The psychology of onboarding: Part 1

 

The psychology of onboarding: Part 1

 

 

 

 

Suddenly, you are there: in front of the entrance door of your new workplace. Perhaps it's the first time you fully realize you are about to enter a whole new landscape of people, ways and manners. Maybe it's also the first time you're standing as the new girl in the class and feel that you don’t really belong here. Yet. Or maybe all of this already hit you earlier - when you signed the contract. Or when you said goodbye to your old colleagues and closed the door for the last time and realized that you don’t belong there anymore. Perhaps you will go through the first day waiting for the feeling of being a stranger to go away. Maybe that will happen if someone invites you to lunch. Or when you get your business card. Perhaps you hope that the feeling of belonging will come true during the afternoon, with the handout of the staff manual and the two-hour introductory course for the intranet?  Maybe you will notice it a little on your way home and when you tell your family or friends about the first day at the dinner table? Maybe...

 

 

 

 

Is onboarding good business?

Onboarding is a term that denotes the process a person goes through when starting a new job. The term is also called organisational socialization, the introductory program, the culture process, etc.

Onboarding is not a new concept, and of course no new phenomenon at all. All organisations onboard all the time. What's new, however, is the increasing attention that the process is getting today. Onboarding is slowly reaching a level of professionalism in line with disciplines such as recruitment, engagement, performance management, etc. In many ways, onboarding is the missing piece in the employee ecosystem.

The new attention is primarily driven by the business advantages. Is it good business? The answer is an undisputable Yes. Companies investing in onboarding have better retention (Ganzel, 1998), shorter time to performance (Lombardi, 2011) and higher employee engagement (Maier & Brunstein, 2001; Meyer & Allen, 1988).

In spite of this attention and the obvious arguments for investing in onboarding, there are still relatively few structured approaches to help us understand what is really important in the onboarding process. What does the experience of being ‘onboarded’ look like and feel like, and what contributes to a good onboarding experience? What is the psychology of onboarding?

 

 

 

 

The importance of psychology in onboarding

Onboarding is above all a psychological process This means that it is dependent on the individual and collective experience of starting in a new job.  And that it is an emotional as much as it is a rational process. For organisations, it also means that onboarding is not something you can communicate your way through. It is a process that must be led and facilitated. Successful onboarding cannot be secured through an orientation programme. It must be tackled as a broader phenomenon.

 So many aspects of psychology are present in onboarding, and many different theoretical perspectives help us to understand what potentially is happening in the process and what potentially will support it. For example, narrative psychology shows how our self-telling guides our search for meaning in the story of work and organisation (Bruner, 1990; Crossley, 2000). Social psychology and the constructivist approach illuminate how our entry into groups, and our ‘practice fellows’, affect what opportunities we experience as new employees.  Developmental and pedagogical psychology both contribute to our understanding of how performance and competence development can generate both energy and momentum – or stagnation and illegitimacy - depending on how we introduce our learning environment and culture (Berk & Winsler, 1990).

By strengthening our grasp of onboarding psychology, we can really help organisations get more out of their hard-won talent and - in the process - help many people have a better experience when starting in new jobs.

 

 

 

 

Onboarding is a process of transition

The key idea that this article would like to promote is the importance of respecting onboarding as a transition, that is, a change process that is not just something the new employee has to "do". This process both affects, shapes and challenges the employee.  It’s not just an innocent introductory phase, but a real change, which the workplace must actively lead the employee through.

Here the concept of 'transitional scripts' from religious science has a surprisingly strong explanatory power for the transition involved in onboarding. Transitional scripts are related to changes in social status and the process of moving from one state to another. They are used especially when a person's role changes or when she enters a new stage of life. Transition scripts typically have three phases:

The separation phase where the person is removed from her normal position and placed in a special, ‘holy’ state separated from the normal world. For example, marked by a physical removal from the normal residence, a special decor or by removing status symbols.

