In today’s fast-paced start-up and corporate world, the overall success of any organization relies heavily on its ability to effectively onboard new employees. At rater8, we understand the unique challenges and expectations that come with entering a new workplace.
Onboarding starts once the new hire accepts their offer and continues beyond the first 90 days.
It’s vital to consider the entire vision of onboarding, including both company and department onboarding. Let’s explore the steps of effective onboarding and how they play a pivotal role in ensuring the success and retention of new hires.
Key Elements of Effective Onboarding
More Paperwork… Or Not
In today’s cloud-based world, we are accustomed to digital interactions. Leveraging technology to streamline the onboarding process is beneficial in both remote and in-person work environments. At rater8, we make it simple for employees to accept their offer letters and complete new hire documents electronically using an automated onboarding process.
Companies like Capterra take the guesswork out of deciding which cloud-based HR system might best meet your company’s needs. Digitizing your onboarding process will not only enhance data efficiency, but will also create a seamless and efficient experience for new hires and HR employees.
New Hire Swag Kits
Swag is a popular trend, and company-branded swag not only boosts brand pride and engagement but also makes new hires feel appreciated. At rater8, we send swag kits to our new hires a few days before their start date, generating excitement and a sense of connection to our company.
Examples of employee swag include items like mugs, tumblers, hats, shirts, notebooks, and more. While we handle our swag kit creation and logistics due to our hiring volume, larger companies with extensive hiring needs can opt to outsource this process to one of many top swag vendors. These vendors offer a wide range of product choices, storage and shipping solutions, and pricing options to suit various budgets.
Remove the Guesswork
Effective communication is crucial for new hires. Starting a new job is exciting but can also be nerve-wracking. Questions about the first-day logistics, training, dress code, and breaks often arise.
Eliminating uncertainty for new hires and maintaining continuous communication throughout their journey is essential. While we didn’t consistently achieve this in the past, we’ve made improvements, resulting in recent feedback from new hires who have described our onboarding process as the best in their careers. Regrettably, many of them have recounted experiences from previous jobs where their managers appeared unprepared and flustered, as if they were unaware of their start date.
We’ve made significant changes to improve the onboarding process. We now send an email one week before the start date to inform new hires about what to expect and how to prepare for their first day. We set clear communication expectations and provide a Zoom link for the new hire orientation. Additionally, we involve the hiring manager to ensure they send a training outline and necessary calendar invites for the first week.
For onsite roles, it may help to include directions to the office, parking details, and contact information for their arrival, ensuring a smooth welcome process.
An organized and well-structured orientation program is essential for your company and your new hires. This program should include an engaging overview of the company’s history, values, culture, resources, and expectations. Employees want to understand the “why” behind their role, so it’s crucial to provide context to help them connect with the bigger picture. Additionally, the first day of employment can be overwhelming with meetings, so keep that in mind to avoid exhausting your employees within the first hour of work.
One way we continuously hit the mark at rater8 is by providing orientation for all employees, including full-time, part-time, and agency contractors. We take the time to ensure each orientation session is tailored to the employee.
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Assigning a buddy to new hires can significantly enhance their onboarding experience. According to Indeed, many people appreciate having someone they can approach with questions and concerns other than their new boss. This support system can foster a sense of belonging and encourage open communication to aid in navigating a new company culture.
Traditional training methods may not resonate with all employees, especially in a remote environment. Instead, consider using interactive and technology-driven training modules for required courses that align with their tech-savvy nature. A small detail that employees seem to appreciate is ensuring training platforms are accessible right from their mobile devices for on-the-go access.
Address Growth Opportunities from the Start
Regardless if an employee has 20 days of experience or 20 years, most are eager to know about growth opportunities within the organization. It’s important to remember departmental onboarding is just as vital as company-wide onboarding. Outlining potential career paths and development plans creates a “role map” for employees. This gives new hires a sense of direction and motivation to invest their time and efforts into the company and their current role.
We recently conducted listening sessions in which employees expressed their desire for clear career paths within our organization. Understanding that opportunities for growth serve as a motivator for employees to excel in their current roles while aiming for more, it is crucial to ensure effective communication between leadership and employees during one-on-one meetings. These meetings should encompass discussions about employees’ goals, business requirements, specific action plans, desired outcomes for reaching the next level, and periodic review and adjustment of these goals. This approach enhances the likelihood of employee commitment to delivering results while contributing to the company’s growth.
Continuous Support, Check-Ins, and Feedback
Onboarding doesn’t end after the first week or month. Regular check-ins with new hires are crucial to gauge their progress and address any challenges they might be facing. Create a culture of ongoing support, allowing all employees to feel comfortable seeking assistance whenever they need it. We all value our opinions being heard. Provide avenues for employees to share feedback about the onboarding process and their initial and current experiences. This not only shows that their voices matter, but also helps identify areas for improvement.
Try implementing alternatives to traditional tactics such as open-door policies or anonymous suggestion boxes, which may cause employees to wonder if they are truly anonymous. Launching 30-60-90 surveys has been instrumental in soliciting feedback from our employees.
Create channels through your company’s instant messaging app to encourage collaboration and foster a supportive environment. Some companies allow department-designated email addresses so departments can be contacted directly. There are many avenues to getting feedback from your employees. Keep exploring until you and your employees find a match, even if it requires you to have a few options available at all times.
Onboarding is an Investment in Success
Effective onboarding is a strategic investment in an organization’s success. At rater8, we believe it’s important to understand the significance of aligning onboarding strategies with the expectations and values of employees. By providing structured orientation, assigning buddies, offering interactive training, mapping career growth, providing electronic paperwork, and fostering commitment to continuous improvement, organizations can set their new hires on a path to success. Embracing technology and ensuring new hires remain engaged, motivated, and committed to contributing their best work creates growth for all. Happy onboarding!