Onboarding programs give new joiners the first impression of an organization and condition them for their stint. As they say, first impressions matter, so every organization would want their new hire to have a pleasurable experience during their first week at the job.
The best onboarding programs aren’t just about administering or giving away goodies to recruits. They’re about bringing every element together.
So, while we are at it, here are a few companies that aced their onboarding game with some out-of-the-box initiatives.
Facebook’s onboarding boot camp program
Facebook’s has a 2-month long boot camp program, which is an intensive program designed to develop leadership qualities in new hires early on, boost team building, encourage engineers to push code to maximum users in their first week, have a holistic view of entire organization and learn to achieve the highest standards in their work. Facebook’s doesn’t put the new members into a team but instead moves them across departments to grant them the autonomy to select the best team for themselves.
Zappos: pay them if they want to leave
Zappos has an unusual onboarding process that lasts five weeks. The program, same for all hires irrespective of their job title, strongly emphasizes valuing the company culture, building a strong team; and growing together as teams. When the process ends, the new hires are offered $2,000 to leave if they don’t feel fit for the job. It’s hard to believe but historically, only about 1% of new hires chose to receive the money.
Netflix’s on-top-of-it approach
Netflix believes in enabling a smooth transition and minimal inconvenience to recruits and they achieve this by having their new hires’ workspace ready and providing a dedicated mentor right before their start date. An orientation program is done to induct them into Netflix technology and help them understand company culture. Recruits’ desks and laptops are setups in advance and they’re also incorporated in big projects right from the start. This practice sets the right precedent and makes the employees valued right from the start.
As they say, first impressions matter, so every organization would want their new hire to have a pleasurable experience during their first week at the job.
Valve’s humor-laden team style
Valve has a unique company culture with a flat management structure which means that there are no managers. This different setting may require new hires around six months to get used to the company. To help this, valve employees made a funny “Handbook for new employees” that has 56 pages of step-by-step guides and fantastic illustrations on things like how to take company vacations, a brief timeline of the company and insights into how Valve operates. Valve proves that onboarding can be fun when teammates join in!
Twitter: “Yes to Desk”
The structured, detailed and organized onboarding process of Twitter “Yes-to-Desk,” features the more than 75 steps between HR, IT and facilities that a new hire undergoes from the time he says yes to the offer till the time he sits on his desk. The company provides new joiners with all the details of their co-workers and what to expect on their first day along with some goodies. Twitter has an extensive orientation program about the company history, current projects, and information about tools and systems, with diverse teams orienting the new hires about their technology. This smooth and inductive onboarding program of Twitter helps new hires to be confident and secure about their job, while also getting immersed into the company culture.
The key takeaways from the new hire onboarding process for these companies that you can emulate are:
- Don’t hesitate to make an investment in a program that resonates with your values and company culture
- A good onboarding program goes a long way to boost your retention efforts and save costs so ensure that your program isn’t sloppy
- Start early, focus on communicating in advance and keeping events organized to keep the new hire from experiencing chaos and disarray