And we see the direct repercussions of our onboarding process given that our new employees quickly integrate into the team. Ultimately, our onboarding checklist even makes for a better retention rate.
We also believe that an effective welcome helps our new recruits quickly steep themselves in our corporate culture, and strengthens their engagement. After all, we don’t just hire workers—we hire collaborators.
It is also why we now offer an employee onboarding feature in our employee management software.
Here are some of the best practices we’ve applied over the years.
Successfully Integrate Your New Employees Every Time
1. Plan for your new employee’s arrival
Welcoming a new employee starts with good preparation. It’s important to make sure everything is ready ahead of time, and that includes the workspace and tools, administrative documents, access numbers and cards, the schedule and procedure for the first day, etc.
In fact, there are so many details to consider that I strongly suggest you make a clear and detailed list of everything you need to do. You can take a look at our new employee onboarding plan for inspiration in creating your own.
2. Don’t overload the first few days of work
A person can only retain so much information. There is nothing to be gained from bombarding your new recruit with information.
Instead, shorten the first day of work, and why not the first week as well? This will let you introduce the employee to their new environment smoothly and gently.
This is exactly what we do at Agendrix. New colleagues are encouraged to arrive later and leave earlier on their first day. They also start their week on a Tuesday. We know that the first days at a new job are especially demanding since everything is brand new.
A light schedule is ideal.
3. Pair up your new employee with someone more experienced
It’s a great idea to pair your new employees with more experienced ones. Your recruits will learn faster and always know who to turn to with any questions about their tasks.
Ideally, this role should be played by the direct supervisor in order to create a trusting relationship from the get-go. This way, you can be there for them when they need you. If this is not possible, be sure to pair up your new employees with someone warm and welcoming.
We also recommend that you provide new employees with a list of people in key roles at the company. This way, they will know who to contact with more specific questions on certain topics (HR issues, insurance, RRSPs, etc.).
4. Organize team activities
To give your new employees a warm welcome, plan something special for their first lunch. This is a nice touch that allows everyone to get to know one another faster.
We also encourage our new colleagues to participate in our monthly activities, even if they have not yet officially started working. This allows them to meet the entire team in a more relaxed and informal setting.
We also invite our interns to our parties, even if they’ve already gone back to school. The way we see it, new employee integration is about more than their first week on our team—it’s an ongoing endeavor.
5. Offer a gift featuring the company’s image
Giving a welcome gift is a common practice at many companies. At Agendrix, all new employees are gifted a reusable water bottle, a hoodie, a vintage cap and masks featuring the company’s colors, which they can share with their families. These are small gestures that show that we care about the well-being of our employees.
Make sure to offer quality items. For example, when Agendrix management decided to make masks in the company colors for all our employees, we contacted our friends over at Unique Wool. We knew their masks were going to be premium. And by the same token, we were supporting another Sherbrooke-based company.
6. Follow up
Finally, after pulling out all the stops to make your new colleagues feel at ease, it’s essential to go back over their initial experience. Ask them questions about how their first day went. This will allow you to fine-tune your onboarding process and ensure that your new hire feels comfortable.
Also do more frequent individual follow-ups (especially in the beginning) to check in and see how everything’s going. This is even more important if you are not around your new employees often to demonstrate your proactiveness. You can take advantage of the opportunity to give them feedback on their work.
Your Onboarding Process Matters
Give your new employees a warm welcome and take the time to share the company’s values with them.
Thanks to effective onboarding and smooth integration, your new employees will quickly become ambassadors for your company.