A great onboarding experience can increase revenue 50% per employee, and can increase customer satisfaction 60% (crazy how more engaged employees = more revenue and happier customers, right?). Use onboarding best practices to avoid common onboarding errors like the one in our example below.
Bob gets hired at hot startup “Snapbook” as employee number 24.
Bob is elated because Snapbook is the next big thing and he’ll work with the best people in the industry, learn a ton, and become a millionaire (billionaire even!).
Five days before Bob starts, Janice, the head of Snapbook People Operations which, for now, encompasses HR, goes through the SnapBook onboarding checklist and sends emails to IT, the head of the department Bob will be in, and facilities. Many startups haven’t implemented onboarding best practices, and Snapbook is no different, as we’re about to see.
Bob arrives on his start date excited to hit the ground running and start changing the world.
Bob discovers that he doesn’t have a computer because IT thought he was starting next Monday. He’s also missing an access card that seems to have wandered away. Janice has been swamped and wasn’t able to follow up on her earlier emails. HR is a hiring need, but is seen as a cost center so executive leadership is holding off on hiring someone solely for HR.
Bob’s training flow is slightly thrown off by not having a computer but he enjoys his first few days of training with the other four folks who started with him (all of whom are missing various logins or tools as well, but none of the same ones).
After a few days of puttering around waiting for IT and facilities to sort themselves out Bob gets his computer and access card. By the end of week one everything is all figured out and Bob is ready to get going, no harm no foul—right?
Employees make a decision about whether or not to stay in the first weeks they’re at your company. You’ve paid for recruiters, branding, meetups, an ATS, and dedicated your teams time to interviewing and finding the perfect person. Given that huge investment of money and time, it seems insane to start pushing your new employee towards the exit and blunt their productivity in the first week they’re at the office.
You’ve paid to find the best employees, you’ve spent money, time, and more effort than you care to think about to acquire your customers. Now here are the three keys (Culture we’ll address today, the final two we’ll address in part two) to creating onboarding best practices that will create employee engagement, drive customer loyalty, and increase your revenue 50% per employee.
As a fast growing company it’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing onboarding as a cost center and stressor. When this mindset takes hold the onboarding process becomes a chore. Chores, as your parents will attest to, are done hastily and joylessly.
Reframe onboarding as a celebration of success and of the promise the future holds. If you’re just starting to think about onboarding and your onboarding process then you have the advantage of being able to start with this mindset from the ground up. If you recognize “oh man, another new hire, better get going with all of those logins…” as something that might be said at your company, then now is the perfect time to make a change!
Announce the new mindset about onboarding and lead by example. Mindset is a choice, and helping your team choose to make the onboarding process fun and celebratory will benefit both your current team and their new colleagues.
A culture that celebrates growth will be apparent to new employees the minute they walk in.
Which sounds better on your first day:
Walking into an office full of people who smile when they see you.
Getting greeted all day by people introducing themselves to you.
Having your new team surprise you with lunch so they can get to know you and seeming genuinely excited about the chance to have a conversation with you.
Walking into an office where people seem stressed by your presence and hurry to get you what you need so they can dash off to whatever they were doing before.
Having your manager walk you around to meet your new team who quickly introduce themselves and get back to work.
Your manager orders a pizza so people can get to know you. Your teammates grab slices, make small talk for a few minutes, and head back to their desks.
It’s not close, is it? Implementing these onboarding best practices will ensure that your employees only ever experience Option 1.
In part two (on Thursday) we’ll cover onboarding best practices that make onboarding easy for your current team, the importance of “continuous onboarding”, and recap how to make onboarding a profit center.
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