Onboarding Experiences Your New Hires Will Love

Onboarding Experiences Your New Hires Will Love

When you make an offer to a new hire, it’s a big deal.

For you and for them.

Whether you’re a small scrappy startup, a comfortable mid-sized business, or a Google or Amazon of the world, every new hire has an expectation for their first day.

To cover all the bases, here’s our list of ideas to build your MVOE—your minimum viable onboarding experience, customized for the size of your business. All up to Team Corker standards.

Small + Scrappy

Size: 1 – 40 people

What you set now for your employee onboarding will grow and evolve as your business does. Throughout their first week, add special moments during your new hire’s onboarding that align with your organization’s values and validates why they joined in the first place.

For example, Opower, an energy data company, gave every new hire a bottle of champagne on their first day. The reason? To pop the bottle for company milestones, like reducing carbon emissions in the US by 1% and when the company IPO’d. Corks were popped and every team member was given another bottle to save for the next celebration.

This wasn’t just any swag item, it had meaning for the company and tied to their growth goals.

What’s something small and meaningful that relates to where your company is going and how your new hire fits into the vision? It’s also pretty cool when the meaningful work you and your team does gets recognize…like getting bought out!

The Inbetween

Size: 50 – 400

When you’ve grown as an organization, chances are your onboarding includes more than one hire at a time. The challenge now becomes how to keep the onboarding experience personalized and special to each hire while still being a scalable program.

For scalability, consider building ‘academy’-style onboarding programs like Vancouver-based company, Bench Accounting. Onboarding starts with a 3-day Bench Academy, where the People Team and other people from various departments hold different sessions that range from company history, values, goals, and their overall bookkeeping service. Then, they break off into team-specific onboarding that’s led by that department.

For that extra special experience, bring a tradition into your onboarding experience. For example, at Bench, during every monthly company-wide broadcast, each new hire is introduced to the entire company. This tradition has been going since the company started with a few members when Town Halls used to be a group standing in a circle. They’re now at almost 300 people and the tradition is still going strong.

How can you welcome your new hires to their teams and the entire company to keep the community-feel? Do you have a company common space?

Big + Resourceful

Size: 500 – 1000+

The key to a great onboarding experience: having meaning. It’s not about the quantity of the swag and perks. It’s about meaningful and thoughtful touchpoints that make your new hire feel welcome and a part of the culture.

Under Armour sends their new hires, or as they call them, teammates, to a three-day ‘pre-season training’ where they learn all about the company culture, values, how gear is manufactured, and how the company is being innovative with their products. Then, they give their teammates access to Armour U – an online learning centre and database with seminars and resources around product training, leadership, retail strategies, and anything that teammates can use to push themselves in their experience. Their onboarding is about a thirst for knowledge and drive to keep improving.

Assess your current employee onboarding. Is it tied to your organization’s culture and vision? Do your new hires walk out feeling as though they are fully aligned with the organization’s mission and pumped to start their roles?

Remote Teams

You don’t have to be in-person to have a great onboarding experience.

Take note from Buffer’s ‘three buddy six-week onboarding program’. Buffer is an entirely remote team and culture is numero uno on their list of company priorities.

Their onboarding starts before their new hire’s first day – just take a look at this email they sent to a new team member before they joined.

It’s personal and welcoming with enough clarity to give the new hire the information they need for their first day without overloading them with all the things. You can’t even tell that the team is remote because they’ve nailed communication to be so inviting!

A new hire onboarding experience isn’t something to overlook. It’s the point in your new hire’s journey where their expectations throughout their recruitment process are either going to be blown away or fall flat. You’ve worked this hard to get the best talent in the door, and the onboarding program is what will set the tone for the new hire’s longevity with your team.

If you’re looking to improve or build your onboarding program, let’s connect and see where you’re stuck! You might also find our Manager Start Line online training program helpful, where we have a section dedicated to tips on creating the best onboarding experience for your team.

Meet Matt. He is bold. He is always up for the adventure. He is your biggest fan.

Matt Corker

Meet Matt. He is bold. He is always up for the adventure. He is your biggest fan.

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