In the last fourteen months, our team at Learnifier has grown from 7 to 22 employees. Being a relatively small company with no HR department we quickly turned to digital onboarding as an effective vehicle to integrate new hires into our culture and automate as much of the process as possible.
Here is what we learned running our own digital onboarding, aka preboarding, at Learnifier when engaging with our new hires.
7 tips for onboarding new employees:
Map out the Onboarding Process
Having a well-structured onboarding process is key. But just because you know what the onboarding process looks like doesn’t mean that the process is clear for the employee. So, be very explicit and transparent when it comes to mapping out the onboarding. The best way is to give an overview and visually show what will happen week by week and month by month. Especially during the period from signing the contract to the first day at the office. By being very transparent, you show your commitment and help to build trust with your new hires.
Use video to connect before you meet IRLVideo has always been a favorite way to share insight and so it’s not a surprise that companies are turning to this medium to reveal what the employee experience is like if you work there. When it comes to preboarding/onboarding video is the perfect medium to make people feel connected and at ease when they step into the office the first day and actually recognize their new colleagues. All you need is your smartphone and a personal happy message. As simple as that.
Ask existing employees for feedback on the onboarding processMake sure you collect feedback on the onboarding process from everybody in your company your onboarding program. Not just your HR team. We experienced that many of our employees had lots of ideas and thoughts on how to improve the program. Make sure you consider and integrate that feedback before you launch your preboarding/onboarding.
Set clear expectations
One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to set clear expectations for your employees. Your onboarding will take your new hires through a well-structured process, but make sure you communicate your expectations regarding time spent on the onboarding, completion, activity, etc. Most importantly, you would want to be clear on what their responsibility is in this process and how/where you would like to see their self-leadership. Here at Learnifier, we view onboarding as a mutual process where both employer and employee take ownership of different onboarding activities. For instance, ask the new employee to reach out to team members and book a short intro meeting or lunch.
Never underestimate the value of small details
As a starting point, assume that your new employees know nothing about your company. Never take for granted that your new hires know practical details like how to commute to the office or whether they should bring their own lunch. It might seem less job-relevant, but it is highly appreciated. Show that you are considerate and care to make your new hire’s transition a smooth one.
Communicate moreAvoid the risk of making your onboarding process all about information. Instead, make sure you communicate more and enhance the personal experience which an effective onboarding really is. Start by sending personal messages from the team to the new employee, dripped across the onboarding/preboarding over time. Sounds time-consuming? Good news, it doesn’t have to be. Make sure your onboarding tool allows you to set up triggers that send over these messages on autopilot in a timely manner.
Create a clear visionMake sure you have a clear vision for your employee onboarding. Ask yourself: Why are you working with digital preboarding or onboarding? What is the higher purpose? Goals? How would you best serve your new employees? What does a great onboarding process look like? How could you create an onboarding process that is designed to engage rather than overwhelm? Remember, we humans can only take in so much information at a time. Chop your onboarding into bite-sized content that is fun and easy to digest.