The liminal phase where the old identity dies, and the person is in a non-state where she is neither the one nor the other. In many cultures, this phase is perceived as particularly critical, as the person is now very exposed through having lost her old identity.

The incorporation phase where the person returns to the normal world, the sacred and emotional state has ended, and she now possesses a new identity and social status. The dangerous liminal phase is now complete, and life can begin again (Gennep, 1909).

The parallels to the onboarding process are easy to spot: The new employee goes through a transition process which will change her. It is imperative that organisations do not consider onboarding merely as a program that can be implemented, and which is defined only by time and activities. It affects, shapes and challenges the new employee on a personal level, and she can only get through it if she throws out old behaviours and takes on new behaviours, new understandings and new feelings. And this transition needs more help than just communication.

Thus, it is not enough just to present the ‘culture’.  You need to make sure that the employee understands the culture and relies on it. Networking is not just something that can be designated or made available.  You may need to help the employee, by facilitating and intervening in their networking activity. Goals should not only be clear, you need to ensure that they are seen as meaningful and achievable. The organisation must manage and track the transition. Not only to see that the onboarding program is carried out, but also to make sure it has the right effects.

 

 

 

 

How the transition can go ‘off the rails’

 

There are many ways that things can go wrong when we onboard people. Here are three very different examples from our work with clients in Denmark.

1. Hanne: ”I never really let go of my old workplace”

Hanne was a skilled R&D project manager who had been recruited for a very exciting position. According to her own account, it was a dream job, with more responsibility and a higher salary. Unfortunately, her first working day was delayed by one week, just before she was supposed to start. Ironically, the start day was moved because the new employer wanted to ensure a good onboarding programme, and the person who was the primary resource for this had suddenly to be elsewhere in the planned start week. Hanne had quit her old job, but during the week when her start had been postponed, her old company reached out to her with an attractive offer to stay. They also matched the salary of the new job. Hanne chose to stay in the old job.  As she explained it, she felt she "was not really done with that place". Two months later, Hanne was a jobseeker again. In the end, it was too difficult to restore the relationship with the old workplace.

In most cases, when an employee signs the contract with her new workplace, she has given up her affiliation to another workplace where she used to belong. She has left what she knows and taken the step into the transition. Excited, but also counting on us to help her through. As a transitional script, the beginning of something new represents the ending of something else. If the onboarding is not successful, the employee is left without belonging anywhere. Or like Hanne in the above example, choosing to quit the transition to search back to the familiar.

2. Henrik: ”Somehow, I just kept being that new guy”

Amongst the Sioux Indians, young warriors, as part of their transition to adulthood, were hung up under the roof of the tipi with hooks in the breast muscles until they got a vision of what they would be when they became adults. In a particular Buddhist culture, the children are ritually carried by their hands and feet to signify respect for how fragile they are. Not touching the ground.

The point is not that we should expose our new employee to extreme pain or carry him so that he does not touch the ground. But the critical part of the transition is ensuring that the new start is not caught in the ‘border country’:  half onboard, half off board. When you're a pupa, you cannot become half a butterfly. But what are you? If the onboarding program stops for some reason, or because there are no more activities and milestones attached to it, that does not necessarily mean that the transition is complete, even though new employees may well stay there for a long time. That was what happened to Henrik.

Henrik was a supply chain leader, whom I personally coached for a year. He was hired into a management team in a large Danish food business. He had been headhunted because he had a different profile than the rest of the team:  an academic background, MBA, experience working abroad and generally highly specialized in his field. In addition, he had a high level of intelligence and impressive analytical sharpness. The other management team members had grown up in the organisation. None of them had any executive education other than what they had received through the company. But they had performed amazingly well and driven the company to a whole new level.

