Companies with an efficient employee onboarding have a higher employee engagement and retention and find it easier to attract talent.
Every organization strives to hire la crème professionals and provide them the best possible experience as their employees. That’s where onboarding enters the picture.
Defined as the process that ensures employees not only start working for you on the right foot but also remain engaged throughout their tenure, onboarding is a must.
A report by the Boston Consulting Group ranked onboarding processes as having the second-highest impact for an organization among all other HR practices. Therefore, you must implement solid procedures to engage new hires way before their first day of work.
If you are looking for a great employee onboarding tips and ideas, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, you’ll discover real-life employee onboarding examples to inspire you!
What Is Employee Onboarding?
Employee onboarding refers to the process of integrating and familiarizing new employees into an organization. It involves providing them with the necessary information, resources, and support to effectively transition into their roles and become productive members of the team. The onboarding process typically begins when an employee accepts a job offer and continues for a designated period, which can range from a few days to several months.
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Employee Onboarding Tips and Examples
Let’s look at some of the employee onboarding tips and real-life examples:
1. Be culturally inclusive
Cultural inclusion is important to make your employees feel like a part of the company. Companies can make a new joinee feel that they belong there not only by introducing them to their co-workers but also to executive management like CXOs.
Every organization has its own culture and traditions that are unique to them. Popular streaming services provider Netflix does a great job of making their employees feel included. They have a separate Culture page that talks about the values of inclusion, collaboration, integrity, and notice periods that are followed at Netflix.
2. Take mentoring seriously
Not enough is spoken about how much difference mentoring a candidate in their early days can make. Organizations can allocate a personal mentor to every new hire to enable them to learn the workings of the company and ease into their jobs
Quora sets a great example in mentoring its newly hired employees by providing them mentors. These mentors work alongside the new hires and help them solve problems, make decisions, and familiarize themselves with Quora’s workplace culture.
They have created an internal onboarding portal for new team members. It has information that the new hires need to know, including security policies, tech talks, and employee benefits.
3. Enable a people-first experience
Most new hires are already nervous on their first day of work. Settling into a new environment, with new people, and a different atmosphere takes some effort. Organizations must work towards making their first-day smooth and pleasant.
For example, DigitalOcean makes the first day for their new hires an exciting one by arranging balloons at their desk, a bottle of champagne, and a handwritten note.
That would make anyone feel welcome, right? In addition, they have written a blog post on “How we created a people-first hiring experience.”
They have a culture video that gives a brief idea about what it is like to work there. Watch here:
4. Ensure a proper knowledge transfer
From the time a candidate accepts the job offer until they arrive on their first day of work, a lot of effort is put into making sure that they are prepared to do their job well.
For example, social media giant Twitter makes its onboarding process as welcoming and productive as possible by following a series of 75 steps that they call ‘Yes to Desk.’
The goal of the onboarding practice is quite simple: make sure the desks are set up, email addresses are created, and documents explaining job expectations are available the moment new employees come to work on their first day
Pinterest is another company that has an interesting onboarding process called ‘Knitting’ in which they encourage new hires to interact with each other, and introduce themselves to their teams. It’s a great way to break the ice with new colleagues.
Their career page has videos where you can hear from the employees what it is like, to work at Pinterest.
5. Implement a buddy system
A commonly adopted system in most organizations, the buddy system enables new hires to have a co-worker in the form of a mentor or buddy to guide them through their initial days in the workplace. The practice also applies to companies with employees working remotely.
Buffer, a social media company, introduced a six-week Bootcamp period, wherein the new hires are allotted three buddies: a Leader Buddy, a Culture Buddy, and a Role Buddy to help them ease into the job.
Along with this, they have a blog “Open Blog” dedicated to the culture at Buffer.
6. Organize an orientation program
Orientation is the most commonly practiced onboarding process in organizations across the globe. Your company can make this a more interactive session by giving new hires a tour of the office campus, encouraging them to interact with their co-workers, and so on.
LinkedIn has designed a 90-day onboarding program for its new hires to make them aware of the company practices and cultures. Helpful documents are shared with them to resolve any first-day concerns, and acquaint them with their social media strategy (#LinkedInLife).
7. Virtual Ice-breaker Activities
A virtual icebreaker is a greats way to introduce new hires to your remote team in a fun way to make them feel comfortable.
This includes a game or activity that you can do with your team members to get to know each other and start the conversation.
Skillenza was facing the challenge of engaging their remote employees and new hires. Since most of their hires are young and recently graduated, ensuring culture fit through various onboarding events became challenging.
And they got to know a virtual team-building tool called Trivia. It allowed the new hires to make memorable experiences right from day one. As a result, Trivia laid the right foundations to connect and engage with their new teammates in no time.
