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10 Onboarding Ideas Your New Starters Will Never Forget



Employer Branding, Operations, Talent Attraction, Brand Authenticity

Make your new hires feel right at home with these simple ways to welcome them to the organization...

1. Choosing and Unboxing

The novelty of getting something through the post and opening it is a very positive emotional experience. People love it. Especially if it's nice shiny tech or its swag that they can be proud of. It's a very positive moment of magic. And if there's something thoughtful inside like a handwritten note or a gift specific to something that's been said or agreed or whatever, then it's an opportunity to delight straightaway.

2. A Personal Touch  - Thank Their Family and Make Them Feel Great

When you're onboarding, it's not unusual to have to ask for emergency contact information. So rather than that being a simple admin task, make it an emotional human opportunity to create pride in that family, thank them for supporting your new teammate, and let them know how and why you were impressed with them. If you foster pride in the household, then it's going to pay you back.

3. Role Cheat Sheet Summary Content

This is about all the things that you might take for granted. You don't know what you don't know when you first start. Optimise for success. Talk to new recruits about what you have found handy to know and make cheat sheets for them, creating shortcuts to get up to speed.

4. Inside Track Company Content

Things you need to know to get ahead. Not like how to do your job, or how to be great in the industry, but stuff that is an opportunity to put the employer brand into context, possibly from employees or teammates.

Get to know people in person, take the time to get to know people in certain departments, because they can help you. It’s about learning the inner workings of a company, so people feel acclimatised faster.

5. Self-onboarding, Coaching Content

This might be a series of videos that everybody gets, tackling subjects such as ‘ how to manage your time remotely’, for example. Stuff that you could apply to any professional career.

Make it once, package it up and give it to every employee, so that they feel like they're well supported. They're getting learning and development, they're becoming a better version of themselves, and it fills in the gaps when somebody isn't there to hold their hand.

6. Announcement / introductions arranged

When you turn up to a party and you don't know anybody. It's nice if the host shows you around and introduces you. It's nothing more than that. The human touch. Do it via Zoom or Teams if you need to. Put time slots on people’s calendars to introduce new starters to key people.

7. How to get promoted (advice from the person recently promoted from that seat)

Let’s say you're a copywriter, and you want to be a senior copywriter. Talk to the person who's just been promoted out of your role into a senior copywriter position and ask: “What did you do? What works? What do people appreciate round here? What is the standard expected?" What you get back will be golden advice.

8. Buddy System and reverse coaching

If you've got somebody that continually checks in with you, it becomes like a safety net. What is interesting is when a junior person is coaching a  senior person, and hopefully a little bit the other way around as well.

It might not necessarily be through seniority, it might be completely different departments. But the point is, it’s great for cross pollination and diversity of thought. Having a constant, familiar face, whilst a sea of different things is happening around you can help with orientation.

9. Lunch with a big boss

Organizations like to demonstrate how accessible people are and it reinforces a sense of purpose, impact and belonging in big organisations if you get to meet your boss's boss, or someone even more senior. It’s a way of showing employees that they are valued and that space and time has been given over to them.

10. 160 Day check back

This is super simple.  If you set out expectations and a roadmap of a 60 day onboarding, checking in at the end of that 60 days and closing the loop by giving and receiving feedback, and confirming that new recruits are doing well and so on, is really important.

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