Employee onboarding should be a Culture;
not a process.
The truth is: first impressions are extremely important and they do not just matter to your customers. Employees too, quickly form perceptions of their organisation within their first week and these impressions are incredibly tough to dissipate.
Employee onboarding goes way beyond the typical job orientation and training. When done well, onboarding removes the feeling of uncertainty by helping new employees get integrated with the organisation quickly and boosts their confidence by arming them with the right knowledge to perform their responsibilities.
An onboarding culture is also an invaluable employee retention tool and the catalyst of newfound synergy.
So How Now, Brown Cow?
Set your new team member up for success in 6 steps:
1) Make a welcome announcement to the entire company ahead of time.
Reach out and introduce the new employee(s) to the rest of the organisation days before they actually join. Adding conversation starters such as their hobbies or traits will facilitate breaking of the ice on their first day. Also, new employees appreciate it when their managers make the effort to receive and greet them personally.
2) Place a welcome gift and a personalised note on their workspace.
Make their workspace as comfortable as you would like your own workspace to be. Ensure that their computers (no, not that one which takes more than 5 minutes to boot up), access passes, lanyards, company t-shirts, details of their email accounts and stationery are ready on their workspace. You could also raise the bar with a welcome gift such as chocolates, flowers or even simple banners. At Vibetribe, we decorate our new team members’ workspaces with welcome cards and customised screensavers.
3) Enrol your new-join in a training program and prepare an activity to break the ice.
The act of reporting for work in a new environment can certainly be rather daunting for some and one of the main reasons for feeling this way is the worry that they may perform below the management’s expectation. Help your new employee stand on their feet quickly by enroling them in your awesome training programme that will straighten expectations and bring their confidence back.
Don’t forget to plan a team bonding activity such as a team lunch or a sport which will speed up their integration with the rest of the team. “Nerf shootouts” is our go-to team bonding activity at Vibetribe.
4) Assign a mentor to the new employee.
Having a mentor allows the new employee to have opportunities to ask those little questions about stuff which they may have felt were somewhat peripheral to “disturb” their managers. For instance, “Where is the best place to eat?”, “Who is that person?”, “What is your favourite happy hour drink?”
5) Simplify paperwork. Do it electronically.
There are 101 reasons why electronic paperwork is preferred in many organisations. Apart from the 101th reason that it will look impressive to the new employee, all other 100 reasons are related to process efficiency. Having said that, while automation and efficiency are great to have, it is a known fact that many still crave for the human touch. Don’t forget to check in on the new employee occasionally to make sure that everything is alright!
6) Remember to assess the onboarding experience in a timely manner.
How else are we able to enhance the employee onboarding experience without timely feedback and assessment?