You did it! Finally, you found the right candidate and they accepted your offer. And now, their first day is just around the corner.
It’s time to sit back and relax, right?
It’s just the beginning, you need a great onboarding process to convince them that they’ve made the right decision.
This article will show you a few ideas to successfully onboard new employees.
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First, let’s imagine a scene (based on true onboarding horror experiences):
You confirmed a job offer. On the first day, you show up at the office and get the sense that no one knew you were coming.
Your new manager is busy and shows you your desk. Then you’re left alone to fill out HR forms and read (and reread) the company policies and handbook, wondering if this is the type of work environment you can expect moving forward.
Face this truth: If your onboarding process doesn’t make new employees feel welcomed, valued, and prepared to do their job, they might just turn around and leave.
Jobvite’s 2018 Job Seeker Nation Study found that 30% of employees leave a job within the first 90 days.
Why Does a Good Onboarding Process Matter?
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.
This research found that companies with great onboarding processes boost new hire retention by 82% and employee productivity by 70%.
The onboarding process is an excellent opportunity to build trust with new hires and prove to them that the company culture you’ve promised them is real.
A strong onboarding process starts before their first day. Check out the next section.
Before the First Day
Don’t wait until the first day to share important information. Here are some ideas that you can consider:
Send them a copy of the company handbook and create an agenda for their first day in advance. It will help them understand the company culture before joining.
Introduce a mentor or buddy in an email. At SpringWorks, we firmly believe in the buddy system. It means that each new employee is assigned a SpringBuddy. A buddy is an experienced colleague who has volunteered to be the new hire’s buddy.
Before joining date, a new hire gets an email from their buddy:
The First Day
The first day is REALLY important. A good first day can set the tone for an employee’s entire job experience.
New employees don’t expect their first day to be perfect, they just want to feel valued and welcomed.
Did you know? 1 in 25 new hires leaves a job after a bad first day. (Source)
At Springworks, we welcome new hires with a personalized welcome note and give company t-shirts and other Springworks swag.
Step one is setting up a Google Apps account, where you’ve got a few emails waiting for you. One of them tells you to sign in to Slack, where your inbox already has a list of onboarding tasks.
Make a company-wide announcement. Send out an email introducing new employees on their first day.
At Springworks, we ask our new hires to send out an introduction message by answering some personal questions. It breaks the ice and forms a connection with other employees.
Give them a grand tour of the office (every corner of office) and introduce them to everyone at the company- It’s the job of a buddy. With over 100 people, that’s a lot of names and faces to remember!
Take new hires to lunch. Lunch should always be a part of your onboarding process because it helps people feel more connected.
The First Week
The first week must include plenty of 1-on-1 interactions between new hires and key people that they need to know and are likely to interact with on a regular basis.
Make time each day to check in with new employees. Answer if they have any burning questions or doubts.
Tell them the company’s mission and connect their job to the mission. It makes them feel their job is important and they do quality work.
If new hires are doing a good job, let them know, and appreciate their efforts. Don’t keep them guessing.
BONUS: 4 Awesome Employee Onboarding Examples
PepsiCo has a very “tasty” employee onboarding tradition. When new hires begin to work, they are invited to try the company’s major products.
The company cares about the health of its employees- in addition to chips and soda, they give new hires a fitness tracker.
Wrike puts balloons on new employees’ chairs and a welcome kit on their desks before they come in for their first day of work. Wrike wants new hires to feel at home, so the welcome bag consists of things like, a coffee cup and a pair of socks.
They celebrate every 50th Wriker and throw a party with food, champagne, and balloons. Wrike has a welcome breakfast tradition. It’s an informal way to meet colleagues, know new hires, and have a good time.
Onboarding at Percolate includes a “Buddy system.” It means that each new employee is assigned to a so-called Percolater. A Percolater is an experienced colleague who has volunteered to be the new hire’s buddy.
L’Oréal has developed the world’s first mobile application “Fit” with the sole purpose of assisting newcomers to understand, decode, and master their unique company culture.
This follows their internal release of the Life@L’Oréal culture deck in 2016, a document to make the shared L’Oréal culture explicit and owned by all employees.
New employees want to become a valued member of the team. That’s where the onboarding process comes in!
What’s your company’s onboarding process? Is your organisation committed to building a strong process? Please drop your thoughts in the comment section.