They had brought Henrik in to add something new. I met him two and a half years after his entry into the position.  He was very frustrated, yet at the start of our collaboration he had incredible difficulty putting his finger on what he was frustrated about. He had the necessary space and freedom. He actually performed really well. He had made some brave decisions and had not experienced criticism from colleagues on the management team. But he was not backed up either. After a while, we were able to articulate what he was feeling; that even though he performed well, he somehow kept being the new and different one. Henrik went back and challenged his boss with this observation. His boss confirmed that the management team generally had the experience that although they were very impressed with Henrik, they did not quite think he was one of them. Somewhere they still had him on trial. The boss also confirmed that it had taken other managers further down the organisation at least five years to really be considered ‘one of us’. We stopped the coaching. Henrik gave it a year more. Then he left the company.

3. Annika: ”I never got over the experience”

Respecting onboarding as a transition also means taking seriously how it affects people when they start in a job and the onboarding process is not successful. It can truly hurt people when they start out at a high altitude but then land flat on their stomach.

Annika was 50-years-old when she was hired to manage the administrative systems in a small start-up business. The company had grown rapidly in the last six months and had difficulty managing this growth. There were many administrative systems, and they did not 'talk' together, so the challenge was to manage many processes simultaneously and keep all the balls in the air. This was Annika's competence and experience from her previous job in a publishing company.

She was really happy to be recruited to the new job, and with her new employer. It was agreed that Annika should start by picking up a lot of knowledge about the existing systems from her colleagues. But then something really bad happened. The colleagues had been under massive pressure and had to postpone important projects. So, when Annika needed their help to draw on their knowledge, there was no one to support her. They were all trying to catch up on their postponed work. Unfortunately, Annika was not good at asking for help, so she just threw herself into the task, and tried to master it all on her own. She was in the job for half a month. Then she was sick for more than a year. Today, she reflects that she never really got over the experience.

 

 

 

 

How can we build the sense of belonging?

 

In a large Indian consultancy firm, the choice of words used in the onboarding program describes this all-important psychological movement in the transition very poetically. As an overall title the introductory parts of the program are called "I begin". The closing parts are called "I belong".  This describes the movement from entering the journey until you feel that you have arrived. It is a very neat characterization of how onboarding is all about emotions. Being onboarded is about the growth of a sense of belonging. This is no simple feeling, and it is a difficult practice to induce it, but as an organisation you can do a lot to create a ground for the feeling of belonging if you structure and design onboarding properly.

There has not yet been a thorough study of all the different emotional experiences that determine whether onboarding is successful. But studies point to some key emotions (Bauer, 2014). There is the feeling of understanding and matching the organisation's culture. The feeling of knowing someone. The feeling of being able to do your job correctly. The feeling of being able to navigate safely around the organisation without making too many mistakes. The feeling of contributing to teamwork and collaboration. The feeling of performing and contributing to the organisation.

The new employee in the transition moves in a complex landscape of emotions. This is clear from our work reviewing the existing research, conducting our own research and our practical experience of working with organisations and individuals to improve their experience of onboarding.  Part of the complexity of this landscape is because some of the feelings that arise almost contradict each other.

In the process of investigating the psychology and identifying the emotions involved in onboarding, we have mapped the field into three overall tracks. Our aim has been to establish a starting point for a more systematic approach.  These are tracks which every new employee moves through - no matter what the onboarding program looks like. The challenge is how she gets through the tracks.

The first track we call forming. A new employee must be integrated into the organisation's culture and the culture must accommodate the employee. It is both a cultural forming process in which things like the organisation's vision, mission and values are internalized, and a shaping process that involves managing the employee's behaviour with rules and procedures.

The second track we call connecting. A new employee must be connected to others. It is an ‘official’ relationship-making process in which the employee must be linked in to the official networks. It is also a personal relational process where she must find her new 'friends'. And it's a process where collaboration, both in local relationships and the relationships that go across and out of the house, plays a big part.

The third track is the track of unfolding. A new employee must find ways to use her skills and deliver value to the organisation. It is an unfolding of the employee's independence and competencies, based on the organisation's success criteria and ways of working. It is also an unfolding and development of her potential through the challenges and demands of performance set by the organisation.

