According to a study by Equifax, forty percent of employees who left their jobs voluntarily in 2013 did so within six months of starting in the position. And another 16 percent of all employees who left on their own choosing did so within 12 months, meaning more than half of voluntary turnover happens within a year of new hires' start dates1. This is why employee retention is so important.
It’s no surprise that the hiring process is time-consuming and takes a lot of energy, commitment and trust. It’s no easy feat trying to find the best talent for your company, but it doesn’t end there. Once you find the perfect puzzle piece, you have to onboard them into your company culture and dynamics. A new hire’s experiences should be positive ones to ensure the transition is seamless and efficient!
Here are some great ideas to create a pleasing onboarding experience:
1. Communication BEFORE the New Hire’s First Day
A new employee’s initial feelings approaching their first day on the job might be nervousness and anxiety of the unknown. It is important to keep consistent communication leading up to the First Day.
After the offer is accepted, send the new employee a quick note on the new journey they are about to embark on with the company. Describe your company and the expectations for the first week on the job. Describing the culture (attire expectations, hip places for lunch, where to park, etc.) will allow the new hire to feel prepared and not stressed. Everyone wants a refreshed and prepared employee!
2. The Day Before the First Day
Sending a quick First Day Expectations will be helpful and useful. At LinkedIn, a Sneak Peak PDF is sent out to new hire’s the day before orientation to give a brief look at what is to be expected the First Day. FAQs, What To Bring, and a culture video are shown to rid any jitters and ease the mind of the new employee as they are about to embark on their new journey. An agenda will also be helpful to outline day-to-day activities.
Also, having your new hire set up on all technology platforms before they get into the office will help streamline the onboarding. Make sure they have access to all tools and workflows prior to their First Day.
3. First Day Welcome Kit
First Days can be hectic; there are a lot of things to remember and time can go by quickly. One important piece is to be sure a Welcome Kit is provided to any new hires with a First Week Expectations List, as well as a Welcome Buddy.
Welcome Kits may include company handbooks, policies, hiring documents, culture expectations, procedures, branded swag, Starbucks gift card, Welcome greeting card, etc. This unique gift will make any new hire feel appreciated.
A Welcome Buddy is paired with a new hire to ensure they are comfortable and feel like they have someone to go to during the chaotic first week. Peers are a better choice than management, as questions may arise that a new hire might be hesitant to ask management, but would feel comfortable asking a peer.
4. Check List – Check In
Defining success in your new hire’s role will help them better understand the expectations they are to bring to the table, as well as what they need to know. Creating a weekly checklist for the first month with an end of the week check in will set the right expectations for all parties. Some of the items on the check list can be Cultural Values, where the nearest bathroom is located, processes and procedures, names of all the Leads in each department, etc. Building a roadmap for success will help the new employee along their journey.
5. Invitation into The Culture
Every business is unique and every company has their own unique culture. Inviting new hires into the culture with open, welcoming arms is important to building a foundationally-strong work relationship. Some ideas may be taking a new hire out to lunch on their first day, giving them a shout-out on social media, letting them choose the music played throughout the office, balloon-filled cubical, etc. A fun idea is leaving a special invitation on their desk inviting them into the break room at lunchtime, to find a surprise lunch party thrown especially for them. Or host a New Hire Happy Hour after the first day to get to know others on a different level.
By the end of the first week, the new employee should feel subtly overwhelmed and exhausted, but also eager, excited, and welcomed. The next 30-90 days are equally as important to the initial onboarding. Continuous follow ups, shadowing, and training will be critical in development. Being available to your new hires for questions and growth opportunities will set you apart from other companies. One-on-one check-ins at each month milestone will foster positive working relationships and will in turn, create an invested employee.