10 Tips to Improve Your Onboarding Experience - Netchex

The onboarding experience sets the tone for new hires. You’ve chosen the best applicants. Now, it’s time to get them excited about joining the team. 

The onboarding experience is important for not only new employees, but your whole team. Are you using this crucial time to:

  • Properly welcome new employees?
  • Integrate new employees onto the team?
  • Emphasize company culture?
  • Initiate a development plan for new employees? 

Here are a few tips for improving your company’s onboarding experience.

Congratulate and celebrate

You’ve probably had to give some bad news to several unsuccessful applicants. Partially for your own sake, be sure to make the most of those happy job offers. Kick the onboarding experience off right. In addition to a formal confirmation, send a more friendly and personalized congratulations. Let the new hires know they’re welcome and appreciated.

Plan a welcome lunch with the team for their first day, even if it’s just their department or a few coworkers. Small talk and socializing will give employees a chance to get to know one another. With a positive first impression, the rest of your team will also have more patience when helping the new hire.

Start onboarding remotely

How do you make time for lunch and socializing on day one? Get started on paperwork before their first day. Use virtual and remote onboarding tools before new hires even step foot in the office. 

Onboarding goes a lot more smoothly with HR software. Schedule a series of NetGuide tasks, and let your new hires complete paperwork like W-4’s independently. You can also include a short welcome video about company culture and optional resources. New hires will be enthusiastic to learn as much as possible about their new job and company.

Create a welcome pack

Everybody appreciates free swag. Do you have company t-shirts? Print the company logo on coffee mugs or reusable water bottles. Invest in one or two quality items, and then you can throw in some random gear as lagniappe. Include practical supplies like pens and a notepad, focusing on things they’re likely to need in their first weeks.

Include a personal message from leadership in your welcome packet. That can be their manager or department head, maybe even senior management. Entry-level workers at a massive office probably won’t get to know the CEO personally, so a supervisor or department head might be able to write a more genuine message.

Prepare their equipment and tools

Get the equipment ready, whether that includes a computer, desk, phone, and/or peripheral accessories. Make sure everything is set up and ready immediately for your new hire.

They’ll also need login credentials for the company software and any additional programs they will need to perform their job. Technical difficulties on their first day can waste valuable time, make a bad impression, and derail your entire onboarding experience.

Emphasize company culture

What makes your company special? Introduce your values and your company’s unique niche within your industry. Some job seekers don’t do very much research before applying. Let them know about resources available to employees, which is easiest with the help of a Learning Management System. Highlight the employee perks and benefits, including employee success stories and opportunities for advancement.

Meet the team

Include a tour of the office and introductions to other employees, especially management and the rest of their own department. If you can take the team to lunch after introductions, then it’s good to include the tour in the morning. New hires will need to know how to reach the break room, restrooms, and HR, as well as their own desk.

Outline a complete onboarding plan

Onboarding is more than just one day or even the first week. Keep new hires on track throughout the onboarding experience with a clearly defined plan that stretches multiple weeks or months into the future. Include the whole training period and initial performance evaluations. The best way to keep new hires engaged is for them to know exactly what to expect and when beyond the first few days.

Be flexible

It’s good to have a detailed onboarding plan, but the dates and order don’t have to be rigid. Be prepared to adapt. Your preferred trainer or a department head might have an unexpected conflict. You can rearrange the order of different activities, or start with the simplest tasks. If you have the time for extra skills, cross-training your new hires will give them a better picture of how departments work together.

Check in frequently

With regular employees, you’ll want to check in at least once a month. It would be better if you can have some kind of personal contact once a week. New hires need more attention and help than established employees. You’ll naturally be significantly involved during the first stages, but make sure you stay connected and stay accessible throughout the onboarding experience.

Let them go early

The first few days are overwhelming. It’s a lot of information, and new hires can only learn (and actually remember) so much. It doesn’t have to be a half day, but consider letting new hires off early. They can beat the traffic, and you don’t have to worry about leaving a task or training session half-completed at 5PM. 

The onboarding experience can feel like a hassle, especially when there’s a lot of paperwork involved. Don’t let yourself (or your new hires) get bogged down. Use onboarding software to streamline paperwork and turbo charge your whole company culture.

Ensure new employees are setup for success beyond their first day with our Ultimate Onboarding Checklist

Discover how Netchex can help you improve your onboarding experience with NetGuide:

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