The first day in a new workplace can be quite unnerving for an employee — there is so much to expect, perform and learn. They have to meet the CEO, the team head and mix well with a whole new set of faces. There are several expectations from them, and they can feel the pressure to fulfil them one by one. Once they have let go of the door handle, they are either instantly thankful or regretful of their decision to join the workplace.
Someone has said it right, ‘It’s the new hire you should focus on, during the employee onboarding process.’ Job seekers accept an open position with minimal company details – philosophy, expectations and culture – and it might just be one of the most crucial decisions of their lives. They are subjected to a regular assessment and interview procedure, which frankly gives them little insight into the organisation. As an employer, is there something that you can do about this?
Team leaders concerned with the mental and emotional welfare about their employees engage in an employee onboarding process from the day of joining itself. A good idea would be to have your new hires complete a form about their expectations during the onboarding process, which helps highlight your work culture.
Here are some important points to ponder when onboarding new employees, so that you can give them a remarkable first-day experience and gain a loyal team member for life.
Why is the onboarding process important?
New hires should be allowed to get comfortable and better acquainted with their leaders and colleagues before they settle down to work. Here’s why onboarding new employees is a great work practice:
- Sets expectations for the first day
- Highlights the company culture
- Makes hires feel valued as the desk, computer system and other equipment have already been laid out for them
- Acquaints them with the hierarchical structure in the office
- Familiarises them with the workstations, chill-out zones and service areas
- Allows them to know the people that they will be working with
What can you do to ensure a fantastic employee onboarding process?
Give them a welcome gift
Everybody likes a small gift that makes feel a part of the team – and it could be anything that you please. Though senior members would appreciate something that relates to quality family time or health, younger employees would prefer a gift that connects with their hobbies or lifestyles over something conventional. Whatever you select, make sure that it is as personalised and tailored to their individual tastes as possible.
Set the expectations from day one
New hires have vague expectations of what happens on the day of joining, especially if it is their first job ever. Ease the tension for them by starting orientation sessions about what has to be done and how. Orientation and training procedures can get long-drawn and monotonous over time, so keep the first day’s session brief and informative. Give them basic information that they immediately need, and let them figure out the details over the weeks and months of ongoing training.
Keep things interesting during the employee onboarding procedures, and retain their interest. Treat them to lunch, small tokens around the office and bonding activities. Utilise this time to cement an incredible first impression of your team leaders and the company itself.
The first day still counts
Once the training sessions are over for the day, let the new employees chat around with their new team members or colleagues. Welcome them to the organisation by taking everyone out on a treat or participating in a group activity to keep things fun, interactive and creative. One can organise scavenger hunts inside the office as well, and the winners shall get vouchers or gift cards!
Random trivia and spot quizzes allow employees to get to know each other and learn about pop culture, world, travelling or just the industry in general.
Outline your requirements
Paperwork is important when a new employee joins the organisation, so it is better to be structured from the get-go. A well-organised onboarding process eases out the road for the hiring manager and new employee at this time. Make a comprehensive list of tasks and goals to be completed so that the new hire knows exactly what to do. It doesn’t just streamline the employee onboarding process but is also evidence to the employee that you work here with a purpose and plan in mind.
Clarify their doubts
A pertinent question that most new employees ask is, ‘What are the people like?’ Introduce the new hires to their potential leaders and colleagues before the joining date itself, which could be through a physical meeting or digital connection on social media. A friendly message from the soon-to-be colleagues can make their day a lot more welcoming.
Give them reasons to work there
Companies want people who are genuinely interested to work for them, and not the money. For example, the online retail company Zappos offered 4000 USD to its new hires to quit their jobs after the end of their five-week onboarding process. Thus, employees were forced to ask themselves — Do I enjoy my job responsibilities? Do I like the work culture? Do they follow the core values that I believe in?
The company wanted to build a team that was happy about being their team members and make exit offers to filter out employees that didn’t fit in with their culture. The lesson? Make your organisation an irresistible one. It gives your employees the motivation to be a part of it, and they can make the right decision when the time comes.
Know what is important
Though you want to make the new employee onboarding process a memorable one, ensure that the important things are done – such as filling up forms. Settling down the paperwork duties early on gives them extra time to understand the workflow and form working relationships, and helps you know your team member better.
Employee onboarding processes can be hectic yet quite fulfilling. A well-executed procedure makes a new employee want to contribute to the company’s growth and prospects while furthering their career objectives. Once you align them as a team player, you will find your organisation to be an example of a healthy workplace that increases your business’ value manifold.