Onboarding: 6 Tips for Team Integration

Recruiting and hiring is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s job market with unemployment being so low. So when you finally find that perfect fit to welcome into your team, the absolute worst thing you can do is have no onboarding plan for them.

Onboarding isn’t just having a computer ready for the individual on their first day though. And it’s not just giving them a copy of the employee handbook and sending them on their way. Onboarding is about having an organized process in place to integrate that new employee with the rest of your team.

It is often extremely nerve-wracking to start a new job. There’s a lot of unknown people, processes, and procedures. If you don’t help the new employee get adjusted to all the new things being thrown at them, you’re already setting them up for failure. Or at the very least, setting them up for a much harder transition than necessary.

But what exactly does an organized onboarding process look like? Here at Bridge, we are constantly growing and adding to our team, so here’s 6 things we’ve found that have helped new hires make that transition:


1. Pre-Start Date Information

One of the absolute easiest things to do is send some information to your new hires before their start date. Just a simple email with what to expect doesn’t take very long to send but can ensure that everyone is on the same page. Including information on what time to be there, when lunch will be, what to wear, and the schedule for the first day is an easy way to calm some of the new hire’s nerves. Sending out employee paperwork for them to get a head start on also saves time during their first week to instead focus on more important items.

Informing the rest of the team that a new hire will be coming on board also can’t be overlooked. There’s nothing worse than an individual showing up their first day with no one aware except for the hiring manager. Give the team some information on the new hire’s background so they have some things to ask them about.


2. Dedicated Trainer

Having an individual dedicated to onboarding and training new employees is maybe the most important part of the onboarding process. This is especially important if there is a lot of new information to learn. Here at Bridge, we work in an industry that not many people are familiar with. Most of our new hires have no prior experience in logistics. There is a lot to learn, which is why we have individuals dedicated to training in our operations and sales departments. Giving that new hire a single point of contact and someone they can turn to with all of the questions that come up is vital.


3. Individualized Approach

Everyone learns differently – and at a different pace. Having a formal onboarding and training schedule is important so that all new hires are learning what is necessary for their role, but maintaining flexibility is just as crucial. What is confusing to one person may be a breeze to someone else, so being able to slow down and speed up depending on the individual will help that new hire get the best possible training.


4. Playbook

Developing a guide for new hires to refer to allows them to learn at their own pace. We refer to ours as a playbook – a document detailing everything that individual needs to know. It includes helpful tips and step-by-step guides (often with pictures) to show them how to handle certain situations. It’s basically an always accessible guide for when a new hire doesn’t remember how to do something or isn’t sure how to react in that scenario. It gives them the tools to be able to solve their own problems without always having to ask someone else.


5. Career Path Outline

Starting a new job can be scary, but it’s also really exciting. The individual is taking the first step to a new career, but sometimes it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all of the initial training. That’s why it’s really important that the new hire keeps an eye on the bigger picture. Introducing them to people who are in the same role as them, but who have some experience under their belt, helps them to visualize what life looks like for them down the road. Outlining for them on their first day what it takes to be successful in their role, what the typical timeline for advancement is, and what they can expect their job to be a year from now motivates them to get there. No one wants to be doing the exact same job forever, so showing them what their career path can look like within the company as early as possible can help increase retention.


6. After-Work Event

At the end of the day, people are starting new jobs to advance their career and do meaningful work. You want to set them up for success by providing them with information and individualized on-the-job training. But you can’t overlook the importance of developing relationships within the office. According to a Gallup poll, people with a best friend at work are 7 times more likely to engage fully in their work. That’s a huge increase in employee engagement, just by promoting friendships in the office. Giving employees time outside of work to get to know each other over happy hours or corporate events is an easy way to encourage more office friendships. Planning an after-work event shortly after a new hire joins the team can also help them to feel more like a member of the team and less like the new person in the office.

Onboarding is about getting a new hire up to speed on the role, but just as important is making sure they feel supported and encouraged in their new job. Setting expectations, giving them a single point of contact, customizing their training experience, providing them with tangible resources, outlining their career path, and promoting work friendships are just a few of the ways we onboard new employees into our company.

By Allison Walke, Talent Acquisition & Onboarding

Salespeople Are _____.

Salespeople are _______.

If you ask just about anyone to fill in the blank on the above sentence, you’re most likely going to get answers like: Pushy. Sleazy. Annoying. Dishonest. Greedy.

Even a search on Google predicts words like: The worst. Bad sources of information. Liars.

The media portrays salespeople as being this way. Jordan Belfort lied and cheated his way to the top in Wolf of Wall Street. The company J.T. Marlin was founded on greed in Boiler Room. Movies and TV shows depict over and over the average salesperson as being deceitful.

But all of this is just a stereotype. An inaccurate representation of an entire industry.

