A pleasant user onboarding experience sets the tone for the future.
It’s how companies showcase the good and exciting parts of associating with them and form a good first impression on their potential hires. More importantly, it’s how employees picture their journey with the organization and determine if they want to stay in the long run.
A good onboarding experience leads to a higher new-hire retention rate. Think about it—when you’re helping your new hires quickly set up and get started while reducing the overwhelm and saving time, they’ll be more comfortable in their new roles. As a result, they’ll be more invested in giving their best performance and reaching their full potential.
However, hiring and onboarding new employees has become an even bigger challenge since the pandemic, with organizations operating remotely. To help with that, we’ve compiled five ways to offer an exceptional onboarding experience to your employees to ensure they get the maximum value out of it.
1. A software walkthrough to streamline the user onboarding process
The pre-pandemic times were simpler in terms of technology. There were fewer tools to work with and a lot less time went into learning how they function and adapting them to daily life. With remote work, collaborative tools became our savior—from hiring to onboarding to project management, they helped us manage everything despite the distance.
However, learning a new tool can be challenging, especially for new hires who have never worked on a similar tool before. This is where employers must help ease up the process for their employees to ensure they’re providing enough resources for them to grasp and adapt quickly.
Offer them a walkthrough of your organization’s onboarding or employee management software to manage multiple operations. When focusing on the user onboarding process, help them understand their role in managing their records in the software—for example, requesting leaves, filling up timesheets, setting up goals, updating tasks, and so on.
- It’ll help reduce the overwhelm and help your employees understand an overview of the application
- The collaboration will become seamless and less time-consuming
- Your employees will be more proactive in reaching out as they see how invested you are in guiding them
2. A personalized user onboarding experience to connect on a human level
The very first line of operation most organizations initiate as part of the employee onboarding process is to set up an orientation session, covering everything the organization stands for and all they’ve accomplished in the past. It’s an excellent way to communicate the organization’s overall goals and let the new hires be a part of that vision.
However, with teams working remotely or in a hybrid work model, employees are now onboarded remotely via Zoom or Slack. The challenging part remains engaging with the new hires and ensuring they’re not bored to death while watching those long presentations on company values.
The remote work culture demands personalization and human connection. Your new hires are interested in knowing your company better, but they’d rather figure it out themselves than listen to a two-hour-long presentation.
Make sure you address them through a one-to-one communication process instead of one-to-many. Offer them assistance from a single point of contact that acts as a company guide and walks them through the orientation in the most human way possible.
- The new hires will feel more welcomed into the organization
- They’ll pay more attention to detail as they’re given special treatment
- They’ll be motivated to give their best shot at every opportunity they get from the beginning
3. Set expectations from the beginning
Often, new hires are left scratching their heads, wondering how they fit within their organization during the first few weeks (sometimes months). Especially with mass hiring, it’s even more challenging to tend to each candidate with a proper onboarding approach and provide a good experience.
The biggest concern is—knowing what their core responsibilities are and the impact their work will have on the organization’s growth. Employees today are more concerned about knowing where their contribution fits into the bigger picture, i.e., how it impacts the final product delivery. Instead, they’re assigned a set of day-to-day tasks that they’re supposed to finish within a set deadline.
When they don’t get that, they lose interest in their work, deliver poor performance or the company, and start looking for better roles in the market.
The solution? Help them set goals and expectations that align with your company’s vision. Clarify what you expect of them and show them the work your best performers have done so far.
- Your employees will start seeing themselves as partners in your growth—not just as employees
- They’ll start associating their ambitions and goals with your organization’s and stay with you for the long run
- They’ll be able to set their priorities right from the beginning
- They’ll get better acquainted with the team’s workflow and processes
4. Provide a glimpse into the company culture and work environment
There’s more to a job than just the salary and work—there are other perks new hires consider while joining a new company. They wish to know how their life will be inside the organization and what the company culture is like. This involves the events that happen in the organization, how often employees are rewarded and recognized for their work, what they do for fun and engagement with the team, and other non-work-related stuff.
New hires are very interested in knowing the kind of after-work events their organization conducts to keep them engaged and motivated.
But why is it important? These engagement activities play a major role in an employee’s happiness and contentment level, along with salary and other perks. They feel happy and excited to come to work every day, proactively finish work within the deadline, and give their best.
As part of the user onboarding process, offer them a walkthrough of the employee engagement program in your organization.
- Discuss the reward and recognition system and how it all works
- Take surveys to know their expectations of you and use the knowledge to offer them a better experience
- Discuss their career plans and offer them training to help them upskill
- Even in a remote work environment, make sure your team meets regularly for non-work-related chit-chats and games
- Get to know them better—their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and general interests
- They’ll become better team players
- It’ll foster a sense of excitement in your employees toward attending events and participating in fun activities
- They’ll work even harder when they have their eyes set on the prize and the appreciation it’ll bring them
5. Streamline the complete onboarding process: from pre-onboarding to training
Generally, organizations start their user onboarding process about a week before the employee is supposed to start—while many do that on the joining date. But the best time to start the process is when the candidates receive their offer letters.
Reason—it provides them with ample time to know and like your company and decides whether they wish to join you or take up another offer.
It starts with pre-onboarding, where the employer or HR manager kicks off by introducing the company and sending out paperwork their way. This also involves sharing welcome kits and goodies to make them feel welcome. This pre-onboarding process continues in bits and pieces until the joining day comes.
When the D-day arrives, you welcome them on the campus or on Zoom calls, show them around, and introduce them to team members. This process usually lasts a week or two, providing ample time for the new joiners to adjust to the environment and soak up the vibe.
Then comes the training and knowledge transfer part, where you and your team train the new joiners to understand their role in a project and take up tasks like a pro. This is where you conduct job-specific training, familiarize them with the product and customers, and set the foundation for the future.
A smooth onboarding process requires you to help a new joiner transition through all these phases without feeling overwhelmed and burdened.
- The new hires get ample time to digest and grasp everything they learn
- They get a chance to interact and bond with the new time and feel comfortable with them
A smooth user onboarding sets up your new hires for success
When employees are welcomed nicely in a workplace, they feel confident and determined to take up any challenges their work might throw at them. They feel happier showing up and delivering what’s expected of them.
As an employer or a hiring manager, it’s your responsibility to make that process as seamless as possible for them—and help them get ready to take on the world. You’ll be able to retain these new hires for a longer period and watch them accomplish so much with their high spirits.
Deepali Kishtwal is an engineer-turned-freelance writer for B2B SaaS, writing actionable long-form content for marketing, Cybersecurity, and HR-Tech companies. When she’s not writing, she’s engrossed in a cozy murder mystery novel with a cup of hot chocolate!