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Employee Onboarding Examples to Inspire Your Own

by Jen Dewar

Apr 03, 2019

The benefits of employee onboarding are clear. Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. On the other hand, a negative onboarding experience results in new hires being twice as likely to look for other opportunities in the near future. The problem is, only 12 percent of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding, which is no surprise when 58 percent of programs are focused on process and paperwork. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, use these employee onboarding examples to take your own program beyond administration, and into assimilation and acclimation.

SafetyCulture’s early alignment with hiring managers

The best employee onboarding programs ensure a smooth transition between the candidate experience and employee experience. SafetyCulture does this by meeting with hiring managers before beginning the recruitment process, to create six month plans for their new hires. This ensures that the candidate’s, hiring manager’s, and recruiter’s expectations are aligned early on.

These plans include key steps, initiatives, and milestones that are later incorporated into the new hire’s onboarding plan, to ensure expectations are being communicated and met.

Learn more about SafetyCulture’s employee onboarding program

Buffer’s three-buddy program

Eighty seven percent of organizations that assign an ambassador or buddy during the onboarding process say that it's an effective way to speed up new hire proficiency. This entails matching a seasoned employee with your new hire, and requesting that they check in regularly to help your new hire acclimate.

At Buffer, they actually assign three buddies to each new hire. The Leader Buddy is an experienced member of the team who mentors the other buddies, and actually sends the offer letter to their potential future buddy. The Role Buddy helps the new hire acclimate to their new job, and understand how they can improve during their 45 day onboarding period. The Culture Buddy helps new hires learn about, and assimilate to, Buffer’s culture.

While the hiring manager fills the Leader Buddy role in a traditional buddy program, it may be helpful to assign both a role buddy and a culture buddy if you have the resources to do so. The role buddy could come from the same department to help your new hire learn about the specific tools and processes the team uses. Then, someone from a different department could help your new hire meet the broader team, and learn how the different departments collaborate.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ new hire video

A new hire video is a fun way to welcome new employees to your team and show them what they can expect at their new company.

Dunkin’ Donuts uses a new hire video to define who they are as a people, a company, and a brand. They could easily share an employee handbook to communicate that their goals are friendliness, service with speed, and serving great products, but that wouldn’t have the same effect. They create a more engaging experience by having the President introduce himself and the company’s goals, then showing what those look like.

These videos don’t need to have high production value, but should be authentic. You can use them to share information about your company culture and values, or with a simple welcome message where your CEO shares a bit about the company mission and vision.

Upserve’s position-specific onboarding

Professional development is an important part of any company’s onboarding program and overall employee experience. Developing employees to do their best work, and move down their career paths benefits everyone. Employees are given opportunities to improve, advance in their careers, and increase earning potential. Companies are then better able to meet their business goals, overcome the skills gaps, and fill open leadership roles with qualified internal candidates.

For evergreen, high-volume roles, it can make a lot of sense to create position-specific onboarding, like Upserve. Their six week Customer Support Bootcamp helps new employees learn the ins and outs of their new roles, so they can reach productivity faster. They also share ongoing assessments with new hires throughout the bootcamp, so everyone is clear about expectations and feedback.

Learn more about UpServe’s employee onboarding program

InVision’s remote employee onboarding

An estimated 43 percent of American workers work remotely at least some of the time, and that number is expected to continue rising. Start these employees off on the right foot by tailoring an onboarding program that meets their specific needs.

Invision’s team is fully remote, so they’ve learned a thing or two about offering a red carpet onboarding experience for remote employees. First, acknowledge that you know that they’re remote by creating an onboarding task to set up their home office. InVision allows employees to reimburse up to $500 to cover things like a nice chair, desk, or a stronger modem. Second, make sure remote employees have a computer shipped to them prior to their start date, and know how to contact the IT team for support. Remote employees can’t simply ask questions to the person sitting next to them, so it’s important to be proactive about telling them where to go for help. Third, make sure to introduce remote new hires in as many places as possible, just as you would do around the office. This might include a Slack introduction on day 1, an announcement in a monthly new hire newsletter, and an introduction in the next all-hands meeting.

Learn more tips in our webinar: Humanizing Onboarding & Offboarding for Your Remote Workforce

DigitalOcean’s new hire surveys

As with most people programs, employee onboarding should be constantly evolving to meet your employee’s and your company’s needs—so feedback is crucial. DigitalOcean is always looking for ways to become a more data- and feedback-enabled culture. They ask for candidate feedback after the interview process, new hire feedback during onboarding, and employee feedback through engagement and pulse surveys.

New hire surveys are sent on days 7, 30, and 90. They help the People Team understand how they’re doing, make sure new hires have what they need to succeed, and make more informed people-first decisions. One such decision has been the implementation of a buddy program to help new hires adjust to their new roles more easily and quickly.

Learn more about DigitalOcean’s employee onboarding program

Final thoughts on these employee onboarding examples

These are just a few things to consider when creating and optimizing your own employee onboarding program. Take your company’s, and your workforce’s, unique needs into consideration and see what works best for you. While InVision introduces all remote employees digitally, you may choose to fly them into your office to meet the team. And while DigitalOcean sends three new hire surveys, you may find that you need to send more or less to collect the data you’d like to see. Try new things, and let data and feedback be your guide to see if they’re strengthening your program. Over time, your employee onboarding program will evolve into the best possible program for your team.

Want to learn more about building a strong employee onboarding program? Download our eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Employee Onboarding

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Jen Dewar

Jen Dewar is a marketing consultant in the HR technology space with a focus on developing educational content for HR professionals and recruiters. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, lifelong learning and development, and treating people like people throughout the candidate and employee experiences. Outside of work, you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe, enjoying a glass of wine in Sonoma, or hanging out at home with her husband and son.