Welcome people well – then tell me

Synopsis: a short request for a practical change in language. Easy to make happen. Change ‘onboarding’ to ‘welcome’ then let me know.

In 2017 I wrote that there must be a better name for the process of welcoming someone to an organisation than ‘onboarding‘. Onboarding is a process. A welcome is something you experience. And I think we are possibly overusing using the word ‘experience’ at the moment – but it makes sense here and that is another blog.

I revisited that concept in a tweet last Friday and received this reply

I’ve completely forgotten how to embed tweets, so it says

in Spanish we say: “Plan de Acogida” which will be something like: Welcome Plan or Reception Plan…….!!

I love that because it does what it should do. It expresses a desire to welcome – then you just have to design/plan things congruent with that. I’d therefore like to encourage people reading this to stop using the word ‘onboarding’ and start talking about making people welcome. I’m encouraging you to actually make that change, not as a theoretical thing but as something you do this morning. You don’t get to talk about putting the ‘human back in HR’ or being more ‘user centric’ and keep using jargon.

Have you got their welcome sorted out? Will they feel welcome? If you think about it it touches on inclusion more than onboarding too. Will they feel welcome?

Obviously when I write here it isn’t with my work hat on, so this is encouragement from me, not my organisation.

I’d like – in fact I’d love – to tell our teams here that onboarding is out of touch and so we need to change our materials.

So if you do commit to make the change then drop me a note to say so… The first person has already signed up…



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