How to create a STAND OUT onboarding process

Having a bad onboarding process can cost you a talented employee. It can make you look unorganised and show that you don’t care about the experience of your new member of staff. Having a great onboarding process can mean reduced turnover and happy employees. It has been reported that new staff who go through a structured onboarding programme are 58% more likely to be with the organisation after three years (The Wynhurst Group).

Here are some tips to create an exceptional onboarding process.

Don’t go cold on them 

You’ve sent your offer and received the new starter’s letter of acceptance… it goes quiet from there. This is mistake number one.

Keep in touch with them until their first day, otherwise, they are going to feel a great sense of anxiety before their start date as they will have no clue of what to expect. This doesn’t need to be frequent emails but perhaps one per week if they don’t start for a month. The emails could include:

  1. What to expect in the first week
  2. Any company news
  3. Anything they may want to read up on before they start (voluntary, not compulsory, you don’t want to come across as too pushy).
  4. Company calendar with social events on
  5. Office perks or tips such as cake on Fika Thursdays, bagels in the morning or top tip to join the “lunch bunch” slack group if you want some lunch buddies to join you for a midday meal, etc.

Direction breakfast

Get one of your founders or senior members of the team to take the new-starter for breakfast. This is a great opportunity to tell them about the history, purpose, and the direction of the company without it seeming like a boring lecture. After all, employee engagement happens when staff know the purpose of their role in the business.

Don’t make them feel awkward 

It is your job to have everything prepared for them, you have known they are starting so there is no excuse to not have things ready. Don’t leave them waiting, have new starter packs, equipment, stationery etc. all waiting for them. Have a step by step guide of their itinerary, with what you would like them to do and who with, this saves them hanging around feeling awkward about not knowing what they are doing.

Get everyone involved 

It can be tough introducing your new starter to everyone in the business, a good way to get them to work with different departments is to locate buddies from each division to help them with each task on their itinerary. This is more useful than just a ‘hello’ ‘goodbye’ introduction and allows them to talk whilst using the time to go through the onboarding tasks.

Make them feel appreciated 

Your first day can feel daunting not knowing any of your teammates and beginning a new career. It is a nice idea to provide your new starters with things that show you value them. These could include:

  1. A card with messages from teammates welcoming them on their first day.
  2. Personalised gifts e.g. A luggage tag if you know they will be travelling a lot, new slippers for them to take home if you know they are going to be on their feet all day or a new phone case if you have a BYOD policy at work.
  3. Arrange a company lunch for them to go on with their new team mates, this will give them a chance to get to know them outside of a work setting. It will also let them show the new starter where they can go at lunch, rather than them trying to figure it out for themselves.

Give them some downtime

After all of the breakfast, lunches, and meeting of people, it can become quite overwhelming. Give your new starter a chance to sit and reflect and work independently, this will make them feel more relaxed. It is a good opportunity for them to fill out forms or read through company policies, procedures or how-to guides.

Gamify your learning

Create games out of your onboarding process by using cutting edge technology. You could create digital quizzes which allow the user to learn about the company and products and to progress faster using levels which unlock the more they complete and learn. Have these games accessible on their own device, so they can play at home or on their way to work, giving them the freedom to boost their knowledge as much as they want and take control of their learning.

Having a live leaderboard can help them earn their place and give them a chance to show their knowledge and ability to their teammates, providing a healthy amount of competition.

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 21st March 2018