Proposal for Employee On-boarding & Long-Term Retention Plans

Engaging and Retaining Employees: a detailed on-boarding process based on a hypothetical

Waseem D. Ezzie
Jul 7 · 11 min read

The proposal outlines the key gaps within the organization to ensure an efficient and effective on-boarding program with a long-term retention plan for current employees. The on-boarding process will be structured and formal by creating a 90-day peer-mentor program and a 6-month Sponsorship program. The programs are structured and formal, but the engagement approach is informal and random. The HR Department intends to verify the effectiveness of the program through quantitative methods such as interviews, evaluations, and surveys, which utilize measurement and metrics. The HR Department will be able to verify the validity of the direct and indirect implications of the program, in efforts to reach the core objective to improve and enhance: work performance, productivity, time-management, brand recognition, associates’ workplace chemistry, engagement and retention of associates, loyalty within the organization, job satisfaction, and morale. The On-boarding program will attempt to overcome barriers such as: Time and resources, through approaching the peer-mentor and sponsorship program in an informal and random manner; Cost, through limiting or turning around the turn-over rate and increasing productivity. The long-term retention plan will be simplified and strategic to align with the company’s ideal workplace environment and work/life balance, through hosting social events, offering certain employees methods to improve employee satisfaction, and training managers on proper engagement.

Problems identified in the company’s current on-boarding process:

The main problem with the current on-boarding program exposes the lack of organization during the on-boarding process. The lack of organizing in the on-boarding has resulted in a significantly high turnover rate. Another key indicator of the need for a revised on-boarding stems from a lack of support for new employees. Other problems in the current on-boarding program are: lack of tools essential to perform duties, lack of integration into the company’s culture, and that the training approach creates an avoidable learning curve.

Proposed on-boarding: the selection of the peer-mentor:

The HR Manager and the Hiring Manager will find the most suitable peer-mentor who works in the same department as the new hire. The peer-mentor should ideally be in the same pay bracket as the new hire, with similar technical work duties. The peer-mentor should ideally have a personality of a salesperson of sorts with attributes of being social-able, approachable, and eager to share his or her knowledge. The HR Manager and Hiring Manager will delegate responsibilities to the peer-mentor. The HR Manager will train the peer-mentor and provide guidelines and checklists to utilizes during the 90-day program.

Proposed on-boarding: the pre-hiring program:

The new hire will receive an informal phone call from the assigned peer-mentor, who will basically touch base with the new hire. The peer-mentor will explain the on-boarding process, the pre-employment items the new hire needs to complete on the intranet, inform them where and when they will meet on the start date to get their ID badge, and answer questions. The peer-mentor will provide subtle realistic expectations of the organization’s norms and adaption to the work culture throughout the on-boarding process. During the phone call, the new hire will receive an email (created by HR) with credentials to log in to the company’s intranet where the applicant will have access to do the following:

· Can download new hire paperwork.

· Upload signed new hire paperwork.

· Summary of the organization’s history and key executives.

· Detailed policies with additional bullet point summaries of those policies.

· View a reference bullet-point sheet highlighting the associate’s compensation and benefits.

· Create a profile for career goals which can be viewed by only HR, Direct Manager, and Senior Managers.

· Tools to easily find the company associates’ contact information.

· A profile presenting their peer mentors picture with a summary of their accomplishments.

· A map to outline what to expect during the 3-month peer-mentorship and the 6-month sponsorship program with respect to their job duties, tasks, training, and on-boarding process.

Proposed On-boarding: Welcome Package:

The new hire will receive a welcome package, about a week before their start date, which will include personalized items. The personalized items are geared to show the new-hire the company’s employment branding. Other items in the package will include essential tools needed for the new-hire to perform his or her duties at a high-caliber from the first start day. The items in the welcome package are:

· Company logoed custom-made company polo shirt with the associate’s name.

· Company logoed coffee travel mug.

· Elegant business cards.

· A parking pass with a map of where to park on the premises.

· A company cellular phone and laptop.

· Summarized literature summarizing the on-boarding program, employee task and projects, and a road map of duties to set-up the employee for success.

Proposed on-boarding: the new hire’s first two weeks on the job:

On the first day, the peer-mentor will meet the new hire at the entrance to escort them to the Badging Office to get their facility credentials. The new hire will give a tour of the facility and, in the process, the peer-mentor will introduce them to other associates. The high-level executives and key associates will have already been notified of the new hire’s orientation day, via email, and they are given a ‘heads up’ to expect a brief informal introduction. The new hire will be introduced to executives, executive assistants, receptionists, their department’s work team, and other department associates.

