When it comes to bringing new employees on, every company has a process they follow for onboarding. However, sometimes this process can be inefficient or needs to be changed. Thus, many managers find themselves in need of onboarding ideas to help them improve their process. These onboarding ideas will help you improve the process you take to bring new employees onboard.
ERE surveyed more than 150 human resources professionals to get some onboarding ideas to share with other employers. Respondents came mostly from small- to medium-sized businesses. They shared their best ideas for bringing on new employees and making them feel welcome on their first days at a new job.
Onboarding Ideas for Getting to Know New Employees
One of the more interesting ideas for onboarding came from TinderBox. All new employees receive training and resources needed to learn the company’s software during their first week. By the end of the week, they are then asked to write a bio for themselves within the software and then distribute to the rest of the business.
Not only do new employees learn the ins and outs of using the software, but they also introduce themselves to other employees at the business. This provides an excellent way for workers to get to know new employees quickly after they start working at the business.
A construction company identifies new employees by having them wear brightly colored hard hats for the first 30 days they work there. This makes it possible for other employees to easily see new workers so they can introduce themselves and get to know the new employees.
Another company asks each new employee 15 to 20 questions about themselves. The questions focus on interesting tidbits to allow other employees to get to know them. They feature the new employee’s responses in an online blog called “The Talk.”
Another business tends to hire employees who have worked, studied, lived or traveled around the world. Thus, they keep a world map on the wall in the area where employees enter the building. New workers are asked to place pins in the countries where they have worked, studied, lived, or traveled.
On the wall next to the world map, they have a wall painted with chalkboard paint, and new employees then list the countries they want to visit. The business provides workers an opportunity to travel to one of their locations in another part of the world every other year. Employees must submit an official request and explain why it would benefit the rest of the organization if they are allowed to make the trip.
Onboarding Ideas for Learning About the Company
One human resources professional described their Passport to Success program, which puts new employees through a number of activities every two weeks. The activities are designed to help new workers get to know other employees and learn more about the department they work in. The program also includes a number of quizzes to help new employees learn about the company’s past, present, and future.
One company does a series of presentations during an orientation that lasts half of the employee’s first day at the company. Employees or managers present details about their department to the new employee to explain how their department works, why their department matters to the new employee, and how they can work together with the other departments. This shows new employees how their role fits within the rest of the company and helps them understand how the various departments work together to operate the business.
Another onboarding idea places each new employee with someone to serve as their go-to resource as they get started in their new position at the company. The go-to person must be someone who knows the company and the position very well, so they can easily help acclimate the new employee.
Meeting with Management
One company requires new employees to watch a video from the chairman emeritus about the history of the company. New workers must also meet the chairman, which is rather unusual. Often employees are limited to meeting with their immediate managers or the head of their departments. By introducing them to the company chairman, they can learn more about the business and get a chance to meet the person who oversees every operation there.
Welcoming New Employees
Some companies also provide welcome gifts to new employees.
- Welcome Card. One company sends a package that includes gifts from the corporate office that are unique to the area and a handwritten card signed by members of management.
- Guide. Another company sends a copy of the StrengthsFinder book, a small gift, and details about how to complete the paperwork they must submit as a new hire.
- Food. Other firms welcome new employees with food like pastries for the entire office. Bringing in food for everyone provides another opportunity for new workers to socialize with other employees and get to know them a little.
The first day may also include a tour of the office and possibly a visit to the main office if the employee is working out of a branch.
One other fun thing to do is for the new hire’s manager to take them to lunch on their first day working for the company. It’s not only a nice treat but also an opportunity for the new employee to get to know the manager they will be working for.
There are many more onboarding ideas for new employees, and not every single idea will work for every company. Human resources professionals should take the time to think carefully about their onboarding process when it comes time to make changes. Every idea on this list should be evaluated to see whether it will be a good fit for what the company is trying to do.
Whatever you decide to do when bringing new employees on, it’s important to help them keep track of all their appointments and events associated with their first day or week in the office. You also don’t want to over-schedule new employees, making the process too overwhelming. The idea is to welcome them, get to know them, and teach them what they need to know to work there.