5 Ways Onboarding Can Improve Company Culture

Mar 22, 2021
5 Ways Onboarding Can Improve Company Culture
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New employees will typically decide whether or not they want to stay at a new company for the long haul within the first six months of starting a new position. 

Retaining productive employees for the long term is one of the primary goals for many companies. It helps promote a positive company culture as well as attract higher qualified candidates in the future. 

Employee onboarding is one of the most effective ways to welcome new employees into your company and to ensure the employee experiences as well as their long term success.

However, onboarding new employees the right way is far better than rushing through the process incorrectly and risking losing valuable additions to your company. 

The Right and Wrong Ways to Onboard

Many new employees generally describe the onboarding process as "drinking out of a fire hose." This can overwhelm a new employee with extraneous information. 

As a human resources professional or hiring manager, you should aim to improve the employee onboarding process so that it enables a new hire to feel welcomed, valued, and ready to succeed in their new role.

How do you avoid overwhelming your new hires? How do you best prepare the new additions to your team so they can achieve their goals in record time?

We have narrowed down the list of tips and tricks to the 5 best onboarding practices. These 5 onboarding tips will help to improve your company's culture over time

1. Start Onboarding Before the Official Start Date

Everyone speaks about the importance of a new hire's first 30 days and the inevitable 90-day review. But do not forget that a new hire's journey with your company starts the moment they are hired.

As a human resources leader or hiring manager, you need to communicate early and often about what a new hire should be on the lookout for and what to expect before their start date.

Several questions need to be answered. Is there any paperwork or official documents that need to be filled out? What should the new hire be expected to wear?

It is an important aspect to tell new employees what they can expect and what they should not expect on their start date. 

Will they be expected to start making cold calls to prospects or be interacting with customers? Will there be a full day of orientation activities, or will it only last a couple of hours?

You do not want your new hire wondering the answers to these basic questions. Lack of communication at the beginning of a new position can lead to the reason for leaving it later on. 

Answering these important house

keeping questions for your new hire can help calm any anxiety or stress about their start date. By communicating early and often before their official start date, they will feel valued and comfortable right from the get-go. 

1. Start Onboarding Before the Official Start Date

2. Emphasize the Company Culture Right Away

An important aspect during the employee onboarding process is to introduce the new hire to the company culture. Employees who approve of a company's culture are more likely to stay than those who do not like the particular culture at a new company.

Successfully onboarded employees lead to higher levels of employee engagement. 

The onboarding process is your first opportunity to show new hires your company's values, priorities, and resources available to employees. Outline what makes your company special — whether it be the employee experiences, mission, workplace culture, and more. 

2. Emphasize the Company Culture Right Away

“Our hiring managers now have a reliable system that is easy to navigate. Our HR team can actively monitor the process, and assist if needed, but Onboard has helped them save so much valuable time and effort while increasing data accuracy. All of this has helped us improve compliance and gives us a powerful tool to achieve even more results in the future.”

Another part of emphasizing the company culture is to make the first day memorable and fun. No matter the seriousness of your company's mission, you want your new employees to be excited about working at your company. 

Include fun ice breakers and games to alleviate the mood. Break up long sessions with fun games or quizzes to keep everyone's attention and focus. You want your employer brand to be one the employees enjoy. 

Kaylee Collins
HR Analyst of Osmose Utilities Services, Inc

“Our hiring managers now have a reliable system that is easy to navigate. Our HR team can actively monitor the process, and assist if needed, but Onboard has helped them save so much valuable time and effort while increasing data accuracy. All of this has helped us improve compliance and gives us a powerful tool to achieve even more results in the future.”

3. Encourage Employee Socialization

It is important for new hires to build connections with other new and existing employees at your company. This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to improve company culture during effective onboarding. 

Employees who enjoy hanging out with their co-workers not only tend to stay at work longer every week, but they stay at the company overall for a longer period of time. 

Make sure that — at some point during the onboarding process — the new hire is introduced to their new team, managers, and other relevant people they will be interacting with regularly. 

If you are doing an in-person onboarding for new employees, plan for a team or new hire lunch. This way, new hires can get to know other employees in a more comfortable setting. 

Building connections also include introducing new hires to executive and senior leaders at your company, if possible. Schedule senior leaders to speak and answer questions during the onboarding process and highlight their vision for the company.

This helps to foster a sense of open communication between the lower and upper levels of management. This is a great, easy way to improve company culture through the onboarding process. 

Socialization of new employees is especially critical during remote work. Employees are feeling more distant than ever with remote work during the pandemic. Make sure you set aside time during the onboarding process to encourage team building that is non-work related. 

This can help increase employee engagement and the decrease turnover rates. 

3. Encourage Employee Socialization

4. Lay Out the Process of How Things Work

Detailing your company's work processes is a critical step in effective onboarding. After all, this is what the day-to-day routine will look like for your new hire. 

Creating a checklist of relevant tasks, work responsibilities, and communication processes will make new hires feel better prepared to hit the ground running. Let new hires know who the right person is to ask for common questions that they may have when starting. 

This will help a new employee avoid making common mistakes in the first few months. It can also help reduce back-and-forth emails and phone calls asking to confirm communication structures and other workflows. 

Using the right tech products is a great way to get new hires familiar with work processes and typical workflows. 

4. Lay Out the Process of How Things Work

5. Have a Plan to Be Flexible

As anyone knows, even the best-laid plans can fall apart. You cannot rely on in-person onboarding anymore. COVID-19 has proven this fact beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Almost 46 percent of companies have hired at least 10 new employees since the beginning of the pandemic.

Many of these companies that hired new employees could not meet in person for their onboarding. They needed to quickly adjust and learn how to run a successful virtual onboarding process.

As an HR professional or hiring manager, you need to have a plan in place for any type of scenario that arises. Remote onboarding is useful because it can help take the heavy lifting off you. This allows you to focus on creating the right materials for your new hire. 

Make sure that if you need to host a remote onboarding, the new hires are mailed the necessary equipment. They will need to be able to submit the necessary documents digitally. 

These are necessary steps to take to ensure they feel just as welcomed and included as if they were there in person. 

5. Have a Plan to Be Flexible

Why Onboarding Creates Productive Employees

There are so many benefits to improving the employee onboarding processes at your company that will help improve the company's culture over the long term. 

The main benefit is that effective onboarding helps to create productive employees. When new hires learn about the company's culture, mission, workflows, and relevant processes — and they feel connected to their co-workers — they are better positioned for long term success. 

Effective onboarding limits attrition for this very reason. It is much more expensive overall to spend the time looking for a new hire to fill a position than it is to retain the current employee. 

Another benefit of onboarding successfully is that it allows for employees to thrive from the very beginning, rather than taking extra time to learn basic tasks and responsibilities. 

Improving onboarding processes helps to improve company culture, which in turn increases employee satisfaction.

All of these benefits of onboarding helps to retain top talent and attract higher-quality candidates in the future for open positions. 

Elevate Your Onboarding Process Today

Employee onboarding is one of the most effective ways to improve your company's culture and to create productive employees and retain top talent.

When was the last time you examined your company's onboarding procedure? Is it ready to be revamped and improved? 

If you are interested in learning how to successfully onboard new hires within their first 30 days, we have the perfect solutions you need here at HR Cloud.

Reach out to our dedicated team of HR teams and experts to learn how your company can improve your onboarding process through the latest technology. 

About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software  increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.

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