The first two-weeks will consist of formal training on software, standard operating procedures, protocols, policy, tasks, and responsibilities, etc. The trainings will require the new hire to log on to the organization’s intranet to watch pre-recorded training videos, with PowerPoint Slides. At the end of each training session, the new hire will take an online exam. This training can be done at work or from home.

The new hire will be teamed up with peer-mentor for 90-days:

The peer-mentor program is mostly informal in which there are not any designated meetings, unless a meeting is requested by either individual. This program is designed as a tool for the new hire to have access to knowledge and resources. The main objective is to make the first 90-days as a graceful integration for the new hire. The peer-mentor will conduct the duration of the program as a work buddy, where the new hire can ask the peer-mentor questions that they cannot simply g=Google, and questions that are too minor to ask their supervisor. The peer-mentor will utilize the HR checklists of items to cover during the 90-days, and they are responsible for the new hire’s personalized peer-mentor program. At the commencement of the 30–60–90-day peer-mentorship, both the peer-mentor and the new hire will answer a feedback survey with respect to the employee satisfaction, programs efficiency, effectiveness, weaknesses, advantages, and recommendations for improvements. The new-hire’s supervisor will also take part in the survey and assessment of the new hire’s performance caliber.

Proposed on-boarding: new hire’s sponsorship program:

The new hire will then be assigned a sponsor who will be a middle or senior manager at the 90-day mark. The sponsor will not be the new-hire’s supervisor, to avoid any conflict of interests. In this case, the sponsor will then take over the personalized on-boarding process. The sponsorship program is structured and formal, however, the program is designed mainly in an informal approach to the program. The sponsor will be available for mentoring requests, but the sponsor will mainly work behind the scenes and monitor the new-hire’s performance in efforts to help steer the new-hire’s development. The HR Manager will randomly ask to meet with the new hire for a positive approach to intervening with constructive critiques of an assignment, work task, specific duty, or simply to point out encouraging feedback regarding their predicted work performance. The sponsorship duration is 6-months and the sponsor will have a random checklist based on priority to complete within the program’s duration. The sponsorship’s main objective takes a mostly informal and random approach to training, coaching, and developing the new hire, per checklist and on a need to basis.

The sponsorship program is designed to:

· Untap the new hire’s full potential.

· Empower them to make judgments that are in the best interest of the organization’s stakeholders.

· Give the new hire opportunities to present elevator pitch ideas to senior management.

· Allow the new hire to be himself or herself in the workplace without the noticeable pressure to conform to the organizational work climate.

· Encourage out of the box, critical, creative, innovative thinking.

At the end of the 6-month sponsorship, both the sponsor and new hire are given a survey for an unofficial performance review critique and a formal feedback survey about the sponsorship program. The sponsor will provide his or her constructive input as to the new hire’s progression and identify key strengths and areas for growth. The new hire will be provided a self-critique survey about identifying their perceived strengths, areas to work on, and submit ideas to improve the organization’s system, process, etc. The feedback survey about the sponsorship program is used to spot the program’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for ideas to improve the program. As the sponsorship process is mostly informal in its approach, the performance evaluation will be perceived as unofficial by the organization, unless adversaries are strongly noted in the HR review. This unofficial review will provide the new hire three-months to improve any areas noted for growth, before a formal job performance is conducted at the one-year mark.

The measurement tools for evaluating the new employee on-boarding process:

· 15-day direct supervisor on-boarding interview (face-to-face) to assess assimilation into the work culture, alignment with tasks and goals, identify areas in need of focus, and critique of the efficiency and effectiveness for the on-boarding process to-date.

· 30-day online survey to identify areas in need of more training and focus.

· 60-day online employee experience survey to identify the integration success of the on-boarding process.

· 90-day informal performance evaluation review by the direct supervisor (face-to-face).

· 120-day online survey to identify the effectiveness of the Sponsorship program conducted by both the sponsor and employee.

· 9-month employee survey evaluating the Sponsorship program and self-evaluation of performance.

· 9-month informal employee performance assessment conducted by the hiring manager.

Process of the proposed on-boarding program for a new hire:

The chart below summarizes the proposed On-boarding Process.

Long-term retention plan for current employees:

The long-term retention plan for the current employees will have offered them multiple opportunities in efforts to increase employee job satisfaction. The retention plan will not need to add to the current on-boarding budget, but in the long-run, after positively adjusting the turnover rate, the HR department can allocate funds for the retention program through the savings from the improved turnover rate. The proposed retention program will offer the following opportunities:

· Offer certain employees opportunities to condense the traditional 5-day work week into a 4-day workweek.

