The 5 Key Elements of a Perfect Onboarding Experience

BY THE TALENTDASH TEAM | February 28, 2017

First impressions count just as much for employees as they do for their new employers. So forget the quick lesson on using the office photocopier and focus on a positive onboarding experience that will pay dividends later down the line.

There was a time when employers were of the mind that a new employee should be over the moon to have a job in the first place and that an opportunity to shake the boss’s hand on their first day at the office was a rewarding enough experience.

Thankfully those days are gone, and we now live in a world where employers realize the true benefit of treating their new employees with the respect that they deserve.

So with this in mind, it may be time to upgrade your cup of tea and a cookie welcome strategy to something a bit more substantial. But before we take a look at our five key elements, why is that providing an amazing experience for new hires is so important?

Long-term gains
While a positive onboarding experience is, at the outset, primarily beneficial to your new hire, the long-term gains for the employer are just as important.

According to SHRM Foundation, 69% of employees are more likely to stay for three years or longer if they have a great onboarding experience. This alone is cause enough for HR managers across the globe to roll out the proverbial red carpet for their new hires knowing that they are sowing the seeds of loyalty for years to come.

Our 5 key elements
Contrary to popular belief an emotionally driven orientation process is preferable to a purely work-based one. And by incorporating these five elements into your process, you stand a much better chance of retaining that talent you worked so hard to get in the first place.

Welcome them from the off
The welcome email is when orientation begins, and it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce many of the finer details of the company. The email should contain links to documents that outline basic information such as the orientation schedule, employee benefits, working hours, and any company policies that may affect their day to day work life such as dress code.

Offering them this early chance to read up on the details that they are most likely to have questions on will lessen the first-day jitters considerably and allow them to focus more on their orientation.

The welcome email is also an opportunity to let new employees in on some of the regular goings on at the office or even social outings. A simple “Oh, by the way, we usually eat lunch together on Mondays, you’re more than welcome to join us” will make them feel incredibly welcome and part of the team before they have even set foot in the door.

Put names to faces 
Being the new person in the office is often nerve-racking enough without having to remember everyone’s names on top of it all. But aside from making everyone wear name cards for an employee’s first week, how can you make it clear who’s who in the office especially in terms of hierarchy?

If your company website has a ‘meet the team’ page that lists everyone in the office, then they can, of course, refer to that. If not then a simple page on the company intranet or even a spreadsheet complete with names, titles, and photos will be a most welcome addition to the welcome pack.

Ease them into their workload 
Unless time is running against you on a must-finish project, then it pays to adopt a softly-softly approach with new employees. If they become overloaded with work on the first day and have to stay late to finish up, then they may reconsider their decision to take this job. Or even worse, they might start to feel that they are incapable.

Keep their workload simple and light for at least a few days so that they feel competent in their new role. These positive emotions will lead to an enthusiastic approach to work, and before you know it, they’ll be up to speed with their colleagues.

Create a people-first orientation schedule
There will be plenty of time for paperwork and filling in spreadsheets later down the line. The first days of orientation should be all about building relationships between the current team and your new employee.

It’s often a good idea to assign a mentor for new hires as it helps them get a better understanding of the nuances of the office and company. However, if possible, try to encourage a few team members to help out with this, so your new employee has more opportunities to communicate with the rest of their new colleagues.

Try to think of onboarding as a team-building experience, and you’re on the right track to onboarding success.

Feed them chocolate
Everyone loves chocolate, right? Okay, so perhaps this one seems in jest, but we do have a point so bear with us.

Even though a new hire may not achieve much of note during their initial week or two of work, they still need to hear that they are doing a good job. Give credit where credit is due and sometimes even when it’s not. Letting them know that you value their efforts will have a positive effect on their confidence, especially if, unknown to you, they were considering calling it a day.

So sure, go right ahead and reward them with a box of chocolates after their first week on the job. It might seem a little crazy but it’s something your new employee will never forget, and like we said, everyone loves chocolate.

Before you get to the onboarding stage, you’re going to need to find that candidate, but don’t worry TalentDash has you covered.  to get a preview of 8 candidates that you’ll want to roll out the red carpet for. 

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