From generous travel credits to engineering boot camps, the onboarding processes of companies like Airbnb and Google have so much ‘wow’ factor that they’ve gone viral.
And according to Indeed, they’re onto something. New starter inauguration plays a pivotal role in employee retention, with 40% of new hires making the decision to stay or leave within their first six months. But the good news is that you don’t have to have a multi-billion-dollar bank account to woo your new hires with a Forbes worthy onboarding experience.
It can be as easy as adhering to these basic guidelines, think of it as inspiration! They apply to any workplace, which means all you need to do is interpret them for your business, and incorporate them into your onboarding process.
A meaningful tour
Nobody wants to start their first day on the job with a mountain of paperwork, or chasing down logins to every system your business uses. Instead, spend the first hour or so making them feel comfortable with a rundown of how your company does things. And no, whirlwinds sweeps of the office don’t count! Take the time to walk your recruit around the building or office, introducing them to every team member along the way. Feel free to invest a little more time chatting with managers, and the people that your new employee will be engaging with the most. Remember, effective onboarding strategies prioritise the social experience. This means you do everything you can to help your new employee spark meaningful relationships, from day one.
Doing it remotely? We get it, it’s something many have experienced recently. To bring this to life online, reimagine your tour by booking quick intro meetings with key stakeholders. Remember to keep it light; tell them to bring a cuppa!
An opportunity for mentorship
Just like the first day at school, assigning your new recruit a buddy will provide both professional and social support. Whether you work in finance or retail, buddies are a concept that can be applied to any workplace. Ford is one company that knows the value of mentorship and offers new employees the opportunity to develop their network and expand their understanding of the business. Not only do mentors serve as teachers, but Ford’s mentoring culture benefits the company’s leaders just as much as the employees they support.
Even the most strategic of onboarding programs will fall short if you fail to offer continued development. Regardless of how fast your employee learns, or how straightforward their role, onboarding should always span for weeks, if not months. Linkedin Learning’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report found that 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.
Depending on your industry, you can keep things as casual or as complex as you like. Aim for weekly or bi-weekly check-ins, and never underestimate the importance of sourcing feedback from the employee. Elevate your onboarding process beyond traditional timeframes, and you’ll be able to support your recruit with a genuine sense of purpose.
Helpful guidance on what to expect
From weddings to business conferences, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as not knowing what to expect. As well as offering your new hires an enriching onboarding experience, you should also keep them in the loop.
Take the time to draft up a document that outlines their journey, and pinpoint milestones they’ll hit along the way. Let them know when to expect meetings, and when they’ll be asked for feedback and any specific progress they need to make. Ultimately this will minimise frustration and make them feel like a part of the process.
A friendly approach
Onboarding can be frustrating, and it’s all too easy to get caught up in the red tape. But if you want to rise above the formality of it all, bring a sense of fun and friendliness to your onboarding procedure.
One of the best ways to do this is by offering your employees cultural training. This means that beyond operational basics, you take the time to verse your employee in the core values of your organisation. This will help to give them an in-depth understanding of what they represent, and how to become a valuable member of the team.
“94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.”, Deloitte.
An automated experience
Piles of paperwork can be overwhelming, especially if you bombard your new hire from day one. Instead, why not modernise your approach by adopting a paperless onboarding system? Or if you don’t have the resources to completely veto paper, try automating parts of the onboarding experience. Easy and engaging, automation simplifies the onboarding process and makes it easier to assign, track and store important documents. Not only will this streamline the experience for your employee, but it will also save your business time and cash.
Tech friendly elements
Chances are, your new hire is going to be run off their feet in their first few days. Building on the benefits of automation that were explored above, you can help to ease stress and streamline the learning experience by incorporating tech friendly elements into your onboarding process if COVID hasn’t sparked this transition for your business already. Cloud-based and mobile-friendly systems are a great place to start, as it empowers employees with the chance to learn, engage and assimilate, on-the-go.
“Cellular-enabled devices could serve to help organisations be more customer-centric and efficient, allowing employees to work more flexibly and responsively with access to the data and collaboration tools wherever they may be.” – McKinsey
Turns out, day one shouldn’t technically be day one. Every great onboarding process should include some form of contact before the first day on the job. This helps to mentally prepare your employee, and minimise the admin you’ll need to deal with on day one. You don’t need to overload your new hire with homework, but shooting them through the basics, like setting up log-in accounts and briefing them on what to expect is definitely a proactive move.
The final verdict
After channelling a huge amount of time and money selecting top talent, the last thing you want to do is let your efforts fall flat with a lacklustre onboarding process. So, rather than wing it and hope for the best why not take the time to design an onboarding experience that’s underpinned by the needs of your employees? This includes both professional development and administrative formalities, as well as emotional support and cultural immersion. Ultimately, a holistic approach will help to smooth out the learning curve, and set your new hire up for ongoing success.
Ready to put your people first? Get in touch with Ento today to chat about how our custom-built workforce management could help you take your employee onboarding to the next level.