Did you know that only 12% of U.S. employees believe the company they work for has a satisfactory onboarding process? It’s true!
I don’t know about you, but I find that downright frightening.
Even spookier? Designing employee experiences in a vacuum 😱
There is so much to be said for including perspective, experience, and wisdom from other folks (and other teams) who shape your company’s workplace experience.
For starters, it’s great to have some help. Today we're gifting you an incredible resource that took over 50 hours to put together, and we're giving it away for free.
Even more important, though, is the impact bringing in more voices has on the final product
Including insights and support from others across the organization ensures your new employee’s onboarding won’t end after their interactions with HR, but instead will extend fully through their first 90-days. Remember, those first 90-days are when an employee decides if they made the right choice in joining the company. So yeah, they’re crucial.
Let's explore how leveraging collaborative design in your onboarding process sets new hires, the people ops team, hiring managers, and everyone else up for success.
Reflect On This
Consider the current state of your new employee onboarding program:
➜ What individuals or teams largely shaped the design of the experience?
➜ Are you confident that other team or department leaders understand what performance, communication, cultural, and behavioral expectations are being set in a new employee’s welcome?
➜ If you were given full support to make 3 high-impact changes to your onboarding, would you know where to start?
The case for auditing your onboarding design
When you leverage the right balance of collaboration and ownership, you can create thoughtful, well-oiled programs that are clear, delightful, authentic to your company’s culture – and are meaningful for any teammate, at any level, on any team to experience.
“The best onboardings function like an orchestra: lots of different parts, playing together at the direction of a single conductor…”
In a stellar onboarding, your new teammate engages with and explores all of the factors of what their employee experience will ultimately entail. If you’re a People or HR professional, you likely shape, influence, or even facilitate that full-scale employee experience at your company, but you aren’t the only proxy for it.
All of these things, and more, contribute to the overall employee experience, and onboarding sets the precedent for the norms around these behaviors:
An employee’s direct manager,
the tools they use,
the skills they hone,
their perception of company leadership,
their experience of the brand,
their total compensation and benefits,
their work-life balance or integration -
all these things and more contribute to how they experience what it is like to work where they work.
No one individual can build an onboarding program that sets fair and accurate expectations of that experience in a vacuum. After all, no one person should know every detail of the best practices... nor every function’s operations, each individual’s goals and development, leadership and brand reputation, and front-line needs for every department, the ins and outs of the business itself, and then some. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!
It’s crucial that those who shape your company’s culture and employee experience also shape your onboarding program.
Department heads, IT, your company leadership, benefits and rewards, cultural heavy-hitters, DEIB leaders, Comms and PR, HRBPs, and other new employees can and should help shape what your onboarding delivers, and how (and whether) it sets accurate expectations for the employee experience.
How do you ensure authentic onboarding?
(Without wrangling half your company every time someone accepts an offer?)
Decide who best represents which facets of the employee experience
Who’s your company’s foremost expert on global benefits?
Who’s had a front-row seat to the evolution of your culture?
Who knows the founding story inside and out?
Who can navigate your knowledge bases or internal wikis like an expert wayfinder?
Make your list, then:
Bring each of them in for a peek behind the curtain of your onboarding process, or of proposed changes to it.
Solicit feedback on process design, content, cross-team collaboration, training and development design.
Let hiring managers weigh in on how past hires have (or haven’t) ramped successfully, or share their own perspective on how well they can impact a positive welcome.
Think of employee onboarding as your company’s Welcome Global Summit
Every “nation,” or aspect of the employee experience, ought to be duly represented. This representation can be experienced in person (like via a synchronous welcome session), by participation (like via a new teammate’s opportunity to engage with a program itself as they would in a benefits enrollment), or by proxy (like via content, delivered by the People team, to help orient a new teammate). But no matter how you ultimately choose to represent each aspect of the experience;
Make sure you involve the right delegates to shape the welcome itself
If you’re truly unsure of where to start, I have just the tool for you, whether you’re thrilled with the current state of your onboarding, you know it could use a dust and polish, or you’re dreading the thought of building from the ground up. Keep reading for exactly what you need to audit your current state, determine the right next steps for your company, and design a scalable onboarding that ticks all the boxes.
Your Turn: Download the onboarding audit template
We’ll cut to the chase here - we’ve built you exactly what you need to ensure your onboarding program remains a well-oiled, well-designed, well-evaluated delight, for many many new hires to come.
Easily audit your current onboarding process against outlined best practices ranging from pre-boarding all the way through your employee’s first 90-days. In the same tab, you can then move into project management mode, outlining who should be involved and what the current status is of each activity.
Break down and track the individual onboarding of each new employee. With each step documented (and editable), simply make a copy to assign and track steps each time a new employee joins the company.
Everything you need – including detailed instructions and a loom video tutorial – is in the resource. Go check it out!