In the Business to Employee (B2E) Marketing landscape, onboarding shouldn’t be a tale of two extremes: the dry, admin-heavy slog or the overly optimistic, pie-in-the-sky orientation. Striking the right balance is key, and missing the mark leads to what I term the “Reality Slump” — that abrupt wake-up call when an employee’s expectations crash into the workplace reality.
The Onboarding Spectrum
On one end, we have the checkbox mentality — a procedural march through forms and handbooks, devoid of human connection or deeper purpose. On the other, there’s the “sell them the dream” approach — grand visions ungrounded in the day-to-day of the job at hand. Both are flavors of “Inaccurate Onboarding,” and both set your new hires up for a fall.
The Fallout of Onboarding Extremes
Whether it’s the disillusionment from a “bait and switch” or the disorientation of bureaucracy, the outcome is damaging:
- It stifles eagerness and squashes innovation.
- It fuels turnover, as disillusioned employees retreat.
- It erodes your employer brand, repelling potential talent.
Your Company’s Antidote
The antidote is a well-crafted onboarding experience that paints an honest picture through B2E Marketing and Storytelling:
- Define your mission, vision, and values — and show how they live in your company. Focus on anecdotes and analogies around Core Behaviors because that resonates more than a list of values.
- Balance the aspirational with the practical; set realistic expectations.
- Align roles and responsibilities with the company’s broader narrative.
- Foster an environment of connectivity and mentorship.
- Embrace feedback — it’s a goldmine for continuous improvement.
Accurate onboarding is the antidote to the “Reality Slump,” providing a truthful, engaging introduction to your company. It’s not just about avoiding pitfalls; it’s about building a launchpad for long-term engagement and success.