How to teach corporate culture through onboarding

Written by Blake Beus on 22 August 2017 in Features
Features

Blake Beus sees onboarding as a cultural opportunity.

One of the most common factors to a person’s success in a new job is the effectiveness of the onboarding process. By design, employee onboarding is a tool that helps to quickly engage a new hire and help them find their place in the culture of an organisation.

A fact that companies like software developer JAMF has taken to heart. According to a Forbes’ article, JAMF’s training program greatly emphasises the importance of culture, role, and product.

These three focal points ensure that if a new hire understands their role, the product, and their place in the culture they have a greater tendency to thrive - which in turn allows the company to thrive.

Teaching culture

Onboarding can be a stressful endeavour for both the new hire and the company. The first few days can be nerve-wracking, and if the training is not efficient enough it could spell the eventual end of an employee-employer relationship.

No one wants that. So, to aid the process lets break onboarding up into three segments: Before day 1, day 1, and week 1 and beyond.

Before day 1

Before a new hire ever clocks in, it is important to make them a part of the team. Get their work space set up with what they will need and inform their new coworkers about them. Another great way of doing this comes from Atlanta-based marketing automation and email marketing service, Mail Chimp.

Their new hire ambassador takes it upon herself to “send every new hire a detailed email of what their first day will be like so they know exactly what to expect.” That way when they come in on their first day they know what to expect and they begin to feel like a team player from the get-go.


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Remember, taking the early initiative during onboarding, like an introductory email, and preparing a place for new hires will ease their transition into the company.

Day 1

Armed with the budding knowledge of the culture and a growing understanding of how they fit into the big picture is one way to take the edge off new day jitters. At this point, according to HR Cloud Blog, “new hires are anxious to learn about how they are connected to the big picture.”

When the new hire walks into the building, an employee involved in their interview process should be there to greet them. This will help them to feel more at ease as they are shown the facilities and where they will be working. Take time to introduce new hires to colleagues, management, and their team members.

Week 1 and beyond

By the end of the first week employees should have a clear understanding of the company’s expectations, goals, and values. They will have begun assimilating into the culture.

One suggestion software company Thrive TRM gives to aid the process is, “Some social time...will give your new hire a chance to converse with co-workers in a less formal setting than a meeting or work session, which helps ensure that everyone is more comfortable going forward as a team.”

This understanding of their role, and their place in the company is essential. Schedule time to review with each new hire their progress and discuss any worry or issues that may have arisen. And continue to evaluate and aid them as they grow within the company.

Conclusion

There exists a definite symbiotic relationship between onboarding and a company’s culture. The more a new employee is integrated into the culture, even before day one, the higher the probability that they will excel in their new position. And as they say at the hotel chain, Ritz-Carlton, “Employees who embrace your culture will contribute to an atmosphere of teamwork, collaboration and greater success.”

 

About the author

Blake Beus is director of learning solutions at Allen Communication Learning Services

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