The top 5 tips for great employee onboarding

In one of our recent articles we talked about the challenges with onboarding. You don’t need to look far to find a myriad of articles on how to create a great employee onboarding experience. There are many reasons for the noise in this space; it’s a really important issue that many organisations struggle to tackle successfully.

There is no doubt that we all make good and bad hiring decisions and while bad hires do occur, in my experience it’s the lack of effective onboarding that can make the difference between how successful your new employee will be at their new job.

We often wonder, why has my new employee not settled in by now? Or, they aren’t excelling at the pace I would expect. Given those realities, here are my top 5 tips to welcome your new employee to the team – in style!

1. Shout it from the rooftop!

You’ve just hired someone who you think can make a real difference to the team and the organisation – so don’t stay quiet about it. Announce it to the world (or at least the team) that someone is about to join you. Give the team some insight to who the person is, what they’ll be doing, when they’re joining and how you can connect with them.

Don’t leave it all to your new employee to make friends at work – you need to start with a little nudge.

Throw a morning tea or get everyone together for lunch – it helps break the ice and allows for your new hire and the team to share more about themselves.

Get your team to help create the new employee’s onboarding experience.

2. The employee onboarding experience should start well before “Day One”

Stay in regular contact with your new employee before they join. If you have any formalities (such as paperwork) you need them to complete; have it done before day one

Include your new employee in company or team communication to allow them to become familiar with what’s going in the workplace.

Send them a quick email or text the day before letting them know that you’re looking forward to see them tomorrow.

3. Meet the stakeholders

The best onboarding experience I had when starting a new job was when my new manager sent me the LinkedIn profiles of some of my new stakeholders. I was able to understand a little more about what they do/did and in two cases was able to build something in common with my stakeholder by knowing we studied at the same university and once worked for the same organisation (albeit at different times).

It is really important that you spend some time explaining the “informal network” – you know the one that’s not on the organisation chart. This includes the go-to people, the gatekeepers, the people who know what’s happening before it happens. And, don’t forget the supporters and potentially the rivals/adversaries who may not think highly of you and your team. Its all about setting up your new employee for success and ensuring they can navigate out of potentially sticky situations.

4. The small (but really big) stuff to know – when it comes to creating an employee onboarding experience

Don’t underestimate the impact of not addressing the small stuff. Which number is needed to dial an outside line? How do you use the photocopier? Where are the restrooms? The coffee machine? When are lunch breaks taken? It’s the little things that can be the most frustrating when we are new to a team and trying to be at our best.

5. Go on, have some fun

We believe in fun; so much so its one of our values. When new team members join you should let them know what you and they can do to make work fun. Talk about what events are organised or how they can share their ideas about how they can get involved in life outside of work. You never know what ideas they can bring to the table!

Tell us about when you you’ve hand a great onboarding experience.

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