10 Powerful Onboarding Activities You Need to Try

You’ve spent weeks screening resumes, interviewing candidates, and negotiating an offer; the new hire is scheduled to start. Now what? Onboarding.

As an HR smarty pants, you already know how important effective onboarding activities are to your organization. Here’s a few stats for you to chew on:

86% of new hires decide whether to stay or leave within the first six months
69% of employees are more likely stay at an organization longer than three years if they had a good employee onboarding experience
Employees in longer onboarding programs gain full proficiency 34% faster than those in the shortest programs

This is kind of a big deal. Excellence in onboarding cuts down on turnover, secures top talent, boosts productivity, and paves the way for each new hire to start off fully engaged.

Chances are your organization already has a regular onboarding process. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. Organizations across the country are finding unique ways to engage their new hires right from the start. We looked at the top onboarding activities from SilkRoad’s 2017 Strategic Onboarding Survey. Some you may already be doing, while others may be brand new. But when onboarding has such an impact on your workforce, it’s worth optimizing. Check out the ideas below:

1. Filling out forms before the first day of work

While the majority of employers (81 percent) have new hires fill out the necessary forms before their first day, it’s worth mentioning as a best practice. You don’t want to bog down a new employee’s first day on the job with hoops to jump through. Instead, automate these steps with employee self-onboarding software.

2. Conducting informal calls or emails to keep enthusiasm high

Nothing kills enthusiasm quicker than radio silence. If recruiters or hiring managers were in consistent contact during the hiring process, they should maintain that connection through a new employee’s first day.

3.Scheduling in-person meetings

Another way to stay in touch before a new hire’s start date is to schedule another face-to-face meeting. This is a great opportunity for employees to get to know their managers better than they would in the hiring interviews.

4. Making introductions to future coworkers

Workplace friendships and positive team relationships can be a huge boon for employee engagement and retention. Give your new hire a brief intro to the team they’ll be joining, and get those friendships started off on the right foot.

5. Sending flowers or welcome gifts

To some organizations, this strategy may seem excessive. But it could be a good way to communicate your company culture and set a precedent for how you treat employees. And no one can deny that sending flowers would leave quite an impression!

6. Inviting to lunch with company owners

SilkRoad found that the majority of C-suite executives are only occasionally or minimally involved in their organization’s onboarding activities. But giving employees the chance to interact with the CEO could help them feel valued and understand how their work contributes to the bigger picture.

7. Finding out a favorite snack then providing it on first day

The way to anyone’s heart is through food, isn’t it? Making sure you have a bag of honey-roasted peanuts or a king-size Twix is an easy way to make that new hire feel instantly comfortable.

8. Inviting to meetings

Sometimes a simple invitation goes a long way. Instead of sending a dry calendar notification, try extending a personal invitation to attend initial meetings.

9. Setting up a Skype call

If you’re onboarding remote employees who will never set foot in the office, you face a different set of challenges. Start early in building a personal relationship with these employees to boost their engagement from afar.

10. Sending supplies to home office

This is another great strategy for remote employees. Since they won’t be coming to a physical office, invite them to create their “new workspace” with special office supplies or custom desk swag.

Have you tried any of these onboarding activities already? Does your organization do something unique for new hires? Let us know in the comments below.

Nail your onboarding process with BambooHR’s employee self-onboarding software.