5 Tips to Create a Positive Onboarding Experience

Starting a new job is exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. Many companies want these feelings to sway more towards excitement. The more energized and happier they are, the more likely they are to be an asset to your team. The key to making sure this happens is by creating a positive on-boarding experience, so here’s how you can do just that.

Create a welcoming company culture

The first thing new employees notice is your company culture. This happens before you’ve even hired them to be a part of your business and can impact how welcome they feel on day one.

No one wants to step foot into their new office to feel isolated and unwelcome. Starting a new job is already daunting without this scary prospect. Avoid this issue altogether by crafting your company culture into an inclusive, open one.

You might be wondering the best way to do this. At the heart of this kind of culture is communication. This means that if you encourage honest, open communication among employees, you’re likely to have a happier, more relaxed work environment.

There are a number of tools you can use to do this. Simple but effective ones include putting on work socials, having inclusive company policies, and working in an open office. In this modern age of technology, you should also never underestimate the importance of internal communication systems.

Modernize staff training

One of the biggest worries faced by new employees is being overwhelmed by initial training. Due to the clunky, traditional nature of many onboarding training courses, this can cause extra stress to staff. This isn’t something you want employees to feel in their early days, so solve this problem by rethinking your training process.

Mostly, this means modernizing it. Turning training into smaller, digestible chunks makes it easier for employees to absorb important information. It also helps to use technology to modernize this process even more.

Millennials are expected to make up over 35% of the global workforce by 2020, so it’s only right that training is adapted to be more familiar to them. For example, some companies are finding that e-learning platforms and mobile training apps help employees retain more information.

Of course, one good idea to stick with is ensuring trainees have a copy of all the information they need, just in case.

Make it personal

Many companies struggle with stepping away from textbook onboarding experiences. The truth is that these experiences differ from company to company. They are also much more positive when they have personal elements.

This is especially true if you are onboarding a number of new employees at the same time, or if you are working in a large company. Small businesses have the luxury of being able to make their onboarding experience more personal, but there’s nothing to say a large company can’t.

The best part is you don’t need to give yourself more work in the process. Instead, prep for onboarding by familiarizing yourself with the people you’re about to welcome into the company.

For their first day, spend a few minutes crafting an email to each one. This takes up a little time, but the payoff is more than worth it. The fewer new employees you have, the easier this becomes. Getting the whole HR department to help can also help them forge new working relationships.

Get regular feedback

There is only one way you can keep improving your onboarding experience, so that it becomes more positive every time you welcome a new employee into the ranks. This is by asking for regular feedback on your onboarding process, so you can tweak it each time around.

When you have developed an open line of communication, asking for this feedback doesn’t have to be a formal affair. Instead, you can approach new employees after their onboarding has been completed to have an informal chat about what else you can do.

This kind of approach will only help your new employees realize that you have their best interests at heart.

If you’d like to make improvements to the onboarding experience as you go along, you can even ask for feedback throughout the process. This means you can make some great changes to the rest of their experience. It is also a fool-proof way of making it more personal.

Give them time

Though you’ll want your new employees to get stuck into their role as soon as possible, the best thing to do during onboarding is to give them sufficient time to feel comfortable. This doesn’t mean giving them all the time in the world, but you don’t want your employees to feel stressed within their first few days. If they have a negative experience from day one, this may taint their expectations of the company for the future.

What it does mean is planning out their first few weeks in a way that allows them enough time to take everything in.

This time is even more valuable in the modern day, as the mental health epidemic has resulted in 1 in 5 American adults experiencing mental health issues every year. When your employees have the pressure off their shoulders, they’re likely to be much happier in their early days and beyond at work. If a happy employee means one thing, it’s a more productive employee.

IHRIM Guest Blog Post by Gil Artmoore, Budding IT/Tech Writer from the 1980’s

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