Are you ready to set your new employees up for success? The onboarding experience plays a crucial role in ensuring your new hires are equipped with the skills and enthusiasm to excel in their roles. After all, the onboarding process serves as the foundation for an employee's first impression of your company culture.
Don't settle for a standard onboarding program filled with HR paperwork and training sessions. To truly engage and excite your new employees, you need to think outside the box. By exploring creative ways to onboard new employees, you'll ensure your new hires feel prepared for their roles and are eager to contribute to your organization.
These fun ways to welcome new employees will start your new hires on the right foot and set your organization up for success. Let’s dive right in and ensure your new employees feel ready to take on any challenge that comes their way!
10 Creative Ways To Onboard New Employees
Forget the piles of paperwork and never-ending training sessions that come to mind when you think about onboarding new employees. It's time to revolutionize the onboarding process and make it engaging, exciting, and effective.
Take a cue from these great onboarding ideas and reimagine what onboarding can be. Your employees (and your organization) will thank you for it.
1. The buddy program
Looking for a quick way to help employees fit right in? Try the buddy program. It’s an informal support system to help new hires blend in with a little help from a buddy.
The onboarding buddy is a seasoned employee who assists new hires understand their role and company culture. They answer questions, help navigate the workplace, and solve any concerns. This helps new hires learn the ropes faster.
Did you know tech giant Microsoft has the buddy system in place? They found that those who met with their buddies regularly during the first few weeks saw a boost in productivity.
Read more: All you need to know about the buddy system, here.
2. Scavenger hunt
It’s easier to get to know your team members and office layout when it’s interactive and fun.
By sending new employees on a scavenger hunt around the office, you can kill two birds with one stone: they'll familiarize themselves with the office layout while also getting to know their new colleagues.
You can have all new employees participate in this, while old employees hand out clues. This way, you get employees engaged and bonded with each other.
And why not add a fun twist? Include a funny selfie or an interesting fact about your people or company culture. This ensures your new employees will remember the experience long after it's over.
With a little creativity, you can transform a mundane task into a memorable and engaging activity that sets the tone for a positive employee onboarding experience.
Read more: Try these fun Friday games in the office to build camaraderie.
3. The boot camp
It’s easy for organizations to get siloed off. Support works with support, sales with sales, and tech with tech.
In the Bootcamp method, a new joiner rotates through all teams in the organization. It’s the perfect remedy for silos.
Not only do new hires learn processes inside out, but it really throws light on what other departments work on and taste what they go through rather than just hearing about it.
Etsy, the e-commerce company, uses this method for both new hires and leaders. Once the new hire is in, they spend a week with the team that hired them, then spend the next four to six weeks rotating through other departments.
4. The entry interview
An often overlooked onboarding activity, the entry interview provides some insightful information at a much earlier stage in the funnel. Sometimes, you won’t get a chance to figure all this out until much later (for better or for worse).
It’s like an exit interview, but it’s designed to take place a few weeks after the new hire joins. This helps to hire managers and other key stakeholders to identify problems early on. During this process, new hires share information about their career aspirations, skills, knowledge, preferences, values, interests, and more.
Besides helping employees feel valued from day one, it helps build relationships. For managers, it gives them a lot of insight into the employee. Armed with this, they can motivate employees and help make their contributions more meaningful.
5. Company swag
New hires are eager to represent their new employer. Company swag helps with this from day one.
Whether it's a stylish hat, a cozy long-sleeve t-shirt, a gift card to your store, a coupon to happy hour, or a handwritten note from the CEO, there are countless ways to enjoy swag. But instead of simply distributing pre-selected items to your team members, why not give them the power of choice?
This approach not only empowers them to personalize their onboarding experience but also ensures that they feel valued and integrated from the very beginning.
Just remember, whatever you include in your company swag must represent your organization and values so new hires feel connected to the business.
Making new hires feel welcomed and included from the very start is crucial. You can do this by organizing a team meeting on their first day, whether in person or on a video call.
