How to Create a Memorable Employee Onboarding Experience

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs

New employee onboarding refers to the process of integrating new hires into an organization and its culture. Studies show that effective onboarding can have several measurable positive impacts on an employee. It can contribute to higher job satisfaction and better performance, lower turnover rates, and reduce levels of occupational stress. However, it can have the opposite effect if the employee has an unsatisfactory onboarding experience.

How can your company maximize this opportune moment to boost your new hire’s productivity and make them feel more welcome in their new workplace? To make your company’s onboarding process more meaningful, check out these 4 tips:

Get ahead of the new hire.

There are clear benefits to starting the onboarding process before your new employee’s first day on the job. At least one day before the new hire needs to show up for work, send them the documents and forms that they need to fill out via email. This way, they can print and complete the forms before they come to the office. With the forms out of the way, you can make sure that they’ll spend their first few hours at work performing more productive tasks. In addition, you can also prepare them for their big day by forwarding essential information that will prove to be useful in acquainting them with their new environment. These include available parking areas, the company dress code, a map of the office, and so on.

Forewarned is forearmed, as the proverb goes, and the new hire will have an easier time adjusting to their new workplace if they have an idea of what to expect. Aside from offering useful information in the form of brochures and maps, you can also make the new hire feel more appreciated and welcome by providing company swag items. These can come in the form of company-branded apparel such as a jacket or hat, productivity items like flash drives or notepads, or daily essentials like a customized polyester lanyard for their ID and access cards. Wearing an item that the rest of the team is also wearing can help foster a sense of unity and camaraderie among your new and existing team members.

Create scenarios for friendships to develop.

Simply introducing the new employee to their new team is not enough for them to develop a bond. While you can hope that friendship will develop on its own in due time, it’s worth providing your team members various opportunities to nudge the process along. People work better together when they know each other well, have mutual respect for one another, and when they like working with others that they consider friends.

Many well-known companies such as Google, Twitter, and Buffer integrate a buddy or mentorship system into their onboarding process. This lessens feelings of loneliness and isolation that a new hire might experience while adjusting to the office environment and culture. You can do the same by pairing the new hire with mentors or current team members who can show them the ropes. Twitter also puts together a monthly new hire Happy Hour with the Senior Leadership Team so that people can mingle and socialize in a relaxed atmosphere. Why not do the same for your company when you have a new team member or a batch of new hires coming in?

Showcase what sets your company apart.

The onboarding process is the company’s chance to introduce itself to the employee, and it’s always worth making a good first impression. Research shows that 69% of employees are likelier to stay with a company for at least 3 years if they had a good onboarding experience. Putting your company identity and culture at the forefront will inform a new employee’s decision about whether it’s the right fit or not, so there’s value in demonstrating what you’re about as a business at the outset.

Google has no qualms showing that they value their employees by creating one of the best working environments for tech-industry professionals in the world. To minimize the factors that could distract an employee from performing at their best, the company provides free healthy meals, medical assurance, support for new parents, and more. You can implement similar programs on a smaller scale in your company to improve the employees’ working environment. When putting together such a program, make sure to identify your company’s unique selling points and promote them well.

Give the people what they want.

It can be all too easy for a company to become complacent once it finds something that works. The fact of the matter is that modern professionals will not be swayed by onboarding practices that are passé and out of touch. If anything, many people will reject them outright.

Fortunately, as long as you have new hires coming in, you’ll have steady access to modern professionals and their valuable feedback. When you find yourself at a loss as to why your onboarding process doesn’t seem to be effective, ask them. Their insights can be vital towards improving the onboarding experience for those who will come after them. They might even give you a fresh idea or two that can liven up the program!

Onboarding only started to become popular in the last decade, but it’s become prevalent enough that almost all employees come to expect it. Wow them using our tips, and they won’t regret their decision to accept your offer.