First impressions are crucial, and so is the onboarding process. The way you welcome a new employee will set expectations for the rest of their experience, and good onboarding leads to better performance, job satisfaction, and lower turnover.
Set your employees up for success with a great onboarding program. In this article, we’ll go through a strategy for improving your onboarding, crucial elements of any onboarding process, and ideas for inspiration.
Upgrade your Onboarding Process
Good onboarding is not one size fits all. Your onboarding will be more successful if it is tailored to your company culture and values, as well as the particular position. To get there, start by identifying your onboarding goals.
What are your company values and how can you share and instill them in the onboarding process? If one of your company values is transparency within the structure, you will want to demonstrate that with clear information. To instill values, don’t just tell your employee what the values are, but engage with them during the onboarding process.
What do you want your new hire to experience? You’ll want your employee to feel welcome, and to give them the tools they need to get started in their position. Consider the other first impressions you want to make.
How will you demonstrate your company culture? It’s very important to set the tone during onboarding. This is the perfect time to explain and demonstrate key components to your company culture, which will prime your employee to fit in and promote the culture.
What are the particular needs for this position? While it’s great to give your employee a sense of the company as a whole, any onboarding would be remiss to not include details about the department and position. Make sure that the employee understands their duties, and has the tools and skill development to succeed.
What is the time-frame for your onboarding process? Onboarding can be a one to three-day orientation, spread out over a week, or even be months long. Everything doesn’t have to happen on the first day. Set goals for the first day, week, and month, and schedule time for check-ins.
What experiences do you want to avoid for your recruit? Maybe you’ve had a bad onboarding experience, or can speak with others about what doesn’t work. First and foremost, you don’t want a new hire to be sitting at their desk unsure of how to get started, to not have access to the tools they need.
These specific goals will be your roadmap as you design the onboarding process. Refer back to your goals with each element of onboarding, and use them as a metric when gathering feedback.
Check out what other companies are doing for new and engaging ideas.
It’s so important for a new hire to feel welcome at the job. A simple card at their desk can be nice, but some companies also give small gifts or treats. Welcoming is also about making connections with coworkers. Make sure coworkers know about the new hire and can take a moment to introduce themselves. Or make a bingo lunch card to encourage the new employee to meet multiple people.
Make them feel a part of a team. Set aside time for a team welcome, team-building exercises, a fun activity, or special lunch. Have the new employee create a bio of themselves to distribute to everyone on the team. Help everyone get to know each other by asking interesting questions, and publishing answers on an internal blog.
Assign your new employee a mentor for the first month, who will be their go-to person for questions that come up, and guidance at the workplace. Or, have a less formal check-in person.
With a relocated hire, give them coupons for local restaurants and attractions, and recommendations for great things to do in the area.
Have each department give a short presentation, which will show how the cogs of your company fit together. Consider an overview of your company history or values, such as a video welcome and introduction.
Lastly, be sure to have a way to gather feedback about your onboarding process. The best way to improve is with direct feedback, which will also help you determine if you are hitting your goals.
It’s not too late to make a great first impression with new hires. Identify your goals and take a good hard look at your current onboarding process for ways to improve.