Truly effective employee onboarding takes a year. While there are specific parts to onboarding that happen in the first week and months, having a year of onboarding is important for greater employee retention. Especially in today’s great resignation, making sure employees feel connected to your business and have opportunities for advancement is key to keeping them on your team.
Getting to know your team, from both new and existing employee standpoints, is an important aspect of onboarding. This article will discuss why you need smooth onboarding, how to facilitate team building and effective ways to do both.
Smooth Onboarding Sets The Pace and Vibe
Did you know that employees that are engaged with the company are 87% less likely to leave? Also, 1 in 10 employees left new jobs due to poor onboarding experiences, not to mention that in 2018, companies lost a total of $617 million from job turnover.
Smooth onboarding is the key to employee retention and company success. Onboarding does many things for your business, including:
- Making sure new employees have the resources they need;
- Letting employees get to know your company;
- Helping team members get to know one another;
- Giving career advancement opportunities;
- Increasing productivity by 54%;
- Saving the company money;
- Helping your business run its best.
Even though a Kronos study concluded that onboarding programs that last longer result in better companies and better employees, 22% don’t even have an onboarding program – which means there’s no better time to prioritize this for your business!
First Things First: “Get To Know Your Team” – Employee Profile Book!
Did you know that many new hires will begin looking for another job in their first 45 days to 6 months? That’s why onboarding well, and for an entire year, is important.
A major part of effective onboarding is getting to know the team. This includes much more than simple introductions, because only doing introductions leaves so much to chance. People may forget names quickly, and fast intros don’t help people know who they can rely on, who to ask questions to or who they’ll work with the best. It also doesn’t help to foster a community of teamwork.
Here are some reasons why teamwork is important for teams (whether they’re in-house, remote or hybrid):
- Fosters collaboration – it spreads positive and motivational energy when people work together to achieve common goals;
- According to a study by the University of Florida, team building effectively improves business outcomes;
- Helps leaders emerge more strongly;
- Shows employees they’re appreciated;
- Creates employee relationships so your team can grow together, not to mention having people they look forward to working with.
So, how do you help new hires get to know their new team? The first part of your strategy is introductions. While intros are important, people can still forget names and info due to the overwhelming amount of information they’ll be getting starting the new job. They also don’t get all the information they need about their teammates in the short time you’ll have to introduce them.
Here are two main ways you can help people get to know their co-workers:
1. Introduction “get-to-know-you” books from Newlywords. These give team members a reference to who people are at any given time, and helps them get to know the team better, as it can include more information and photos;
2. Team building activities, which foster actual bonds between co-workers.
You Should Facilitate Team Building Straight Away!
Any company knows that its most valuable resource is its employees. Finding, and then retaining, talented and motivated people can make or break a company’s successes and failures.
How does a company conduct effective team building today, when many workers are remote, people are resigning all over the place, and 31% of employees aren’t into “team-building activities”?
The key is to look at your intention before you plan your strategy and possible activities. If you’re going to foster a positive and collaborative work environment, the leadership has to be first, and it has to be part of your company culture. Many people want more flexibility and purpose in their jobs, so if you want to keep these intelligent, self-assured workers, you need to think about how to shift the way things are done and be open-minded to change.
Here are a few ways to begin generating company culture change so you can effectively implement team-building practices for new hires:
- Get clear on what kind of environment you want to promote and make sure you’re modeling and facilitating it yourself – in other words, be the example your employees can follow.
- Survey your current employees. Ask them about their experience, how they view the collaborative spirit, and how you’re doing at leading. Ask how their onboarding experience was and how it can be improved.
- Also ask employees what they want from you in terms of today’s shift in employee expectations. Get honest feedback, then make changes to what you’re offering new hires. With this, you’ll want to make sure you have systems in place to ensure you reach your goals.
Team Building Practices for New Recruits
What are the best team building practices that HR managers should follow? Here’s a list of best practices and ideas:
Make the activities convenient and enjoyable for employees.
Make team-building events as easy for employees to join and enjoy as possible. When planning team-building, you’ll want to:
- Make it during work hours so everyone can attend;
- Make it collaborative so people work together;
- Make sure every team member can participate: it must be accessible to everyone. This means considering remote workers, as well as, for instance, not making it about sports unless your team is entirely sports-oriented and fit;
- If you’re going to do something together and out-of-office, make sure you cover costs and transportation for employees;
- Make sure to clearly communicate the goals and purpose of what you’re doing with all employees;
- Ask employees for their opinions and feedback before and after the event.
Use the opportunity to create an improved day-to-day work environment.
This isn’t meant to be a one-time thing to half-heartedly make a show of change, but then not to actually change. Don’t do something you can’t deliver on in the longer-term. Make this about implementation of permanent work environment changes.
This doesn’t need to be complicated. Make sure you have a clear focus – like on teamwork and relationship-building – and make sure you:
- Do activities that generate teamwork with a common goal;
- Reward teams, as opposed to individuals to drive home the idea;
- Make sure employees feel like members of a team rather than slaves or people working for a taskmaster – give them some skin in the game, and/or change the way you do things in meetings, for instance;
- Make sure people are communicating any issues, places for improvement, etc. so you know how to improve.
Do some activities.
These shouldn’t be too cliche, and should involve everyone, regardless of external factors. Some ideas are:
- A scavenger hunt. Let employees work together to find things in the office, or online if it involves remote workers;
- Schedule a virtual team-building event (like a Race Around the World or International Food Tour);
- Work to foster inter-departmental relationships and collaboration by letting people work together who don’t always get to;
- Schedule a team-building activity once every few months at least so people can look forward to it;
- Show employee appreciation by giving gifts, like products or experiences, that add value to the people who help your company run.
Every organization needs proper onboarding for the company to run smoothly, but many aren’t doing any onboarding at all! Because onboarding includes getting to know the team, you’ll also need to implement team building strategies that foster a work environment people want to be in; this helps dramatically increase employee retention, which is needed now more than ever, it seems.
A great first step to improving employee onboarding and helping people get to know their team members is giving them a book to help them get to know everyone, that has photos, team memories and company information to help them feel welcome – because your employees are your ticket to a successful business!