Learnware™ Blog Posts

4 Negative Consequences of Lousy Onboarding for Newly Hired Employees

onboarding orientation
Big space between chess piece and next step

Did you know that a significant amount of new employee orientation happens before your new employees are even hired?  

If job candidates are at all tech-savvy you can safely assume that they have researched your organization via your website, gathered other online information, and talked to their online social network about whether or not your organization is a good employer.

As your job candidates go through your interview process they are also gaining new information about your organization and the people who work there.

Then, once hired, they continue their orientation and onboarding process – either good or inadequate depending on the established process and their manager.

Consequences of Poorly Done Orientation and Onboarding

What happens when your organization's new employee orientation and onboarding is not done well?  What’s the impact on your organization?

You may be surprised to realize that there are four very significant consequences of not orienting or inadequately orienting and onboarding your new employees. 

Your organization could experience one or more of the following:

Consequence #1.  Bad Public Relations

New employees are very connected with others, especially in today’s high contact social media world. They have a network of friends and family who very quickly give them information about your organization or they form an opinion about your organization based on what your new employees say about their new job and employer.

What messages are out there in the marketplace about how well your organization and your managers treat their new employees and support their new job start-up success?

Consequence #2.  Ineffective Customer Service / Lost Customers

How soon do your new employees need to be customer facing?  For most organizations, new employees need to be customer-facing as soon as possible without increasing customers’ complaints and causing errors.

Large fast food chains and banks often ask their new employees to wear an ‘Employee in Training’ badge to help prevent customers from becoming annoyed by the extra time it takes new employees to complete their transactions.

Customer acquisition and retention cost money. High customer service scores are very important.  Don’t annoy or lose customers because your new employees are not adequately oriented and onboarded to your organization. They impact customer service more than you think.

Consequence #3.  Lost Productivity – Slower ‘Time to Competence’

The longer it takes your new employees to become competent means they are less productive and more prone to errors. Becoming part of a new organization and learning a new job takes ‘ramp up’ time. How long is too long? 

Needless to say, time is money.  One new employee I talked to said he could have saved days trying to track down the information he needed if only he had been shown the key resources early on in his job onboarding process.

A well designed orientation and onboarding process can accelerate your employees’ ‘time to job competence’.  They stop saying, ‘I’m new here’ sooner and provide more customer-focused value faster.

Consequence #4.  High Turnover / Wasted Recruitment Dollars

There’s always a risk that your new employees will become disappointed about their employment decision and start re-engaging in their job search, especially by the end of the first week and first month. Did you know that it costs on average (depending on the job level) $25,000 to recruit each new employee? 

The simple process of ensuring your managers proactively check in with each new employee at the end of the first day, first week, first two weeks, first month, and first three months will help to significantly reduce turnover and increase performance and productivity.


There are very significant consequences of not orienting or inadequately orienting and onboarding your new employees.  A well designed and executed orientation and onboarding process is well worth the investment.  Your organization's new intellectual assets deserve the best process possible.



Valerie Dixon, M.Ed., CTDP, President and Chief Learnware Architect of Learnware Design Inc., (www.learnware.com) is a leading learning efficiency and effectiveness strategist and thought leader in the field of workplace learning and performance.  Valerie has over 40 years of experience in all aspects of performance needs analysis, learning organization strategy development and learning design.  She is the creator and designer of programs and products that accelerate job competence™.


We are workplace learning experts who work with organizational leaders and employees to accelerate job competence™ for increased performance, productivity, and profits.

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