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Make onboarding great again

The onboarding experience for new hires is what sets the tone for success or failure. Onboarding cannot be taken for granted no matter if it is a start-up or well-established company. The basic fundamentals of onboarding are how to introduce new hires to their job by giving them the right tools and assets to do a good job. However, it is far more than just giving someone a phone, computer and a signed contract with a title. What is your long term goal with recruitment? How do you create a sustainable workforce?

A few weeks ago Local Glimpse was invited to a breakfast seminar hosted by Steve Usher and Morten Raahauge where they talked about the 5E Experience Model, which is a model often applied to services and products. Here we will apply it on the process of onboarding employees.

First thing first.

Even before the new hires enter their first day, there is a pre-onboarding phase that many miss out on. To increase the changes of the new employee having a good experience, there is a five-step model that should be applied. The first step is enticing, which could translate into pre-onboarding. What do you do for your new hires before they start? This action should be personalized, precise and something that makes them feel a part of the group. A piece of advice would be to present the culture, team, office, their place in the office, etc. Something to prepare them for what is coming and to answer questions that a new team member might have. Who would not be happy if they got a personalized video from their new team saying hi and that they’re excited for you to join them? In that way, you present names, faces, dress codes, etc before the first meeting.

5E experience model applied on the onboarding experience

5E experience model applied to the onboarding experience

Level up.

Next step of the 5E experience model is the entering phase. A very important phase since this is the very first time the new hires meet the company and their new team. Two introductions are really important here, the first one is the interaction with the lobby. Meaning, know what conversations should be “on and off stage” so to say. The other one is with the team. How do you make them feel welcome, important, seen and appreciated? We all know that the technical things take some time in the beginning to get a grip of the systems, email, passwords, etc. Why not offer an IT butler would preferably be someone from the IT department that would introduce the “IT toolbox” used at their office. That would be an experience! A handmade map would also be a good thing to do. That will help the new person to navigate when it comes to all necessaries such as coffee cups to use, toilets, and where to place your personal belongings. Set an agenda and goals for both employee and employer that can be followed up in the exiting phase. This to share the same understanding of how to move forward together.

Onboarding should be engaging.

The 3 of the 5Es are engaging. The onboarding process should be engaging. The employee should long for the next day and feel super excited about the workplace and the new tasks. However, what is the number one most uncomfortable thing to do when being new somewhere (for some at least)? To ask questions. To bother someone with questions can be a bit of a challenge for some. Here you should help them out. Maybe give the new employee “free to bother” coupons. Make it fun for all individuals to help each other grow and learn. Many employees will take their time to help the new employee, but at times it could seem like a distraction for them. See the onboarding as an investment for the entire company and be sure to tell the entire organization that.

Exiting like a star.

When exiting the onboarding process, remember to collect feedback. At the end of an onboarding program, it should be the new hires time to shine. Let them give input to their experience and learn from it. In order to improve, feedback is a good start. The employee spends their time coming to interviews and sometimes do tests, the least you could do to show your appreciation, let them have an interview with you. It will work as a get-to-know each other session combined with you as employer showing that their opinion is important.

Would you like to extend your stay?

Yes! Give them something to always remember. An object that they can have and look back on. For instance, this could be a polaroid picture from their very first day with something written on the backside of it. That would make your employees feel important, seen and appreciated!

Remember, attract, onboard and retain your employees. To do that you need to invest time in every single individual employee to establish a sustainable relationship. It will be worth it for the entire organization in the long run.

Local Glimpse

Local Glimpse

Local Glimpse is the magazine telling the stories of creative local entrepreneurs, everywhere – and they’re just awesome!

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“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”

Steve Jobs