Employee onboarding

13 ideas for interesting onboarding process

Anna Stelmaszyk
13 ideas for interesting onboarding process

A new employee onboarding program is still sometimes underestimated in most companies. Leaving aside extreme cases in which the arrival of a new team member at a new job comes as a surprise to everyone and the adaptation is organized ad hoc, one has to admit that it is not always a fully used time. This is a big mistake because the new employees' impressions of onboarding activities greatly affect the employer branding. It even happens that the adventure with a particular company ends just a few months after starting work. Despite the fact that under different circumstances, the new employee could fulfill his or her role, climb the career ladder, and bring substantial benefits to the employer.

How to create an interesting onboarding experience, include the necessary information, onboarding training and tasks, and effectively engage new hires in the next steps? Today we will tell you what practices will help you onboard an employee in an interesting way. Examples from many companies around the world, but also among our clients, prove that it is possible. Learn about the new employees onboarding program with a "wow" effect.

What creates really interesting new employee onboarding process? A well-thought-out process!

In our experience, from new hires perspective, any valuable onboarding programs are an exciting experience in themselves. A valuable onboarding is one that meets the needs of the employee and prepares him or her to work independently in a new job. Such an effect cannot be achieved without several key elements:

  • a consistent and structured onboarding experience for the job and beyond,
  • openness to feedback from the new hire,
  • emotional support in difficult moments (here our deep appreciation for an onboarding Buddy system),
  • clear communication of employee onboarding ideas and objectives,
  • personalized communication, i.e., communication in which the new hires do not feel anonymous and are aware that they are someone who can feel welcome and expected,
  • reliable onboarding - its foundation should be the involvement of new hire's manager. It is he/she who, step by step, prepares the new employee to achieve full independence at work.
13 ways to make onboarding interesting [gif] I Gamfi Blog

"Everything is great, only, how to implement it all?" If such a thought has just appeared in your head, be sure to read on! In front of you are specific tips.

13 ideas for a new hire onboarding process

You should know that employer branding involves employee onboarding activities at your company. Modern companies need to get used to employee turnover, or at each stage of their experience take care of their reputation, also taking into account candidates who will share their opinion of the company with the next ones.

What else does an interesting onboarding experience of new team members include? Examples are extremely varied. Onboarding processes stem from the company's procedures. These, in turn, should be rooted in the elements outlined above. At the same time, care should be taken to ensure that the start of a new job is associated with a positive experience that is not limited to basic information about the company, presentation of the company's organizational structure and an occupational health examination. Small, individualized pleasures add variety to the onboarding training program and increase motivation on the part of the new employee. Let's get down to specifics!

1. Ensure onboarding program with proper structure

Our survey found that 56% of employees have less than a week for the onboarding process. Of this group, as many as 21% are implemented for only one day (!).

Under such circumstances, the bottom line is to extend employee onboarding ideas and change the approach to the process in general. A timed, structured and effective onboarding activities will have a "wow" effect on its own. It only takes a structured onboarding plan, with assigned roles and goals for each person involved, and new hires will feel that they are in good hands.

So sometimes it's worth starting with the basics. Without this, even the most creative activities will not be interesting to the person hired.

If, under the circumstances, an interesting onboarding is prolonged by a week or two, it does not mean a waste of time.

It is really worthwhile to focus on the new hire, let him or her get acquainted freely with the position and learn about the specifics of the new job. Positive employee experience brings results that are noticeable only after some time. But it always means higher motivation of new hires, who become loyal, more effective at work and stay with the company longer.

13 ways to make onboarding interesting I Gamfi Blog

2. Start right from the recruitment process as part of your employer branding efforts

We like to say that new employees onboarding really starts as early as the interview process. And this is true whether you manage it consciously or not.... However, it's better to take matters into your own hands! Take advantage of the potential of preboarding process and make the new hires comfortable already at this stage. Build a relationship with him/her, even before he formally joins the existing team. Involve the HR department and the manager. Working together, build up the candidate's excitement and dispel his doubts, if they arise. And they are bound to arise if, as an employer, you remain silent from the moment new hires accept an offer until their first day on the job....

