8 of the Best Employee Onboarding Experiences to Inspire Yours

Ideas to Create Unique Onboarding Moments 

You decided who and how to hire for your startup. You took all the steps needed to find and hire the right candidate. Now what? Providing the best employee onboarding experiences will help your new hire sprint out of the blocks, and improve your retention stats.

How much difference does it make when you use best-in-class onboarding programs? Designer Blinds of Omaha Inc. reduced their employee turnover from 200% to 8% by using ‘Entrance interviews’. These interviews are held to discover what help new employees need to be successful in their new jobs.

In this article, we outline 8 employee onboarding examples that you could use to help make your new hires feel welcome and wanted, and improve their immediate and long-term success.

Create onboarding moments

In their book The Power of Moments, Chip Heath and Dan Heath explain the benefits of creating experiences that have extraordinary impact. These moments shape our lives. When you create them as part of your onboarding process, they help to develop the bond that is needed to generate exceptional employee loyalty.

Defining moments are created from one or more of:

  • Elevation – raise the stakes and break the script

  • Insight – stretch for insight or trip over the truth

  • Pride – recognize others, multiply milestones, and practice courage

  • Connection – create a shared meaning to deepen ties

Defining moments provide peaks of excitement that are remembered above all else. It’s why, after you visit Disneyland, you remember the exhilarating rides and forget the three-hour lines.

Examples of the best company onboarding processes

By thinking outside the box, you can create your own onboarding processes that will be unique to your company and create the defining moments that reinforce your new employee’s decision to join you. Here are eight examples of where companies have surpassed expectations and created the most exceptional onboarding experiences for their hires.

  1. Gamification – Esso Oil & Gas

Partnering with a company that provides game-based training, Esso Oil & Gas developed interactive 3D onboarding gamification. New hires are taken through their new workplace and meet with the varied employees. The result? Reduced time to get up to speed, improved productivity, and high profits.

  1. Scavenger hunt – Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice sets its new hires a series of questions and tasks. These take the employee around all areas of its business, providing a fun way for the new hire to discover more about the company and meet various people. Familiarity with the business is built rapidly, and the employee learns about who the key people are.

  1. The beer trolley – Perkbox

Want your new hires to meet your team? Get them to push the beer trolley through the offices on a Friday. That’s what UK-based Perkbox does. What a great idea! Of course, it doesn’t have to be beer – but whatever you choose, make it fun and something that your people will appreciate.

  1. First-day celebrations – Wrike and TINYpulse

You’re excited by the start of your new hire. Let them know! Wrike decorates the desks of its new employees, drawing attention to them on their first day. They put a welcome kit on the desk, too – containing things like a coffee cup, pens, and a notebook. For milestone employees (every 50th new starter) they throw a party.

Over at TINYpulse, new starters are welcomed with a bottle of champagne on their first day. Off the wall? Certainly, but a great way to break the ice and set a positive impression immediately.

  1. Welcome kit with a gun – Salesforce

Salesforce gives their new starters a welcome kit with a difference. While always changing, it contains things like a name tag, books, stickers, a gift certificate, and a toy gun. The toy gun is so the employee can join in the company’s ‘nerf gun wars’ – more fun in their spare time.

  1. No work this week – Mailchimp

Mailchimp gets its employees to start slowly. In fact, super slowly, with no work allowed the first week and a goal of doing nothing during this time. The reason is to help the new hire get settled into their team. They take a personality test before joining, and this is shared with the team, so the new hire’s colleagues know who to expect.

  1. Buddy up – Percolate

Percolate includes a buddy system in its onboarding process. The new hire is allocated a ‘percolater’, an experienced employee who has volunteered to be the new hire’s buddy. It is their responsibility to take the new hire out to lunch on their first day, introduce them to other employees, answer any questions they may have, and to check in with their new colleague regularly.

  1. Remote employee onboarding – InVision

Yes, you can onboard remote workers effectively, and InVision does a tremendous job. They reimburse new hires for office equipment (up to a value of $500), ensure that a computer is shipped to them before they start, and introduce their new hires to as many people as possible, just as they would in a traditional office.

Make your employee onboarding process unique

You’ve invested time, money, and effort to make a great hire. But getting a signature on the offer letter is not the end of the process. The success of your new hire depends on providing them a great foundation on which to build at your company.

These eight examples are among the best employee onboarding experiences we have come across.  Each of the companies we have mentioned have invested in them, put company culture at the heart of their onboarding, and made sure they start early – from before the new hire even starts.

Will you use any of these ideas when onboarding your next employee? How can you tailor them to your unique culture? Do you have any unique onboarding ideas to share with us? Let us know – we love to hear from our readers.

Book a free call with Level 5 Mentors today, for the guidance that will help 10x your growth.


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