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Employee Onboarding

Creative Employee Onboarding Techniques for A Happier Workplace

  • Omer Usanmaz
  • March 10 2022

Imagine walking into a cool cafe, not being guided on placing your order and taking your seat. The natural reaction of the customer who walked into such a cafe would be to turn back and walk out of it. Moreover, such poor experiences lead to disgruntled customers taking to social media and sharing their negative feedback. That unwelcoming situation, in turn, snowballs into other potential customers forming an opinion about the cafe and making decisions based on such reviews.

What you just read could happen to your company if you neglect the importance and impact of an efficient onboarding program. This article will give you an insight into creating engaging onboarding experiences to boost employee satisfaction and employee retention.

What Is Employee Onboarding?

An employee onboarding process is a particular way of transforming a new hire into a top-performing employee of a company with the right tools and resources. Pointed onboarding efforts provide a conducive environment for new employees to focus on their career development while gathering relevant knowledge and building meaningful relationships in the workplace. 

Do you remember your last trip to the zoo or the planetarium? If you do, you know that an orientation session is always conducted at the start of the tour to ensure a fair understanding of the location, different things to see, basic guidelines to follow, and top attractions to catch. Without this orientation, you may seem lost and miss out on essential things to watch out for. Above all, the guided sessions enable visitors to have a great experience to share with their near and dear ones.

Similarly, a successful onboarding program allows new employees to learn new skills, connect with key people in the organization, and set career goals while performing their job responsibilities efficiently. At the same time, employee orientation programs allow onboarding managers to organize a series of tasks in a particular way for a smooth hiring experience.

What Are The Key Steps to Executing An Efficient Employee Onboarding Program?

Onboarding is a complex and continuous process. It requires proper planning and seamless execution to ensure success. Following are the basic steps involved in onboarding new employees to an organization.

1- Hiring Suitable Candidates

As soon as a new employee request is posted on the careers page of a company's website, the hiring manager starts the hunt for the perfect candidate. It is the responsibility of the recruitment team to look for and finalize a suitable candidate to fill in the required post. Here are a few tasks before sending the 'Congratulations, you are selected' email to the candidate. 

  • Prepare a list of relevant interview questions to verify the potential candidates' backgrounds.
  • Verify the necessary documents submitted by the candidate
  • Collect details regarding the notice period, job location, whether the candidate prefers to work from the office or home, salary expectations, skill assessment, etc.
  • Mention specific company policies, organizational goals, business expectations, and other essential details to maintain transparency and clarity.

2- Rolling Out Offer Letters

Once all the hiring criteria are satisfied, the next step is to send the offer letter to the candidate. It may seem like a simple task where all you need to do is attach an official offer letter to a mail that reads 'Welcome to the organization.' However, for a successful onboarding process, hiring managers go the extra mile in transforming this simple form of communication into a highly personalized one. Here's what you can do as an onboarding manager -

  • Share a personalized email with the selected candidate and express how excited you are to have them join your company.
  • Provide resources about company achievements and make them feel proud to be a part of your organization.
  • Be clear about job responsibilities, compensation and benefits, company expectations, etc.

3- Executing Pre-Onboarding Tasks

The period between accepting a job offer and the first day of work can seem long for new employees. Onboarding managers can make this wait seem shorter by keeping them engaged with pre onboarding activities. 

  • Send out an email reaffirming their right choice in selecting you as their employer.
  • Share weekly newsletters or company news to make them feel like they are already a part of your corporate culture.
  • Send details of their role, team information, and other resource material to help them prepare well for their job.
  • Additionally, you can send an agenda for the first day at work to ensure that the new hires stay excited about joining your company.
  • With virtual meetings becoming more popular, you can arrange for an e-meeting of the team members to help new employees get to know their team members even before they meet in person. These virtual meetings can shed any inhibitions that new hires may have while interacting with their team members on the first day.

4- Welcoming New Employees on Their First Day of Work

First impressions are lasting impressions. Thus, it is crucial for hiring managers to provide a seamless first-day experience to the new hires. 

