It can be a daunting experience starting with a new employer and can in all honesty feel quite stressful. A robust employee onboarding process is the cherry on top of a well-oiled recruitment process. This is your organisations’ opportunity to set the tone for a truly great experience throughout their journey with you – as they say you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.
We want to provide you with our nine top tips on how you can support your employee onboarding experience and help them feel welcomed into your organisation, whilst helping set your new team members up for success! (All the while being in a virtual world!)
1. Keep it simple
It is very typical that many organisations will have jargon that has grown legs over the years. Make sure you break this down so that new joiners don’t feel left out of the crew.
2. Develop a consistent approach
A consistent experience across the board is crucial to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. We would recommend creating a simple schedule that you will complete for each new joiner so everyone can gain the right level of knowledge – getting to know the organisational structure, looking at the products and services you provide, speaking to multiple people within your organisation and understanding the do’s and don’ts with policies. Incorporating plenty of breaks and gaps between sessions is crucial, your new joiners could be feeling overwhelmed and it’s important that you put time in for them to absorb all the new information and allow them to get up from their laptop!
3. Bring your leadership in from the start
Every new joiner at Nine Feet Tall gets the pleasure of meeting one of our leadership team within their first couple of weeks, to talk about our strategy and set the tone for who we are as a company and where we’ve come from. We recommend investing this time as it will help cement the values and cultural beliefs that will have been discussed throughout the interview process.
4. Keep the communication high
Our very own Esther McMorris founded our applicant experience named OJ (Orange Joiners) group, a virtual world to ensure everyone has an ongoing forum to ask questions, gain more knowledge about the business and foster relationships from the start. A perfect way to create the best virtual onboarding experience. In the absence of real-life meetups this has been an invaluable forum to collaborate and often have some breathing space from the madness of starting a new role.
5. Encourage ‘speed dating’
Linking in with tip number four, we ask our team to reach out to everyone for a speed date or virtual coffee chat to get to know what they’re working on, their experience of the organisation and continue to build relationships across the board. For larger organisations, it can be useful to provide key contacts across functions to really encourage collaboration and teamwork across all roles from the outset. Just another example of creating that best practice virtual onboarding whilst adding to the overall employee experience.
6. Get with the culture
Every company has its own culture; your employee onboarding process is an opportunity to benefit from adding cultural diversity whilst also showcasing what you do best and why. Culture isn’t dictated by written documents but more the unspoken norms that allow you to operate successfully as an organisation. This has been a challenge in our new virtual working world, but it is still possible to set up team building exercises across the board. Nine Feet Tall has benefited from virtual escape rooms, collaborative virtual brownie making sessions and virtual come dine with me’s to help enhance the virtual onboarding experience of our new joiners.
7. Provide access to tools and resources from the start
It goes without saying that new joiners will need to get to grips with all the different tools to support them, make sure they know how to access all the different systems you use and highlight why they’re important. Make sure they have all the technology required before they start to familiarise themselves and setup a clear and safe workspace. Although it can feel arduous it’s important to ensure that they are clear on your policies and core processes to share in a mutually agreed expectation of ways of working. Focus on getting this right from the start and enjoy the benefits of improved employee experience throughout.
8. Get the right support in place
Assigning a buddy or mentor is crucial. This gives your new joiner access to someone who knows your organisation well, to ask all the perceived ‘stupid’ questions and bounce ideas off if they’re finding the experience stressful and potentially lonely when remote. In an ideal world, this should be someone who the new joiner wouldn’t be working with directly so they can solely act as a trusted confidant to integrate into the organisation with.
9. Get creative with visualising the future
All organisations want to build trust and loyalty with their new joiners, the employee onboarding process is the start of this build of a psychological contract, so it’s crucial that you take them on a journey to understand the makeup of the team, where everyone has come from and where you want to get to. Naturally your new joiner will start thinking where they fit in to the overarching picture and will start to build enthusiasm for reaching a shared goal.
Are you growing and looking to improve your employee onboarding experience? Or, perhaps you like the sound of how we do things here at Nine Feet Tall? Everything starts with a conversation, so we welcome a chat, just email firstname.lastname@example.org