At letzNav, we’re all about improving your employee onboarding. We make learning enterprise software simpler and faster for new hires, but there’s much more to onboarding than learning the ropes.
Check out these examples of interesting approaches to onboarding.
Cloud infrastructure provider DigitalOcean really knows how to roll out the welcome mat. On an employee’s first day, they’re greeted with:
- A balloon on their desk
- A handwritten welcome note
- A bottle of champagne
- Company swag
The company wanted employees to feel like they were welcome and that their peers and bosses we’re happy they were there. Just seeing a computer at your desk isn’t welcoming. And the balloon? It’s not just for decoration. It helps current employees find their new team and introduce themselves.
Zappos believes so much in the importance of culture, it’s built a 4-week orientation program around immersing new hires in the company’s unique culture. In addition to learning about the company’s values, each employee also handles front-line customer support. Taking real calls from customers gives employees a chance to learn about the customers and put their company’s values into practice.
In fact, Zappos believes so strongly about the importance of culture that at the end of the orientation program, if you feel you’re not a good fit for the company, they’ll pay you to walk away. Yes, that’s right. At the end of the orientation, new hires are given the option to take a payout and leave or get to work. The four-week program is designed to let employees determine for themselves if they’re a good fit for the company’s culture.
As a part of their onboarding program, new hires at Percolate are assigned a “Percolator.” This mentor/buddy helps the new hire get used to their new job, office, and coworkers. The mentor answers frequent questions like where to get supplies as well as introduce the new hire to their coworkers.
One of the most important parts of onboarding is helping new employees fit into the social dynamics of their new team. Without a buddy, meeting the team can be awkward and cumbersome - especially for shy employees. The buddy system ensures the new employee meets the team without creating a burden for the new hire.
More Onboarding Best Practices and Examples
- Make sure the new hire’s workspace is ready. Twitter asks users about computer preferences before they start and have the new machine ready to go on their first day. LinkedIn gives employees their laptops at the end of the first day of orientation and provides IT support to make sure everything is set up.
- Include cross training in your onboarding. Cross training is a great way for new employees, especially leaders, to quickly learn about other teams and functions inside the company. New hires at Etsy complete a 4-6 week rotation working on several different teams. The boot camp program gives new hires a better understanding of the business as well as creating social ties between teams to encourage better collaboration.
- Communicate before employee start. “Pre-onboarding” includes keeping in touch with an employee before their first day. New hires at MasterCard get a welcome email with links to company information and a portal to submit a badge photo and new hire paperwork. Warby Parker sends an electronic welcome packet and encourages direct supervises to call new hires the night before they start to make sure the employee is familiar with where to go and when to be there.
I hope you found a least a couple of new ideas to add to your onboarding program. If you’re trying to build an onboarding program for your company, be sure to download this free ebook with the top best practices for employee onboarding.