Bright Ideas for Creating Top Employee Onboarding Programs

top employee onboarding programs

Employee onboarding programs have recently replaced the traditional employee orientation programs in the world’s top-tier organizations. Today, we talk about welcoming new hires by making them feel like a family from the first day. Wanna know the brightest ideas for creating the top employee onboarding programs? Continue Reading.

Why have these employee onboarding programs?

Are you fine without this winning formula to capture and retain new hires? I bet no. Employers mostly do not pay attention to this but just as you begin to assess the new hire, he evaluates you too. He has to make a decision to keep working or quit the job. He needs to satisfy himself that he is in a good place. Don’t forget that employees who are not happy with their jobs tend to keep looking for other good opportunities and leave as soon as they get a better job. So, what about the hiring, training, and onboarding expenses done by your company? All goes into the trash. Thus, retaining new hires becomes essential for the existence of the company: high employee turnover: more expenses: fewer profits: and a bad company reputation.

Some easy-peasy ideas for creating top employee onboarding programs

Here are a few rocking ideas to create the top employee onboarding programs and retain your new hires. These employee onboarding programs are designed by the HR department and followed by the line managers and the entire team in collaboration with HR.

1) Set your alarm clock

As soon as the new hire is finalized and informed, your job to warmly welcome him, starts. Recently, when my brother was hired by an internationally renowned company, he was thrilled about the onboarding gifts that the company was known for, even before his interview. When he came back home with a company logo printed mug, diary, pen, t-shirt, cap, laptop bag, and a cake, we were quite impressed too. Every now and then, he receives large gift boxes on all occasions. During Covid, they even sent sanitizers, pain killers, a backseat, thermal water bottles, masks, and other personal healthcare items. This is the most popular way to forever hook your employees with your company; this excites them and motivates them.

Top employee onboarding programs must include welcome gifts as they depict your company values and enhance the image of the company in the minds of new hires. Their minds immediately perceive the company as the best place to work and what you get in return? Commitment and Passion, resulting in high performance and more profits.

onboarding work table - work desk

A good idea is to set up a workstation for the new hire before he arrives. I have so many examples in mind when I had no table or chair on the first day or for many days. I had to sit on others’ workstations and that was so disturbing. We had to share our computers and other resources and that was not only physically disturbing but mentally frustrating too; speed and quality of work were badly affected and so was my morale. I was very annoyed and felt kinda humiliated that I was not valued much to be given a workstation. It was later all sorted out but I still believe you win your employee on the very first day when you have a nicely prepared workstation for him. He always remembers this lovely gesture. He’ll always respect you for this act of care, trust me.

Checklist for welcoming a new hire

So, if you wish to have a checklist for having a welcoming workstation for a new hire, here it is:

  • Setting up a workstation is different in each office setting. If the employee is in a customer-facing or visitors job role, arrange 1 table and 3 chairs: 1 chair for himself which must be comfortable enough for him to spend an entire day on, and 2 chairs for the visitors on the other side of the table. If he is in a cabin counter type of office setting in a row, just a table and chair are enough.
  • Make sure the furniture is clean and dusted with a separate dustbin.
  • Ensure the availability of all stationery items on the desk. He shouldn’t be asking for petty things from others.
  • His laptop/ desktop must be on the desk, with ready login condition.
  • A lovely addon would be to put some fresh flowers on the table in a vase. Don’t worry, you have to do this just for once (one-time expense).
  • If your company can afford it, one or two company logo items would do wonders, it could be a mug, diary, or a pen.
  • A colorful informal welcome note from the staff members and the manager.
  • Last but not least, if you are a profitable company, you MUST put a small to medium size basket with snacks, candies/ chocolates, etc. as a take-home gift. After all, he is the one who’ll now work harder to earn more profits for the company.

2) Greet and mingle

Preparing the workstation is a welcome from the company, greeting personally is a welcome from each staff member. Introduce yourself first. The new hire doesn’t feel very comfortable on the first day so he hesitates in introducing himself first to everyone. All the employees should go and greet him, introduce themselves and ask about him. Ask him for the lunch and involve him in conversations to make him feel comfortable.

3) HR Orientation

HR conducts this routine orientation exercise and everyone is familiar with it. Now, we can see how orientation is different from onboarding. Orientation is a part of the entire onboarding plan. Top companies worldwide are now developing top employee onboarding programs which involve an effective orientation phase.

Orientation is a formal process that involves familiarizing the new hire with company values, norms, culture, policies, procedures, and technologies. HR and the line managers communicate the performance indicators, reporting lines, and the expectations of the top management. As the HR personnel communicates how the company operates, the line manager shares how the department works.

HR employee orientation

The best practice to wind up an orientation session is to hand over the HR policy handbooks to all new hires.

4) Meetup with the manager

The next step is a meeting with the manager. As the new hire is going to report to this manager, a one-to-one meeting is essential. The manager asks the new hire to casually introduce himself then the manager introduces himself and tells him about how things go in the department, which rules to follow, how to follow the reporting line, which projects they are currently working on, and staff-related information, etc. The meeting is a formal session with the causal mode of conversation to put the new hire at ease.

The most important element of this step is Goal Setting. This one process alone produces an exceptional employee onboarding program. The manager should already have a documented format to set goals for the new hire. With the input from the employee, he devises SMART Goals for the employee, for 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. At this point, the main focus should be on 1 week. Involving the employee is essential as he is the one to chase these goals and his comfort and competencies matter the most.

manager meeting a new hire

Often, people do not have expertise in performing a specific task, In that case, they require some basic training to perform the task. So, the employee needs to be very open and comfortable in this goal-setting exercise. Hence, the manager is the one to make this entire process smooth for the new hire. With an arrogant manager, the new hire can’t ever be comfortable.

The 1-month, 3 months, and later goals can be further customized according to the situation as the employee continues to work.

5) Team meetup

The team should gather for a lunch in honor of the new hire during any lunch break or on the 1st weekend. This is completely an informal meeting of the staff and it gives everyone the best chance to mingle with the new hire/ hires. This congenial meetup is the best way to help the new hire settle down in this culture.

team meetup lunch in employee onboardingteam meetup lunch in employee onboarding

6) Chasing the goals and followups

Now, the new hire is completely in a routine work life at the new job. Depending on his skill set and company policies, the manager can now put him to coaching/ mentoring sessions in addition to routine work.

His performance and work are evaluated from time to time, best on weekly basis. The manager should closely monitor his performance and provide constructive feedback.

Employee onboarding programs for employee retention

Imagine yourself a new hire and you go through all of this process above, won’t you feel motivated and happy? Won’t you wish to give the best to the organization that takes so much care of you from the beginning? These top employee onboarding programs are all about retaining new hires with care and compassion, making them feel significant for the survival of the company.

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