We have linked our division of these three tracks to Daniel H. Pinks motivation theory (Pink, 2009). Pink points out that the road to high performance and satisfaction in the modern world goes through a deep and fundamental human need to: a) contribute to the world we live in; b) be able to control our own lives; and c) be able to learn and improve ourselves. His theory gives clues as to where each of the three tracks should end and how onboarding designers could steer the process more effectively.

 

 

 

 

Track 1: Forming, with culture and rules

 

People seek meaning, says Daniel H. Pink. We have a basic need to tell a coherent and meaningful story about ourselves and our lives. We are concerned about whether we can see ourselves in that story, and whether it's a true and good story.  This means we are looking for meaning in the things we are asked to do. We also need ongoing feedback to provide this sense. With new generations entering the workplace who are accustomed to responding – and being responded to -- quickly in many other contexts, the requirement for speed in this feedback has grown. In addition, people are increasingly looking for a ‘bigger’ meaning. They need to feel they are part of something that extends beyond themselves and contributes in the world - in a good and true way. If the new employee fails in finding his own story and finding his place in the organisation's story, a basic human need is not being covered. As the employee goes through the forming track, 'meaning' or the sense of meaningfulness is therefore a good coordinate to look after. There are two dimensions of the forming track: culture and rules.

Culture is a problematic concept to define, and elements of the other two onboard tracks (connecting and unfolding), you can certainly also see as part of the organisation's culture.  But in the forming track we try to draw on the parts of the culture which relate to the organisation's cultural narrative, its values organisation and its formal and informal norms. There are a lot of emotional experiences that an organisation can choose to support, and it is one of the key onboarding design exercises to find out what your main onboarding ambitions are. The table below summarizes some of the most important emotional experiences that are all potentially present in an organisation's culture, and the resources one can choose to invest in to deliver them.

Emotional experience

Onboarding focus

Onboarding resources

”I feel that I am part of something bigger”

Focus on the meaningful and coherent story about the organisation’s culture.

The story about the culture.

The story of the past, the present and the future.

Strong and credible storytellers

”I feel welcome and awaited”

Focus on readiness, ’the good host’ and honouring the new employee’s arrival.

Administration of onboarding activities, checklists and roles.

The ‘welcome’ flowers on the table, breakfast, etc.

Onboarding swag (cool stuff with logos and the like)

”I fit in”

Focus on making the written and unwritten rules of the culture visible

The story of the values.

Knowing and legitimizing the unwritten rules.

 Spaces for dialogue to explore and understand the culture

 

 

Rules and requirements for regulatory compliance are a very direct way of regulating behaviour, and thus also constitute a fairly large part of what an organisation uses to ‘form’ its new employees (Herrero, 2010). Rules are in many ways also culture. But rules need special attention, because using them in a clumsy manner can undermine all three of Pink’s basic motivational factors. They often take up a lot of energy and space in many organisations, and there is often a tendency to make the rules the first and perhaps primary focus of the onboarding program. That priority rarely does anything good for the onboarding experience, however. The table below summarizes the potentials and resources in the rule dimension.

Emotional experience

Onboarding focus

Onboarding resources

”I can do things right”

Focus on understanding and preventing the new employee from making mistakes

Flexible and available learning resources.

Flexible ’on-the-job-training’ practices and mindsets amongst the staff.

Knowing areas of potential failure and risks.

”I can vouch for this”

Focus on creating meaningful, well-justified and transparent rules and processes

Knowing and prioritizing the most important rules and processes.

Visual and verbal pedagogical presentations of systems, rules and processes

”I don’t really think about it anymore”

Focus on practicing and integrating rules and processes

Flexible and ad-hoc training and competence development programs available.

