20+ Onboarding Hacks to Improve the Employee Experience [Free Report]
May 23, 2018
One of the areas that most businesses can improve is onboarding. Despite some advanced practices happening in some firms, for many employers onboarding is about nothing more than completing a bunch of tax forms and signing an employee handbook. That’s a missed opportunity and can actually drive people to look for other jobs! In fact, more than 30% of new employees look for a new job within their first six months on the job, but workers that pass through a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to be with the company three years later (HBR).
With that in mind, let’s look at some highly practical ways to modify your approach to onboarding to improve results with onboarding, whether that be cultural or social assimilation, knowledge sharing, or another measure. The report includes stories from firms like Accenture, MasterCard, Cadbury, and more!
20+ Onboarding Hacks
- 10/100. In the first 10 days on the job, managers have to outline on paper (before the person starts on the job!) how the person will have 100 touchpoints across the business to connect them socially with formal and informal resources they need to thrive in the job. Those could be people, resources, information sources, or other components of the job.
- Manager ownership. Managers have responsibility for 25% of onboarding process. One challenge we have as HR/talent/learning leaders is trying to get managers on board with what we know to be important. By transparently giving them control over a portion of the onboarding process they can tailor the approach to fit the needs of their team or department.
- Email preview. Before the person’s first day on the job, send out a template email with minor customizations based on their office location or team that outlines key information such as how to get help for IT issues, what most people do for lunch, what to expect on their first day, and other critical information so they arrive prepared and ready to learn.
- Connect in advance. Have a handful of social-minded employees connect with the new hire on LinkedIn in advance of their start date as a way to introduce themselves and help the person start to feel a sense of connectivity with the organization and its people.
- Pick 5. On their desk on day one, list ten different job titles. The person gets to pick five of those to have lunch with during their first week on the job, giving them a tailored experience based on their interests. For example, if you’re curious about marketing maybe a job title you’d want to have lunch with is a creative director. Even if your job is outside marketing you can start understanding how that team operates.
- I want candy. When the new hire arrives give them a notecard to gather information on favorite drink, candy bar, etc. When they return from the initial policy orientation session an hour later, have those things waiting for them at their desk.
- Seamless handoff. Shoot for the goal of giving the new hire little to no “alone” time during their first day. Each meeting should transition directly to someone else with no waiting or sitting around, as there is probably nothing the person can actually do while waiting anyway. This not only gives them a lot of touchpoints socially, it also makes the most of those early days when they may not yet have a computer, account, or other equipment to get started.
- Handwritten note. Years ago I worked with a leader that gave a template letter with a small handwritten note at the end to every new hire. The letter was a reminder that he not only chose the person, but that the person chose to join the team. The handwritten portion talked specifically about the skills and value he saw the person bringing to the team and created a positive relationship right from the start.
- Mission connection. Take time to give people a connection to the deeper culture and mission of the firm. For example, at a previous firm our founder and CEO would talk about the customer we were serving and how each action we took could help save lives. Plus, behavioral scientist Dan Ariely says that people are twice as productive when they feel a deeper connection to the work and task they are doing.
- Origin stories. GATR Technologies CEO starts off new hires with the story of how he packed up his prototype device and drove down to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to help establish communications for local recovery efforts. This helps connect people with the greater purpose of the firm and (specifically) its origin.
Want to see the other 10+ hacks in the list? Drop your email in below and get a copy of the full report emailed directly to you.