  • Welcome the new joiners with a corporate onboarding kit with company merchandise like a bag, a coffee mug, a planner with stationery, ID card, and other branded goodies.
  • Arrange a team lunch for some informal chatter and team bonding.
  • Conduct an office tour to walk them through the different areas in the office premises.
  • Show them their work desk and share their official email address and business cards.
  • Conduct a formal induction session to help the employees get acquainted with the company culture, company mission and milestones, leadership team presentations, organizational goals, and other relevant information.

5- Conducting Orientation of New Hires in The First Week of Employment

The first week of employment is critical for employees and HR managers. It is usually filled with several mixed feelings of nervousness, excitement, uncertainty, and much more. However, these feelings can be kept under check with some planning.

  • Share a company-wide announcement regarding new employees joining their corporate family.
  • Conduct connection sessions with peers and superiors to help new hires interact and build a strong professional network.
  • Showcase a presentation where employees in leadership roles and the senior management share their experiences and advice with new joiners.
  • Walk the employees through their job roles, daily tasks, short-term goals, KPIs, KRAs, etc.

6- Tracking The Progress of New Employees During The First Month of Employment

Onboarding is a continuous process that needs careful attention to detail. You can encourage employees to stay motivated by constantly checking in on their progress and listening to their experiences during the first month of their employment.

  • Track the progress of employees against defined targets and career goals using an onboarding checklist.
  • Conduct a feedback session with the help of a simple survey to record the rich and poor experiences of employees during their employment.
  • Organize social lunches and events to facilitate employee engagement and team building.

7- Boosting Employee Engagement and Nurturing

Onboarding does not end until an employee's termination; thus, it is essential to keep employees engaged and encouraged throughout their journey with your organization.

  • Prepare a practical onboarding checklist for high efficiency.
  • Decide long-term goals of employees by considering the inputs of employees and their managers.
  • Conduct regular reviews to evaluate employee performance and share course corrections where necessary.
  • Provide ample opportunities for employees to share their experiences, learnings, and other insights about their work.
  • Introduce mentoring programs for employees to learn new skills, build meaningful relationships, and focus on their career development goals.

How to Make Your Onboarding Process Cool and Creative?

In this competitive era, every organization is trying to think outside the box to keep employee satisfaction and retention rates as high as possible. Efficient onboarding and successful mentoring programs are simple yet effective ways to ensure employee motivation while maintaining company standards. However, there comes the point where hiring managers run out of creative ideas and get stuck doing the same administrative tasks for employee onboarding programs. 

Here's a 14-step guide to make your boring onboarding process more fun and fruitful.

  • Introduce The Concept of Onboarding Buddies

New employees often set foot in an organization with a plethora of questions about work, company culture, office timings, lunch sessions, team members, etc. However, they seldom know whom to reach out to for answers to their questions. An onboarding buddy is a seasoned employee who can help new hires get their answers quickly. Assigning onboarding buddies is a good way to make new joiners feel more comfortable getting to know the workplace best practices. Moreover, work buddies can become best buddies if the connection clicks, allowing your employees to stay motivated while delivering profitable results at work.

  • Align Employees' Career Goals with The Company's Objectives

Onboarding is a two-way process where employees and employers both benefit from the success of the process. Helping new hires align their career aspirations with their key objectives is an extra step towards a win-win situation.

  • Provide A Conducive Environment for Continuous Learning and Development

Today, there is cut-throat competition in the corporate world, and attrition rates are soaring in every organization. Apart from a good salary package, the learning opportunities drive employees to stay loyal and perform better with intensive preparation. It is vital to provide an excellent platform for employees to develop their interpersonal skills, gather relevant knowledge, and stay industry-ready with access to the right tools and resources. Mentorship programs also effectively facilitate a positive employee experience where they can learn and focus on their career development.

  • Deploy Relevant Tools for Easy and Effective Onboarding

Automation has supported organizations around the world through the entire employee lifecycle. Use relevant tools and employee onboarding software to ensure a smooth and seamless orientation process. Measure the success of onboarding programs with key metrics. Organizations can either invest in a tool that is readily available in the market or build a customized system in-house to meet the organization's specific needs.

