The Employee Onboarding Experience you provide your new hires sets the stage for their success – or lack of success – in your organization. The way you bring on new people impacts employee retention, engagement, and ultimately, your customer experience.
Let’s start with a definition. The Employee Onboarding Experience is the process through which a new team member gains the knowledge, skills, and support they need in order to be effective and happy at your organization. Employee Orientation is a one-time event that is included as part of the Onboarding Experience, which is a 6-month to year-long process.
Here are some of the mistakes we see organizations make when it comes to Onboarding new hires.
- It’s seen as an HR-only function. While it’s true that Human Resources plays a huge role in bringing on new people, integrating them into your culture and providing them with the knowledge needed to perform their jobs, is also a management function. Co-workers can also be effective in helping to welcome new colleagues.
- It’s confused with Orientation. As I said above, Orientation is only one piece of the Onboarding Puzzle.
- They rush the process, throwing team members into the fray without a proper introduction and, as a result, risk losing them before the year is almost up!
- The focus is on paperwork, and compliance almost exclusively. Which brings me to my central point for this article.
There are 3 elements that should be included in your Employee Onboarding Experience. Here they are:
- Compliance: This includes all of the items you must check off your list! It’s the process of getting background checks, medical records, doing reference checks. It’s the training any governing entity mandates that you deliver. In healthcare, for instance, that might be HIPAA training, safety training, etc. I would also put in this category, job-specific training which, at it’s best, means classroom or one-on-one training coupled with an excellent formal mentoring program. However, compliance is only ONE of 3 elements, but it’s the one many tend to focus on and rush through, at that.
- Culture: If you want your new hires to get excited about working for you, feel connected to your mission, and have a sense of purpose about their work, this is one element you can’t skip. The question to ask yourselves is “what are we doing to introduce our company culture to our new hires?” This can include rituals. For instance, at Talent Plus in Lincoln, Nebraska, every new hire gets welcomed with a red carpet standing ovation, a long-standing tradition at the company. You can show videos, or have team members talk about the culture of the organization. You want to introduce your mission, your core values, and your guiding principles in a way that sticks and gets your new associates excited about the greater purpose to which they now get to contribute!
- Connection: Finally, you want to ensure your new hires feel some connection to their co-workers. Gallup studies have found that when an employee has best friends at work, they are more likely to stay and be engaged. You can help this happen by including your associates in the new hire OnBoarding Experience. Include social activities, ensure your new hires break bread (aka eat lunch) with current team members, and even engage current team members in reaching out to new hires BEFORE their first day.
What are you doing to include all three elements in your Employee Onboarding Experience? Comment below and let us know.
If you want some help in designing an intentional experience that gets your new team members red carpet ready to succeed at your company, you’ve come to the right place. Visit our website and then email us at STARS@RedCarpetLearning.com, and we’d be delighted to begin that conversation.
Donna Cutting is the Founder & CEO of RedCarpetLearning.com, and the author of two books on the topic of red carpet customer service. She works with organizations to help leaders create cultures of happy people delivering excellent service.