Ensuring a happy first day of work for a new employee is much more important than many organisations would ever imagine. According to recent studies, the employee onboarding experience is crucial for long-term satisfaction and optimal performance, yet many brands fail to do it right.
Without a strategic process, employers easily miss the essential steps in welcoming new team members and potentially cause insecurities and block their progress. To help you avoid common pitfalls in the process of employee onboarding, we composed a comprehensive guide to welcoming people to your organisation. In it, you’ll find more details about the entire onboarding experience and practical tips for orchestrating a happy first day of work!
Why is a positive employee onboarding experience important?
Employee onboarding stands for welcoming new employees to the company and including them in operational processes. It is meant to acclimate people to the work environment and help them make a good start. Throughout the journey, employees gain all the information and tools they need to feel comfortable in the new workspace.
If done right, onboarding can ensure employee retention and performance you can only dream off. According to HBR statistics, more than 30% of newly hired employees start job hunting within six months of being onboarded. If you fail to understand your talent’s career preferences timely, you can lose them before they even demonstrate their best capabilities. Therefore, making regular conversations about your talent’s progress during the first six to eight months can help you determine signals of disengagement.
Here is an overview of what a good employee onboarding programme can bring:
- Ensure employee satisfaction and productivity
First and foremost, employee onboarding ensures people feel included from day one. By introducing people to the company’s values, mission, vision, goals, and teams, the process increases employee engagement and productivity.
- Reduce employee churn
Highly engaged employees are less likely to churn, as they feel prepared and supported throughout their work. A proper onboarding process also ensures employees know that brands care about their experience and want to help them grow. The more employers make new hires prepared for the jobs the more they feel engaged and ready to build their feature with a company.
- Promote positive company culture
A positive employee onboarding experience also promotes employer branding. Highly engaged employees tend to spread positive word-of-mouth and increase referral rates. This also boosts hiring proficiency, as properly onboarded employees are known to take the same approach when meeting newly hired colleagues.
Things to consider before starting with the onboarding process
Before we dive into more detail about the employee boarding practices, we recommend answering the following questions:
- When will onboarding start?
- How long do you plan for the process to last?
- What impressions or emotions should onboarding evoke?
- Will other departments be included in the process? If yes, which ones?
- How will you empower new employees to set their goals and expectations?
- How will you measure the success of the onboarding process?
The answers to these questions will help you better shape the entire onboarding experience. They will allow you to provide personalised experiences and start on the right foot with your new team.
How can you ensure a happy first day of work?
You don’t need to orchestrate a complex onboarding process for a happy first day of work. Focusing on the experience itself is the most essential part of the entire process, and here’s how you can do it:
Welcome the new employee and provide a tour
Communication should be your top priority. When someone joins a team, managers should try to remember how it feels to be new and in the unknown. They should take steps to ensure new hires feel welcomed and comfortable with the less-familiar working practices, so they can quickly adapt.
This could include providing a tour around the office and sharing the current business roadmap or strategy. Additionally, providing insight into the team’s current priorities and tasks can help people feel more included. In the case of remote work, all of this can be achieved online through team meetings.
Last week, our team welcomed a new colleague. We asked her to share what made the first day with Customer Experience Magazine special. Here is what she said:
I joined the CXM team last Wednesday. My new colleagues wished me a friendly welcome with a cup of coffee already served on my table. I was ready to start off by exploring what my new role is going to look and feel like. All I wanted on my first day at work is to feel informed, included, and invited to be a part of the team.
When you are new to a community, it is crucial to be able to communicate your feelings and be free to ask any question that could cross your mind. Having someone to encourage you to be yourself is empowering and gives you an engagement boost you can only dream of, shared Jelena Milivojevic, a Marketing Assistant at Customer Experience Magazine.
Make the onboarding experience personal
According to the latest predictions of customer demands, personalisation should be deeply rooted in your every action. At CXM, we believe this should be the case for employee experience as well.
Providing your team members with experiences specially tailored to their needs, you get to boost their engagement, happiness, and overall satisfaction with the job. The onboarding process is your opportunity to do so.
We recommend carefully planning the first working days of all your employees, so you can provide all of them with specially tailored guidance and support. If you’re not sure what your new team members need, make sure to familiarize yourself with their resume or jump on a quick call to chat about this beforehand.
Wondering what a new hire needs to feel during the first three months, might help you skip some common onboarding mistakes. We recently talked about the importance of emotions at the workplace with Jeremy Dean, the Founder of Emotional Culture Deck. He designed an insanely simple tool to help you map the emotional level of culture in your team and assess the needs of each team member.
Include training on company culture, values, and vision
A successful employee onboarding process depends on all the team members, so it’s essential to get everyone on board. Some employees will be more familiar with the process than others, and you may need to provide training. This could prove to be essential for integrating a new member into the team, as relationships between employees will further influence the productivity of the entire organisation. Therefore, assess the situation and provide your team with the right information and tools for the changes that will come.
Demonstrating a positive company culture early on should be your ultimate goal. After all, no strategy can win a healthy team culture where everyone can speak up, contribute, and feel equal.
Engage everyone on your team and encourage them to contribute
Once you welcome the new employee, provide a tour, and arrange team building, remind yourself to check up on all your employees. Ask the new team member about the progress and check whether there’s something else you can help with during the first day.
Your colleagues will most certainly want to assist and do their best in making this experience even more comfortable and enjoyable. Moreover, this is your chance to involve everyone on your team to take ownership of the onboarding process and contribute with ideas of creative integration of new team members.
Applying design thinking to create a memorable onboarding programme
There are plenty of methods you can use to design exceptional onboarding experiences. One of the most popular tools for the past few years is design thinking. Our team talked about this creative problem-solving methodology with Belinda Gannaway, a Strategy Director at Fathom PX. Her tips can surely help you get a better picture of how to run a co-created employee experience workshop.
Whatever approach you decide to take, you’ll come to the conclusion that asking the right questions, along with deep listening, will provide you with knowledge and insights to create a happy first day of work.
In this article, we focused mainly on designing an employee onboarding process for a happy first day of work. However, it’s essential to recognize onboarding should last more than a couple of days. It should be a systematic process designed specifically for each employee that joins your company. Therefore, follow the needs of your new team members when composing the onboarding process and extend it as long as necessary for providing the much-needed support and guidance.