· Offer certain employees opportunities to work from home up to 50% of the workweek.

· Provide each employee a personalized gift basket at the annual holiday party.

· Offer certain employees to join a mentorship program.

· Offer certain employees to attend industry conferences.

· Hold an annual retreat for all employees.

· Hold department events outside of the office.

· Train managers on effective techniques to engage employees.

· Upper management should create confidential succession plans.

As engagement overlaps with retention, it is important to note that a succession plan is needed in an organization for key managers and tenured essential professionals. Most discrete succession plans are needed to ensure the organizations are well equipped to handle uncertainties and to have a contingency plan in order to be proactive. A succession plan is defined as “potential talent in an organization is identified and developmental plans are established to help prepare individuals for promotional roles” (SHRM, People, 2017, p. 102). It is advisable that succession plans remain in confidence by senior managers because it is not in the benefit of the organization to tell employees that they are being groomed for a position they might or might not get. The advantage of not telling employees of management’s plan is it “allows flexibility as business needs change, and a disadvantage of not telling an employee is that the “high performers may leave the organization, unsure of their future”; the advantage of telling employees about the succession plan can create a “retention strategy”, a disadvantage of telling is that it can create “unrealistic expectations and implied contracts” (mollo, 20115, p. 211).

The measurement tools to identify successful long-term retention of current employees:

In order to properly measure the proposed retention plan efficiency and effectiveness, the HR department will use various metrics to evaluate the itemized and personalized retention programs. Such measurements include: evaluating itemized surveys, evaluations and assessment, utilizing a statistical formula to gauge the retention programs, and HR will track the turn-over and satisfaction measurements to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed Long-Term Retention Plan. The measuring tools will be formulated on the company’s intranet, which includes an automated formulation of data. Tracking and measuring tools needed for assessment and evaluation of the program will include the following, which will yield essential data:

· Semi-annual employee satisfaction survey.

· Quarterly management assessment to evaluate employee morale, workplace culture, and wellness.

· Semi-annual evaluation of remote and condensed work week’s program effectiveness, performance, productivity.

· Random evaluation of mentorship programs for efficiency and effectiveness by employees and mentors.

· Annual survey on social events likeness and feedback for other social events.

Possible challenges to implementing new on-boarding program & long-term retention plan:

The below are the foreseen main challenges to implement a new on-boarding and retention programs are costs, resources, and time:

· The creation of surveys and evaluations will allocate much of the available resources, cost, and time.

· The automated quantification of the intranet surveys and evaluation.

· Validation of online surveys and evaluations by phycologist and legal department.

· Management abilities to properly engage employees.

· High amount of surveys and evaluations being performed by employees and management might have an adverse impact.

Recap of on-boarding program & long-term retention plan:

The reasoning for the on-boarding and retention programs appearing as informal is to save time for work duties and give the new hire the freedom from control with the intent to show the new hire they are in control of their own future. The on-boarding and retention programs are random and informal in many ways, but the reviews and surveys are structured and measurable. Such an on-boarding program can easily fail because of poor managers; for the proposed on-boarding and retention programs to work, a good manager should approach their subordinates with the attitude of ‘I will train you for my job’. It is important to train the managers on effective engagement. An effective on-boarding and retention programs can create a work climate with positive vibes and good chemistry. An effective on-boarding and retention program can give even an entry-level associate a sense of importance and belonging just by personalizing their cultivation within the organization. It is not only important to treat associates right and pay them what they are worth, but their experience in the on-boarding process is just as important.


Klein, et al. (2015). Specific Onboarding Practices for Socialization of New Employees, 23(3). International Journal of Selection and Assessment.

Lubin, D. (2011, February 9). Best Practices for Employee Engagement Begins with On- boarding. Retrievefrom on-boarding-6-best-practices

Mello, Jeffery A. (2015). Strategic Human Resource Management. Stamford, CT. Cengage Learning.

Savitt, M. (2011, July 8). Effective On-boarding Leads to an Engaged Workforce. Retrieve from

SHRM Learning System: For SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP, People. (2017). Alexandria, VA. Society

for Human Resource Management.

Waseem D. Ezzie

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Waseem D. Ezzie

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MBA Student @ the University of Houston Downtown with a concentration in Human Resource.

Waseem D. Ezzie

Work Sample Portfolio

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