High employee turnover is the real nightmare of many companies. Interesting onboarding experience, started as early as the recruitment stage, can largely prevent it. First of all, it increases the chance that new hires will stay in the organization for a long time. Besides, a friendly candidate will share his or her opinion with other potential candidates long before the start of new duties.

3. Conduct entry interview

Entry interviews are a survey that can be conducted during the onboarding activities or immediately after the onboarding process. Most often it is an anonymous survey, which, depending on the needs of the organization, can have different functions:

  • provides an assessment of the effectiveness of onboarding,
  • builds a relationship with the team, buddies, managers,
  • allows you to check whether the components of the company's culture, as well as the goals and the onboarding plan are understood by the new hire,
  • makes it possible to get to know new hires better - their values, professional priorities and interests, including on a personal basis.
13 ways to make onboarding interesting [gif] I Gamfi Blog

Thanks to such an examination, you create additional space for a new team member to ask questions - even before he or she starts work. In this way you build open communication, which results in the effectiveness of the entire employee onboarding experience.

Conscious onboarding planning should definitely include entry interviews, and its results are an interesting source of knowledge not only for the supervisor, but also for the HR department.

4. Personalize the welcome pack

A welcome gift can either delight or land at the bottom of a drawer. Instead of a few useless goodies, personalize the welcome pack by surprising new employees with an experience on par with the "Netflix experience." Just stick to these rules:

  • Give new hires the opportunity to customize the contents of the welcome pack. We strongly encourage you to provide new hires with choice as often as possible - even if there are "only" two options to offer. In fact, this is already a great deal, because the real gift you "give" to an employee is a sense of empowerment.
  • In the next step, make sure that the selection of parameters (e.g., size, color) of the gadgets and the transfer of the shipping address for the welcome gift goes quickly and smoothly.
  • The previous two steps will succeed if the tool with which new hires select and order the gift is simple and intuitive to use (psst... we don't want to boast, but this is how it works in our app).

The interesting employee onboarding ideas also rely on such inconspicuous gestures. In addition, it provides a break from the slightly tedious formalities of the first day on the job by nature, and, by the way, is excellent for the reputation of the company as a whole.

13 ways to make onboarding interesting I Gamfi Blog

Find out what the "Netflix experience" is and what the welcome box has to do with it >>.

5. Suggest the choice of equipment for work

A little more about employee decision-making. Don't limit it to the possibility of choosing a welcome pack. Yes, that's no mistake! Let the new hires also choose the necessary equipment for the job - and do it completely online. Let new employees choose her phone, computer or work clothes with a few clicks. In the next step, using a simple form, he/she'll submit the shipping details or, if he/she works stationary, pick up his/her configured equipment on the first day in the office.

Isn't it true that the whole thing resembles the shopping experience we all know from e-commerce platforms?

6. Turn the welcome message into something extra

Sending a welcome message is a nice act, but to create a wow effect, a few generic sentences from the CEO are not enough.... Surprise new team members with an interesting video recorded by existing team members or a manager's handwritten letter added to the welcome pack.

A welcome mail can also be a good solution, as long as you personalize it properly. An example? Add to the message a photo of the desk with the new employee welcome kit already waiting for the new team member. When done correctly, onboarding reinforces the new hire's belief that the entire team is genuinely interested in the new hire in a definitely positive context.

13 ways to make onboarding interesting I Gamfi Blog

7. Make the paperwork more interesting

An interesting onboarding of a new employee should not be boring. New team members are faced with learning facts about the company and a lot of "paperwork", which, after all, is not a pleasure (the exception is, of course, the signing of the contract). How to dispel the paperwork?

Skip new employees unnecessary trips to human resources. Get the paperwork for signing the contract completely painless and remotely - preferably even before the first day. How to do it.

