ONBOARDING NEW EMPLOYEES is becoming a more personalized process with goals of increasing retention, reducing anxiety and sparking a genuine connection between the company and employee. Trends are evolving the process from a static one-time orientation event to a more dynamic and immersive experience.
“When onboarding is done well, it lays a foundation for long-term success for the employee and the employer,” says human resources firm SHRM. “It can improve productivity, build loyalty and engagement, and help employees become successful early in their careers with the new organization.”
Here are five effective and innovative trends companies are implementing to improve the onboarding process.
Initiating new employee onboarding before the formal procedures begin is a great way to develop a stronger relationship and encourage participation. Quick engagement is key but don’t overwhelm them. Activities can be sent before prospects even accept a job offer to make them feel part of the company and culture. First steps in the onboarding process can be sent on a mobile device. Send company products or merchandise as a welcome gift before the full onboarding process begins to make the new hire feel welcome and encourage them to engage with and learn about the brand.
Many companies are incorporating gamification or augmented reality in their onboarding process, where new hires can level up as they complete tasks, earn prizes and even earn points that can be cashed in for products and perks. Training should focus on how they can succeed in the company based on their job duties. Send a personalized welcome video instead of a generic message. Emphasize the importance of their role and duties within the company. Teach them how to best communicate within the organization both with their co-workers, supervisors or subordinates. Ask for feedback on how to improve the onboarding experience.
3/ New-Hire Surveys
Asking for feedback after the onboarding process, or even after individual segments of the process, goes a long way in making the new employee feel valued and part of the company. Explain how the survey results will be used to improve the experience and the importance of the feedback. Keep the survey brief (around 15 minutes should do it). Consider conducting incremental surveys throughout the first three months of the employee joining.
Building and strengthening relationships among employees doesn’t have to come after the onboarding process. Consider creating a buddy or mentorship program with a veteran employee, preferably one with similar job duties or in the same department. This mentor is more likely to understand the new hire’s perception and experience than a higher-level manager or a human resource professional. Host a new employee lunch focused on relationship building instead of focusing on company policy. Make sure to incorporate fun games and friendly competitions.
5/ Opportunities for Advancement
While the onboarding experience shouldn’t be overwhelming, briefly explaining how new hires can advance their careers within the company can enhance the overall process. Include a simple chronology of how other employees have advanced within the organization. This might include promotions and lateral moves. This helps form an image of long-term employment and lays out an attainable goal from Day 1.
From the October 2022 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.