Executing and consistent leadership resources

 

 

 

 

Track 2: Connecting, via networking and collaboration

 

Annelise is a lawyer and has created an express career for herself in a large law firm. Two years ago, she decided to switch to a larger, more traditional and prestigious organisation. When Annelise went for lunch at the canteen on her first working day, she sat down, by mistake, at the partner table, where senior lawyers do not belong. You can imagine the silence as everyone in the room waited for what would happen next. Annelise is a gifted and sensitive woman, so when the first partner sat down at the table, she quickly and quietly went back to her office desk with her food. But the damage was done. Everyone had seen it, and she knew it. The next day, of course, she did not make the same mistake. She sat down at another table. But this time she ended up at the assistants’ table, where she did not belong either. Again, there was a complete silence in the canteen. Had Annelise not been so good at catching signals, she might never have discovered that she had made a second mistake. But she is, and she finished her first two working days with feelings of being wrong, and not belonging anywhere.  

Talking to Annelise six months later, she told a story about an organisation that had generally been really hard to start in. A workplace with a very competitive culture and many sharp elbows. Annelise's rescue came when she and a colleague, Gitte, discovered they shared an interest in dogs. The two became friends in private. Had it not been for Gitte, Annelise would have looked for another job.

According to Pink, the second key to human motivation lies in an experience of autonomy. Human engagement is higher when people are allowed to do what they want to do, in the way they want to do it, with those they want to do it with. In the organisation's goal-oriented reality, one can rarely give full autonomy, but surprisingly, you can go very far to support people's experience and sense of influencing their own life in the organisation. Perhaps paradoxically, one of the most important things you can do is to connect employees with each other. Having the right connections is a basic condition for being able to find one’s way around the organisation, both professionally and socially. There are two dimensions to the connection track: networking and collaboration.

Networks: Access to most of the connection track’s resources lies in understanding how to access the organisation's different networks. It is a complex landscape of both formal and informal structures, some of which are easy, and others almost impossible, to become part of. A complete overview of all connections and how they are created is hard to create, and resource-intensive to maintain. Nevertheless, there is much to be gained by getting smarter in this respect. An organisation's network can be divided into four different levels (Stamps & Lipnack, 2007).

Organisational networks

Work networks

Knowledge based networks

Social networks

The formal network of titles, organisation charts, etc. Ideally, power and communication flows through these well-defined tubes and deploys according to the wishes and designs of top-management. These structures and hierarchies are visible and are a ’need-to-know’ for the new employee.

A similar formal network arises based on practical cooperation around projects and operations. Both internally in teams, across teams and the organisation. The work network can also be made relatively transparent, but most of us do not have the same overview as we have over the organisational network. There are gains hidden in mapping some of the most important parts.

Our employees have a wealth of knowledge and interests that they can, and usually like to, share with others. The knowledge-based network can promote creativity and problem solving. But it can be hard to get an overview of who knows what, and where and how to access this. Knowledge is not always linked to the tasks that a particular colleague is formally responsible for.

The personal relationships that arise in organisations are primarily private. But they also arise as communities that others can be invited into, even outside the context of work. Social networks can be an easy shortcut to creating bases of safety and commitment, and as an organisation, you should not be afraid to invite people to create communities about things other than work. It will only increase employee engagement.

Transparent networks

Non-transparent networks

 

 

The table below indicates some of the emotional potentials that are inherent in an organisation's network.

Emotional experience

Onboarding focus

Onboarding resources

”I know someone”

Focus on involvement, networks, trialogues, reciprocity and on utilizing time

Knowing and visualizing the hierarchical and work networks.

Buddy- or affiliation programs.

Resources that grow the relationship to the direct manager.

A mindset in favour of generally involving employees

”I have a ’hinterland’”

Focus on internal and external networks and on professional identities

Access to networks.

Access to information.

