2 FEBRUARY, 2018


1. Start the engagement before the first day

Employee engagement can start before the first day. Once your new employee accepts your offer, use internet-based tools like videos, infographics, and guides to introduce your new hire to your core values, processes, and anything else relevant to working at your company.

You can even onboard employees during the recruitment process, by providing candidates with a guide about your organisation and being transparent during the hiring process.

2. Expose them to your culture

Design your onboarding process to include exposure to your culture. For example, you can introduce your new employee to your organisation’s top ‘cultural champions’ who demonstrate how your organisational culture is lived through speech and work, and how employees practise mutual respect and cultural awareness in the workplace. Seek out ways and opportunities to define your organisation’s cultural values and to make them relatable and tangible.

3. Get the basics right

By getting the basics of your induction right, you demonstrate your organisation is committed to its employees, dedicated, organised, and professional. Getting the basics right also gives your new team member an easier transition into your company.

Work to a schedule and a checklist to make sure your new employee has the right workstation, equipment, software, and information sources and guides. Make sure they have a contact person whom they can ask questions.

4. Tailor it to the role

Ensure your onboarding process is tailored to the role and department. Rather than using a standard induction process for all new hires, take time to plan your inductions so they’re appropriate for the specific needs of the employee. Your new team member will feel welcomed and be impressed at your organisation’s attention to detail.

5. Balance technical elements with socialising

Basics and technical elements like setting up email accounts and assigning laptops or computers is essential, but make sure it’s complemented with opportunities to meet and socialise with a range of people in your organisation. The socialisation aspect exposes your new employee to your culture probably more effectively than anything else you do during the onboarding process.

You’ll want to provide your new hire with a chance to speak to their mentor, buddy, and team members in a relaxed context to encourage rapport. One way to do this could be to organise a team lunch sometime during your new hire’s first week. Depending on the role and your industry, you might also find it appropriate to introduce them to key customers and other stakeholders during the onboarding process.

6. Show your appreciation

When employees are united by a collective identity and shared goals, they are more likely to feel valued for the unique skills they bring to the team. The benefits of greater team cohesion are diverse, ranging from improved workflow and communication to increased motivation and productivity. In fact, managing diversity in the workplace can increase productivity and foster a positive working environment. All of these factors build a strong foundation for honest communication that promotes dialogue and adaptive thinking rather than unproductive conflict. Considering this, it comes as no surprise that team members are 80% more likely to report better emotional wellbeing when compared to solo-workers.

7. Assign a buddy and mentor

Assigning a buddy for your new hire gives them a chance to ask questions and seek out information in a less intimidating context. Pair your new staff member with a friendly buddy – ideally a cultural champion or an employee who reflects your organisational culture – and ensure the buddy is available to answer their questions and check in on them.

You can also assign a mentor to your new employee. Ideally the mentor should be a more experienced, more senior staff member who doesn’t have a reporting relationship with your new employee. They function like a buddy by answering any questions, but they’re also tasked with providing guidance and helping your new team member build their confidence in the organisation.

8. Get creative

Look for creative, novel ways to onboard your new employee in ways that communicate your company culture. Unique gifts, custom welcome videos, and company-wide welcome emails introducing the new staff member could be options to consider. Whether your work culture tends to be humorous, serious, or a mix of the two, strike the right tone and make your employee feel integrated and welcomed to the team.

9. Seek out their feedback and follow up regularly

Don’t wait for your new hire to approach you; actively seek out their feedback and quickly adjust your onboarding process as you receive feedback. Schedule a sit-down meeting after a few weeks and provide a confidential, safe setting where they can keep you up to date with their thoughts. Take their feedback seriously and do what you can to address any issues that arise. Let them know your door is always open to new ideas, suggestions, or concerns.

Cultural fit requires a positive onboarding experience

A positive, effective onboarding experience supports your new hires in settling in quickly, understanding the organisation, and adapting to the culture. Consider it an opportunity to make a great first impression and ensure your organisation and your new hire are on the same page about working at your business. By paying attention to both the cultural and practical elements, you could be setting the groundwork for higher retention rates, productivity, and job satisfaction for your employees.

DeakinCo. offer learning and development solutions to provide workforces with skills to succeed both now and in the future. Find out more about our expertise in micro credentialing, bespoke learning, and qualifications on our website. Alternatively, we invite you to contact us for more information about how we can help your organisation leverage your human resources.