Making Onboarding a Fun and Positive Experience

by Bethany Wright on September 24, 2018

in Employee Engagement,Recruiting & Hiring

Home is where the heart is

We’ve all been there: new job, new co-workers, new expectations. We walked in on our first day, sat down, and were bombarded with a stack of paperwork and policies we were expected to read and familiarize ourselves with. As the hours ticked by, we couldn’t wait until the dreaded “first day” was over and we could move forward and do the job we were hired to do.

But what if it wasn’t like that? What if onboarding was less of a “task” and more of an interactive game you could play to familiarize yourself with your surroundings, get to know your co-workers and learn about the company?

Creating an interactive onboarding process can improve new employees’ impression of the company and help to better communicate their part in the larger scheme of the operation.

As soon as an applicant accepts an offer of employment, there should be an immediate and ongoing process to keep them engaged. This has the impact of helping to prepare them for their new position, as well as giving them confidence that they made the right decision when they accepted the job.

Prior to the first day of employment:

  • Send a welcome letter on company letterhead along with some sort of company logo’d item, “swag,” or pre-hire gift.
  • Send a welcome email to the new hire with a copy of their job description, employee handbook, information on the company’s mission, vision and values, etc.
  • Inform them what they can expect in their first week and remind them of any items they need to bring on their first day. Any paperwork you can collect prior to hire will make the process much simpler, overall.
  • Ask about workspace needs, including technology required for the job, or just their daily office items you should procure (chair, headset, footrest, etc.). Their new work space should always be set up prior to their first day on the job, including all computer access and logins.
  • Ensure the hiring manager has established a training plan for their new hire. The employee should know what they are expected to achieve in their first week, month, 90-days, up to their first year of employment. Laying out this ground work will guarantee the employee understands the expectations of their position, and will allow the manager to evaluate their progress more easily.
  • Announce the new hire to the rest of the organization. A simple email with the employee’s name and job title will prepare staff to welcome their new co-worker.

Make their first day engaging:

  • Set them up with a check list in the form of a scavenger hunt. The hunt should include not only required paperwork, but also contain tasks that force them to check out their new surroundings and meet people. For example, ask them to identify a specific item in the break room, or tell you how many wall clocks there are in the building. It is a fun way to get to know the office and to space out the mind numbing amount of paperwork new hires typically complete on their first day.
  • Allow them some time to study the company policies, then team them up with other co-workers and make your way through the necessary information like a game show. Jeopardy and Family Feud are great options for this kind of game.
  • Have a lunch or meeting that includes everyone, if possible. During this time, employees can take part in an ice breaker activity that encourages interaction. It’s a great way for the new hire to familiarize themselves with their new co-workers, and for the co-workers to get to know the new employee.
  • Schedule time for the new hire to meet with as many co-workers as possible in the first couple weeks. Getting an opportunity to meet with co-workers from various departments can help them better understand the role their position plays in the grand scheme of things, and they will feel more included.

There are many ways you can liven up the onboarding process. These are just some of the ways you can integrate the necessary evils of the hiring process into a fun, ongoing exploration of your business and those who work there.

If you have questions or would like some guidance, we’re here to help!

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