When you have a company that’s growing rapidly (hello, fellow SaaSters!), you have to nail your employee onboarding experience. But what does that look like? While every company’s process will be different — after all, we all have different company cultures, not to mention products, tech stacks, benefits packages, and office setups — there are three essential tactics to keep in mind to make it a successful one.
1. Take your time ☃️ ⏰ 🏖
Successful new hire onboarding should never be tied to speed. It puts the person doing the onboarding under pressure to get it done (as opposed to doing it right) — and it puts the new hire in the terrible position of not wanting to disappoint over “trivial” things. A Harvard Business Review article points out that up to 20% of employee turnover takes place in the first 45 days of employment, and that the most successful companies spend a year fully onboarding new hires. If you focus on making sure your new hires have the foundational knowledge they need to be amazing employees, you demonstrate that you’re invested in them being amazing employees who are valued at your company.
2. Don’t expect memorization 🧠 😰
Some things are better off memorized (how to do surgery, Simpsons quotes, your best friend’s birthday), but aside from your computer login, there aren’t many things that you need have memorized by day 3 of a new job. We have a lot of new knowledge thrown at us in the first few weeks of a job, while 70% of an individual’s work knowledge comes from job-related experiences. By building your onboarding program around consistent and ongoing training, you’ll naturally create a learning-oriented culture.
3. Make knowledge easy to find 💁♂️ ℹ️ 🙌
Don’t forget how much new hires have to learn. Even a seasoned veteran can be pretty lost when joining a new company. The culture is different, the acronyms are different, and the processes may not make sense without context. By documenting all of this implicit knowledge, you’re giving new hires a leg up on that corporate disorientation.
One way to support all of these initiatives is to encourage every new hire to add something new to your knowledge base on their 1-month anniversary. Not only will this help you identify potential gaps in various trainings, workflows, and processes, it also means that your collection of onboarding knowledge will grow organically over time, ensuring that each new onboarding is more successful than the last.