Onboarding, sometimes referred to as organizational socialization, is the process of introducing your employees to the expectations, skills, knowledge, and culture of your company. According to Recruiting data, 1 in 4 new hires will leave within 180 days. Joining a new company can be overwhelming. Because of covid more are working at home and new hires are not getting the same in-person experience they did several months ago. A survey found that 82% of business leaders intend to allow remote working some of the time as employees return to the workplace. Investing in a digital onboarding infrastructure is key to success in the new business environment. Employee onboarding is more than simply a process of checking a set of boxes before ushering your new hire into their day-to-day schedule. Developing new employee onboarding experiences will help ensure each new hire is given everything they need to thrive in their new role. Here are some creative employee onboarding ideas that will help build new employee connections with your company.
Leadership as a Factor in New Employee Onboarding
Training and onboarding are more than simply learning the job requirements, department processes, and company policies. It’s the time when a new employee taps into the company culture and gets a true feel for whether or not the position and organization will be a good fit for their long-term career goals. Leadership’s role is important in this arena in so many ways, including the fact that the people in charge tend to serve as role models for the company, modeling what the culture will be and how employees operate and find value within that culture. Leaders and managers must engage in a virtual event with the new hire during the onboarding process. This way the new employee will have the opportunity to have connections with the leadership team and feel comfortable in having an executive know their name.
A “Get To Know You” Survey
Deliver a personal experience that helps the new hire feel welcomed and appreciated. Planning for plenty of personal meetings with new coworkers makes that first day feel personal instead of over-planned. Have the new hire fill out a get to know you survey so their coworkers can have a better understanding of who they are personally and professionally. Explain to the employees what this new hire will be doing within the department. Send this email to introduce the new hire and encourage existing employees to reach out to the new hire and spark a conversation.
Schedule “Meet and Greets” with Collaborators and Teams
Provide opportunities for new employees to build key relationships. While you can’t participate in socializing and networking for your new hire, you can certainly speckle your onboarding experience with ample opportunities for newbies to make connections across the office. Feeling socially accepted is a deciding factor in a new hire’s success. It is good to encourage new employees to start networking and building relationships with colleagues right out to the gate. In the absence of in-person onboarding, employers will need to take extra steps to get new hires to connect with one another during their first week of work.
Set Critical Goals
Help new employees understand what’s expected of them in their new role and also envision future possibilities. Humans by nature like to look ahead. We like to plan for, anticipate, and straight-up daydream about what’s coming and what might be. If you can get new employees excited to imagine their future roles at your company, then you’re well on the way to high employee retention. To make that future possible, investing extra time in those first few weeks of employee onboarding can help build that foundation for them at your company.
In-person One-to-One Get Togethers
Depending on the size of your company, employees may or may not have regular access to your CEO or executives. If your company is smaller, you can organize one-on-one meetings or a small group lunch or coffee between the new hire(s) and the CEO. If this isn’t realistic because of time or location constraints, you can still organize some type of meeting that allows new employees to interact with the CEO or executive team. Some companies hold a special party with just the newest employees (e.g. anyone who’s been hired within the past 100 days). Even if employees don’t have the chance to interact with the CEO or executives on a regular basis, they should have an opportunity to meet them, preferably during their first few weeks at your company.
Prior to the pandemic, 74% of employees felt they were missing out on company news. Now, establishing connectedness across a decentralized workforce is an even greater challenge. Technology can help build a consistent employee experience as communication can be shared with the entire workforce. With many working remotely, employers will need to ensure everyone is well informed and kept in the loop. Just because there’s no break room to hang out in doesn’t mean employees aren’t taking breaks. In fact, as an employer, you should encourage your employees to take a regular break, to help improve their productivity. While you can’t encourage them to meet up at a coffee shop right now, you can schedule virtual coffee breaks with your team to stay connected while working from home. Make sure that everyone is informed if there are changes to the work from home or sick leave policy, changes in healthcare, or anything new with company policies.
Lifelong Learning Will Benefit New Hires
Promoting continued, self-motivated learning for new hires to acquire knowledge and competencies that will expand their skillsets and develop future opportunities is crucial. Continued learning forms an employee’s personal and professional development so they can avoid stagnation and reach their full potential. Advanced skills are more valuable in the current business climate as companies are under greater pressure to innovate and compete. A LinkedIn study found that employees who made a lateral move have a 62% chance of staying with their current company.
Assign Onboarding Buddies
Every new employee needs an onboarding buddy. Bringing a new employee on board is both an exciting and stressful time. And while managers play a critical role in shaping new employees’ first weeks and months, a broader team effort can ensure the experience is both positive and productive. A dedicated and highly engaged current employee should be assigned to help a new hire transition into the organization. Onboarding buddies can improve new employee satisfaction and aide in organizational socialization.
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