23 Creative Onboarding Ideas Your New Hires Will Love

Do you have a structured onboarding in place for your team and your organization? 
Remember, first impressions last ... For your people to be able to hit the ground running, they need to be wow:ed instead of simply informed. Here's a list of our favorite onboarding ideas to create engagement and high productivity from the start!

Want to improve your onboarding process?

Make sure you download Digital Onboarding: 7 tips – How to increase productivity from day 1 and make new hires happier.

There is a lot to gain if you and your organization carefully organize and execute your onboarding process in the most effective way. Most importantly, it empowers your new hires to succeed faster and become brand ambassadors before they even start

  1. Schedule a lunch 

    Book a lunch for the new hire, their manager, and the team they’ll be working with. That way, they can meet and talk with everyone in a casual setting. Do this either before day one or right away on their first day. It can be live or digital – as long as it happens!

  2. Wow them from the moment you send over the contract

    Strengthen your employer brand early on. Most companies go radio silent between contract-signing and the first day at the office. Instead, use the time to preboard your new hire and share the excitement. 

  3. Do an entry interview

    New hires may be nervous to speak up. Interview them to learn more about what’s important, what they like, and how the company can best support them during their employment. According to Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington, such interviews can uncover a number of cases where the company can better cater to their employees. Remember, your new hires are assessing their place in your organization just as much as you are. By asking or doing a simple interview online, you can leave the door open for feedback or input.

  4. Schedule a video call

    Set up a video call for the new hire and their team. It gives everyone the opportunity to meet. Alternatively, share a video via email or a text message.

  5. Send the new hire some company swag

    If the new hire mentioned their family during the interview, include some fun company-branded items for their spouse and kids too.

  6. If your company hosts a weekly happy hour or other social event, invite the new hire to attend.

  7. Reach out and let them choose

    If your company doesn’t have restrictions regarding hardware, ask if your new hire prefers, for instance, an iPhone or an Android. Same goes for their laptop. That will increase involvement and appreciation.

  8. Schedule an office tour

    After the new hire accepts the offer, schedule an office tour. They can come back in more relaxed knowing they’ve already landed the job. Or include a virtual tour via video and add it in your preboarding program.

  9. Set up a Buddy for your new hire

    Have your buddy person connect with your new hire before their first day and during their first week and month. Read more here.

  10. Pair your new hire with a 30-day “point person”

    Choose a point person who will guide the hire through the experience. This can be a member of the HR team, an office manager, or the hiring manager.

  11. Send a basic schedule to your new hire

    Keep it simple. The aim is to outline what they can expect before they start and during their first week or two on the job. Avoid an in-depth road map. That could seem a bit overwhelming early on.

  12. Invite your new hire to join a Happy hour gathering
    Every Friday, we gather all Learnifier teams for a ‘Drink o’clock’. It's great to expose your new hire to their team and co-workers in an informal, social setting.

  13. Check in with your new hire three times before day one

    Check in with your new hire one week, three days, and 24 hours before their first day. For instance, you can mention things like having spent the afternoon setting up their computer. You could also send them a photo with their desk all ready. It shows the new hire that you’re thinking about them and putting effort into preparing for their arrival. That’s something that’s easy to build into your preboarding process.

    Read more: 5 Reasons Why Your Organization Should Offer Digital Onboarding (and Preboarding)

  14. Create a team gif

    So, your new hire is joining anytime soon? Capture your team jumping in the air of excitement!

    Here is how to create a gif from a short video. 

  15. Make the First Day Festive and Fun

    Arriving to a desk all set up and ready to use is nice. But being welcomed in a more festive manner is much more memorable and cheerful. So, why not hang a balloon, bring fresh flowers, or have all team members write a personal sticky note welcoming your new hire?

  16. Create an Onboarding Kit

    Need ideas on how to create a physical onboarding kit? Check out our Pinterest board for onboarding.

  17. Make the first week delightful

    The first week is usually quite packed with impressions and information. How to make it light and delightful? Letting the new employee arrive a little later on the first day allows them to have a smooth morning adjusting. It will also give you and your team time to prepare the desk welcome party.

  18. Set up a quiz

    Define some key questions (and answers) about the company, culture, or even team members. Then, create a light quiz around them. That way, the new hire will learn relevant and fun information, and also feel better prepared for the first week. 

  19. Turn your onboarding into a scavenger hunt

    Organize a scavenger hunt for your new employees! The scavenger hunt can be a series of tasks and questions designed to expose new hires to all areas of the company. Who is the video wizard? Who has done over 100 customer onboarding workshops? And so on. It’s also a fun way to ensure that the new hire meets all the other employees and learns what they do. Also, it creates familiarity with all other departments quickly and establishes cooperative working relationships from day one.

  20. Write a creative employee handbook (and rename it)

    Say goodbye to boring employee handbooks and turn yours into an exciting text worth reading! First of all, don't call it a handbook. Make it visually attractive, fill it with images, and use friend lingo. A casual tone and an occasional joke will help your new employees feel relaxed and at ease. Check out five great examples here.

  21. Turn your onboarding into a bootcamp

    Wait, that doesn't sound so nice, does it? Well, implementing a bootcamp program is a great idea for onboarding new employees in leadership roles. It means that new employees rotate through every team in the organization. This is a great way for your new leaders to get to know all the teams quickly. It gives them an opportunity to learn how they operate and develop strong personal ties with other employees and departments.

  22. Ask for feedback and optimize

    Make sure you know how your onboarding program is perceived at different stages: Preboarding, Day One/ Week One, Month One, and 90 days in. Create outreach via a short online survey and show appreciation for any feedback. By offering transparency, the new employee will feel fully integrated into the company. Include questions like: Should the onboarding be longer or shorter? Or was it just about right? Do you feel you have the knowledge you need to succeed? Is there anything you wish you had been told?

  23. Blend your employee onboarding with continuous learning

    Be strategic about your onboarding — and not just in the first few weeks. If you think of it as continuous onboarding of employees, you’ll actually keep employees engaged and prepared for new positions in the company. This will also help you boost productivity and enable people to reach their targets faster. Furthermore, in this fast-changing tech environment, you’ll want to help your employees learn every day and develop high learnability and agility. Use your onboarding or preboarding tool to continuously empower your people to learn and perform even better. 



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Rebecca Cannerfelt
Rebecca Cannerfelt