Want better employee engagement? Create an effective onboarding strategy
To a new hire, joining a company in a new role can be terrifying. A great onboarding program can ease some of the inevitable tension. Find below testimonials from recent hires at Arteel and some practical tips.
Spoiler alert: A positive onboarding experience doesn’t need a heavy investment; all it takes is a good framework and team collaboration.
Starting off on the right foot
Getting onboarding right translates to higher employee retention, increased levels of creativity and innovation, and the growth of a positive office culture. Getting it wrong, however, can lead to employee dissatisfaction, lower rates of productivity, and a lack of trust within the organisation.
This effect was documented in a study performed by the Society of Human Resource Management. It was found that 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. But how do you provide this?
‘Here’s your desk. Good luck!’
Many make the mistake of equating the terms “onboarding” and “orientation”, thinking that the process only entails handing out paperwork and providing equipment. They simply lead someone to their desk, giving them the necessary materials and leaving them to “get comfortable” by themselves.
Although some of these procedures are a part of it, a good onboarding initiative encompasses the fundamentals while introducing yourself and your company’s values in a unique and welcoming way. This is extremely important when accepting new members onto your team.
‘A personalized welcome message and an extensive onboarding program made me feel like I was finally coming home to a large, warm family of colleagues.’– Nikki
First impressions are everything
Onboarding is the first step in creating a sense of community in the workplace while educating the employee on company processes and missions. Making a great first impression is crucial to establishing trust and companionship between you and the new hire.
Knowing who to ask when a question arises, creating interpersonal bonds with colleagues, and having the confidence to present innovative ideas in a meeting are all positive behaviours that develop with implementing a good social onboarding process.
Making sure new hires hit the ground running
There are many ways to achieve this. At Arteel, to help the first day go smoothly for the newbies, before their arrival we make a point to introduce them to the whole team using some basic information. In a mass email sent to the entire company, we include their names, age, and a bit about their background.
These small but impactful interactions make a huge difference in an onboarding experience. No more awkward moments and introduction marathons!
‘People knew my name, where I was from and that I was starting that day. Even people in different departments. This made me feel very welcome.’ – Eelke
On top of that, new hires receive a personal video message from the CEO one week before starting. From various employee testimonials, this was seen as a huge morale booster. Upon arriving, new hires will also find a hand-written card on their desks and multiple screens throughout the office wishing them a warm welcome. These may seem like small things but they really make a difference.
Personal message from the CEO before starting
Breaking the ice
The responsibility for planning and carrying out the onboarding process does not fall on the shoulders of one department. Delivering a great experience, everyone needs to get involved. Including people from all different departments allows the new employee to socialise and get to know everyone. A great way to introduce new hires to their colleagues is by engaging in a fun, immersive activity or a unique ice breaker.
For example, a long-running tradition at Arteel is to gather the newcomers together, supply them with fresh fruit to prepare and treat the rest of the company to a healthy snack. Going to each and every employee and taking time to have a quick get-to-know-you chat over some fresh fruit is an excellent opener.
‘Never before have I been so warmly and personally welcomed into a company. It immediately sets the tone for a promising adventure!’ – Gilles
This activity noticeably relieves anxiety while allowing new hires to experience giving a gift without expecting something in return, a moral which illustrates one of our values at Arteel.
Another unique aspect of working for Arteel is our RecognisePeers platform. This digital platform allows employees to share and discover the great work that people do in the different departments, making it easier to connect with them and build a sense of community.
A colleague congratulates another for their expertise in HR knowledge and welcomes them warmly to the company. Internal recognition platform ‘RecognisePeers’
Don’t rush it
Entering a new environment and having to start from scratch is hard enough as it is. Instead of expecting the employee to solve the puzzles of working in a new organisation by themselves, teach them about the company culture and help them understand their role.
The onboarding process is a journey, not a rush to a destination. It should not be considered complete in a day, a week, or even one month. In fact, in some roles new hires need anywhere from 12-18 months to reach peak performance.
‘It felt warm like the sun, the way people were so willing to be kind and helpful to me, a newcomer.’ – Allie
Also, regular check-ins are important to ascertain whether an employee is fitting in and feeling confident to perform their duties until they are an experienced employee.
Wrapping it up
The goal of onboarding is to help employees feel comfortable entering their new role within the organisation. Creating a positive onboarding program is not complex, it simply reflects basic human needs, such as feeling welcome and wanted. Try brainstorming within your team to find unique and exciting ways to include new employees at work.
You’ll be surprised at their positive reactions, and they’ll be pleasantly surprised with the effort you put in specifically for them and their benefit.
Our 5 Tips
1. Get a head start
Introduce new hires to your employees before their arrival. Have a meeting or send an email to achieve this.
2. Make an excellent first impression
Personalise the experience. Place welcome cards on the newbies’ desks and send a video to each of them before the first day.
3. Engage in an ice breaker
Think outside the box to initiate a unique encounter. Time to brainstorm! What would be the best way to bring everyone together?
4. Create a positive atmosphere
Utilise a culture enhancing platform! We use RecognisePeers to promote connection and build a sense of community by sending warm, appreciative messages to our colleagues.
5. Take your time
Perform regular wellness check-ins and show employees how they can excel in their role over time. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Don’t worry if you’re still unsure how to implement our tips!
Reach out to one of our experts here.