For many businesses, the onboarding process is much more than simply making sure that employees know where their office or desk is. The success of a company depends on its workforce, and any opportunities to make an impression on new hires can help them feel engaged and valued.
It is absolutely crucial that they are introduced to, and taught how their role works in the day-to-day operations. And while this process should be fairly systematic, there are many ways you can spice up your onboarding process to ensure that new employees have a smooth start to their working lives with you. In this article, we have rustled up a few of the most effective ways to do just that.
Let’s take a look at 17 creative onboarding ideas that you can use for new hires so they can get off on the right foot.
1. Personalized welcome letter
It is one of the greatest onboarding ideas hiring managers could quickly implement. You can take this one step further by sending an email or handwritten letter to wish them luck in their new role at your company. It’s professional, personal, and will definitely make an impact before the first day of work.
Opening up a welcome email or letter can really make new hires feel appreciated by the company they just joined, especially if it’s presented in a creative way. By sending them this personalized message, you’re demonstrating that their presence is essential to your organization and its goals.
2. A welcome gift basket filled with goodies
This is a very traditional, yet extremely effective way to welcome your new hires into your company. Send your new employees a welcome gift basket containing items such as a coffee mug, snacks, and other promotional items with the company logo on them. Have cards attached to each item explaining its significance.
Gifts like these always leave a good impression, so you should definitely try this one at least once. It’s also a great way to boost your company image in the eyes of potential customers if the items have your brand on them.
3. Internal company directory
Your organization’s new hires will need help finding their way around the office on their first day, so make it easy for them by providing an internal company directory. You can even include photos of everyone in the directory, which will make it easier for new hires to learn who everyone is. This could also be included in the employee handbook to give new employees on their first day.
4. Office tour
This is one of the straightforward onboarding ideas that, yet again, go back to the basics. If your new hires are joining a particularly large company with lots of pathways and rooms throughout the building, then chances are they’re going to get lost more than once in their first few days.
Your company’s new hires should know where everything is located, so schedule them for a tour. You can even show them items that they don’t need to worry about right away, such as the copy machine or other pieces of equipment that are used less often.
5. Hold an icebreaker
This can be seen as an employee engagement activity. Your organization’s new hires might feel more comfortable in the workplace if they get the chance to meet everyone right away, so schedule an icebreaker! This will let them learn about their coworkers, company culture, and help them identify co-workers that they might work best with.
6. Go over the benefits
All of the benefits that your organization offers should be explained in detail to new hires – not just what they are, but why they are helpful. For example, you might want to explain the vacation policy so employees understand exactly how much time off they can take each year. This will make them feel more justified in taking a break when they need it.
Be sure to go over and explain each and every one of the benefits. What’s better than an attractive and well-paid employee? An attractive and well-paid, happy employee!
7. Split new hires into teams
There’s nothing more frustrating than working on a project by yourself with no one who can help you out when you’re stuck (trust us – we’ve all been there!). That’s why splitting up your new hires into groups of two or three at the start is such an effective onboarding tactic. It gives everyone a chance to learn from each other and bond as a team.
8. Invite them to training sessions
There will come a time when you need all hands on deck for something significant in the near future. Why not give your new employees a sneak peek into what they’re about to get themselves into? It’s much more exciting than just sending out an email asking them to attend! Plus, it shows appreciation – which we’ll touch base on in no time at all.
9. Video tour
Another excellent way to show new employees how great working at your company is through a video/virtual tour. We’ve all seen the videos online companies make about themselves, and you can do exactly that (but better). They’ll get an inside look at what it’s like working there and gain valuable information like who works where and how many people work in other departments.
They’ll notice everything from the ping pong table in the break room to the fact that you offer free bagels on Mondays (or whatever food offering will entice them). This is a great way to show people that they’re valuable and essential to your company before they even start their first day. This video tour could also be beneficial to remote employees.
10. Meal together
In addition to getting your employees out of the office for lunch, why not organize an entire meal together outside of work hours to enhance employee engagement?
Whether it’s at a restaurant or back at the office, this is an excellent way for everyone to get to know each other on a more personal level – which will definitely make working together easier in the future!
11. Small assignments
If you’ve ever been at a job where your boss makes you do way too much for your first day, then you’ll understand what a terrible idea this is!
Give new hires small tasks and projects to complete during their first few weeks. This gives them a taste of everything and allows them to engage in some “guided discovery” before fully integrating into the company. It’s a lot better than just throwing them into something they have no idea about and missing out on a potentially integral part of your team.
12. Give your new employee a voice
One way to get employees excited about their new job is to give them a little responsibility straight away.
For example, if they will be working in the marketing department, ask them for some ideas on how to improve social media engagement. Or, if you need extra assistance with event planning, ask the newbie what they think will make future events successful.
This lets fresh recruits know that their opinion matters and makes them feel like part of the team even before they start properly in their newly-appointed role, and it’s only day one!
13. Offer mentorship as part of the employee onboarding process
A great way to enhance your onboarding program is by offering your new hires mentorship from senior members of staff or existing managers in the department.
This is one way of letting your new employees know that they are valued and trusted to contribute to the company. It will help them feel like they are making more of an impact, which in turn increases engagement levels.
14. Instant overview of the recent company news
To help new employees feel included in all aspects of your business, it’s vital that you keep them up-to-date with any recent changes or developments that might affect them too. So why not give everyone a quick overview of what’s been happening during onboarding?
This is also an excellent way for you as an employer to communicate critical information about company policy and updates before they attend their first staff meeting. Most people enjoy feeling informed, so this will make sure they arrive well prepared on day one!
15. Offer flexible working hours
By giving your new employees the option to work from home or choose when they come into the office, you allow them to be more in control of what they do each day. Plus, they might already be used to completing tasks from home, which could help them feel better prepared for their role.
So, if they are someone who has young children or personal commitments that need to attend at certain times of the day, offering them this flexibility is another way of showing them how much you care about their life outside of work too!
16. Create a folder full of useful information
We all know that working life is super busy, so you can help your new employees feel prepared by giving them one place to look if they have any questions or queries over the course of their employment.
It’s also a good way of keeping everything together in one safe, organized place, so they don’t take up valuable time searching through emails for the right information.
17. Organize a scavenger hunt
Does your new hire love puzzles? Then this is an awesome way to test their problem-solving skills – and also give them something fun to do on the first day.
You can create a list of tasks or clues that take them around the office, allowing them to meet different staff members along the way. They will get to know their environment and get accustomed to where everything is.
This will help you get to know more about each other and give them a chance to explore the ins and outs of the office space. It’s also a fun way to show them around, instead of giving them that dreaded task of pushing paper across the desk!
As you can see, there are many ways to make your new recruits feel at ease and prepared for their role in the company. By showing them how much you care about their well-being and making things as easy as possible for them, they will quickly settle in and become a valuable member of your workforce. So, take advantage of these tips and let your recruits stand out from the crowd!