As a sales organization, we have to fight these stereotypes every single day. Prospective clients don’t necessarily want another “sales call”. Prospective employees don’t necessarily want their job title to be “salesperson”. Because the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word sales is all of the negative portrayals.

These misconceptions are just that though: misconceptions.

Good salespeople are simply passionate about their product or service. They know that not every person is going to be a potential customer, and if they find out their offering doesn’t make sense for you, they’ll stop calling. They understand that at the end of the day, sales is about making the customer walk away happy. They know they won’t be able to have repeat sales if the initial one is built on lies.

If all salespeople were lying, pushy, annoying individuals, no one would buy a car or house and leave feeling excited about it. No one would be satisfied purchasing a wedding dress. And no one would ever answer a sales call.

But people are satisfied with help from a salesperson more often than not. We just don’t always see that in the media.

At Bridge, we know that the sale means nothing if we can’t follow through and deliver the service that we are providing. If we can’t find trucks for our shipments and communicate along the way, no one is going to continue doing business with us. There’s no point in being dishonest or greedy because we’d rather have our service speak for itself.

The stereotypes surrounding salespeople will probably prevail, but we’ll be fighting those myths everyday through honest communication and genuine relationships.

By Allison Walke, Talent Acquisition & Onboarding

3PL. 3P….What?


“We’re Bridge Logistics, a family owned 3PL based in Cincinnati.”

The sentence above is one we use a lot around here as a short way to describe our company. When we tell people though that we are a 3PL, sometimes we’re met with a lot of blank stares. After all, really only people in our industry know that 3PL stands for Third Party Logistics.

3PL = 3rd Party Logistics


But just stating what 3PL stands for doesn’t guarantee that whoever you’re talking to is going to know what that actually means. According to Dictionary.com, logistics is: “the management of materials flow through an organization, from raw materials through to finished goods”. That can mean a lot of different things. The supply chain is huge, and there’s a lot of moving parts to it.

3PLs make up a $166 billion industry. It’s a huge industry that most people never think about or understand.

As a third party logistics company, we are responsible for a piece of the overall supply chain: specifically moving products from one place to another. But still what exactly does that all entail?

Third party logistics companies are actually very similar to Uber. Think about it….Uber doesn’t physically own anything: they don’t own cars, and they don’t control the people moving around. They provide value simply by matching up available cars with people who need to be transported from one location to another.

That’s essentially what a 3PL does….just on a bigger scale. Instead of using a Toyota Corolla to transport three friends to a night out downtown, we happen to be using 53′ semi-trucks to transport 40,000 pounds of pies to be distributed to grocery stores. We don’t own any of our own trucks, and we aren’t manufacturers. We come in to help the manufacturers get their product and materials transported by finding available trucking companies to move the shipment.

3PLs work in a variety of industries. We may be arranging for the transportation of raw material steel to be later used in the manufacturing of cars at one moment, and then filled baby food jars to wind up on store shelves the next moment.


3PLs utilize varying modes of transportation too – whether that be cargo ship, airplane, rail, or truck. It’s our job to figure out the most cost effective and efficient way to get something from point A to point B for that manufacturer.

So at the end of the day, every single product that you use has probably wound up in your hands partly because a 3PL company arranged for its transportation – either during the raw material stage or the actual finished product.

We may play a small piece in the larger supply chain of getting raw materials converted into finished products, but 3PLs play a vital piece in getting all of those materials in the right place at the right time.

By Allison Walke, Talent Acquisition & Onboarding

More Than Just a Ping-Pong Table: The Bridge Logistics Culture

Corporate culture. Probably one of the biggest buzzwords in business these days. A search on Google alone brings back around 4,840,000 results with article after article on cultivating a strong corporate culture and finding the right one for you.

We hear it again and again in interviews and on college campuses. Individuals are using a company’s culture to decide which job opportunity to pursue now more than ever.

But what exactly makes a culture?

Oftentimes, people have a tendency to discuss corporate culture in terms of all the “fun” things that happen around an office. We’re guilty of it ourselves from time to time. Things like…

We host an annual Christmas party at a hotel downtown every year.


We participate in a summer volleyball league.


We have a ping-pong table in the back of our office.


But honestly, at the end of the day, a ping-pong table doesn’t make or break a corporation’s culture. No one goes to work excited in the morning because their company has an epic party once a year in December. And you can join plenty of summer volleyball leagues without even being employed.

Instead, the culture of a company is made of the people who work there. It’s about the values they hold and the things that are important to them….things like building relationships with others, constantly supporting your team, and striving to always be better than you were yesterday. These are reasons to wake up every day excited to go to work.

Here at Bridge, we absolutely like to have a good time and see each other outside of work. But we know that none of those “fun” things carry any weight if we don’t support each other from 8:00-5:00 every day. So to us, culture is things like…..