Stakeholder maps

”We bike”

Focus on friendships, small groups, being new and on creating a general openness. Focus on social networks, voluntary activities, minorities and shared interests

Overview over and access to voluntary and social networks on the organisation

 

 

Collaboration is often an onboarding dimension, which is under-prioritized or completely overlooked in many organisations. Collaboration is a special dimension of creating relationships because it has its own dynamics and its own influence on the new employee's transition (Kammeyer-Mueller & Wanberg, 2003).  This is important when you zoom in on the cooperation of the local team and on what onboarding means for the dynamics and well-being of the team. And also, when you zoom out and look at collaboration across the organisation, including onboarding in the light of the organisation's ‘silo-formation’ and overall cohesion. Collaboration is largely outside the control of the new employee and is an area that requires readiness, facilitation and help. At the same time, it is an area where the organisation not only affects onboarding, but onboarding can also be used to influence the organisation. Examples of collaborative experiences that have a positive influence on onboarding are: 

Emotional experience

Onboarding focus

Onboarding resources

”I contribute to the team”

Focus on the processes of the team, revisiting and rebooting the team

Knowing and visualizing the history of the team and its processes.

Facilitating leadership behaviours

”Someone was ready to support me”

Focus on team dynamics, cliques, conflicts and constellations. Focus on readiness to interfere in collaboration challenges and failure to thrive

Knowing socially risky areas and dynamics.

Knowing employee satisfaction and having tools for intervention.

Affiliative and involving leadership behaviours

”We are great – but so are you”

Focus on cross-functional collaboration, silo-bridge-building activities and coherence

Knowing key cross-functional barriers and bridges.

A generally collaboration-focused work culture

 

 

 

 

Track 3: Unfolding, in competencies and performance

 

The level of engagement and performance in an organisation are, in the end, based on the competencies of the employees and the results they can deliver. When organisations recruit, that’s where they start: They have goals to be achieved and they need staff who have the skills to help them do it.  If they do not directly recruit the competencies, they go for a person who has the potential to acquire them. In Daniel H. Pink's world of concepts, there is a connection between the development of competencies and the fact that, as humans, we like to master things. ‘To master’ is something that Pink considers to be a "driver" in humans. Getting better at things is fundamentally satisfactory to us, he argues. That's why we have leisure activities. That’s why we create things. It’s important therefore for the organisation to be aware that people want to learn by themselves to master things; it is not always necessary to push employees through special performance requirements, goals or even more or less hidden threats. The drive for more mastery already exists. The unfolding track deals with the organisation's opportunities for challenging and developing new employees. The track is divided into two dimensions: competencies and performance.

The competencies part of the track deals with how the organisation uses resources to unfold its new employees' knowledge and skills, and how, through tasks and challenges, it can help to create an experience of mastery and competence in those employees.

Emotional experience

Onboarding focus

Onboarding resources

”I can do it”

Focus on self-efficacy and the experience of being a success.

Focus on the tempo in results, patience, trust, acceptance and satisfaction

Knowing how to break down tasks and preparation.

Knowing how to do on-the-job training

 

”I develop”

Focus on the right level of challenges, the right help, and the importance of mistakes, disturbance and time alone

Knowing the new hire’s ‘zone’ of proximal development.

Understanding potential and competence-needs

” I have a long-term perspective”

Focus on early career development and long-term development plans

Career development tools.

Cross-boarding tools.

Dialogue about employee development.

Coaching leadership behaviours

 

Performance  

Performance and competencies are obviously very closely linked together. Performance nevertheless represent an independent dimension because results have the ability to create strong feelings for the new employee: a unique and powerful sense of accomplishing something (Sniechowski, 2014). Results can make employees into heroes within the organisation - and even into international celebrities.  Good performance gives us the experience that we are contributing with the right thing; that our contribution has value, and it is we who created the value by performing well. This part of the unfolding track is about using results to speed up the new employee’s transition.

Emotional experience

Onboarding focus

Onboarding resources

”They are counting on me”

Focus on choosing the right output, avoiding ‘crap tasks’ and giving signals of trust

Mentor-roles.

Processes for setting expectations

”They use my knowledge”

Focus on activating new knowledge and on connecting the dots

Knowing role-definitions and needs.

A mindset generally appreciative of employees

”They know what they want”

Focus on expectations and onboarding goals

A good grasp of performance management.

Feedback-oriented employee and leadership culture

 

 

 

 

A model with all the necessary onboarding dimensions

 

Thus, the employee must move through three tracks and six dimensions at the same time - shaped and formed, opened up and connected with others, unfolded as human being and performer. Therefore, it is not a simple exercise to design the transition process. It requires both an overview and attention to detail.

