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Tips for Successful Onboarding

Tips for Successful Onboarding

Jul 28, 2016

It’s no secret that a bad hire can be costly, and that cost is more than just financial. The whole process of finding talent has to begin anew, often with deadlines even more critical than they were with the first search.

One way to decrease the likelihood of a bad hire situation is to focus on the onboarding process. For so many companies, the onboarding process is a long day of reading and filling out forms, rote handshakes, and a final stop at the new hire’s desk. There is nary more than a cursory “Good luck” before the hire is left to their own devices. This type of onboarding can leave most hires feeling adrift in the deep end when they have yet to learn how to swim.

There are numerous examples of ‘extreme onboarding’ where new hires are treated to onboarding that is fun, engaging, and immersive. Well-known companies like Google, Zappos, and Facebook have created onboarding experiences that are memorable, not mind-numbing.

If extreme onboarding seems a bit much for your company, there are still some things you can do to make your onboarding experience more successful.

1. Expand the onboarding process beyond Day 1 -- Very few people make the decision to stay with a company on their first day. Similarly, onboarding should extend beyond day one. It doesn’t have to be extreme. In-person check-ins to see how the new hire is settling in and getting along once a month works.

2. Give them some company swag -- Nothing says “I’m part of the team” like wearing the uniform. Whether that’s a shirt with the company logo on it or a true uniform, company swag gives the new hire something tangible to show they’re welcome.

3. Make Day 1 fun -- The first day at work is often filled with endless training videos and numerous forms to fill out. Though these are necessary, making them a fun and engaging experience instead of just routine goes a long way to warming the new hire to the company.

4. Set them up with a mentor -- Wading into new duties at a new company can be intimidating, especially as a new hire tries to settle in. Providing them with a dedicated mentor as a point of contact allows them to ask questions they may not feel comfortable asking their manager or boss. It also gives them someone they know they can go to for advice or information.

5. Settle the details -- It really is the little things that make new hires feel welcome at a company. Whether it’s how to work the printer or what time coffee is made, these easy to overlook details can make a drastic difference in how a new hire feels at the end of the first week.

6. Don’t expect them to dive in on Day 1 -- Many new hires are dropped off at their desk at the end of the formal onboarding process and told “go.” An employee’s first day should be dedicated to immersing in the culture of the company and learning the processes and expectations that go along with the job.

Onboarding differs company to company. If changing your onboarding process alone seems daunting, Talmadge can help. We offer a free, no-obligation strategy session that can help you improve your onboarding process.