Hiring the right staff can be a bit of headache and once you get the perfect people on board it can be all too easy to sit back, put your feet up and congratulate yourself on a job well done. But really, it’s just the beginning of your journey with your new employees and if you want it to be a positive one you need to start out on the right foot and you can do that with a great employee induction.
The process of onboarding a new staff member is vital to get them up to speed with the job, the practicalities of working for you, as well as company culture ethos and practices. If you remember the days of old, often the employee induction process was confined to a dreary meeting room, a few handouts and some monotonous, sleep-inducing speeches. Or, it might have involved a quick chat with the boss, a tour of the building and a pointing out of where their new desk and the toilets were. In short – not very inspiring.
Thankfully, things have moved on since then and you can be as creative as you like when it comes to welcoming new employees. It’s not just about making them feel comfortable, it’s about fostering a positive relationship from the get go that will encourage loyalty and improve staff retention and productivity in the long term.
Examples of great employee inductions
Give them a welcome box or gift
What better way to welcome someone who is a little nervous than to give them a gift. Better still, you can brand it with your logo and your values. Be as generous or creative as you like – branded stationery, pens, sweets, journals and subscriptions to monthly perk box deliveries are just a few of the things you can offer.
Get them involved in your company traditions
Is there something you do regularly with your staff like Beer Friday or Dress Down Thursday. If so, you could get your new staffer involved with that straight away. The managers at Perkbox make their new staffer push the beer trolley around the office on a Friday, handing out beverages to other employees. They believe it’s a great way for the new staff member to get to know the rest of the team and strike up a conversation or two.
Give them a holiday before they start
What?! We hear you shout. Give them a holiday before they start? Are you mad? No, we’re not! This is a quite legitimate way of gaining the loyalty of your new staff and is already used by several tech companies. They give their new staff a set amount of cash to go and have a few days away so they start their new job refreshed and relaxed.
If you don’t have the big budget of a tech firm, you could consider starting them mid-week to give them some time off between leaving their old role and starting a new one. Or consider making their start time a couple of hours after everyone else so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Perhaps even a day at a spa or a relaxing massage before they knuckle down at their desk or take them somewhere nice for lunch on their first day.
Make them stand out from the crowd
Putting your new employee on the spot can seem cruel initially but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. At Karmarama, newbies have to stand up and say a funny story in front of the staff. It breaks the ice and guarantees a few laughs.
At Google, new staff are called Nooglers – as well as having hats with Noogle on, they undergo intensive in-person training so senior managers and new staffers all have the same shared values. The process is very much about making them part of the team by ensuring the newcomers don’t go unnoticed.
Bag them a buddy
Mentoring is a great way to get someone up to speed with your company business and ethos, help them to form strong inter-office relationships and to improve employee retention. But be creative about how you assign your new staff to their mentors.
At Netflix they give new employees bingo-style cards which they have to get stamped when they go for coffee or lunch with other employees. Once the card is filled they get a prize.
Pay them to leave
Okay so this one sounds totally counterintuitive but it can make financial sense to your business in the long term. According to data from the Wynhurst Group, 22% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment but new employees who go through a structured induction programme are 58% more likely to be with the firm three years later.
It’s why Zappos offers all their new staff $4,000 to leave after their training period. It’s designed to weed out those who aren’t a good culture fit and traditionally less than 1% of employees take up the offer. Amazon decided this approach was so effective they’ve also adopted it, offering employees up to $5,000.