How These Companies Onboard in Style and Keep Turnover Low
Companies that are dedicated to seeing their employees thrive understand the significance of onboarding. In summary, recent studies have found that onboarding correlates positively not only with employee performance but with employee retention as well.
Executing a good onboarding program is no mean accomplishment. Some companies, however, have managed to set a nice blueprint for how employee onboarding should ideally play out.
Of course, there’s no set formula for getting onboarding right; different companies will go about it differently. Yet, good onboarding programs are premised on the same broad principles – that the employee should acclimate well to the new environment and its people, understand the nature of their responsibilities, and be timely equipped with the various resources they need to take on their role.
Here are some companies that have succeeded in creating commendable onboarding programs that set a solid foundation for their new hires to flourish and also kept turnover impressively low as a result.
While in most companies onboarding falls within the purview of HR, things happen a little differently at Google. At this organization, onboarding is always a team affair. This means that onboarding will vary from team to team, reflecting each team’s unique camaraderie and working style. A refreshing idea, this approach is a testament to the trust that Google places in its employees, empowering them to handle and execute important tasks with success.
A day before the new hire is supposed to start, the hiring manager is sent an onboarding checklist that includes tasks they must pay special attention to, such as assigning the new hire a friendly mentor, discussing their roles and responsibilities and encouraging them to interact and socialize with the other employees.
Once they have joined, the new hire will go through a two-week orientation program during which they will be acquainted with the company structure, principal technologies in use and the programming rules they need to follow. The senior engineers also conduct live lectures to address and explain these topics in sufficient depth.
Additionally, online courses and tutorials are provided to deconstruct the company’s technological outlook and the practices that define it. Google understands that there are countless technical aspects that their new employees will need to get up to speed with, so it spends a good amount of time equipping them will the necessary knowledge and resources.
Twitter has reinvented its onboarding with a conscientiously conceived “Yes to Desk” program, a 75 step journey designed to ensure the new hire’s seamless transition into the company and their new role.
On the new hire’s very first day, they are allotted their desk, their email address and the numerous other resources they’ll be needing, along with some fun gifts to put them at ease, such as a T-shirt and a bottle of wine. Their workspace is kept deliberately close to their team members’ so they can get to know who they’ll be working with and understand what the team dynamic is like.
Breakfast with the CEO kickstarts the new hire’s first day at work, after which they are given a tour of the office. Once they have gone through the usual paperwork with HR, the new hire has lunch with their team members. Twitter goes out of the way to ensure that the new hire doesn’t feel left out on their first day and always has somebody to strike a conversation with or turn to for assistance.
Next on their itinerary is an introductory session, during which they are informed in detail about the company’s structure, policies, projects and their key work tools and methodologies. A new-hire happy hour also takes place with the senior team every Friday, during which presentations are given by project managers to familiarize the new hire with the work other teams are doing.
Twitter does not simply throw their new hire in the lurch once the introductory sessions are over. Onboarding activities continue on the side even after they have been allotted their first assignment. Once the program has reached completion, the new hires’ feedback is sought regarding the program – what worked for them, what didn’t, and what changes they think are in order.
What really stands out about Netflix’s onboarding program is the extraordinary amount of trust the company places in its new hires’ expertise. From the very first day, they are assigned important projects which they are expected to start working on immediately. By making them a significant player in the decision-making process from the get go, Netflix empowers its new hires with a sense of authority.
An orientation session takes place with the executive management that serves to introduce them to Netflix’s technology, the company’s culture, and its vision before they dive headlong into their project. All the resources and equipment that the new hire needs is taken care of in advance and swiftly handed over to them on the first day. Often, Netflix will even contact the new hire to ask for their laptop preference, and provide them just what they asked for.
During their first week, the new hire also gets the chance to meet and chat with the CEO of the company, Reed Hastings, who warmly welcomes the new hire and reiterates the company’s confidence in them.
To make them feel comfortable in the new surroundings, Netflix provides the new hire with a mentor who can share their own experiences, tell them more about the company’s culture, and respond to any apprehensions or queries that the new hire may have.
In crafting its onboarding program, Linkedin has gone to great lengths to understand what the new hire would ideally want from their Onboarding. Upon accepting the offer, the new hire is sent a warm congratulatory email, shortly after which they receive an extensive and interactive PDF that communicates all the important details about the new hire’s first day at work.
They are additionally sent the Linkedin Culture Code, which directs them to #LinkedinLife, a campaign that offers an exciting peek into the company’s culture. #LinkedInlife posts display with great pomp what an average day at the office looks like, in particular, the shenanigans and celebrations that unfold.
Before the onboarding begins, the hiring manager, who is delegated complete control of the program, receives a customized checklist of all the experiences, activities and tasks that they are required to cover with the new hire.
To help align the new hire with their role, all necessary resources are provided on the very first day and the required paperwork is also checked swiftly off the list. This is followed by an office tour and then a new hire lunch for which a table is specially decorated at the cafe.
LinkedIn also makes sure to explain the various benefits and perks that the company offers to its employees. Additionally, like the aforementioned companies, it also thoughtfully assigns a buddy to the new hire to make sure they don’t feel alienated during their first few days.
These companies have pioneered a more dedicated and focused approach to onboarding. Their programs, exhaustive in their conceptualization and execution, reflect the growing awareness among companies that onboarding continues to generate a positive impact long after its completion.
As these companies lead the way in redefining traditional business practices to maximize their productivity, others must take a leaf out of their book to achieve the same results for themselves!
- Shanze Sheriar a LUMS graduate who is an avid writer and aspires to carve a unique niche in the realm of marketing