How to Take Your Onboarding Process to the Next Level
A person’s first day at work makes a tremendous impression, one that could stay with him or her quite a while. A good impression often leads to a happy and productive employee, while a muddled or bad impression could cause an employee to begin his job in a suboptimal mindset. If your company already has a formal onboarding process, that’s great. However, it’s likely there are still a few things you can do to take it to the next level and further increase employee productivity and retention.
1. Expand onboarding to a process that goes past the first few days of work. For example, pair a new hire with a mentor or buddy who will have that official relationship with him for six months to a year, or even longer. You could also develop a “boot camp,” either in person or virtual, or a mixture of both. Your boot camp should last a few weeks, with the goal of helping new hires grasp the resources, culture, tools, and business strategy of your company. Check in with new hires at least once a month for a minimum of six months.
2. Your onboarding process should start even before the first day of work. In pre-boarding, one common approach is to give a new hire access to an online portal that offers answers to frequently asked questions and the scoop on what to expect during the first few days of work.
3. Trim the “fat” (or spread it out). Are all of the forms, lectures, videos, and reading materials that comprise your current onboarding process necessary? Think of ways to break them apart, condense them, or skip them entirely.
4. Use games when possible to engage new hires and to help them better remember material. For instance, wouldn’t a scavenger hunt be more effective than pointing out places on a map? And which do you think a new hire would be more invested in: using a game-type app with modules and game-show-style quizzes, or an hours-long lecture?