Onboarding (or personnel induction) ranks high among HR professional priority processes. The arrival of new employees calls for detailed preparation so that they can best understand company operations, know who their co-workers are and quickly acclimate themselves to the workplace. Onboarding processes thus aim to have newcomers feel comfortable in their first days, start being productive as soon as possible and opt to stay at the company.
An onboarding process should be designed as a comprehensive plan in which information is administered in doses and based on the new employee’s stage of incorporation:
Comprising two phases:
- Interview. Providing the candidate with relevant information about the company in advance (organizational culture, schedules, rules, etc.).
- “Yes to Desk”. In the period of time between the ‘yes’ to the offer and when the new hire first arrives at the ‘desk’, it is advisable to advance the necessary hiring documentation and explain what the onboarding will entail. This is the perfect time to present the Welcome Book, the most effective way to help you convey an overview of the company and its activity.
2. The first day of work
A magical day for employees, where all their practical, logistical and human needs need to be addressed to generate a good impression and consolidate their motivation.
3. The first week
It is vital to get a successful landing. New employees must have a general understanding of how their department works, know their objectives, start working autonomously and establish personal relationships.
4. Continuous onboarding
It can last for months and comprise activities designed to complete the integration and deepen an understanding of the business model and sector particularities.
What is the Welcome Book?
The Welcome Book is an essential communication support for new employees containing very useful information about the company to streamline their acclimatization to the company.
In addition to summarizing the business culture, this book helps newcomers better understand the functions they should perform and how they are expected to do so, thus helping align them better to corporate objectives.
Drawing up a Welcome Book should look to:
- Welcome the new employee.
- Offer relevant information about the organizational culture of the company.
- Present the organizational structure and the functional organization chart.
- Make known the legal and regulatory characteristics of the employment relationship with the company.
- Shorten training time and streamline acclimatization to the job.
- Not to overload work staff with new employees.
- Document and standardize integration and learning processes.
- Evaluate assimilation of the Welcome Book’s contents.
How to draw up a Welcome Book?
A Welcome Book needs to have a clear structure of the content that will be presented. This content talks about the company, and should therefore answer the following questions: who we are, how we are, what we do, and how we do it.
A basic structure should have the following elements:
1. Welcome message from the Director or Manager of the company.
2. Company description:
- History and relevant milestones: origins, founders, etc.
- Achievements: clients, awards and distinctions.
- Mission, vision and values: The corporate project.
- Organizational culture.
- Company structure and organizational chart. Functions of each area or department.
- Directory: telephones, positions and emails.
- Quality and innovation policy and strategy.
- CSR policy and company commitments.
- Equal opportunities policy.
3. General interest information:
Specific data on risk prevention and occupational health policy, prevention measures, medical services, medical checkups.
Internal rules and regulations regarding tobacco, care of the facilities, etc.
- Rules of civility conduct and courtesy in the company: company protocol, equal treatment, meals at the workplace, etc.
- Procedures for hiring, payroll, extra payments and salary payment date.
- Remuneration policy.
- Working hours, permissions, leaves and absences.
- Talent management: training policy, internal promotion, performance evaluation, etc.
- Other aspects of emotional salary or social benefits: meal vouchers, insurance, additional services offered by the company, etc.
Additional useful information:
- Available internal communication channels: intranet, suggestion box, digital magazine, information panels, meetings, etc.
- Location and information about office supplies and the use of photocopiers, employee time clock, etc.
- Available computer work tools, internet browsing, email manager and repair service, etc.
- Physical and virtual documentation service.
- Social networks: protocol manual, basic rules for its use.
- Events and special dates: celebrations, general meetings.
- Social activities and volunteer programs.
How to make your onboarding more attractive?
If you want to offer your new employees a unique, innovative and different experience, you’ll have a sure thing with gamification in your welcome program. The easiest way to do this is to incorporate traditional elements of the game to ‘hook’ them during the process.
Setting small goals throughout the onboarding can ensure the commitment of new hires with the contents with which they are engaging. You can perform small tests digitally via an LMS, physically with a control sheet where you can answer some control questions, or even via brief interviews with coworkers or coordinators.
For established intermediate goals, you can make use of another traditional game element: rankings. This will bring an incentive to pay attention and competitive spirit, so long as it does not become added pressure to the first days of landing at a new workplace. If so, you can even set the option not to appear in the ranking.
You may be interested: Q & A Yu-kai Chou: “Gamification can make learning & development fun and engaging”
Finally, and logically, rewards can be set for new employees who lead in these rankings. You can recognize effort with a certificate or any other prize, including company promotional material, which at the same time helps newcomers feel a sense of belonging more quickly.
Gamification can be taken to its maximum expression by integrating the onboarding process into a video game like ADA. The company can upload any sort of information that it wants to communicate into customizable games like this one, getting new employees to learn about the history, values, culture and other characteristics of the company, while having fun by immersing themselves in a graphic adventure.
Recommendations to optimize your Welcome Book
Whether or not you use a more traditional welcome process for new employees such as one that includes gamification elements, it is advisable to maintain consistency in the structure and content of the information you share.
- The program should answer the following questions related to the organization: who we are, how we are, what we do, and how we do it. Some companies, in fact, turn to external consultants to generate their Welcome Book.
- Plan the distribution of the content and, if you do it in a video game like ADA, distribute it in a balanced way between all the turns.
- Include synthetic and concise information. Try to transmit the information in the shortest and most concise way possible. For instance, while there is no limit to the length of documents in ADA, it is recommended that text files do not occupy more than 5 pages and videos or audios should be shorter than 4 minutes.
When using a video game:
- The first document presented should be a welcome message from a representative of the company’s management to build trust and empathy. This message can be a written document or a video. You can also include an email to resolve doubts regarding the contents.
- As a second document, you could attach, if you consider it appropriate, an infographic with an entertaining explanation of the history and dynamics of the game, and even some suggestions on how to get the most out of the experience.
- In addition, you can take advantage of this turn to introduce an index of the syllabus or training content. This helps the student with a program overview from the very beginning.
- We recommend cultivating student engagement by offering information in several formats (text, video and/or audio) throughout the game. Varying the format improves user experience and concentration. Resources such as TED videos, podcasts or infographics are especially attractive.
- The more exercises added to some documents that encourage the student to physically move around the company and talk with colleagues, the better. In this regard, you can create tests in which players have to look for information to answer questions and make progress in the game.
- Finally, it is advisable to design an original and fun communication plan that encourages starting the game and also reinforces progress with regular motivational alerts, reminders and encouragement messages.
If you want your company to be a pioneer at the forefront of people development and management, make the onboarding process for your new employees a unique and fun experience.