HR procedures – Check. Role discussion – Check. Big hello to the team – Done! Sounds familiar? This is the usual experience of a new hire, on their first day at work. It’s the norm. But, what would happen if we were to celebrate our employees right from the first day of their jobs? Things would change drastically!

According to The Recruiting Roundtable, effective on-boarding programs improve employee performance by 11.5%. Infact, new hires who go through a structured on-boarding process, are 66% less likely to quit their jobs.

Wondering how to get such impact going for you? We have some ideas.

  • Design a personalized welcome strategy. Most new employees get a welcome e-mail. But is it a regular template? When managers send personalized welcome emails to new team members, it goes a long way in inducting them into the organizational culture. Share something you appreciate about them, tell them why they are a great fit, or even write about what you are looking forward to. You’ll have them at hello!

    Is there a welcome goody-bag they receive? New joinees at LinkedIn get a welcome bag with a notebook, a pen, a copy of co-founder Reid Hoffman’s ‘The Startup You’, and a signed greeting card! Dropbox gifts unlimited online storage space. Microsoft gives out bags and bags of M’n’M.

  • Bring them up to speed uniquely. On-boarding includes learning about one’s role, goals, company vision, lingo, policies, etc. If you want this information to stick, go beyond attaching a handbook in the email.

    Facebook encourages managers to walk in the woods with new employees, while having a role discussion. Tech firm Bazaarvoice sends incoming employees on a scavenger hunt, designed to train them on company culture and jargon. You can invite executives to share the history of the company as well as stories of mistakes, successes and lessons learned.

  • Make a lasting first introduction. How first day introductions are facilitated, makes or breaks it for many. Does someone just parade the new team member across the floor and say, “Everyone, this is Ben; Ben this is the team”? After a few cursory acknowledgements, everyone turns back to their screens. But, if you wish to give the new hires a taste of your team’s fabric, prepare your team to clear their schedules for a personal introduction. You can even use team meetings to play ice-breaker games!

    At SnagAJob, new employees complete a questionnaire called ‘Confessions of a new Snagger’, which includes information about hobbies, pets, family, etc. This is then mailed to all employees, who are quizzed about it during the next team meeting. Correct answers win free food!

  • Define the role of a manager. Google analytics revealed that a simple “reminder alert” to the hiring manager can enhance the new employee’s productivity by 25%. This reminder email has 4 critical tasks which the hiring manger should perform:
    • Have a role and responsibilities discussion.
    • Match your new hire with a peer buddy.
    • Help your new hire build a social network.
    • Set up check-ins often, for open dialogue.

At the end of the day, you bet on people, and not strategies,” says Lawrence Bossidy, former CEO, General Electric. And how right is he! Imagine how it would be, if work was only about tasks, and not the people behind them. Or, if your interactions were plain transactional. Drab, right? So, what would you do to welcome your new people?

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