What makes a good staff onboarding program?

I have been working on defining an improved process for getting new designers off and running at Salesforce. This morning one of those magical overnight syntheses happened, and three of the key success factors were swimming around in my brain. I started to see an acronym forming, but it didn't quite capture the most important aspect I had found from interviews - a good onboarding experience must be personalized. So if I added the P...was there an S to round this out? Something I'd missed? YES there was! So here's how it all came together. A great staff onboarding program should have SPICE:

S uccess-oriented. Help new people understand what outcomes to aim for.
P ersonalized. Connect the dots for this particular role and this particular person.
I nspiring. Enthusiastically and optimistically help people understand why this opportunity matters.
C onnecting. The human connections people make early will help more than any list of things to do.
E mpowering. Giving people the resources they need to succeed makes roadblocks disappear.

So many onboarding checklists focus on the nuts and bolts - how to file tickets, how to pick your benefits - and those are important. But they don't go far enough. My hope is that these principles will help inspire something beyond getting the details out of the way. People are smart. We just need to give them what they need to succeed and then get out of the way.

Go forth and make great things, people!

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