Let me start by saying that I just can’t help but love the articles that allow me to speak from experience. I was onboarded quite recently as a Creative Content Writer. How is it going so far? Great, thank you for asking.😎
But I’m here to tell you that the process I’ve experienced within the first two months was a hell of a ride. It wasn’t easy, but thanks to the people who onboarded me, it was a journey that I found quite educational with all the materials, documents, guides, and the onboarding checklist I was given.
Now going back and thinking, I realize it must have been really difficult to onboard new team members and give them a really comfortable, pressure-free environment, and introduce them to the company in the most efficient way possible.
Today, I will be talking about the exact same thing with this article. We’ll be looking at some of the most effective employee onboarding practices offered by well-known brands to set an example for you to get inspired.
Let’s get to know them.
Monday.com is a work management software that empowers teams to practice projects and run workflows with the platform’s simple and highly innovative functionality. It’s primarily designed to offer dozens of features like automation, data visuals, time tracking, team collaboration, timeline views, calendar views, and dozens of integration.
And naturally, to be a new employee of this company with tons of innovative features to learn about must be a little challenging. But let me tell you, Monday.com does its best to ease this process for its newcomers.
The platform sticks with an employee onboarding program called ”CRM for HR professionals”. This customizable online platform helps new hires transition seamlessly into their new roles and responsibilities by giving a hand to the HR people first. This way, HR professionals are able to provide interactive onboarding templates, centralize and gather all documents and information, plan all kinds of engagement activities, organize pre-arrival checklists, and assign educational onboarding tasks, all in one common place.
For instance, with this template above, they are able to track the whole onboarding process and closely examine how the employee is doing in terms of progress and adaptation.
This common area allows everything to be organized and visually easy to follow. And with their whole approach to the onboarding idea, Monday.com efficiently manages to practice one of my favorite employee onboarding examples.
RAM is a hand-to-hand courier company found in South Africa. Their services include distribution, international delivery, and warehousing.
The company was founded in 1988 and has achieved to be one of the most known and loved South African courier services. They have over 40 branches and 1000 vehicles at their service. And as you can guess, for a company that’s this big, it must’ve been challenging to decide that they need to change all of their IT systems.
Change management is already a complex process even if you’re a startup, so what RAM was going through required even a further training program for the hundreds of couriers and branch employees to enable them to adapt to the new platform.
What’s seriously causing a problem here is that this whole process needs to work smoothly, and it needs to work quite immediately. 😤 So what did RAM do to cope with all of this?
In-person training is not an option at this point. On the contrary, they needed a solution that included training new and current employees as quickly as possible and helping all employees keep up with the ongoing changes without failing to operate their jobs.
UserGuiding helped them out with all of that nightmare.
With our platform, they were able to practice a smooth change management process and conduct very productive employee training with the help of interactive product walkthroughs, which are perfectly convenient when it comes to training employees effectively while saving money, time, and effort.
They combined their own creativity with the features of UserGuiding and created something extraordinary.
Let me show you what I mean:
They created an animated character called SAM, a professional who works for RAM and is ready to explain all the necessary steps that a newcomer must get to know.
This way, they were able to practice a beautiful employee onboarding process that is both fun, engaging, and educational at the same time.
After the employee is greeted with a warm welcome from Sam, they are introduced to the platform and its features.
Later on, when the employee is done with the brief walkthrough, Sam congratulates them saying ”Well done” and rewards them with a certificate indicating that the new employee is now an educated user of the platform.
This great onboarding experience created by RAM is simple yet highly impactful in that it feels personal and possesses a conventional-like training that helps increase employee engagement.
Have you ever wondered what’s behind Netflix’s worldwide popularity and success?
Let me tell you, it has a powerful connection to how they treat their employees. Ever since Netflix was founded in 1997, it has achieved remarkable success thanks to the productivity, devotion, and contribution of the people who work to make Netflix bigger and better.
And what exactly brings the best out of employees, encourages them to work harder, and makes Netflix the most appealing place to work? (says this report by Hired.)
Netflix is so great at this whole onboarding dream that it makes sure the whole process begins even before the employee’s first day at work; the people who are responsible for welcoming the employee make sure that the hire’s desk and laptop are all set up before their arrival and they are provided with the necessary equipment and documents. I find this extremely important since it allows the transition to be smooth, and it’s a great way to welcome the employee, saying: ”We were waiting for you, welcome aboard.”
