The 7 best practices for developing an effective onboarding process (this is how the top companies are doing it)

The onboarding process has recently become a top priority for human resources departments. Its effectiveness in improving the productivity of new employees is leading companies to invest more time and money in integrating them into the organization as soon as possible. But how can you ensure its success? What are the best practices for the onboarding process? How are the top companies doing it?

Here are the 7 most effective ideas to remember when launching or revising your onboarding process. Companies such as Twitter, Facebook, IBM, and MailChimp, all recognized for their prowess in this area, have been putting them into practice for years, yielding great results:

1. Take it seriously. If you want your onboarding process to be a success, you have to start by taking it seriously and investing time and money. One of the most common mistakes in Human Resources departments is to neglect the integration of new employees into the company. Don’t make the same mistake— put the onboarding process on your priority list.

2. Start as soon as possible. The experiences of thousands of companies around the world have shown that one of the key factors in a great onboarding process is to get started as soon as possible. It is important to describe what the onboarding process will be like in the job description itself or during interviews with candidates. Take the opportunity to explain what the company’s culture is and what the new employee will encounter. The more work done ahead of time (including paperwork), the easier the transition will be for new recruits.

3. Company culture. While focusing on the technical and logistical aspects of the onboarding process is indeed important, don’t forget about the human factor. The onboarding process should seek an emotional connection with employees, facilitate socialization with new colleagues, and make them feel part of the organization from day one. New recruits need to understand the company’s culture in order to be part of it.

4. Get the whole company involved. The onboarding process should not solely be the task of the human resources department, but of the entire company. It’s important that each newcomer has at least one host who can guide them for the first hours and days. Every department should also do something to welcome new recruits. It, of course, would also be ideal to get the CEO involved in the process. Only then will it be a resounding success.

5. Define a clear and simple roadmap. Before arriving at the job, new employees should know what the onboarding process entails and what they’ll be doing during their first hours, days, and weeks. That’s why it is of the utmost importance to define a roadmap covering the main tasks to be completed by all newcomers in the organization. This will help them manage their expectations and move in the right direction, and you’ll be able to check that everyone successfully completes the onboarding process.

6. Don’t forget about IT. Believe it or not, one of the most common mistakes in all onboarding processes is to neglect everything IT-related. Before new employees start the job, it’s critical that your IT team make sure their computer is up and running, their phone is receiving calls, their email account is activated, they have access to local servers, and they have all the necessary software licenses. There is nothing more frustrating for a new employee than not being able to start work due to technical problems.

7. Gamify your onboarding process. If you really want to motivate and engage your students, don’t forget to introduce game dynamics. Gamification has been shown to increase employee engagement and help them memorize and retain content. This can be particularly useful if your onboarding process has lots of technical and legal aspects that employees may find boring.

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