Automatize data collection. For example, ready-made digital forms available in the onboarding application will help you. Such a digital folder will facilitate the preparation of a contract for a new hire. On the first day, he/she will be welcomed by documents ready for signature. This will make the onboarding process more comfortable for everyone - the new hire, the HR team, HR, and even the supervisor, who is often involved in embracing the paperwork.

8. Introduce the employee to the company culture with the help of a creative handbook

It is often said that an employee handbook is the most important document in an organization. Therefore, it is worth making it interesting for a new hire, and its reading should not end after the first page. Think of the employee handbook as a creative tool that you can also use as part of your employer branding efforts. Both new employees and potential candidates will not get through a large number of pages in an uninteresting document.

Try to think outside the box, but in line with the values and philosophy of the company culture. The U.S. chain Nordstrom took an interesting approach to the subject. Their "handbook" consists of only two slides and conveys a single message: "Use wisdom in every situation." Of course, the company elaborates on this thought further onboarding. And yet, the first effect spelled out in this simple form provides a solid foundation for all further communication.

Nordstrom deploys employees according to one simple rule. And 13 ways to make onboarding interesting I Gamfi Blog
Nordstrom conveys its entire organizational culture through a single, expressive material.

9. Provide knowledge in an accessible way

Effective onboarding employees experience must not overwhelm. So implement a new hire gradually, dosing him or her with information. Use microlearning and gamification to impart knowledge in an interesting and engaging way. Create knowledge bases in online form, so that any new employee can use them at any time, without stressing that some content from the training may be missed irretrievably.

13 ways to make onboarding interesting I Gamfi Blog

10. Surprise a new hire with a unique detail

Apparently insignificant details can be your ace in the hole! During the recruitment process, try to draw out some interesting fact about the candidate. It could be a hobby, a favorite book, dish, music or sport. Then, on the first day of work, surprise the employee with a detail that relates to that one thing. Just imagine the new hires amazement when they find a book by a beloved author or their favorite tea as a welcome gift or on their desk.

11. Give a combat task

Help a new hire break the first ice in communicating with the team. Introduce him to company rituals that will allow him to integrate more easily and build a relationship with the rest of the crew more quickly. This is one of the important elements of the onboarding process that is unfortunately sometimes overlooked. Meanwhile, onboarding magic is exactly in such details!

LiveChat knows this perfectly well. They give every new hire a welcome pack with a buy-in offer. In keeping with company tradition, those being deployed bring something sweet during their first visit to the office. To make their task easier, the company provides a ready-made cake recipe on the welcome gift package!

12. Gamify the relationship-building stage

A welcome coffee with the team or a team lunch are a good introduction to team integration. Remember, however, that building relationships among employees is a long-term process that should be supported by additional activities.

The idea is to make the new hire feel part of the whole team. It is enough to organize a joint outing to billiards, volleyball, a cooking workshop or another team attraction. A virtual tour of the office based on an interesting storyline and engaging missions can also be a good idea.

13 sposobów na ciekawy onboarding [gif] I Blog Gamfi

13. Build interesting onboarding in the onboarding application

With digitization and automation in the onboarding process, you gain many opportunities to implement creative solutions, such as:

  • basic training in the form of microlearning,
  • knowledge tests in the form of mini quizzes,
  • interactive missions and earning points for subsequent implementation tasks.

And all this with the possibility of personalization, so that the onboarding process is tailored to the needs of employees and the organization. The human brain assimilates knowledge in an accessible way using the so-called spacing effect.

In practice, this means that knowledge is more easily absorbed in single portions and at certain intervals. This is the basis of the above-mentioned microlearning, one of the innovative tools used when adapting to a new job. Interesting onboarding of an employee provides an excellent opportunity to use them.

In our Gamfi Onboarding application, all this is done very conveniently for new employees and the employer. The new hires use a single tool, available online, which guides them step-by-step through the onboarding process. The application additionally relieves the manager's valuable time. This saved resource can be devoted to building a relationship with the new hire.