Thanks to technology, it's easier than ever to break the ice and create a sense of belonging. This makes it easier even for new remote joiners to feel like part of the team.
Gathering as a team and getting to know one another, helps establish a sense of camaraderie and create a positive work environment that encourages collaboration and productivity.
To make sure it’s one of those fun onboarding programs, you can get everyone to play games like two truths and a lie, team trivia, or get-to-know-you questions.
7. Engage new hires with videos
For employee onboarding, it's worth being creative. Rather than sticking to a conventional orientation process, why not begin with an engaging video that showcases your company's history, culture, and significant achievements?
Studies have revealed that onboarding programs can result in a 15% improvement in employee retention after the first year.
This approach fosters a sense of pride and enthusiasm among new hires. It also provides ample time to prepare questions and delve deeper into the company's values during the induction.
Trivago is a great example. This innovative company makes use of interactive videos to kick-start its onboarding process, and the outcomes are impressive.
8. ‘Be prepared’ employee handbook
The Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared.” Use this motto for your new hires and create a ‘be prepared’ employee handbook.
From directions to the office building to recommending parking spots to eateries nearby to who their team members and managers are, teaching them the ways around the break room, this handbook will ensure new hires have access to everything they need to walk through the door on day one with confidence.
You can give this out as a digital or physical copy along with some blank pages for some note-taking. The best part, it doubles as company swag!
9. The 30, 60, 90, 180-day plan
It’s great to have a plan for new hires from the moment they walk in. This helps them feel organized and prepared, ensuring they do not miss any important meetings, events, or to-dos.
Consider this onboarding plan because it provides a structured and systematic approach to new employee orientation. This plan outlines specific goals and objectives for the new hire to achieve during their first few months on the job. It helps them better understand their role, expectations, and how they can contribute to the organization.
The plan is broken down into four distinct phases:
- The first 30 days, when the new employee is getting acclimated to the job and the company
- The second 30 days, where they begin to take on more responsibilities and learn more about the company culture
- The third 30 days, where they are expected to make a tangible impact and contribute to the company's goals
- The final 90 days, where they are fully integrated into the team and are expected to be self-sufficient
Using a 30-60-90-180 day onboarding plan can help new hires to feel supported and empowered during their first few months on the job. It also helps ensure the company gets the most out of its new hire by setting clear expectations and goals for their performance.
Try this: A comprehensive employee onboarding checklist for a seamless process.
10. Keep employees engaged even after they sign on the dotted line
Once a new hire accepts the offer, it's crucial to begin their onboarding journey right away. A well-executed onboarding process can significantly impact how welcome and integrated a new employee feels from day one.
With the aid of onboarding software, you can send out engaging welcome emails that offer insights into your company's mission, values, growth, and how it functions.
In addition, preparing new hires for formalities and document submissions ahead of their start date can make the process hassle-free. The option of uploading soft copies of their documents helps save time and energy for both parties.
To help ease any nerves they may have on their first day, it's essential to give new hires a clear idea of what to expect. One way to do this is by creating a section with FAQs and assigning a point of contact.
LinkedIn, for example, offers a comprehensive 'New Hire Onboarding Roadmap' that guides new employees through the process and streamlines the entire experience.
Are You Ready To Implement These Great Onboarding Ideas?
The ultimate goal of any successful onboarding process is to get your new employees excited and motivated to work for your company. It's not enough to just provide them with the necessary information and tools to do their job. You want to create an experience that instills a sense of pride and enthusiasm for your organization.
Remember, your new hires are stepping into a new environment, and they may be unsure if they made the right decision. That's why it's crucial to show them how much you care and make them feel welcome from day one.
Fortunately, there are tools and resources available to help you create a memorable onboarding experience that sets your organization apart. Loop, for example, offers comprehensive employee health benefits that can demonstrate your commitment to your team's well-being and showcase your organization's values.
By prioritizing your employees' happiness and well-being, you can establish a strong company culture and retain top talent in the long run.