Training Top 125 Best Practice: Onboarding at ConServe

Onboarding takes the theory learned in the classroom and transfers it into practice on the production floor.

The Organizational Development Team at accounts receivable management solutions provider ConServe developed and implemented in 2016 a new onboarding program that is tied closely to the company’s mentoring and employee orientation program. In 2017, Organizational Development successfully solidified and enhanced the onboarding program.

Program Details

Beginning in September 2016, new hires transitioned from the two-week Orientation Training in the classroom to a two-week Onboarding Team located on the production floor. While the first two weeks in the classroom cover laws, policies, and equipment usage, as well as software, weeks three and four focus on engaging new hires in hands-on development and the actual application of what was learned in the classroom. Included in the curriculum are courses such as system navigations, how to properly handle difficult calls, reading Excel spreadsheets, and understanding payment options. Onboarding takes the theory learned in the classroom and transfers it into practice on the production floor.

In 2017, Organizational Development made some tweaks to the program. The trainers assigned to the Onboarding program for weeks three and four now continuously work with education specialists to ensure a seamless transition from the classroom to the production floor. The education specialist completes an assessment of each new hire. These assessments then are used to identify areas of improvement and to tailor onboarding to each individual’s needs. Throughout weeks three and four, these assessements are used to establish progress before new hires officially graduate to production.

The trainer assesses new hire progress during weeks three and four in the following ways:

1. The Performance Assessment Survey completed by the education specialist at the end of weeks one and two also is completed at the end of weeks three and four by the trainer.

2. The trainer completes a Focus Sheet based on Performance Assessment Surveys identifying areas of improvement for each new hire.

3. Focus Sheets are reviewed one-on-one to identify areas of progress and improvement.

4. At the end of each day, the trainer runs an activity report showing the work completed. The trainer then meets with the entire Onboarding Team to highlight the cohort’s common strengths and weaknesses, inviting dialog with the goal of identifying the root cause of problematic areas.

At the end of week four, all Focus Sheets and Assessments are sent to the production managers so they have an understanding of the progress made by each new employee. This allows the managers to continue to tailor the training to the needs of their newest team members.


ConServe measures the overall results of this program by monitoring the average time to competency. From 2012 to 2015, ConServe saw time to competency improve from 92 days to 69 days. With the new onboarding program implemented over the last year, ConServe saw another significant decrease, across all contracts, with an average of 61 days.

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