13 sposobów na ciekawy onboarding I Blog Gamfi

Interesting onboarding and remote work? These are not at all mutually exclusive!

What's more, the remote employee onboarding process provides a great opportunity to optimize and automate many activities. How does it work? Here are three facts, and tips on how to conduct an interesting onboarding of an employee in remote form.

Efficiently through the paperwork

The previously mentioned ordering of equipment or collection of data for HR in the case of onboarding takes a lot of time and is less comfortable for all involved. With the help of digital tools, on the other hand, the entire process can be carried out remotely - efficiently and painlessly.

Effective education

Similarly with training - by supporting yourself with online tools, you incorporate more effective forms of knowledge transfer into onboarding. You can successfully transfer some of the training previously conducted in the office to the online world. Without engaging trainers each time, ordering rooms and organizing the entire stationary training infrastructure.

Creativity that impresses

Completely remote onboarding requires even more focus on effective communication and a structured plan of action. Stodgy solutions won't pass the test here, so creativity in action is essential. Without this, new employees won't engage in the whole process enough to complete onboarding successfully. A decent motivation, right?

Interesting onboarding of an employee in a remote form gives a better chance of easier onboarding of a newcomer to life in the organization, when the institution of a buddy is used. This is a thoughtfully appointed work buddy appointed by the supervisor, who with his empathy and at the same time extensive knowledge (including informal knowledge) helps the newcomer get acquainted with the new workplace. Even the best HR department can never replace him!

Examples of interesting onboarding - in Poland and around the world

The ways of interesting onboarding are many, and they depend on specific industries and the culture of the organization. We have three examples for you.

In person, though remotely

Netguru, a company specializing in IT solutions, relies on open and transparent communication. Right after a successful recruitment, the hired employee receives a message with the most important information about the company, and has the opportunity to ask questions throughout the transition period - until the start of work. What draws attention in the company's onboarding process is a conversation with the CEO, who personally tells the employee about the organization's values, goals and policies. The entire process, including the formalities, is done remotely, which, by the way, gives the new person a good idea of what his or her work will be like on a day-to-day basis.

It is important for the company to share knowledge efficiently, so the new hire can count on the help of a mentor introducing him to the team, as well as a leader with whom he discusses his goals and development paths, and exchanges comments during his first days at work. Interesting onboarding and an interesting way to start work, right?

In a champagne mood

TINYPulse also has an original approach to onboarding. This IT company from Washington, D.C. welcomes new employees.... champagne. For the organization, it's a way to shorten the distance, break the first ice and express enthusiasm for bringing new talent to the company. "We want to start with something positive. The learning curve can be steep, and the first 30 days of work are often the hardest. This bottle of champagne says: Welcome to the team! We know you'll do a great job!" - writes TINYPulse on its corporate blog. Champagne isn't everything, however. More surprises await new hires as part of the celebration in their first days on the job.

13 sposobów na ciekawy onboarding [gif] I Blog Gamfi

A game of (new) jobs

Yet another approach is proposed by Essar Oil & Gas, an Indian oil and gas company. Here, elements of gamification have been introduced into onboarding. Included in the onboarding process are training sessions based on 3D games, in which new employees learn about the work environment and co-workers. This approach has significantly reduced onboarding time, with new hires achieving full efficiency faster. Learning through play is also a way to increase a new person's commitment. Such onboarding is a truly exciting experience for her.

There are really many ways to make employee onboarding interesting. Examples prove it very well. Combine expertise with creativity and make a real commitment to the new hire for onboarding into your organization. While doing so, keep in mind both the key elements of the newcomer's adaptation and the small gestures that indicate a friendly company culture.

We hope we've managed to inspire you a bit. Now it's time to turn that inspiration into reality! Preferably with the help of a proven onboarding tool!

Have an interesting onboarding idea? Transfer it to the onboarding app.

Test the Gamfi Onboarding app for free!

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