The preboarding/onboarding experience can accelerate new joiners' understanding of the culture, what it's like to work somewhere. It's an opportunity to create a memorable experience for them (and one they might share), get up to speed quickly, first experiences are crucial.

This is work in progress, more to be added.

Belonging

  1. During the interview process ask the new joiner their view on what would create the best preboarding/onboarding experience
  2. Create a ceremony for new joiners e.g. Twilio new joiners build an app, present their app and get 'knighted'
  3. Help people be clear on our company/team Mission/Purpose and Vision
  4. Help new joiners get a sense of the Culture, what we value most, the way people and things work, etc. This helps set expectations, where each person is viewing things from. If you'd like help creating a Company Culture Handbook to help people learn, let us know.
  5. Provide things for people to read/do/watch before day 1, maybe create a private space for new joiners to join before day 1, e.g. Yammerversity. Learn about culture, role, skills etc sooner
  6. Help people easily find out who's who (e.g org chart, social network, handbook...) and where to go for info they made need
  7. At the end of training/onboarding period, offer people money to not take the job. To help incentivise them to leave if they're not sure about staying e.g. Zappos
  8. Make Day 1 the last day of working week or a less busy day (if this is relevant), to help people have a more social/less-pressured experience than the first morning of the working week
  9. Have existing team-members input to the new-joiner experience
  10. Have a buddy for the new joiner
  11. Invite new joiners to do a talk/post sharing their photo, interests, role(s)/accountabilities, something they're inspired by, etc.
  12. Take the new joiner out to lunch, consider which connections would be valuable at this early stage
  13. Give a voucher for new joiners to go for tea/coffee with others
  14. New joiners go round the office offerings things to others to help them meet them e.g. tea trolley, beer barrow...
  15. Personal Welcome letter, possibly handwritten, by colleagues. Lost My Name make a gif for each new joiner
  16. Give Books as a gift to new joiners, and provide a reading list if they'd like to read more
  17. Send a hamper to a new joiner's postal address to help them celebrate - consider what would go into it
  18. Encourage new joiners to introduce themselves to the rest of the company, sharing professional and, as appropriate, more personal things. Powerful if done in a tool that encourages conversations
  19. Keep things simple, there will be so much to take in, try not to fill the days with too much as may not be able to take it all in. Give free time for people to choose how they spend it, e.g. to reflect or spend time with certain people
  20. Give people time to build relationships, rather than fill all their time with all the time with other tasks that mean people don't get to know each other
  21. Have training/breakfasts/lunch/socials with v senior people to have direct conversations early
  22. Add their photo to a photo wall of all people 
  23. Create a 'Class Of xxxx' peer group with others who join at a similar time as one of the communities they become part of
  24. List of acronyms/jargon - ideally reduce these over time
  25. ...

 

Working

  1. Find out what different pockets of your company might already be doing (or want to do) around preboarding & onboarding to help make connections
  2. Have a dedicated training session on the way we work. e.g the way people make decisions, the way people work, etc...
  3. Clarity of who is accountable for what and who makes decisions for what, clear leadership and communication about how the people with people with power would like the culture to be
  4. Early on try and get clarity of short term expectations/goals and a sense of longer term
  5. Get people releasing/delivering something to customers/clients on their first day/week. It may be something small, but to immediately get in the mindset of delivering/shipping
  6. Get people supporting customers/clients on their first day/week. e.g. a week in customer service/support dept, contact with customers, shadowing/involved in handling a crisis
  7. Attend training sessions or even do work in a rotation of roles/departments. This could be meetings, days, or even weeks
  8. Spend time in other offices to learn local differences
  9. Ask new joiners for feedback on hiring/onboarding experience while it's still fresh, or even get the new joiners to design/create something for the next new joiners
  10. Ask / find out what the new joiner's strengths and likes are, and the things they don't enjoy so much or would like to develop
  11. Describe possible career paths/options, to help people see possible future opportunities
  12. List possible training opportunities available to them
  13. ...

Environment

  1. Gifts - branded stuff e.g. notebooks, drinks holder, stickers, doesn't all need to be branded, could be cool, ideally valuable. An idea is to have a gift linked to purpose of the company
  2. Local area guide, places to eat, local attractions, things to see, local services
  3. Make the preboarding/onboarding process paperless (apart from personal handwritten pieces)
  4. Make sure there's space for them
  5. Software accounts and devices setup and 'ready to go'
  6. Provide technology that will help people do their jobs rather than stifle their ability to do it
  7. Provide ergonomic things to help, e.g wrist supports, special chairs, standup desks, etc.
  8. Tie a balloon to new joiner's chair (or profile picture) to help people realise there's a new colleague
  9. Natural light, flowers/nature in the office, and take new joiners out the office
  10. ...

 

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