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Onboarding, but Make It Fun

Does this scenario ring a bell?

Samantha was excited to start her new job as a customer service representative for a large retail company. However, when she arrived on her first day, she was met with a series of unengaging and tedious tasks.

First, she was given a packet of forms to fill out, including tax forms and company policy acknowledgments. She spent the next hour filling out these forms, while the HR representative who had given her the packet went on with her other tasks.

Next, Samantha was given a tour of the office, which lasted for about 30 minutes. The tour was led by a senior employee who seemed disinterested and went through the motions of pointing out various departments and workstations without offering any meaningful insights or opportunities for interaction.

After the tour, Samantha was given an employee handbook to read, which was over 100 pages long. She was told to read it and ask any questions she might have, but she found it difficult to stay engaged with the dense text and long lists of company policies and procedures.

Over the next few days, Samantha was scheduled for several training sessions, which were mostly lectures given by various department heads. These sessions were unengaging and felt disconnected from her actual job responsibilities. She felt like she was just checking boxes, rather than learning useful skills.

As a result of this boring new hire onboarding process, Samantha felt disconnected from the company and struggled to engage with her job responsibilities. She found it difficult to connect with her colleagues and was unsure of how to approach her work. Her overall experience was disengaging and did not help her feel like a valued member of the team.

Sounds familiar? Well, this is a typical scenario when onboarding new hires but this needs to change.

Onboarding is an essential process for new hires to get acclimated to the company culture and the job requirements. However, it can often be a tedious and overwhelming experience for employees. As a result, many companies are now recognizing the importance of making onboarding engaging and fun to increase retention rates and productivity. Here are some tips for making new hire onboarding an enjoyable and effective experience:

1. Personalize the Onboarding Process

Personalizing the onboarding process can make new hires feel welcome and valued. You can start by sending a personalized welcome email that highlights the new employee’s achievements and how they will contribute to the company. Additionally, assign a mentor or a buddy to help the new hire navigate through the company culture, the job requirements, and any questions they may have.

Zappos, an online retailer, is known for its personalized approach to onboarding. Each new employee is welcomed with a personalized welcome package that includes a handwritten note, a company culture book, and a gift that reflects their interests. Additionally, Zappos assigns a culture ambassador to each new hire to help them navigate through the company culture and provide guidance on their job responsibilities.

2. Use Interactive Learning Tools

Interactive learning tools can make the onboarding process more engaging and memorable. Instead of presenting information in a lecture format, consider using gamification, simulations, or video-based learning to help new hires understand complex processes and concepts. You can also use quizzes, scavenger hunts, and other interactive activities to reinforce learning and increase retention.

Hubspot, a marketing software company, uses interactive learning tools like videos, quizzes, and gamification to make its onboarding process engaging and fun. For example, they use a gamified training platform called Hubspot Academy that offers certifications for completing various courses. This not only makes the onboarding process more enjoyable but also helps new hires feel more confident in their skills.

3. Provide Social Opportunities

One of the biggest challenges for new hires is integrating into the company culture and meeting new people. Providing social opportunities can help new employees feel more connected and engaged. Consider organizing social events like team lunches, happy hours, or team-building activities. This will give new hires the chance to get to know their colleagues and build relationships that will help them feel more comfortable and productive.

Google is known for its fun and creative culture, and its onboarding process reflects this. Google provides new hires with multiple opportunities to connect with their colleagues through social events like game nights, team outings, and community service projects. This helps new hires feel more connected to the company culture and their colleagues, making them more likely to stay with the company long-term.

4. Provide On-The-Job Training

On-the-job training is a vital part of the onboarding process that can make new hires feel more engaged and confident in their roles. By providing hands-on training, new hires can learn the job requirements and understand the company culture through practical experience. This can also help build camaraderie with colleagues as new hires work alongside them to learn and master new skills.

Salesforce, a cloud-based software company, provides hands-on training to its new hires to help them feel more confident in their roles. Salesforce offers a program called Trailhead that provides interactive learning modules and hands-on training exercises to help new hires understand the company culture and the job requirements. This on-the-job training helps new hires feel more engaged and confident in their roles.

5. Solicit Feedback and Make Adjustments

Soliciting feedback from new hires can help you make adjustments to the onboarding process that can make it more engaging and effective. Encourage new hires to share their feedback on the onboarding process, including what they liked and what they found challenging. Use this feedback to improve the onboarding process for future hires.

Asana, a project management software company, solicits feedback from its new hires to make adjustments to the onboarding process. Asana sends a survey to new hires after their first week to gather feedback on the onboarding process and identify areas for improvement. This feedback helps Asana make adjustments to the onboarding process to make it more engaging and effective for future hires.

Onboarding is a critical process for new hires, and making it engaging and fun can help increase retention rates and productivity. Personalizing the onboarding process, using interactive learning tools, providing social opportunities, providing on-the-job training, and soliciting feedback can all help to make the onboarding experience more enjoyable and effective. By investing time and effort in creating an engaging onboarding process, companies can help new hires feel welcome and confident in their new roles.

Interested to know how you can transform your new hire onboarding experience? Book a call with us to get you started!

You may also join us in our upcoming event where we will discuss how we can set up our new hires for success! Hope to see you there!

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