience for new hires.  What I’ve noticed after sharing the ideas with more than 100 CEOs is that people fall into two camps.


Do You Have an Onboarding Checklist?

It’s back to school time and, as the mother of a sixth grader, time for another round of the school supply shuffle.  Folders, notebooks, pencils, oh my!  The checklist is long, but thankfully, there is a checklist.

The checklist is what makes shopping easy.  The checklist tells you exactly how many pencils and eraser heads to buy.  Without the checklist it’s likely my son would have too many pencils, not enough paper and the wrong type of folder.

If schools can supply students with a checklist of what they will need to prepare them for a productive school year, why don’t companies supply their leaders with a checklist of what managers need to prepare to onboard new hires effectively?


What am I supposed to do? Defining expectations for new hires.

Jim was anxious to get started in his new management role with a Midwestern consulting company.  It was the perfect position for him based on his previous experience.  He was ready and raring to go.

When he got to the office on his first day, he was greeted by the HR Director who shuffled him off to a windowless room to fill out the necessary paperwork.  Once the paperwork was done, his boss walked him around the office.  It was a fairly typical first day.


What every CEO can do in less than 6 minutes to improve Onboarding

At the end of the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy learned that she had the power to return home all along.  All she had to do was click her heels three times and say, “There’s no place like home” and just like that she was back on the farm in Kansas.

If only it were that easy to improve your company’s Onboarding strategy.

Well, my little CEO . . . get clicking!  It can be easy.


Top Ten Tips to Successfully Onboard New Salespeople

Business owners and CEO’s of companies generating $3 to $50 million in annual revenue were recently asked ‘what is the most frustrating position to hire for within their company?’.  The answer was ‘salespeople.’  Most managers have paid their dues and worked their tails off, clawing their way up the corporate ladder.  However, most managers were not brought on to their company with a solid, structured, onboarding program.  Most managers don’t know how to build a successful onboarding program to make a newly hired salesperson’s journey easier.

Here are ten tips to successfully onboard new salespeople:


The Power of Team

Ten years ago I had the good fortune to connect with five amazing business women.  At the time, we gathered to support each other in our quest to grow each of our businesses.  We all provided the same services, but worked in different markets so it made good sense to share best practices and learn from each other since we would never compete with each other.

Over the years, five of the six of us have moved on from that company.  We are all in different businesses, but we still get together twice each year to support each other.



In Dallas, at an international conference of CEOs, Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, talked about how great leaders inspire everyone to take action.

More than 100 business leaders across more than one dozen countries listened as he talked about our human drive to cooperate.  While cartoons might depict CEOs as dictating from an ivory tower to workers below, nobody knows better than a good leader the importance and power that comes from people working together for a common cause.


Onboarding Impact on Revenue

In most companies the biggest expense is human capital.  While that is not a news flash, what is surprising to many business leaders is the true cost of turnover.

Sam was hired as a sales executive with a manufacturing company.  He earned a base salary of $50,000.  If he made his realistic sales goals he would easily earn $100,000 or more.  Martin, his sales manager, spent the first two weeks letting Sam shadow him to learn the ropes, but knew that it would be about six months before Sam would close a deal of his own.