Boring Employee Onboarding Out, New Trends Are In!

by Linda Finkle

Do you still remember your first week at your job? All those anxieties and expectations you had and how you had hoped to make friends and learn everything there is about the company and the job. Ah, memories…

Every company has their own employee onboarding program and strategies designed to help new hires start to build valuable relationships with the organization. Sadly, many organizations underestimate the employee orientation process. Much of the traditional getting-to-know activities that aim to orient and welcome new staff are just not working anymore!

In the process, money and time is wasted, and the new-hire fails to appreciate his role and the exciting new journey that awaits him!

The employee onboarding process is more than just memorizing names, finding out where the pantry is, or memorizing how to fill out company forms. Neither is it knowing important dates such as the office outing, or the founding date of the company!

Unfortunately, traditional orientation sessions focus mostly on these things.

They fail to meet employee expectations, fail to educate the new hire about critical areas of the business, and ultimately bore new-hires.

Is this the first impression you want to leave a new hire? I bet not.

Experts recommend organizations to veer away from the traditional. Before I give tips on how to revolutionize your company’s employee onboarding, let me first define what it’s supposed to accomplish:

Employee onboarding is the organization’s way of helping a new staff as he joins the team-the orientation process may run from a couple of days, to a few weeks, and even months. A strategic employee onboarding program helps employees understand what the company is doing, what his role’s contribution is to the bigger scheme of things, his job specifics, and the possibilities or career paths he can explore.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare a better employee onboaring program:

Pre-employment Period

  • Set up a landing page on your website where existing employees can share the value of working for the organization. Make it upbeat and interactive. This way, new-hires don’t need to listen to the same old boring presentation again and again!

If your company was established thirty something years ago, then really, the information on your company’s background and values must be outdated! It’s also better to use other employees, because new-hires can relate to them better than any CEO or company spokesperson.

  • Aside from just giving a bullet list of the job’s responsibilities, try creating a game that will actually help a new-hire applicant gauge how well he/she will fit into the position and the company as a whole. Better yet, create a game ala Google’s Internship Movie.

First Week of Employment

  • Create a complete learning material the new hire can refer to every time he forgets a procedure or company policy. This can include employee benefits, a briefer on the organization, and a welcome video from the leadership team addressed to new employees.
  • Assign a specific person to be the new hire’s “Welcome Coordinator.” This person will be on call to answer questions and concerns, similar to students assigned to be welcoming committees for a college or university.
  • Make sure the new employee has his business cards ready on the first week if appropriate; this will come handy during introductions to other staff. This small investment will also make the new-hire feel that he’s already part of the family.

Succeeding Weeks of Employment

  • A simple welcome call from the company CEO or President to acknowledge the new hire’s presence is a good way to welcome staff.
  • Create a ready network of recent hires where the newest ones can learn from their experiences and get useful information.
  • Provide the new hire with a list of company jargons and acronyms he will most likely keep hearing from everyone. This will help him feel more at ease during conversations and meetings.

Quick Assignment

Review your company’s employee onboarding process, and see which part of it needs to be updated.

© 2013 Incedo Group, LLC