  • Conduct A Creative Onboarding Boot Camp

One of the biggest challenges in front of employers is to keep their employees engaged and excited about their work. With office politics posing as a hindrance, an effective onboarding boot camp can be a solution in the right direction. Rotate new employees to work for a stipulated time in different teams within the organization. That provides relief from monotony, instills empathy, and fosters a greater sense of confidence. 

  • Make Friday The First Day of Work for A New Employee

Have you wondered how making Friday the first day of work can make a difference in the attitude of new employees? Instead of selecting the usual Monday as the first day of employment, when most team members are busy with their tasks, it is good to have your new hire join the company on a Friday when everyone around is in a more relaxed mood. 

  • Have "Connect Over Coffee" Sessions with Executive Teams

Successful onboarding programs demand innovative ways to keep employees excited about the workplace. Building relationships with peers and managers are an essential part of onboarding. Hosting engaging 'connect over coffee' meetings can be an exciting way for co-workers to know more about each other and their personal and professional lives.

  • Share A 30-60-90 Day Plan with New Joiners

It is vital for hiring managers to provide clarity on employees' personal and professional goals once they join the company. A 30-60-90 day plan with detailed targets can inculcate a sense of clarity and confidence among current employees to perform better.

  • Conduct Regular Performance Evaluations

How can you measure the success of your hiring process? The answer is - by conducting performance reviews regularly. Consider critical metrics for each employee and monitor the progress for effective performance. Regular reviews help correct the course of action at an earlier stage rather than neglecting the areas of improvement. Moreover, these performance evaluations give opportunities for onboarding managers to celebrate the achievements of top-performing employees, thus boosting their morale.

  • Hand Out A Fun and Interactive Employee Handbook

Employee handbooks are often dry and exhaustive to read as they consist of so many pages of information. How about adding some pop and color to the otherwise boring handbook to brag about your company swag? Create fun icons and vectors to make the employee handbook more attractive to read and easy to assimilate. 

  • Host A Scavenger Hunt in The First Week of Joining

An office tour can give employees a run-down of the entire office in under 30 minutes. However, instead of keeping the tour formal, interact with an out-of-the-box scavenger hunt. This way, new employees can find essential locations and people on their own, with the help of relevant clues. Additionally, if you have many new employees joining on the same day, you can make it a fun team-building experience for them with free food coupons, free courses, and so much more.

  • Present An Interesting Employee Welcome Kit with Thoughtful Gifts
    How amazing would it be to receive a fabulous welcome kit from your company on the first day of work? As part of a creative onboarding process, put together a thoughtful package of goodies, including a hoodie, coffee mug, desk organizer, personalized office supplies, customized calendar with birthdays of team members, and some delicious cookies or brownies.


  • Host Happy Hour Sessions/Social Events with Different Team Members

Employees seek opportunities to connect with their peers, and corporate parties and social gatherings are a good way to build networks. Alternatively, happy hour sessions like fun team games conducted virtually for remote employees or in office premises go a long way in ensuring a successful onboarding program. 

  • Host Virtual Events for Remote Employees

A virtual lunch for employees working from home or a virtual mentoring session are thoughtful ways to engage employees working out of different locations. 

What Are The Benefits of An Innovative Employee Onboarding Process?

The journey of an employee begins as soon as they decide to appear for an entry interview with the company. And hiring managers try their best to make this journey as pleasant and rewarding as possible till the exit interview process. In larger organizations, where several employees join the same day, onboarding managers get stuck with monotonous tasks. However, cool and creative onboarding processes can help the talent management team work more efficiently while providing a productive experience to focus on their career growth. Listed below are a few advantages of implementing creative employee onboarding ideas - 

  • Higher employee engagement
  • Improved employee retention
  • Increased productivity of employees
  • Enhanced performance of new hires
  • Enriched employee satisfaction
  • Reduced employee attrition 
  • Higher reputation for the company

Driving Business Growth with Interesting Onboarding Programs

Happy employees contribute to flourishing businesses. Creative onboarding techniques can boost employee satisfaction and business growth. Businesses worldwide are struggling to tackle grave challenges like high attrition, loss of reputation, etc. Onboarding processes that are efficiently carried out mitigate these risks and tackle these challenges for organizations. It is time to think creatively about your onboarding process to ensure a happier and healthier workplace.

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