Onboarding says a lot about your corporate culture

But there is no right way of doing it.

A company’s onboarding process says a lot about its organisational culture. It can make or break a new hire’s enthusiasm towards their new role. The effectiveness of a company’s onboarding process is reflected the turnover rate. Whether a new entrant is an entry-level employee or an executive appointment, their first day on the job will create a lasting impression in their mind because it juxtaposes their expectations against the reality of the job.

Onboarding conveys your organisational brand and values, explains your people and professional culture, aligns institutional expectations and performance and provides the tools for the employee to successfully assimilate into his or her position with a quicker ramp-up to productivity.

Candice Watson, Head of Talent Management at British American Tobacco says there is no right or wrong way of onboarding employees but rather that it is important to be cognisant of what it says about your company's culture.

"When I arrived at Avis Southern Africa, there was a huge bouquet of flowers on my desk on my first day and I thought, 'Wow, that's nice!'," she says.

"When I arrived at Pernod Ricard, there were bottles of their key strategic brands on my desk. So I received an awesome stash of liquor brands on my first day. Also, all your apparatus was ready. That is, your phone, you iPad, it was all ready and connected. When I arrived at BAT, it was a slightly different experience. Not everything was working on the first day, but my diary was filled up with meets and greets, so my first day had already been planned out, while things like email addresses and phones were being finalised."