An R&D manager at a large consumer electronics firm wanted to improve the time it took to get new hires working at their best. This manager felt that a more comprehensive onboarding program would help new hires gain better and quicker access to the specialized knowledge they needed to excel in their jobs. Yet when our client tried to get his chief technology officer to invest in new hire onboarding, he received an unenthusiastic response. More effective onboarding seemed like an intriguing idea, but it wasn’t worth funding over other priorities and wasn’t clear what the payoff could be.

Few operating leaders today appreciate the full value that effective onboarding can deliver. This is understandable given onboarding’s ...

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