Welcome to your new job—here’s your email address, the software we use, and this is what you’ve got to do this week!
Not very exciting, is it? Everyone knows how important onboarding is in the modern business world, but the best companies go beyond the basics when introducing new hires into the organization. This means that onboarding should be as creative and compelling as possible.
A successful onboarding process is key to hiring and retaining your best talent. Any good HR team will always be looking for new onboarding ideas to improve their process. If you want to make your workplace a fun and exciting place to work, onboarding is a great opportunity for you to set the tone from the very beginning.
But how can you make new hires excited to work with you? This article is full of creative onboarding ideas for you to use in your organization.
Why do onboarding ideas matter?
Onboarding is a crucial part of the hiring process that includes everything from introducing new hires to your team to setting them up on your payroll solution. Without an effective onboarding system, your new employees risk being uncertain of their responsibilities and feeling isolated and unwelcome at the workplace.
If a new hire has a good onboarding experience, they’ll be a more productive member of your team as they’ll be brought up to speed more quickly. You can use this time to alleviate any problems or anxieties the new employee might have, preventing issues further down the line.
Employees will also be far more likely to stick around if they’re made to feel welcome from the moment they enter the door, reducing your employee turnover costs. If they’re integrated into the culture and values of your company, the stress that is natural to any new employee will soon disappear.
However, only 12% of employees would strongly agree that their organization did a great job of onboarding new hires.
With so much competition for top talent, companies should invest in the best onboarding software to improve their processes and stand out from the crowd. By utilizing innovative technology, such as interactive online training modules or virtual reality simulations, employers can create a more engaging and effective onboarding experience for new hires.
Given how important onboarding can be, this means that most companies should be looking to improve how they welcome new hires.
One way to enhance the onboarding experience is to incorporate people search technology, which allows new hires to find and connect with colleagues more easily, thus building relationships and improving the overall integration process. This helps new hires understand their roles, build relationships, and collaborate more effectively while reducing the time and effort required to manually gather this information.
9 Exciting onboarding ideas
So how can you improve onboarding in your company? Rather than focusing on the strictly work-related aspects of life at your organization, you should look for fun and engaging onboarding strategies. Here are some of the most exciting onboarding ideas:
1. Begin with team games
One of the most important parts of any onboarding experience is ensuring that your new hires are comfortable members of their teams. While you might usually begin your onboarding process with practical issues, immediately integrating new hires into the team can be a great way to reduce any awkwardness or anxiety.
There are hundreds of possible team-building activities that you can use to get new employees involved with their colleagues. However, you might want to focus on games that help people get to know each other, such as a personality-based game.
Alternatively, you might want to try easy but competitive games such as Office Olympics. If new hires work with teammates against others from the moment they start, you’ll foster a competitive spirit in them. This is a great way to build team morale and break down any barriers new employees might feel when entering a new workplace.
Plan the best team games with a social wall
2. Have fun creating introductory videos
Introductory videos have become a staple of the onboarding experience, especially since remote working has become more and more popular. They can be an easy and welcoming way to share all of the information that is relevant to new employees.
However, watching an HR manager speaking in front of their laptop for an hour is not the most exciting of introductions to a new job. Instead, you should think about how you can make videos as fun as possible.
To convey the friendliness of your organization, you could ask your team to create a welcome video together using collaborative video editing. Alternatively, you could divide your introduction video into a series of short, TikTok-style clips.
3. Send out welcome packs
Who doesn’t like a surprise gift? Sending your new hires welcome packages will make them feel appreciated and welcome.
These should be personalized—perhaps include a handwritten note and something that is unique to your organization. Of course, you could also include some chocolates or flowers, but think about what gifts might be specific to your new employee’s interests or hobbies.
This can be especially useful in hybrid workplaces, as the welcome packs act as a physical embodiment of your organization when your new hires are yet to experience it in person.
4. Set up a buddy program…
Entering into a new workplace can be like entering a social minefield. Even for the most extroverted personalities, having someone to speak to at lunch or on breaks can make onboarding a much smoother process. If you set up a buddy program throughout the workplace, you’ll make sure every employee feels welcome.
This can also help to improve productivity. Buddies will always be available to answer queries, saving time and preventing teething problems. Try to make sure that new hires are matched up with more experienced employees in similar roles so that they can directly draw on that experience.
5. …and do one in reverse!
However, you should also be careful to make the new employees feel valued in their own right. As part of your buddy program, you could introduce opportunities for experienced employees to learn from the unique skills and experiences of their new buddies.
This will mean that you avoid treating new employees like children and allow the rest of your team to grow their skills.
Encourage new hires and their buddies to post content on social media during their activities and collect them on a social wall
6. Have regular coffee or lunch sessions
While most people think of onboarding as a quick process that focuses on an employee’s first few days, you should remember that it can take months for a new hire to be fully up to speed.
It’s important, therefore, that you continually check up with new hires. However, these shouldn’t be daunting formal meetings. Treat your new employees to lunch or a weekly coffee for informal catch-ups. You could also share open lunch invitations on a digital bulletin board so that existing and new employees can all get to know each other.
7. Make the practicalities fun
Of course, onboarding isn’t all fun and games: there is always some practical stuff that you need to get out of the way, such as ensuring that new hires are signed up for your ESS employee self service or that they’ve completed any necessary training courses.
However, these don’t have to be done via a large mountain of boring documents. You could consider setting up a dedicated domain name with all of the relevant information easily accessible on a website.
Alternatively, you might want to introduce an element of gamification, such as including rewards for each document that your new hire completes.
Work shouldn’t only be about what happens on the 9 to 5. In the weeks following new hires, you might want to set up a social event for all of your employees. This will mean that new employees get to know colleagues from other departments and will help to grow a sense of community in your workplace.
Social events can also work for remote work environments. While Zoom calls might not be the same as an office party, they can greatly increase how welcome a new employee will feel.
You could also use social media for employee engagement, such as by asking new hires to work together and have fun taking over your Instagram for a day.
9. Finish with a create-your-own onboarding session
When your new employees are feeling fully settled into the organization, you can start to think about how to use their experiences for your next set of hires. After a few months in their new roles, consider asking new hires to work together to reflect on their onboarding process. This will give you ideas about what has worked well and what can be improved.
You could even ask employees to design their own onboarding experience as an exercise. New hires will like knowing that their own onboarding process has been influenced by people recently in the same situation as them.
As well as consulting the new hires, you should talk to other members of your team when reflecting on your overall onboarding process. If there are any technical issues that many new hires have struggled with, for example, you should create new onboarding tasks that will help alleviate this.
Given how crucial onboarding is to the success of new hires, it’s essential for most companies to prioritize ways to improve candidate experience and how they welcome and integrate new employees.
Onboarding ideas: Build an excited team of new hires
Onboarding is a pivotal part of the hiring process. As well as making sure that your new employees know what they’re doing, it’s also an opportunity to show off how fun and exciting your organization can be.
If you want to make your onboarding process more engaging, try to use some of these ideas in your company today!