What is one of the most important things companies must get right? Is it the website? Customer experience? Marketing? Sales process? While all these things are important, none of them happen without having the right employees in place.
Hiring the right employees goes beyond skill set. There must also be a cultural fit. And a desire to be engaged. But here’s the thing about employee engagement: You get out what you put in.
“If you don’t engage with them, they won’t engage with you,” says George Bradt in the article Want Your New Employees’ Personal Commitment? Take Their Onboarding Personally. “If all you need is compliance, indirect communication is fine. If you want them to contribute, you’ll need direct communication. If you want them to commit to the cause, you must make an emotional connection with them. This is particularly true at important moments of truth starting with how you onboard them. So, take onboarding personally and make it personal.”
Getting Onboarding Right
Michel Falcon, founder of Experience Academy, says that “employee onboarding is the design of what your employees feel, see and hear after they have been hired.”
For onboarding to be successful, you must have a long-term focus. It goes beyond filling out the appropriate paperwork on day one. Or meeting coworkers and being trained on computer systems in week one. Onboarding encompasses the entire experience of getting employees comfortable, confident and competent in their new role—whether it is a week, a month or a year in the making.
To get a sense of what employees really want from onboarding, BambooHR conducted this survey to determine what goes into a great onboarding process.
One big surprise: No one really cares about free food and extra perks. In fact, less than one percent of respondents said that would have made a difference to whether they stayed on or left a new job. What matters is that new hires want to learn how to do their job and understand the inner workings of the company. In short, they want to start doing meaningful work and contribute fast!
Ben Peterson, founder and CEO of BambooHR, recommends following Bradt’s three A’s of onboarding success:
“Make new hires comfortable when they arrive,” he says. “Show them around, introduce them to people, set them up with a readied workspace—don’t make them wait for a computer and phone.” He also notes that a welcome package filled with little extras—a company t-shirt, sweet treats, backpack, notebook or writing instruments—can provide employees needed supplies while bundling them together as a present lets them know you’re excited they’re there.
Part of bringing new hires onto the team is to help them feel wanted and accepted. Peterson says a good first step is doing a quick roundup with the team to introduce the new hires. “Then be sure to assign them ‘care-takers’ or mentors who can help these new employees feel they have a safe place to ask any questions,” he recommends. “Pick a mentor who will interact with them, like a member of the department, but not a manager.”
New hires want to become productive quickly, but don’t misunderstand their desire to learn and flood them with as much information as you can as quickly as possible. That’s too overwhelming! “It’s obviously more helpful and productive to give new hires what they need in a manageable, steady stream,” Peterson notes. “And don’t forget early feedback. In our survey, 53 percent of respondents who quit jobs within the first six months said ‘review and feedback of early contributions’ is one of the most important things a new employee needs to get up to speed and begin contributing quickly.”
For onboarding to be meaningful, don’t wait until the new hire is standing in the lobby on day one. Put in the time to create a program and a process that respects new employees while honoring your company values and culture. Peterson concludes: “Invest in your new hires and give them an exceptional first experience so you can both know you made the right choice.”
The promotional products you choose for employee onboarding should align with your company culture while being appealing to new hires. Let us help create the perfect swag bag. Book an appointment by clicking here or call us now at 248-538-4700. Mention the blog, and we’ll send you some SMART Swag to get the conversation started!