Later on, in their first weeks, employees are introduced to a deck of slides that include throughout information on Netflix’s culture, work approach and environment, the company’s technology stack, and the employee’s job definition, all of which are explicitly described and ready to welcome the employee.
This way, Netflix manages to prevent any errors or confusion that may come up about the company policies or something else that the hire may find overwhelming. They also make sure that the employee has a committed mentor to provide help and answers at all times.
The whole adaptation process is very detailed and moves rather slowly. The orientation process, for example, continues until the first quarter of the employee’s first year. Within this first quarter, the employee has the opportunity to introduce themselves to the executive manager to gain more insight into the company culture if they wish to do so.
After all, haste makes waste. And Netflix is very much aware of it. The success of their onboarding program enabled them to achieve an 11% employee turnover rate. Quite impressing, what do you think?
Google has over 130,000 employees right now. Can you imagine how hard and challenging it must be to meet the expectations of that number of employees? Well, Google manages it all.
Google’s HR team decided to implement a simple yet effective onboarding program that has a bit more to offer: Interactivity.
What Google basically does is boost employee engagement and introduce company policies to the new members – or should I say Nooglers (new Google hires) 😎 – by using ”just-in-time nudges”.
I found this image from Linkedin, it was posted by a new employee who had just started working for Google! How cool is that hat?🤩
Anyway, at their core, these nudges are a combination of reminders given to inform the employer of the next step they should take. Divided into four characteristics – gentle, timely, relevant, and easy to execute- these nudges aim to work as simple check-ins to make sure the employer is going through a smooth process adaption to the company.
The results show that ”Nudging” Nooglers is a great way to ensure that they are offered relevant information pretty quickly. And the best part about Nudges is probably their timing. Thanks to them, the assigned tasks become much easier for the newcomers because the information they need is delivered to them just at the perfect moment.
And now, if you think that’s enough for Google, you’re so wrong.
They also did a tremendous job increasing the efficiency of Nooglers by 25% with the help of an email. Not just any email, though. Here’s how it works.
The Sunday before a new hire’s first day at work, the responsible manager receives an email with a five-step checklist. What are these steps?
- Inform your employee about their job description.
- Give your Noogler with a peer buddy.
- Help your Noogler interact with co-workers.
- Set up onboarding check-ins once a month for your Noogler’s first six months.
And just as you thought it couldn’t get any better:
- Encourage open dialogue.
So, as you can see, Google makes sure that employees are introduced to a great work environment and pays close attention to education managers, and enables them to provide better guidance.
What’s the result?
Less turnover, improved employee experience, a 25% increase in productivity, and a work environment in which both managers and new employees are engaged in the process.
Like with everything it does, Apple achieves to be one of the unique examples of practicing an employee onboarding process with a slightly different approach.
The new employees are instantly provided with a standard gift package with lots of stickers saying welcome to Apple, HR forms, and a shirt that says ”Class of” with the year the newcomer joined the company. And sometimes a quick memo like this:
Okay, that’s not significantly different. I can hear you say. What’s more to it?
Well, the new employees get a brand new, fancy iMac. Sounds cool? Well, these iMacs are not pre-set. The employees are required to set them up themselves. There’s no tech support there. I guess this is the way Apple encourages the employee, indicating that if they managed to get the job in the first place, they must be smart enough to connect their computer to the servers.
Jokes aside, what’s really behind this approach is probably the need it creates. Since the employee will be unable to figure everything out on the first day, they will naturally feel the urge to reach out to a co-worker and communicate, ask for help, even. So this whole approach gets the newbie talking to the existing employees and socializing. Genius, am I right?
Also, to add something real quick that Apple does in addition, which I think you’ll find more familiar:
To create an instant impact of connection with people who have a deep understanding of the whole Apple culture, new employees at Apple are introduced with the iBuddy system. The name speaks for itself since this buddy program is primarily designed to help new hires pair with a current employee and ask about any questions they have in mind regarding their position, the company culture, or the workspace essentials.
Wrapping up, I think whatever way Apple chooses to go with positively impacts employee morale and the overall onboarding process. You disagree? You better check this out.
Here’s my following example for you. It’s one of my favorites since it manages to take on a unique way to train new staff members with a very, let’s say, job-specific system.
Beverage company, PepsiCo, benefits from the opportunity to make employee training more fun and engaging than ever before, using a system provided by Appical, a HR technology company founded in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
With the help of Appical’s cloud-based system, PepsiCo provides all kinds of additional help to their new employees including educational videos, hosts informational webinars, “how-to” slideshows with pop-up quizzes, handbooks, manuals, documents, and support materials.
