Post-Halloween Stories: Onboarding Nightmares

When you remember nightmares you’ve had, what do they have in common? It might be running away from something, falling, failing, or being in a situation where you’re powerless to act. The common denominator is it’s always scary, and you had no control over your situation. Bad onboarding experiences can be similar — employees starting a new job or role might experience no pre-boarding (and have no idea what to expect), have little to no onboarding, or have to deal with some badly put together tutorial, or they might be left to their own devices. At the end of day, the employee has little control over the experience.

 

We thought immediately after the scariest night of the year would be the perfect time to recount some onboarding horror stories. Brace yourself, these are real.

 

The no-boarding onboarding (with the mentor who doesn’t mentor)

“When I joined my previous company, I sat down in the office with the CEO, and I was handed a laptop and a job description. And was pretty much told to get started — no agenda, no training materials. Zilch. My colleague (whose position I was taking over) was to be my guide and mentor, but she had so many bad feelings about the company that she wasn’t invested in getting me up to speed. In fact, she mostly ignored me. So I tried to think of as many questions to ask as I could in the two weeks I was in the office with her. It was like squeezing blood from a stone. I was so lost about what I should do and what I needed to learn. I received no guidance. It was a horrible experience.”

 

I got the job — or did I?

“After I accepted my job offer via email, I didn’t hear anything from anyone for 14 days. I followed up with HR and they couldn’t remember who I was or when I was supposed to start. I immediately started looking for a new job.”

 

Onboarding that’s just orientation

“I was pretty excited about my new role. I’d been transferred within my company to a new location for a new role. Everyone greeted me on the first day, and I was taken through some basics with my manager and senior colleagues. I felt like we were off to a really good start. Training was in person to that point, but by day two, it was made clear that no one had any time for me. It was a real letdown and I regretted my decision to change roles.”

 

When you don’t have the tools you need

“Due to bureaucracy and red tape, I didn’t have access to all of the systems I needed to perform my job for two entire months! I was livid — and bored!”

 

Completely clueless

“When I arrived, my manager told me to visit HR and get my benefits paperwork. They didn’t have my name on file and I was given a bunch of stuff to fill out over a matter of weeks. When I asked for help understanding the benefits package on offer, they seemed annoyed by my questions. I wasn’t able to get help from my colleagues, either. I don’t understand why a company would offer a benefits package and then not figure out a way to communicate that to new employees. It took me weeks to find and fill out all the forms correctly in the end.”

 

Make Sure Your Onboarding Isn’t Scary

The first 90 days are a make-or-break time for new employees and those experiencing internal mobility, with 28 percent quitting in the first 90 days. The ideal onboarding experience relieves employee stress, makes them feel comfortable, engages employees, and assures them that they’ve made the right career move. And that’s as far from nightmarish as it gets.

Make sure your onboarding isn’t the stuff of nightmares — contact Click Boarding today.

Kathy Moening

Written by Kathy Moening

Kathy is a marketing manager at Click Boarding and directly responsible for brand, web, events and communications. She helps drive company growth through integrated sales and marketing programs that boost brand awareness and generate revenue opportunities.



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