Veteran employees always being willing to assist our newest team members with any questions they have.


Getting to know every member of our staff on a personal basis – from the ownership level to the newest of hires.


Supporting wins like crushing a sales contest with a flood of congratulatory company-wide emails.


A supportive environment where it’s safe – and even encouraged – to fail, where there are plenty of people around to pick you back up when you fall, is ultimately the culture we’re continually working to cultivate here.

The ping-pong tournaments on Friday afternoons just happen to be a nice perk.

By Allison Walke, Talent Acquisition & Onboarding

Operations Appreciation Day 2017!

We are excited to take a pause today to celebrate our Operations, Administrative, Talent Acquisition and Compliance team members! Bridge is a selling organization and because of this sales often becomes high profile and commands attention as it represents the pathway to growth. However, It is important to recognize the fact that none of it is possible without the hard work and dedication of all of our team members in their respective roles! For Ops Appreciation Day, we’ve collectively decided to go all out with a taco bar from Gomez in OTR!

Logistics can be a tough business and our teams makes it looks easy. We appreciate every member of the Bridge team !!



Jim Campbell



Work Ethic: A Gen X Perspective


It’s easy to push blame on parenting or categorize a whole generation under a negative connotation of entitlement.  But when it comes to doing our jobs, do our parents work for us?  Is an entire generation doing everyone else’s job?   The obvious answer is no. It leaves only one person responsible…you.

When I was young, my dad engrained in me strong work ethic.  You have to work hard for just reward.  He used to say, “If you’re not going to do the job right the first time, don’t bother doing it at all.”  That phrase used to tick me off, and I would begrudgingly finish trimming the bushes, stain a fence, mow the lawn and made sure it got done.  He would then come out and inspect my work.  If it wasn’t on his level, I would hear that phrase which became nails on a chalkboard to me.  What I didn’t realize at the time was his lesson:  work ethic.  It’s not just about doing the job but doing it with a purpose.  To have the ability to take a step back and be proud of the work you’ve accomplished.

Let’s fast forward about 25 years. I recently “finished” putting together a fire pit in my backyard.  I found myself asking that same question:  “Is it done?”  “Am I proud of the work I did?”  I wasn’t, and I have now decided to go back and redo the fire pit. I want to be able to take that step back and honestly answer that question confidently.

In our professional lives, we run the risk of going through the motions without review of our own work.  Let’s ask ourselves the tough questions… “Did I give it my all?”  “Am I proud of the work I’ve done today?”  If your answer is, “no,” then what are you going to do to fix it?  I’d rather be critical of myself before someone I respect has to acknowledge it.  If it gets to that point then I haven’t been honest with myself and have been just going through the paces.

It’s interesting from a Generation X perspective in a millennial-driven climate. For example, I believe work ethic is getting to work on time (meaning 10-15 minutes before the clock strikes) and start looking at the data from the day before so I can provide sound coaching advice for the day ahead. A millennial could be in the exact same role, the exact same company, and come into work 30 minutes late every day.  This makes my blood boil. My first assumption? I think they are lazy and the company is losing easily two and a half hours a week of lost productivity.

A Millennial’s definition of work ethic may be different, but not necessarily wrong.  It’s perspective.  That millennial in the exact same role at the exact same company already reviewed the data the night before on their iPhone. Or maybe that millennial swung by a Starbucks at 7:00am that morning and spent some time looking through the data.  Technically, that means they knew the information before me, yet, I had the opinion they were “lazy” because of my different thought process of work ethic.

Technically, the job gets done.  But here’s the challenge.  These different perspectives must learn to work collaboratively toward that common goal, yet be proud of their own work.

Southern Freight Services


Our ‘Carrier of the Month’ appreciation packet went out for the month of December . Southern Freight Services out of Russellville, TN  was the winner.

Here’s what Maria Elrod, Team Leader at Bridge had to say: “Amanda at Sourthern Freight is a dream to work with! They provide updates throughout tranist; there is no guessing when they’ll deliver, we know! We highly recommend!”

Attire for Hire: How appearance can make or break your interview

1234From the desk of Logan Sand, Talent Acquisition.


30 seconds.

And, that’s about it.

According to Forbes, first impressions are usually formed within the first 30 seconds of meeting an interview candidate. Whether it’s reflective of your ambition, your mindset, your decision making, well, that’s a conversation for another blog. However, being able to physically exude that internal confidence is directly tied to your appearance.

