Were you impressed by your onboarding experience?

The onboarding process for new employees has never been more important. Many companies will have an established induction process in place, but have they managed to adapt this to our current WFH situation? New joiners have been starting jobs, never having set foot in the office or met with their manager and colleagues F2F. Given these restrictions, companies need to recognise that perhaps a bit of extra effort is required in order to welcome newcomers onboard.

Let me present two scenarios to you that have been recently experienced by people having accepted a job in well established global organisations.

Scenario One:

The laptop arrives by courier at 10 am. on the day the new joiner starts. It is used, grubby and full of the previous owner’s fingerprints. The wrong charging cable has been included so there is limited battery percentage remaining. It has not been configured by IT for a new owner and a considerable amount of time is spent on the phone setting up passwords and connection to the server.

The new recruit does not receive any branded or supporting material. He has been employed in a senior management role but is feeling entirely disengaged from the new company, questioning his decision to having accepted this job and already has a sense of being unappreciated.

Scenario Two:

The laptop arrives a couple of days prior to the start date. It is not box fresh, but has been thoroughly cleaned, including the charger and an optional mouse. When it is switched on it is already configured with the new joiners name. There is a set of instructions, which include the process for contacting IT to assist with set-up and how to retrieve any necessary passwords.

Included with the package is a branded notepad, pen, water bottle and a brief welcoming handwritten note from his manager. He is a graduate entrant and feels invested in the company, eager to start and quickly feels part of a larger team.

As a result, which of the two employees is likely to be immediately onboard with the company mission, values, culture and people?

Some companies have made the financial commitment to provide superb new joiner packs, providing them with brand new Apple products, a plethora of office supplies bearing the company logo and quality co-branded sustainable accessories. Everyone loves some ‘stash’ and the addition of the company branding enhances a sense of instantly belonging to the same team.

These are just the initial tools required to joining a new company; the onboarding experience should offer structure and information throughout the initial weeks of employment, laying the foundations for team relationships and setting the tone for their entire career.

It is abundantly clear that companies need to fully engage with their onboarding process in order to promote productivity, job satisfaction and ultimately long term employee retention. In the words of Oscar Wilde: “You don’t get a second chance to make a positive first impression”.

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