The overall onboarding model reproduced below with the six dimensions has been developed to provide a balanced approach to the organisation's onboarding design.

The Onboarding Model ©

 

Watch a short video about The Onboarding Model

 

 

 

Onboarding in practice

 

In 2015 OnboardingGroup conducted a survey of 250 Danish organisations to establish their 'onboarding readiness' (OnboardingGroup, 2015). One of the things we asked them was where they felt responsibility for onboarding would be best placed in their organisation. The results: 13 per cent believed it should be within the HR function, 35 per cent thought it should be with the line manager and 52 per cent that it should be in both places. Asked where the responsibility actually was located, 24 percent said it was somewhere other than it should be. The conclusion to that part of the investigation was that confusion prevails in organisations as to how onboarding should actually be executed in practice.

This article has been focused on the psychology of onboarding, based on an understanding of what is at stake in the onboarding experience for the new employees, and committed to the purpose of making it a better experience for everyone involved. But this covers only half of the scope of the onboarding function. The second half of the challenge lies in exploring how best to use the onboarding resources of the organisation in the onboarding design and organisation execution.

There are many trends in onboarding today. New onboarding management systems, on-line onboarding portals, gamification of onboarding processes.  It’s important to assess to what extent these approaches take into account the psychological perspective. Everything that strengthens the good and engaging onboarding experience is pointing in the right direction. But ... the risk arises when organisations believe that the key to the good onboarding lies in these tools only, and that an onboarding portal can program them out of the onboarding challenge.

In order for onboarding designs to work, onboarding designers must prepare their organisation to take on the practical tasks in the local environment where the primary part of the operation takes place. This requires structure. And that requires competence development for whoever takes on the task. We will look more closely at all of this in the next article: The Psychology of Onboarding, Part 2.

 

 

 

 

Reference list

Bauer, T.N.: Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success. SHRM Foundation (2014).

Berk, L. og Winsler, A.: “Vygotsky: His life and works” og “Vygotsky’s approach to development”, i: Scaffolding children’s learning: Vygotsky and early childhood learning. National Association for the Education of Young Children (1995).

Bruner, Jerome: Acts of Meaning. Harvard University Press (1990).

Crossley, Michele: Introducing Narrative Psychology: Self, Trauma, and the Construction of Meaning. Buckingham: Open University Press (2000).

Ganzel, R.: ”Putting out the welcome mat”, Training 25-27 (1998).

Herrero, L.: Homo Imitans. Meeting Minds (2010).

Kammeyer-Mueller, J.D. og Wanberg, C.R.: “Unwrapping the organisational entry process: disentangling multiple antecedents and their pathways to adjustment”, Journal of Applied Psychology 88 (2003).

Lombardi, M.: Onboarding 2011. The Path to Productivity, Aberdeen Group (2011).

Maier, G. og Brunstein, J.C.: “The role of personal work goals in newcomers’ job satisfaction and organisational commitment: A longitudinal analysis”, Journal of Applied Psychology 86 (2001)

Meyer, J.P. og Allen, N.J.: “Links between work experiences and organisational commitment during the first year of employment: A longitudinal analysis”, Journal of Occupational Psychology 61 (1988).

Pink, D: Drive, Riverhead Books (2009).

Sniechowski, J.: “The 5 Key Emotions of Success”, Huffington Post (October 28, 2013, last updated January 23, 2014), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-sniechowski-phd/the-5-key-emotions-of-success_b_4103830.html.

Stamps, J. og Lipnack, J.: The Stadium Parable. Mapping the Whole Organisation (2007), http://www.netage.com/networks/parable/Stadium-parable-doc.pdf.

van Gennep, A.: Les Rites de passage. É. Nourry (1909).

Wenger, E., McDermott, R. og Snyder, W.M.: Cultivating communities of practice. Harvard Business School Press (2002).