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Onboarding Tips Part II: Real World Edition

Last week I gave you seven onboarding tips to ensure your new hire has a great first day. Well, that article spurred lots of other responses from recruiters and business owners who forwarded me even more ideas. So this post will feature their experience and insight –  straight from the real world.

The Little Things Count

Discuss the contribution you expect from them and how they can make a positive difference to the company and their coworkers.  Making a meaningful contribution is the most important contributor to job satisfaction.

Introduce them to everyone, welcome them and let them know that who is available for questions they may have. Go for coffee or lunch with them, mix social chat with professional discussions. Make the little things easy and welcoming, like office supplies, passwords, contacts, where to find the best coffee, social groups they may enjoy, etc.

How they are treated will have a major impact on how they treat their co-workers, suppliers and customers.

Submitted by Henry Goldbeck, Goldbeck Recruiting

Making it Fun

We do a couple of fun(ny) things to welcome our new hires at Workshop Digital – a small digital marketing firm based in Richmond, VA.

The week before they start, we send a balloon box in the mail to their home. It’s a HUGE box and when they open it, surprise, balloons! You’re hired! It’s just a fun way to show them how excited WE are, and hope it helps them get pumped for their new workplace. Check it out here.

On the first day – the two co-founders take new hires out to lunch. It’s so important for a new employee to know right off the bat that they are welcome, not just a number in the office, and overall a great way for them to have that one-on-one with the owners from the start. 

Submitted by Katie Wolitarsky, Workshop Digital

The Cheat Sheet

Provide new employees with a “cheat sheet” of who’s who in the organization. It will help them know who to reach out to with questions or problem as well as better understand the organization’s structure. Give new hires a list of company jargon (especially if they are new to the industry). This will help speed up their onboarding process and help them follow along at meetings.

Submitted by Tom Gilman, Managing Partner of Cincinnati-based Gilman Partners

For the Work at Homers

Since 100% of our team is remote, we introduce new employees via a Slack invitation. The rest of the team joins in and greets the new hire and some team members like to throw in some funny jokes or comments to loosen them up.

Submitted by Kean Graham, CEO of MonetizeMore

The Care Package

I like giving new hires an office supplies care package at their first day. Besides all the office supplies they need, it also includes some snacks, a nice notebook, a calendar and a personalized mouse pad. They usually don’t expect such a welcome package, so they immediately feel more comfortable and are always very happy about it. I think it’s a great way to welcome new employees and surprise them in a positive way on their first day, where they’re usually rather nervous and insecure.

Submitted by Pamela Donaldson, HR Manager at Badger Maps

Understanding the Company Mission

The way I spend the first day with new recruits to indoctrinate them on our company’s “Why”

It’s crucial to take time to explain our Why to new team members to preserve our culture.

Why does our company exist? Why do we get out of bed every morning and if we didn’t why would anybody care?

Running an organization of that size proved daunting, however, creating something bigger than myself was a fulfilling experience. Our company created prosperity for our people and that’s why we did what we did. Much of our operating core was comprised of Guatemalan immigrants and these were the finest people I have ever known. Typically, they would come to the United States for several consecutive lawn mowing seasons, saving as much money as they could to improve the lives of their families back home by building homes, ranches, and setting up farms stocked with cattle.

This became our company’s purpose, our “Why.”  In weekly meetings, we would get progress reports from our men on how projects “back home” were coming along. In the halls of our office and in the shop we displayed picture collages of all the homes, farms, and business that had been established by our people in Guatemala. Celebrating these victories gave us fuel to get through the tough times, particularly the economic recession that began in 2009.

Submitted by Bryan Clayton CEO of GreenPal

So there you have it. Onboarding tips from the real world. If you want to welcome your new employee the right way, the above employers offer great examples to emulate. A great first day will get them off the the right start.