The longevity of employees within an organization depends on their onboarding experience.
Also, such employees are highly likely to be satisfied with their workplace and hence, far more likely to stay.
Therefore, recruiters must make a good first impression. A great onboarding experience begins at the interview stage. It includes extending a warm welcome, sharing the organization’s culture, values, and philosophies, and empowering new employees with necessary information, training, and tools.
A disconnected onboarding experience can have a negative impact on the employee’s perception of the organization. Starting a new job can be overwhelming. In such a scenario, offering a clear and organized onboarding experience can encourage new hires.
An inclusive onboarding experience allows people from different backgrounds, ethnicity, race, and gender to come together as one cohesive unit.
An inclusive workplace offers a comfortable environment for everyone to express themselves. As a result, it leads to greater employee engagement and higher retention rates. Improved engagement also simplifies recruiting by increasing referrals and enhancing the employer brand.
Candidates from different backgrounds, culturally and otherwise, may feel apprehensive about joining a new organization. To ensure that new hires feel at home, emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion in your onboarding process. For example, talk about the company’s commitment to inclusion through a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) session, which indicates that the uniqueness of the new hires is valued. Also, share valuable resources on how they can get involved in making the workplace more inclusive, such as an invitation to an Employee Resource Group (ERG).
It is essential to share your team’s current roadmap to offer an understanding of the team’s priorities. Additionally, explain how the team shares responsibilities by providing an organizational chart. It will help every new hire know how they fit into the bigger picture.
Also, for new team members to settle in, they must understand how the team works together. To achieve this, show how the team collaborates and communicates across various functions. This will enable new hires to communicate better with their team.
Prepare your team for a new member, which might change the team dynamics. Key considerations include identifying the new hire’s responsibilities, reporting structure, work-sharing arrangements, and the handoff process.
To foster a welcoming and inclusive environment, ensure that everyone on the team is responsible for promoting inclusivity.
Providing resources to help them align with the company-wide communication protocols is essential. It assists the new hires in speaking the company lingo, including unique terms, jargon, or acronyms. This can be achieved by leveraging a glossary of company terms or a guide on managing conversations.
Establish a buddy system where each new hire is paired with a longer-tenured employee to show them the ropes. The existing employee will help the new hire understand how the company functions.
Also, organizing one-on-one lunches or meetings with individuals who share the new hire’s interests will expand the new teammate’s circle. Aligning with those on extended teams with whom the new hire will collaborate is also helpful. It helps new hires build relationships from day one, making them feel more comfortable and familiar with the ecosystem.
Acknowledging that not all new hires process information in the same way, is vital for making the onboarding experience pleasant. Make them feel welcome by giving them enough time and space to understand all the incoming information.
Also, hand over the necessary onboarding content and resources such as the employee handbook or process documents. Allocate some time in their initial few weeks so that they can go through the material and ask questions.
Add a personal touch to the onboarding experience to make it pleasant for the new hire. This offers a welcome break from the myriad of paperwork involved and a feeling of transacting with a faceless entity. Managers and recruiters should schedule check-ins to meet with new hires rather than over-automating the onboarding process. Additionally, companies should customize welcome emails rather than using templates and provide a warm welcome on the first day.
Balance a new hire’s first week between excitement, settling in, and achieving easy wins. Ensuring that the onboarding experience is not overwhelming is crucial.
Keep multiple channels open for new hires to share their experiences, such as anonymous feedback and in-person conversations.
Establishing a feedback framework, including check-in surveys and informal meetups with their recruiter or manager, makes new hires feel valued. In addition, the feedback loop will help recruiters improve their onboarding experience for future hires.
Setting employees up for success is an ever-evolving process that begins with a positive onboarding. As new people from different backgrounds join an organization, paying attention to inclusive onboarding adds value to the company. With time and changing expectations, recruiters must develop novel opportunities to enhance the onboarding experiences. Also, to keep the momentum alive, seeking feedback, identifying what works for the team, and continually refining the process with each new hiring cycle are important. By adhering to these onboarding strategies, multiple departments can work together to provide new hires with an exceptional onboarding experience.
Originally published March 24 2023, Updated March 24 2023
Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.
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