Step back to the 1950’s. Think about Mad Men, for example. Everyone is in a suit, a suit skirt, blouse, and shirt and tie, always dressed to the nines. It was a commonality to dress in a formal suit during the work week. Fast forward to 2016: roughly 9 percent of the workforce continues to maintain the formal dress code. If you know anything about Bridge Logistics, we continue to expand the corporate norm; it’s not uncommon to see our staff in everything from T-shirts and shorts, gym shoes and jeans.  We believe in having a relaxed dress code, and hey – as long as I’m not meeting with clients or candidates – I’m all about wearing a ¼ zip pullover, jeans and Sanuks (it’s kind of my thing).

But I didn’t land at Bridge walking into the office in jeans.

Your professional appearance is a big piece of the interview. You can have a great resume, you can have credentials, awards, and endorsements on LinkedIn, but at the end of the day if you walk in looking like you’ve pulled your clothes out of the hamper, you can be dismissed from the process quickly.


So, you’ve got an interview. What to wear? Here’s my advice.

1. It’s okay to ask. If you’re confused about a company policy and their attire, it’s alright to reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager and simply ask, “What’s the recommended dress code for the interview?”, and they’ll tell you. When I have a candidate ask, I’ll tell them. NOTE: emphasize the dress code for the INTERVIEW, not the company policy. These can potentially be very different.

 2. You can always dress it down, but you can’t dress it up. If you walk into an interview with Jeans, and everyone else has on chinos, slacks, and skirts, you will instantly feel out of place. If you wear a suit, a suit-skirt, it’s easy to adjust formal wear to a business casual environment. Take off the jacket. Remove the tie. Roll up the sleeves.

 3. Dressing nice doesn’t mean expensive. This topic is brought up  when I speak on Q & A panels with college students. The assumption seems to be, “If I buy a suit, I’m going to be strapped for cash”. Remember that a good suit and/or nice professional clothes are an investment in your career. There are great websites our there with reasonably-priced suiting, like Combatant Gentleman, with suits under $200. If the investment is too much right now, ask for clothing for Christmas, Birthdays, Graduation, etc.  At the very least, you might even have a friend that’s close to your size and style who you could borrow the suit, and dry clean it for them. Think creatively when on the hunt for professional attire.

Colors, patterns, textures and fit. This is a big one. A sloppy over-sized suit will instantly make you look messy. If you have a mustard-yellow plaid suit that looks like it came from 1977, you’ll look dated. If you’re wearing a heavy wool suit and interviewing in July, you’ll probably sweat through the suit, and it’s seasonably the wrong choice. You get the idea. When investing for that right professional attire, it’s best to go with a “4-season” material, and timeless colors, such as navy or charcoal.  Fit is always crucial; not too loose, but not too tight. Ladies and Gentleman alike – if your shirt or blouse is 2 sizes too small, you might be giving off the wrong impression.

 5. Appearance also means hygiene. I cannot stress about hygiene enough. You can have a perfect attire, but if you have messy hair, facial hair, ear wax, dry skin, bad breath, body odor… it does not go unnoticed. As ridiculous as this may sound, you would be surprised how many do not focus on hygiene, or can sweat off the deodorant before they shake the first hand. Before you walk into the interview, it never hurts to do an overall check to make sure you look and feel like a million bucks.


As the recruiting season is upon us, and job growth is strong in 2016, I hope these tips help you on your first impression and attire for hire! Best of luck, and dress well!




Logan Sand oversees Talent Acquisition efforts at Bridge Logistics in Cincinnati, OH. If you’re in search to launch your career, have a company build into your success, and work in a vibrant corporate culture, Bridge Logistics may be the right fit for you. See our openings.

Bridge Logistics is continuing to grow, adding 30+ positions in Ohio, doubling in size. Read more about our strategic job growth! >> http://bridgelogisticsinc.com/bridge-logistics-featured-in-cincinnati-business-courier/

One Way Farm – Thank You Notes!

Here at Bridge Logistics, we’re like one big happy family, and in return, we like to come together and give back to our community in a special way. We collaborate with the One Way Farm, in Fairfield, OH. If you haven’t heard about this organization, you need to get in the loop!

The One Way Farm Children’s Home is a non-profit  caring for the abused, abandoned, neglected, troubled youth, and children with disabilities and developmental disabilities in the State of Ohio.


What’s great about the One Way Farm Children’s Home, is that they  provide a secure, warm and loving environment for residents who are abused, abandoned, troubled or neglected, while also meeting their medical, educational, therapeutic, and housing needs. They have children ranging from 6 to 18 years, and to age 21 for the developmentally disabled (via. onewayfarm.org).

We decided to sponsor their children during the holiday season, hoping to give them the Christmas that they deserve. In return, we were given these Thank You notes below! How awesome. A big shout out to our staff went all out on the lists this year!



We were blown away by the Thank You notes! Thank YOU One Way Farm! We’re just happy to be a part of something bigger than Bridge Logistics.


For more information on the One Way Farm Children’s Home, and how to get involved, click here.