As an HR professional, you know it’s important to ensure new hires feel welcome at your company. The easier it is for incoming employees to adapt to their new work environments, the more engaged they will be with their roles. That’s why effective onboarding is crucial.
Of course, the right onboarding strategy for one organization may not be ideal for another. The nature of your company will impact your specific approach. However, there are certain creative and unique onboarding ideas that all HR professionals in general should consider.
You may not need to implement all of the following. However, including one or two in your strategy may help workers develop the engagement you want from them sooner rather than later.
This probably isn’t the type of activity you would plan when onboarding a new executive or C-suite employee. That said, many companies have days that involve introducing a relatively large number of new workers to the organization. People joining the company at the entry level may understandably feel intimidated. Thus, it helps to make their first day a little more fun.
One way to do so is to organize an office scavenger hunt. Task new hires with finding certain items throughout the office (and make sure you alert current employees). This is a particularly smart idea if you have a large workspace. Part of onboarding should involve helping new employees familiarize themselves with the layout. Organizing a scavenger hunt is simply an effective way to make that necessary component more enjoyable for everyone involved.
It’s also worth noting that, in our digital age, it’s equally important for employees to be familiar with your organization’s intranet. You might want to plan an intranet scavenger hunt to supplement the office scavenger hunt, or use this idea as an alternative if you’re worried new hires will disrupt other employees by wandering around the office. Give them the names of various workers from various departments (with permission from those workers, of course), and ask them to find their profiles in the company directory. Again, as with the office scavenger hunt, this serves a genuine practical purpose, while also helping new hires relax.
You want new employees to feel as though they are members of a family at your company. An easy way to achieve this goal from the start is to ask every member of their department to sign a welcome card that will be waiting for them at their desk when they complete the onboarding process. It’s a simple but effective step to let a new worker know they are joining a team that values their contributions.
Virtual Reality Training
Onboarding procedures often involve training sessions of various types. Some companies have begun using virtual reality to make training more accessible and dynamic.
This is an ideal solution if your organization tends to hire remote workers. Instead of requiring them to all travel to a single location for training, you can provide new hires with access to virtual reality headsets, training them remotely.
However, this approach is also worth considering even if your employees share an office. Virtual reality simply adds a degree of novelty to the training experience that can help to engage new hires.
VR also allows you to simulate a variety of situations employees may find themselves in at work. Additionally, a simulation can be a low-pressure alternative to traditional training. When the training session isn’t “real,” employees may be less prone to stress and more likely to retain what they learn.
Part of making new employees feel comfortable at your organization involves introducing them to some of the more high-level managers and executives. Unfortunately, this isn’t always practical. Maybe these individuals don’t all share the same office. Maybe they are too busy to drop in during onboarding sessions.
That doesn’t mean you can’t introduce new hires to these individuals at all. Instead, you can simply put together a welcome video. This enables high-level employees to explain who they are and what they do at the organization.
Remember, onboarding should be fun whenever possible. This simply makes it easier for new workers to relax and enjoy the experience. Another way to add some fun to your onboarding process is to design a trivia game that includes basic questions about your industry. It is important to strike a delicate balance here.
You don’t want the questions to be so difficult that new hires feel discouraged. However, this can be a clever way to train your employees, while also making onboarding exciting for them. You can even include small prizes.
Once more, it’s unlikely you’ll include all of these ideas in your onboarding procedures. However, you should consider at least a couple of them. Even if your onboarding process is already strong, there’s always room for improvement.