8. Introduce New Fun Activities
Brainstorm and introduce new fun activities to welcome and socialize your new hires! Ask your employees what’s fun for them? And try to think of an exercise that would fit in with your company culture.
Perkbox came up with a fun activity for their new employees. Every Friday, New employees have to push the beer trolley to the company’s existing employees! 😁 It’s a great way to introduce new employees to the team and puts a smile on everyone’s face.
New employees also get their own Perkbox account – so they enjoy free mobile phone insurance, special price cinema tickets, discounted gym membership, and more.
9. Academies Onboarding
Netpeak chose academies for its employee onboarding. It consists of two parts. They are called courses. These courses are filled with lots of fun elements and important information for new employees: the company mission, vision, values, stories, parties, sports events, and videos.
It makes the onboarding process fully automated and saves a lot of time. Netpeak managers said that their onboarding process saved them 200 hours a month. As a result, all new employees are happy and excited about work. At the end of each course, new hires can take a test to check their knowledge.
10. Entrance Interviews
Conducting new hires’ entrance interviews help you to learn about each other during the onboarding process. This process will ensure that your new employees feel valued from day one!
Designer Blinds company was struggling with a great turnover. And after analyzing, they found that most of their new employees leave between 3 months to 6 months. And then they introduced “Entrance Interviews.”
These interviews helped them understand what their new employees needed, and by implementing entrance interviews, this company has reduced turnover from 200% to 8%.
What Should an Onboarding Program Include?
While the specific elements of an onboarding program may vary depending on the organization, here are some common components that are typically included:
Pre-boarding: This involves activities that take place before the employee’s first day, such as sending welcome emails, sharing necessary paperwork, providing access to online resources, and communicating essential information about the first day’s agenda.
Orientation: Conducting an orientation session helps new employees become familiar with the organization’s mission, vision, values, and overall structure. It may also include an introduction to key personnel, an overview of policies and procedures, and a tour of the workplace.
Job-related training: This component focuses on equipping new employees with the knowledge and skills required to perform their specific job responsibilities effectively. It may involve training sessions, workshops, shadowing experienced colleagues, or access to online learning resources.
Company culture and values: To foster a sense of belonging and alignment with the company’s culture, new employees should be provided with information about the company’s core values, expectations, and norms. This can be done through presentations, videos, employee testimonials, and team-building activities.
Mentorship and buddy programs: Pairing new employees with experienced colleagues as mentors or buddies can facilitate their integration, answer questions, provide guidance, and offer support during the initial weeks or months on the job.
Introductions and networking: Facilitating introductions to colleagues, managers, and other relevant stakeholders helps new employees build relationships and expand their professional network within the organization. This can be done through formal introductions, team meetings, or social events.
Resources and tools: Providing access to essential resources, such as employee handbooks, policy manuals, internal communication platforms, and collaboration tools, is crucial for enabling new employees to navigate their roles and responsibilities effectively.
Performance expectations and goal-setting: Clearly communicating performance expectations, setting goals, and defining key performance indicators (KPIs) help new employees understand what is expected of them and how their performance will be evaluated. This facilitates their alignment with organizational objectives.
Feedback and check-ins: Regular feedback sessions and check-ins with supervisors or HR representatives provide opportunities for new employees to ask questions, seek clarification, and receive constructive feedback on their progress. This helps address any concerns and ensures their continued growth and development.
Ongoing support: An onboarding program should not end after the initial weeks or months. It is important to provide ongoing support and resources to new employees as they settle into their roles. This can include additional training opportunities, access to mentoring programs, and regular touchpoints to address any ongoing needs or challenges.
Employee onboarding is all about planning ahead and thinking from your new hire’s perspective. Onboarding begins from the hiring process to fully settling into the new role. The onboarding process is an excellent opportunity to build trust with remote employees and prove to them that the company culture you’ve promised them is real.
Looking for employee onboarding tips? Read this complete guide to build a successful onboarding program.
For someone who is new to your company and away from the office from the start, consider these tips for your onboarding checklist.
During the early days of a job, new hires carefully assess whether they’ve made a great choice or a huge mistake.
They’re comparing the reality of the company culture and environment to how it was described during the hiring process—starting with how they’re onboarded.
Set up a personalized onboarding process today!
I hope you found these employee onboarding tips helpful. Make your organization’s onboarding process more productive and effective by personalizing the process for each team or department. Because every team deals with different aspects of the job, personalizing the experience makes more sense than a centralized approach.
Don’t shy away from experimenting with the process, and keep on improving it for as long as you need it. Your new employees need your support to do a good job, and you can ensure that by being proactive on their first-day itself!
Originally published Feb 7, 2020 04:37 PM, last updated Dec 28 2020