In addition, the company assigns an onboarding buddy to enable the new starter to be guided by the existing employees. They deliberately do not choose a manager or a supervisor for this particular purpose since they want to avoid an imbalance between their communication due to positional levels.
And what’s so job-specific about all this? Wait, it’s not over yet.
Last but not least, PepsiCo has a very delicious habit of welcoming new hires; they are encouraged to try out the company’s products! They have snacks made by PepsiCo, they taste the beverage make comparisons and ratings. It sounds so much fun, and I would definitely be up for it!
A successful digital company at your service, Bazaarvoice manages to achieve a very educational and to-the-point employee onboarding by ensuring that every new employee attends detailed onboarding classes in Austin, Texas, at their base.
These classes are so amazing in that they include employees from all levels and titles -creating a balanced educational environment.
Taking a step further, the company makes sure the new employee’s integration involves more fun by playing a game called onboarding scavenger hunt. This game has particular tasks that allow the employee to get familiar with co-workers, learn about the company culture, ethics, and values, and get acquainted with the workspace.
You even get to wear matching t-shirts during the game. 🤩
These tasks include practicing a call with a customer, hosting a video meeting remotely, and giving correct answers to company-related questions.During these classes, employees can always take the first step to introduce themselves or join a lunch break, socialize and experience the process with their own contributions.
Lastly, Bazaarvoice gathers feedback from its employees to constantly improve their onboarding process and offer an enhanced experience.
Quora is a community-based Q&A website. It’s a platform where users post their questions regarding any topic and receive answers from fellow users.
Quora is already a successful platform when it comes to addressing its users. But what we’re interested here is how they decide to manage their employees and offer them a smooth onboarding experience. The platform pays excellent attention to creating an impactful and proactive onboarding program to welcome new employees.
Every new hire is instantly matched with a devoted mentor who’s always there to provide personal assistance and enlightenment. These mentors are highly respected and tolerated in case they fail to be as productive as usual during this process. I find this approach extremely constructive since it helps managers feel understood and heard when it comes to keeping up with all the work that comes with welcoming new employees and other work-related responsibilities.
This kind of attitude takes the pressure off these mentors and enables them to create an even better experience to offer the new hire since they will be more willing and giving, naturally.
In addition, these new hires are also provided with particular projects they should complete by the end of their first week to get started right away. This instantly helps them feel like they are a part of a team, they’re here to make valuable contributions, and their work means something to your company.
Encouragement at its finest.
We’re all familiar with Linkedin. It’s an indispensable part of our daily lives. Who viewed my profile, who sent me a connection request, who messaged me, let me check really quick, you get it.
For a really social media company that’s wildly popular and does a great job in business networking and HR management, you would probably expect that Linkedin also kills it when it comes to employee onboarding. And you would be right.
Ladies and gentlemen, here I present Linkedin’s hire orientation program: [In]troduction. How cool is the name?!
This onboarding process has seven essential exercises addressing the education and integration processes of the employees. These include lectures, chat sessions, a tour to show you around, learning about company policies, getting familiar with the company culture, having lunch with fellow team members, etc.
This way, Linkedin manages to develop a unique idea that implements innovation and engagement into its employee onboarding process and offers a practical experience that will last as a happy memory of an employee’s first day.
PS: This program was so successful that back in 2014, it was awarded the Bronze Brandon Hall for best onboarding program.
This article mentioned a few big companies that did a great job making their onboarding processes both fun and educational.
And I hope you found all of them inspirational and illuminating as you are trying to offer your employees a successful onboarding process of your own. See you next time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should be included in employee onboarding?
A great employee onboarding should include fun onboarding activities such as a team lunch, social events, a warm welcome that includes instructive elements such as documents, visual walkthroughs, a pre-set workspace with the employee’s desk and essentials, etc.
What are the three phases of employee onboarding?
The three phases of employee onboarding are as follows:
This is the part where the managers check the employee’s background, create a work email account, prepare the necessary employee cards and surveys.
In this phase, the employee receives a welcome email, a fun fact survey, an informational email that tells what they should do before their first day. They also attend team lunches and office tours and learn about the company culture.
The last phase ensures that the employee is provided with a professional mentor and has a throughout progress plan examined by managers every two or three months.