May 29, 2019

Six new and creative employee onboarding ideas

New hires should feel energized and excited about joining your company for a long and fruitful journey with you. That’s where employee onboarding comes in. Here are some new and creative employee onboarding ideas to build connections, strengthen teams, and reinforce culture.

Jill Cleary

Jill is an Employee Engagement and Culture Specialist for the People and Culture team at Ceridian. She is passionate about ensuring that our newest Ceridianites have the best possible experience globally. She is an enthusiastic supporter of our employee-driven charity, Ceridian Cares. 

A new hire should be brimming with excitement at the idea of joining your company. However, that won’t be the case unless you take the necessary measures.

 

There are strategic steps involved in making your new employee feel like they’re about to embark on an important journey with you.

 

How do you nurture this notion? You do so through effective employee onboarding.

 

Many managers and organizations simply go through the motions with employee onboarding – and they’re missing the mark. Employee onboarding is more than simply a process and checking a set of boxes before throwing your new hire into their day to day. Onboarding is an employee’s first point of contact with your organization, and companies need to strategically invest in setting the stage for a new hire’s tenure with your company.

 

Here are some new and creative employee onboarding ideas that build connections, strengthen teams, and reinforce culture. Even if you already implement an employee onboarding process, these tips may help you take it to the next level.

 

1. Hold a new hire event

When it comes to managers making connections with their team members, 91% of employees say that communication issues can prevent leaders from being effective. It’s primarily due to leaders failing to engage during crucial moments that could help employees see them as trustworthy, according to Harvard Business Review.

 

A critical time where leaders and managers can engage an employee is during the onboarding process –more specifically, at a new hire event. Your new hire will create connections with the leadership team and feel comfort in having an exec know their name.

 

Consider holding an event two or three times a year where you bring your latest class of new hires together. Whether it’s hosting a lunch with an exec, a sporting event, or after work snacks and drinks, think about ways that your new employees can informally connect with your leadership team.

 

2. Encourage new hires to network on day one

Seventy separate studies show that feeling socially accepted is a deciding factor in a new hire’s success.

 

Therefore, it’s imperative to encourage new hires to start networking and building relationships with colleagues right out of the gate. If there’s a group of employees being onboarded together, they should network with one another – connect with each other on professional networks, trade email addresses, and share their areas of expertise. This can happen, for example, when there’s a break during employee onboarding, or at least through their first week of work. After all, it’s probable that they’ll end up in different departments – and connections outside of your department can pay big dividends.

 

3. Provide a breakdown of roles and responsibilities

It’s perplexing to note that 60% of companies don’t set short-term goals and responsibilities for their new hires.

 

Establishing clear goals, roles, and responsibilities not only provides new hires with transparency, but it also helps them attain early wins and build confidence.

 

Manually tracking a new hire’s progress may be difficult. Your days are jam-packed and critical issues can go unnoticed – unless you automate and streamline the process with employee onboarding software. Using software helps new hires and managers know expectations well in advance of what’s needed pre-hire date, for day one, and post-hire.

 

4. Share the company’s cause

Crafting a narrative and telling a captivating origin story is a valuable tool for any business.

 

A tale of triumph is a way to capture people’s imaginations. While many organizations utilize this technique to woo investors and consumers, it’s an equally effective way to engage a new employee. Your backstory may appeal to their values and make them committed to cause as soon as their first day on the job.

 

5. Create a new hire agenda

The first 30 days of a new hire’s career with your company often makes or breaks their chances for success.

 

Help your new hire accomplish administrative tasks that have the potential to fall through the cracks, so they don’t become hurdles. Create a checklist including employee information, user logins, access to company portals, and review of any training documents or company policies.

 

Employee onboarding software gives managers visibility into how their new hires are trending when it comes to completing their tasks and training. Help can also be provided or requested for new hires who fall behind or need additional assistance.

 

Furthermore, a one-to-one meeting with a manager within the first week at a company has proven to be a catalyst for early growth in new hires.

 

6. Assign buddies

Not everything is going to get answered during the formal employee onboarding process, such as who key internal subject matter experts are for each department, or all the ways a new hire can get involved with a company’s community initiatives. New hires might also welcome intel on where to find the best snacks, or where the closest sushi spot is for lunchtime.,. For sharing culture-related information, a work buddy can go a long way in easing a new hire into their role.

 

In fact, 87% of businesses say that buddy programs boost a new hire’s proficiency. All it takes is a seasoned employee checking in once a week for the first month, and one or two times per month afterward, to make sure your new hire is feeling comfortable and acclimated.

 

Using employee onboarding technology, HR leaders can create and implement a new hire buddy checklist to ensure there’s a consistent buddy experience across the organization.

 

The impact of a strategic employee onboarding process

It’s an alarming reality that one-third of employees start looking for a new job within their first six months at a company.

 

A strategic and focused employee onboarding process can help minimize the chance of this happening. By taking the right steps, your employee can enjoy their last first day at a new company for a long time.

 

Read next: The impact of good and bad employee onboarding experiences

 

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