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A well-structured onboarding process can keep your employees engaged, improve retention and increase productivity. Onboarding and development are critical programs for new hires. They go hand in hand to launch and position your employees for their role in the company and their career path.

Some managers, however, confuse onboarding and orientation. Orientation is just one part of onboarding. Orientation introduces your new hire to the company and their department, and prepares the new employee to begin working and to be ready for specific job training. It includes filling out necessary paperwork. It’s a one-time event that lasts two to five days and could be done in a classroom or online.

Onboarding, however, provides a broader view of the company, its culture, its mission and its vision. It integrates the new employee into the business and their specific role in their department. An ongoing, on-the-job process that prepares employees to be productive, onboarding should continue for at least 12 months.

Because no two people are alike, the onboarding process needs to be customized for each individual in a specific role. Preparing your new employees not only for an existing job, but for future positions demonstrates your belief in their potential.

Early mentoring and coaching are important for making or breaking the employee on the job and setting a foundation for the employee’s career. Schedule a timeline for supervisory check-ins with your employee throughout the first year. Check-ins could be done at 60-, 90- or 100-day intervals.

Upskilling benefits

Once your new employees are settled into their positions, add to their skillset. Upskilling benefits both your company and your team. Employees can gain additional education or training through an academic degree or certification program. Augmenting knowledge and skills improves employee morale and makes them feel appreciated. Training employees so they have mastered the latest and greatest skillsets makes the company more efficient. As employees build knowledge and skills, their value and importance to the company’s success grows.

Not all employees, however, will want to take advantage of company-sponsored education programs. A Level 1 welder, for example, may be happy doing his job and might not be interested in advancing to a higher level of welding.

I was fortunate to have a mentor early in my career who encouraged me to earn a degree. I took courses at night and obtained a degree, which enabled me to advance in the companies where I worked. Success depends not only on the individual, but on the work environment, too.

Spending time, effort and money on employee development is a win-win. In the community and a competitive marketplace, your investment in employees will be perceived as taking pride in developing the workforce and valuing their professional growth.

Training assessments

Selecting the appropriate training program for your employees requires assessments to determine whether an employee’s competencies meet the standard for their position and which skills to enhance first.  Assessment tools can help with succession planning and may be used after hiring, during performance reviews or when there is a change at the company that might affect employees’ jobs.

Though development can be expensive, companies can start out with local training and certification programs or on-site training. Some examples of training include:

  • Project management
  • Performance management
  • Leadership training
  • Communication
  • Team building.

Human Resource professionals are responsible for ensuring their company has a successful onboarding program and subsequent training and development plans. HR management must work with company leaders and hiring managers to be certain they understand each stage of the process.  They also must identify which departments need to be involved in the onboarding process.

How can you ascertain whether your onboarding program is working or how it could be improved? Ask your employees! You can create employee surveys through email using platforms such as Survey Monkey and MailChimp, or you can ask for feedback from the participants in onboarding. You can find out if employees are happy during performance reviews or exit interviews. Over time, make changes based on the feedback. It all goes back to the importance of communication.

If you would like more information on onboarding, training topics or assessment tools, reach out to Melody Beach Consulting Group at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

Connections Count podcast launched last month! You can listen to our guest episodes on our Facebook business page 

50+ Job Seekers workshops

The 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group’s workshops are free and virtual on Zoom, with some held in person.

The group has returned to in-person events the first and third Tuesdays of the month at the Natick Community-Senior Center in Natick and the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the Worcester Senior Center in Worcester. Registrations for those workshops are limited to the first 20 people who sign up.

Remaining workshops and job fairs this month are:

  • Thursday, May 11, 4 to 7 p.m.: In-person job fair for educators.

PreK-12 educators and support staff are invited to meet representatives from several North Central School Districts to learn about their job opportunities. The job fair is at 9 Oakmont Drive, Ashburnham.

  • Monday, May 15, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: Interview practice with Ed Lawrence.

For good or bad, first impressions matter. When interviewing, you need to put your best foot forward and that takes practice.

  • Do you have an interview coming up?
  • Do you know how to respond to behavioral questions?
  • Do you need suggestions on how to address gaps in employment?

Join us for answers to your questions about interviews and learn how to respond to a variety of questions that may be presented to you in an interview.

Register here.

  • Tuesday, May 16, 2 to 3:30 p.m., in-person, Natick Community-Senior Center, 117 E. Central St., Natick: LinkedIn with Ed Lawrence.

Registration is limited to the first 20 people who sign up.

Register here.

  • Tuesday, May 16, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: MassHire Central Job Fair, DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester.

More than 100 employers from all industries in Central Massachusetts will be featured at the job fair. They’re looking to hire with immediate job openings. Job seekers from all backgrounds are welcome. The event is free of charge.

Pre-registration isn’t required, but you may register in advance for a speedy check-in the day of the event.

Register here.

  • Wednesday, May 17, 2 to 3:30 p.m., in-person, Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence St., Worcester: LinkedIn, led by me.

Registration is limited to the first 20 people who sign up.

Register here.

  • Thursday, May 18, 10 to 11 a.m., Savvy Seeker Series: Minuteman Senior Services: Job Opportunities, with Harriet Goldstein.

For more than 45 years, Minuteman Senior Services has been helping older and disabled adults age with independence and dignity in the setting of their choice, which is most often their own homes and communities. Minuteman has been supporting caregivers, local and long distance, who want to do the right thing for their loved ones and need help and advice as they balance the competing demands of family, work and self.

Join us as Harriet Goldstein, Director of Human Resources, takes us on an exploration of open career opportunities with Minuteman Senior Services.

Register here.

  • Thursday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Spring 2023 Job Fair, 1515 Hancock St., Suite 101, Quincy.

More than 15 employers from multiple industries will be available at the job fair, which is sponsored by MassHire South Shore Career Center.

Call (617) 745-4000 to register.

  • Tuesday, May 23, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: “Cover Letters (Why?)” interactive workshop with Ed Lawrence.

People are divided on cover letters. Do they matter? What makes for a good one? How do I even start?

Join us as we discuss cover letters. We’ll present the cases for and against them, give you suggested styles, and show you several that worked.

Why you need to know about this: The competition for jobs is fierce. A good cover letter can differentiate you from the rest of the applicants and thus improve your chances of being chosen for an interview.

Register here.

  • Wednesday, May 24, 10 to 11 a.m., Savvy Seeker Series: “How to Balance Time, Money and Joy,” with Glenn Frank.

Most decisions throughout life are an implicit tradeoff between time, money, and happiness. What does “retirement” look like for you? The devil is in the details. Will you work part time? How will you spend each day when 40+ hours become available? Are your cash flows well planned and what are reasonable assumptions to use in your calculations? Do you know what will likely drive your happiness?

Join award-winning financial advisor Glenn Frank as he walks you through his approach to define your next steps as discussed in his retirement planning guide, “Your Encore – How to Balance Time, Money, and Joy.”

Register here.

The virtual doors open 15 minutes before each program starts. For questions, email 50+ Job Seekers at 50plusjobseekersadmin@mcoaonline.com.

My contact info

Contact me by downloading my digital business card by texting HRPRO to 21000 or emailing me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.


Melody L. Beach Consulting Group
Proud Member of
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
PARWCC The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches Woman in Business (WIB)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
50+ Job Seekers
Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of Central Massachusetts
Women's Information Network (WIN)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

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