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Why Onboarding Needs to Be Part of Your Culture Initiative

The saying goes: You never get a second chance at a first impression. As a business, you have a few precious hours to make a good impression on your new employees, and most of it is spent filling out paperwork.

The impression you make on that first day will define how your new employees engage with and understand your business. It is critical to put your best foot forward, so that they will do the same.

Onboarding is the first opportunity you have to engage with your new employees. It’s the first time they will meet their co-workers. The first time they will look inside your offices. The first time you will have an opportunity to explain your business: its purpose, goals and values.

All this to say, don’t spend those few precious hours only on paperwork. It sends the message that you care more about what your new hires can do for you than about them.

An onboarding strategy should encompass so much more than compliance paperwork. It should help new hires get to know the unique culture in your organization and foster connections with other employees. When employees understand your business and its goals, they are better become an advocate for your business. They are better able to serve customers because you have given them the tools they need to connect with your business.

Related: Creating a Clear and Cohesive Internal Message

There are three ways executives can meet their compliance needs and still make time to ensure new hires understand their business.

Use Software Tools

There are many software applications that can help new hires complete the necessary paperwork quickly. Some allow managers to send paperwork to a new hire before they even show up for their first day. Others allow you to pre-populate forms with data from employment applications. This cuts down the time your new hires are filling out paperwork and the time it takes your HR department to process the file.

Mentor Programs

Mentor programs give new hires an opportunity to connect with colleagues and plug into the existing culture. It allows new hires to tap into the knowledge of an employee who has already been acclimated to the climate. This way they are learning about their role and the business all at once.

Culture Initiatives

Culture initiatives don’t have to be all-encompassing, time-consuming events. They can start as simple as giving new hires the company history and explaining its future direction, goals and values. This could be a conversation executives have with new hires over lunch or a document added to the stack of new hire paperwork.

Related: Millennials are Changing the Way We Think About Technology and Transparency in Business

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