Successful On-boarding Doesn’t Have to be Fancy

by | Aug 5, 2017 | 0 comments

Apparently, having a not-so-good first day of work isn’t all that uncommon. 

Once the recruiting, screening, and hiring are done, companies frequently forget to set the stage for a smooth and successful onboarding process for new employees. And sometimes they don’t even realize the impact of this missed opportunity. 

That was the case with a company I consulted with recently. To be honest, I hadn’t even planned on looking at onboarding. But the deeper I dug, the more I realized that re-designing the first day of work could make a huge difference. I met with recent hires to learn more about their experience. While this particular group had just entered the work force and didn’t have much to compare it to, they did remember how they felt on that first day: 

Alone. Confused. Disappointed. 

Not exactly the ideal situation, right? So, what would be ideal? 

After we brainstormed what they wanted to feel, we narrowed it down to three words: 

Welcomed. Prepared. Inspired. 

Next, I wanted them to think big about what could be – I even showed them a video of one company that rents a beach house where new employees can get to know each other and do teambuilding activities before participating in a hack-a-thon. This helped them come up with creative responses. 

Finally, I asked them to put it all together by writing about their ideas of a perfect first day of work. When it came time to read them, I was blown away. These new employees (millennials, I might add!) didn’t want fancy swag or expensive trips. They wanted to be greeted with kindness, meet other team members, and get the information they needed to be successful so they could show up confidently for work each day. 

This is an important lesson for all companies. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to wow new employees – but have a plan and an objective that makes them feel welcome, prepared, and inspired. And don’t forget the little things, like saying hello with a smile. It can make all the difference! 


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