10 Onboarding Activities to Improve the Employee Experience. Number 6 Will Surprise You!
10 Onboarding Activities to Improve the Employee Experience. Number 6 Will Surprise You!

10 Onboarding Activities to Improve the Employee Experience. Number 6 Will Surprise You!

Day 1, new hire paperwork is archaic

A solid employee onboarding process sets the tone for all of your new hires, making these employees feel welcome. They shouldn’t have to wait two weeks before getting a laptop or spend the first couple of days filling out a seemingly endless stream of paperwork. If that’s their experience, chances are high that they will likely form a less than favorable opinion of the company and might not be there for the long term. On the other hand, when your onboarding program is a great experience, your new top talent can jump right into their jobs and start making an immediate impact on the business. If you think your company has room for improvement, here are ten onboarding activities that you can implement to take your process from “just okay” to “awesome.”

  1. Make sure the onboarding process starts before the new employee does.
  2. Nothing says, “We’re happy you’re here” to a new employee like having everything they need ready to go prior to their start date. Once the ink is dry on the offer letter, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. Email your new hire with instructions about where to park their first day on the job. Share a map of the office highlighting important areas such as restrooms, break rooms, the gym and the cafeteria. Send them a copy of your employee handbook. Give them an org chart outlining who does what and highlight the existing employees they’ll be working with the most frequently, as well as their key stakeholders.

  3. Connect the team on LinkedIn or in a private messaging group.
  4. Start fostering a sense of community among team members right away by inviting the new employee to connect on LinkedIn or a dedicated Slack channel. This is a more informal way to introduce them to your company’s culture.

  5. Give the new employee company swag.
  6. Everyone likes swag! Notebooks, pens, a T-shirt and ballcap emblazoned with the company logo always make good welcome gifts. Also, make sure they have their first box of business cards.

  7. Add them to the company intranet.
  8. Ask your new hire to share a photo and brief bio with you so you can have it posted to the “Today’s News” section on their first day.

  9. Conduct a scavenger hunt.
  10. Create a series of tasks and questions designed to help new hires get acquainted with all areas of the company including company culture and jargon. It’s also a novel way to help them meet other employees and learn what they do.

  11. Match up the new hire with a buddy.
  12. Having a mentoring program has been proven to help with guiding new employees through their first couple of months on the job. A buddy can serve as the connection between a new employee and the institutional knowledge at your office. Which conference rooms are fair game? What’s the communication etiquette across departments? Buddies can be a big boost to encouraging employee engagement.

    But don’t stop there! Lot’s of companies have buddy systems, but it could be so much better. When thinking about your ideal situation, try and match new hires with similar personality types. Are they introverts or extraverts? If it’s an option at your organization have them take a Myers-Briggs test before their first day so you can understand them a little better. This will help them adjust quickly and feel more at home.

  13. Give them a glossary.
  14. Everyone’s worked at a company where they just assume you understand the alphabet soup lingo they use on a daily basis. Don’t be that company! Hiring managers should give new employees a guidebook to your specific terminology. Be sure to include company-wide and department-specific acronyms and initialisms as well as industry-specific jargon. A Who’s Who gallery is also a great idea, and it can be used to supplement the org charts that you provide.

  15. Build out an agenda for their first week.
  16. Few things are worse than starting a new job and not knowing what’s expected of you. If you set an agenda for the first week, it can help get your new hire acclimated to what they’ll regularly be doing. If you have a procedure manual for specific tasks, make sure they have a copy that they can reference now and in the future.

  17. Create 30-, 60- and 90-day expectations.
  18. To go along with the agenda, outline exactly what you see as future success for the employee. Include the steps they should follow to ramp up to full capacity. And don’t just hand them a piece of paper and expect them to follow your bullet points. Check in with them at these milestones (and in between) to see how they’re doing. Also have them fill out an onboarding survey so you can monitor how you’re doing.

  19. Take them to lunch or happy hour.
  20. Getting to know your new hire (and giving them a great opportunity to get to know you and the team) in a more relaxed environment is never a bad idea. Enforce a “no work talk” rule to help encourage building a personal connection.

Paycor Can Help

Remember, onboarding doesn’t stop after the first week. Or the first month. It’s not a “one and done” process. The end of an employee’s first year on the job is when onboarding transitions into retention and employee satisfaction and when job training turns into learning and development. If your onboarding system really isn’t a system at all and you want to improve your onboarding experience, get in touch. Our experts are always happy to help!


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