6 Tips To Make Onboarding New Staff More Effective & Fun

Written by Steve

Once upon a time, there was a new employee. They were so excited to be offered a job with your company. They have picked out a new outfit, they have got their hair done, told their friends and family how excited they are to start work with your company. It’s truly one of the most magical times in someones life.

The week before their start date comes and they sit eagerly waiting for some form of communication or information about what they need to be doing on day one. They still feel warm and fuzzy cause they have their signed letter of offer and they remember you saying that you were excited to have them on board.

But they get nothing the week before they start with your company. Not even and email. So once again, they are still happy and optimistic for their first day of their new job, they rock up early to make a good impression and the front door is locked.

Then a member of the company arrives and opens the door. The newbie keenly greets them and is hoping for a positive response and is faced with, “oh.. You’re new here, I had no idea you were starting today. Why don’t you wait here until the boss gets in.”

So they sit. Still optimistic and still happy to be there. The boss rolls in and looks at you with shock. They haven’t seen you since the final interview and instead of greeting them with excitement and enthusiasm. It was simply a look of shock, because they forgot this person was starting today.

Now it’s officially OVER.. But it gets worse. The day continues to highlight how little this company cares about this new employee. They are asked to go and sit at a desk and the IT team will come by to set up their computer. It’s now 4 hours into their first day and they haven’t had a single positive interaction. Then over the course of the next week, because this company had no formal induction program, this new employee was bounced around to different team members who begrudgingly agreed to show them a thing or two.

This new employee goes home every night, not thinking this is the best decision they ever made, but riddled with doubt and fear that they made the wrong decision.

2 weeks later, they quit and you’re left right back where you started blaming the economy or the market for why you can’t retain staff, when in actual fact IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! Frankly, SHAME ON YOU!

But it didn’t have to be that way. I want to show you 6 things companies can do to maximise one of the biggest opportunities to engage and show new starters how much you love them and make an incredible impression that will reduce staff turnover and boost loyalty. 

  1. Do something before they start (give them something)

A big part of the employee onboarding process is that onboarding can start before they formally have their first day with you. Imagine being able to send the new starter some stuff to show them that you’re thinking about them. They’re thinking about you. As we saw in the story above. Imagine being able to send them a little card or gift that tells them how excited you are for them to start with you.

Better yet you could send them a digital onboarding experience that teaches them a bit about the company, your values, the key people in their team and maybe even set up some meetings for their first day so it’s a success. This will create an incredible experience for the new starter. 

  1. Harness the power of digital (wherever possible). Leverage digital onboarding

Thanks to our friend COVID a lot more people are opting for the remote life. This means getting the whole group of new starters together for a face to face onboarding program is really hard to do. It’s logistically challenging and expensive.

Here you can harness the power of a well thought out digital onboarding program. We have seen amazing programs run where there is a combination of live interaction as well as some self directed learning and job familiarisation, as well as compliance training too.  Some staff feel more comfortable working remotely, but this is no excuse to blame remote working for not being able to provide an amazing onboarding experience. 

  1. Remember the little things –  physical welcome pack, company branded, swag pack.

If you are putting together a welcome pack for your new starters then you are leaving so much on the table in terms of missed opportunities. Jump on LinkedIn and have a look at some of the “i’m so happy to start at ______ company and then look at the picture, attached. Chances are there will be a coffee cup, a t shirt, a card, some candy or all of the above. It’s these little things that show your appreciation for someone joining your team or business. Sure it might cost you 100 dollars, how much will it cost you to rehire that person when they leave cause you broke their heart.

Remember the little things and show appreciation often.

  1. Make it fun and engaging. 

Onboarding a new starter is a fine line between boring them to tears with powerpoint slides and recorded webinars and making it super fun and exciting. Why can’t it all be fun and exciting? This comes back to planning what goes inside your onboarding program. There should be a bit of meet and greet, there should be some job familiarisation, there should be some team bonding as well as compliance and process training.

All of this can be fun and delivered in an engaging and exciting way. You just have to be willing to put in the effort. Trust me when I say this. If you put in the effort to make it fun and exciting, it will be noticed and it will be felt and it will be appreciated. Which is exactly what will lead to that employee staying with your company for the long run.

  1. Provide an opportunity to meet and greet. Connect with real humans.

Connection is what every human wants and needs. Except me sometimes when I just like to hide in the office all by myself. 

That being said, whether it’s a live induction program or a digital one it’s so easy to add the human element to it. Maybe after they receive their pre induction pack, where they learn about the company values etc, they get the ability to book a call with their manager, or a senior leader of the business, or one of their team. Then on their first day they have that meeting.

This meet and greet opportunity is huge for engagement and making an amazing first impression. It makes people feel wanted and connected. It doesn’t have to be one on one, it could be booked into the team call at 9:15am and get to know the whole team for 15 mins before the day starts. Face to face or online, it doesn’t matter, it’s all 10000% possible.

  1. Incorporate any compliance or process training into the onboarding process

Compliance training and process training are not designed to bore people to death. Unfortunately we see a lot of scary things when it comes to employee training, if you can even call it that. Compliance is absolutely essential to protecting the employee and the company from (insert your industry stuff here).

So of course it’s key that it’s included in the onboarding process. Just because it’s in there doesn’t mean it has to be poorly built. In fact, we think with a bit of planning and creativity, you can make it one of the highlights of the process. Again this comes down to actually caring about how the content is delivered and not taking the easy way out.

With the right approach you can dramatically change the experience of boring compliance training and make it something memorable that will enhance the entire process. 

So here’s the moral of the story. Onboarding is critical. 

If you do it right then you will reduce staff turnover and increase satisfaction. You will make an incredible first impression with your new starters and make them feel loved and confirm that they made the right choice to join your company.

There is no excuse with all of the amazing tech out there not to have a digital onboarding program in your business. If you have 3 staff or 3000 staff the only thing that’s different is the amount of content that needs to go into it.

Either way.. I hope this was helpful and if you want to have a chat about how we could help you make your onboarding process the most amazing thing on earth, feel free to book in for a virtual coffee! 

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