Your onboarding process gives new employees one of the first and most impactful experiences they’ll have with the company. Not to mention, it’s a reflection of your organization and can lead to disengagement from day one.
New hires who reported a poor onboarding experience were 8X more likely to be disengaged in their work and 11X less likely to recommend their employer as a good place to work after their first three months, according to a 2016 Employee Lifecycle analysis from Glint.
Don’t let your onboarding scare valuable new hires away.
I asked HR professionals and business owners how they keep their onboarding process fresh, and they shared their top tips, learned from years of experience and experimenting.
Consider how you can implement their ideas in your organization as well.
Brag a Little
Linda Salazar, Owner of Learning Linda:
First, the new employee wants to know that they've joined a good company. I like to give them the origin story of the company, a snapshot of the current state, and the vision for the future. Also, it's time to brag! Trot out all the awards. Everyone likes being a part of a winning team.
Use Tech to Integrate New Employees Quickly
Elena Carstoiu, COO and Co-founder of Hubgets:
More and more companies rely on instant team collaboration technology to reduce the induction period and speed up integration for newcomers. Personally, I think that the transfer of company knowledge is the biggest gain in building a collaborative work environment with the help of technology.
New employees get to learn the ropes of their new job faster than ever because the technology provides them with instant access to work information while helping them bond with the team. For companies, this means a minimized induction effort and a faster, cost-effective onboarding process.
Update Your Employee Handbook
Ed McMasters, Director of Marketing for Flottman Company:
We wanted to upgrade the first impression of our company during the onboarding process. Prior to this year, our employee handbook consisted of copied black and white papers that were stapled together. The “packet” had no real cover art, limited branding, no index, and often ill-printed pages. We wanted to change all that. This year we embarked on the creation of a new employee handbook that would not only be reflective of the type of work we perform here at Flottman, but would make a great first impression.
We are better than just a stack of papers stapled together. We wanted an employee handbook that demonstrated our abilities, efficiencies, and processes.
This was a game-changer for us as an employee’s first engagement with the company during the onboarding process is now one that we are proud of and that pride is reflected in our onboarding presentation and process. It is easy to convey confidence and pride when you are utilizing tools that do the same.
Streamline the Process
Kimmie Marek, MS, Co-owner and HR Director of 7 Charming Sisters:
Streamlining the onboarding process will save you time and money in the long run. I recommend creating videos. You can use a free platform like YouTube and upload videos (for free) welcoming new employees and telling them what to expect. You can even create an FAQ video or a ‘what to expect video’—the possibilities are endless!
Build Self-Learning Time Into Your Onboarding
Jessica Stephenson, VP of Marketing and Talent at ExactHire:
Savvy employers should plan for the employee onboarding period in advance by building in blocks of time for self-study or skills practice within the first few weeks of the new hire’s employment. Having time to digest and process the new information being presented is critical for the new hire’s long-term success.
Additionally, create hands-on sample exercises or projects for new employees to tackle during their quiet time. By enabling them the opportunity to test their learning within a safe simulation, you will improve their likelihood of retaining knowledge.
Set a Meeting With the CEO
Sophie Lhoutellier, HR Manager at Badger Maps:
Steve, our CEO, believes that an unsuccessful onboarding is usually due to the company not being able to understand its employees’ needs. That’s why every newcomer meets with Steve within their first two days so that we direct them towards the projects that are most suitable for their skills and development needs. That helps us to better understand what they are expecting from their job or internship.
Evaluate on a Regular Basis for One Year
Fletcher Wimbush, CEO of The Hire Talent:
Meet and evaluate your new hires performance frequently during their first year on the job, 30, 60, 90, 180, 270, and 365 days. I think many people and companies don’t realize the onboarding process takes about 1 year it is not a 1st day, week, or month kind of thing. Most jobs take at minimum 1 year to achieve a high level of proficiency. Your new hire is still learning and getting accustomed to their job and the company during that time.