Employee Onboarding Lessons From 4 All-Star Companies
You wake up early and put on the new outfit you specifically bought for this day. You actually eat breakfast! You’re prepared as ever, but still as nervous as can be. It’s your first day at a new job. Can’t get more terrifying than that, can it?
At Click Boarding, we want to make every first day the best first day it can be. It’s not easy to walk into a new job, make new friends, and learn new skills. That’s why today we’re going to look at some companies that are making their new hires feel right at home from day one with great onboarding processes. Maybe your organization can learn a thing or two from these all-stars:
At Medallia, which specializes in customer experience management software, new hires are challenged to step up and push their limits by facing their fears during the onboarding process. For example, if a new hire is afraid of needles, they’ll be given the opportunity to overcome that fear by donating blood. Facing their greatest fears not only helps new hires grow, but it also helps them bond with their colleagues as their teammates aid them through the experience.
Medallia takes its onboarding process seriously. The company has spent more than 9,360 paid hours perfecting it. It is said that it’s easy to spot a new hire by Friday evening because the onboarding process can be exhausting for them. However, onboarding at Medallia is something that employees regularly cite as a formative experience for their professional and personal lives.
While your company may not require such an extensive process, something this intense and well-thought-out is sure to make new employees feel valued. And it looks like it must be working: Medallia CEO Borge Hald has an approval rating of 97 percent on Glassdoor.
Try this: Instead of a putting together an intensive weeklong program, tap a few engaged employees to share their most challenging moments with the new hire during a chat session on their second day. This can create empathy, build relationships, and be a less scary way for the new employee to face their own fears.
When it comes to innovating your onboarding system, where do you turn for help? How about your employees – the people who actually went through the process? That’s exactly what entertainment software company Valve has done with its onboarding process by creating an employee handbook written by the employees, for the employees.
What better way to get introduced to your new team than by reading what employees think you need to know! Before this new handbook was introduced, it sometimes took new employees as long as six months to get acclimated to Valve and its flat management structure. Such a long acclimation period poses a big problem when one considers that 22 percent of employee turnover occurs in a new hire’s first 45 days on the job.
Due to the structure of the company, there is no one to necessarily tell new employees exactly what to do. That can make getting started a daunting task. The handbook acts as a guide to the hire’s new job, thereby becoming a significant part of their onboarding process. Valve’s handbook also helps new employees decide which projects they will start on because, as mentioned, there are no managers at Valve to assign tasks.
Try this: Do you have a flat organization? If so, consider creating a similar handbook. Crowdsourced from your employees, this book can be a collection of survival tips, unwritten rules, and examples of what success looks like that helps your new hire orient themselves.
The onboarding process at many companies begins before the new employee even arrives. This includes companies like Netflix, which has someone call the new employee before their first day. The company uses this phone call to find out the new hire’s laptop choice and configuration preferences so that a workstation is ready to go as soon as the new employee walks in the door. Netflix also helps its employees ease into their new jobs by assigning each hire a dedicated mentor to help during their first days.
Try this: According to many sources, Netflix’s onboarding process is a tough act to follow, but you can try by implementing a buddy system in your own organization. Mentoring provides just as much value to the mentor as it does to the mentee.
The onboarding process at Twitter begins the moment a new employee accepts an offer. The process involves a number of departments, including HR, recruiting, IT, and facilities, with each department pitching in to make sure everything is prepared for the new hire. This includes email addresses, important documents, and a lot more.
Twitter’s streamlined onboarding process extends far beyond the first day, with a monthly new hire happy hour and a rotating five-week schedule of 30-minute presentations on Friday afternoons. This provides the opportunity for new hires to meet with just about all of the leads, managers, and project managers and also gives new employees an opportunity to ask questions.
Try this: If you use onboarding software, use it to log goals and milestones so you and your new hires know what is expected and when. If you don’t currently have an onboarding software, consider using a bulletin or dry erase board. These visuals will help new hires stay aligned with their goals, and realistic goals can help you all stay on track!
There are a multitude of ways a company can innovate its onboarding process. Follow the lead of these all-stars and make yours an example of some of the best onboarding practices.
After all, a standard onboarding process creates 54 percent greater new hire productivity.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Click Boarding blog.
Christine Marino is the chief revenue officer at Click Boarding.