First impressions really last and you really want your talents to be surprised- not just informed and be able to hit the ground running. Here is a list of our favorite onboarding ideas to create engagement and high productivity from the start!
Take a picture!
If you work at a large company, you’ve probably had new hires go through weeks of having to remember names. Taking a picture and writing colleagues’ names on them would really cut down on the awkwardness.
Send the new hire some company swag
If they mentioned their family during the interview, including some fun company-branded items for their spouse and kids too.
Provide virtual tours
Many offices are remote, but they may still require in-person presence at some point. Create 360° videos of important offices so they won’t feel lost.
Create a social media contest
Capitalize on your new hires’ excitement and encourage them to send several photos you can use for your company or brand's social media page so your audiences can get to know them better.
Make the First Day Festive and Fun
Arriving at a desk all setup and ready to use is nice. But being welcomed in a more festive manner is much more memorable and cheerful. So, why not hang a balloon, bring fresh flowers, or have all team members write a personal Post-It Note welcoming your new hire?
Turn your onboarding into a scavenger hunt
Organize a scavenger hunt for your new employees! The scavenger hunt is a series of tasks and questions designed to expose new hires to all areas of the company. It’s also a fun way to ensure that the new hire meets all the other employees and learns what they do. Also, that enables new hires to get familiar with all other departments quickly and establish cooperative working relationships from day one.
Have them wear a specific color
This can work well even online. Ask all managers and supervisors to avoid the color red, for example, but ask new hires to wear an item in that color. When they arrive, others will know they are new and find ways to make them feel welcome.
Send a new employee welcome kit!
Even a box of cookies or a greeting card with a warm message will win new hires over.
Create a digital welcome video
Current employees can say hello, and your new hire will already recognize them on their first day in the office or on Zoom.
Make the first day into a party!
Decorate with balloons, bring in a few flowers, or have a fun Zoom background if you onboard remotely. You can still have fun and work appropriately.
Food for thought
They say an army marches on its stomach. Well, so do the staff. Having a morning tea or off-site paid lunch with teammates on the first day provides valuable bonding time, as well as filling hungry bellies.
A video says a million words
Produce a video overview of the company, featuring your CEO and other key personnel, to bring it to life for new staff. This conveys company culture, adds interest, and humanizes those at the top, plus with online tools available today it needn’t be costly to create.
Play Online Trivia Games
Trivia is enjoyable to nearly everyone, and new employees can learn about their teammates as well as enjoy a fun game experience with their new team. You can also make this process include trivia about their new job and the rules and regulations at your company to help cement these rules and expectations.
Offer Q and As Virtually
Many new employees feel a bit bewildered when they are new, and working online only can make this really tough for those who have questions. Offering a general Q and A can make it possible for new employees to get their questions answered while also not having to be the one asking all the questions.
Engage With Guest Speakers
Having a guest speaker give a virtual talk can help to engage new hires as well as your existing team. Whether the speaker is someone in-house like a senior leader who has some expertise to impart or if you hire an outside expert, it will be refreshing for new hires to hear from a variety of people during their new hire journey.
Have your new hires spend their day with a current employee who knows the rounds, can show them what a typical day is like, and introduce them to the rest of their colleagues.
Schedule a lunch
Book a lunch for the new hire, their manager, and the team they’ll be working with. That way, they can meet and talk with everyone in a casual setting. Do this either before day one or right away on their first day. It can be live or digital - the important thing is that it happens.
Reach out and let them choose
If your company doesn’t have restrictions regarding hardware, ask your new hire if he/she prefers, for instance, an iPhone or an Android. The same goes for their laptop. That’ll make your new hire feel involved and appreciated.
Send a basic schedule to your new hire
Keep it simple. The aim is to outline what they can expect before they start and during their first week or two on the job. Avoid an in-depth road map. That could seem a bit overwhelming early on
Check-in with your new hire three times before day one
Check-in with your new hire one week, three days, and 24 hours before their first day. You can mention things like “We spent this afternoon setting up your computer”. You could also send them a photo with the message “your desk is all ready for Monday.” It shows the new hire that you’re thinking about them and putting effort into preparing for their arrival. That’s something that’s easy to build into your pre-boarding process.
Make the first week delightful
The first weeks are usually quite packed with impressions and information. Make it light and delightful. How? Let the new employee arrive a little later on the first day (at 10 or 11 AM), allowing them to have a smooth morning finding the place. That’ll also give you and your team time to prepare the desk ‘welcome party’.
Ask for feedback and optimize
Make sure you know how your onboarding program is perceived at different stages: Preboarding, Day One/ Week One, Month One, and 90 days. Create outreach via a short online survey and show appreciation for any feedback. By offering transparency, the new employee will feel fully integrated into the company. Include questions like:
Should onboarding be longer? Shorter? Or was it just about right? Do you feel you have the knowledge you need to succeed? Is there anything you wish you had been told?
Now you're all set!