A Great First Day—The First Step of Smart Onboarding

What makes a great first day? How do you ensure that new employees immediately feel welcomed, ready to work, and happy that they chose to join your organization?
We’ll give you a hint: piles of paperwork isn’t the answer. Who wants to spend the day signing their initials and reading fine print? Unfortunately, that is the reality for many new hires at organizations around the world. The first day is filled with forms, awkward introductions, and information overload. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Smart onboarding for the first day of work is key to boosting retention, accelerating new employees, and improving employee engagement across the board. One study found that companies with engaging onboarding programs retained 91 percent of their first-year employees and improved employee performance by 11.5 percent.
Why do your onboarding techniques make such a big difference? When you bring in new hires, it’s important to remember that they’ve come straight from the excitement of the hiring process. They are fresh with enthusiasm and ready to get to work, still on the high of landing a new job. If you start them off with a stack of forms to fill out, you risk losing that energy and enthusiasm, or worse—making them doubt their decision to accept your offer. Instead, you can use that excitement to launch your new hires into their roles and increase their time-to-contribution.
So how do you make sure your organization uses smart onboarding for the first day of work? Follow the journey of Ned the Newly Hired Bear and Heather the HR Hare as they show us exactly how to make a great first day with thoughtful and effective onboarding techniques. This first step, when done right, turns engaged candidates into engaged employees and leads to many great days to come.