One of the tech recruitment trends of 2023, and a strategy that will differentiate your company from others is effective onboarding practices. A successful onboarding makes your new employees feel welcome, builds a company culture where each individual feels like a part of a group, gets your new employees up to speed, and shortens the time for good performance.
But, how to create an engaging and effective onboarding?
The magic starts with breaking the traditional onboarding mindset and adopting a personal-identity mindset.
Today’s employees are looking for workplaces where they can be their authentic selves which includes onboarding. However, in the corporate world of the early 21st century, companies had the rush to make new employees be processed from the first day with their values and culture. Earlier research by PeopleSpheres showed that when onboarding activities focus on new employees’ identities rather than the organizations’ identity, organizations achieve solid employee retention, better new hire productivity, lower stress, and less emotional burnout. To elaborate more on the topic, let’s divide the onboarding into two phases and talk about them separately: pre-boarding and actual onboarding.
Great! Two parts are agreed upon, signing is done! From now on until the first day at work is pre-boarding time. You can start pre-boarding with:
- A welcome message and video: Sending a warm welcome message to your new employee, thanking them for completing the whole hiring process, and for choosing to work with you will nurture a good employee-employer relationship. You can even take one step further and prepare a video introducing the office and people. This could be fun, couldn’t it?
- Access to tools and services: Make sure you set up all the tools and services for your new employee before onboarding. For instance, providing an email, and giving access to certain systems is also something to think about
- Plans for the first day/week: Providing a schedule for the first day and the week will make things clear for the new colleague and will make them mentally ready for their new journey. Exciting!
Here it is, the first day at a new workplace! Thanks to a great pre-boarding, your new hire knows what to expect on this exciting day! This phase is a great chance to practice the personal identity approach to onboarding. Let’s see below how you can achieve this:
- First meeting with colleagues: It would be great to introduce the new employee to the team over lunch or in a social setting. This will ease the anxiety or tension that your new teammate might have. Another suggestion is to keep the introduction quick to give more space for the new hire to express themselves openly. Instead of asking generic questions that you can find answers to online (where have they worked before, how many years of experience they have, etc.), you can foster questions about your new teammate’s personality (hobbies, their routines at work, favourite places for lunch/coffee, etc.)
- Every-body-needs-a-buddy! It is understandable that new hires feel excited as well as a bit anxious in their first couple of weeks or months. Therefore, assigning a buddy to the new employee is a great way to orientate them in an easy and relaxing way. It would be awesome if the buddy and the new team member shared some interests. This will ease the communication between them and encourage the new hire to express themselves!
- Initial training: First pieces of training are crucial! At this point, you don’t want to indoctrinate any company-related traditions or schemas. These pieces of training should be a space to inform the employee about the company and the people in detail, by allowing the new member to ask questions. Therefore, we suggest getting together with the team around the table (or online) and discussing the way things are done by allowing the new member to offer new ideas and question things. This will make the new hire feel a valuable and important part of the team from the very first day!
For sure, there are many other things to do during the onboarding process. Here, we have listed some important ones for you. What do you think? What kind of activities would foster a personal identity approach to onboarding? We would love to hear your thoughts!