3 ways to shake up your onboarding process

Like it or not, your onboarding process is speaking volumes to your new employees. Even if you don’t have a structured onboarding process, the lack of it is telling new hires exactly what they need to know about your organisation. Many employers would like to think that onboarding is just signing paperwork and ticking boxes.

The internet is rife with tales of incredible onboarding process from the likes of Google, Apple and other big organisations; their big pools of resources enable them to implement creative ideas, big events and even in some cases, financially-based onboarding processes. Zappos, for example, has become famous for ‘The Offer’ – part of their onboarding that gives employees the option to take a payout if they find themselves wanting to leave the organisation after a short amount of time. It can seem overwhelming and infeasible for many smaller organisations to offer up features like this throughout their onboarding.

The great news is that shaking up your onboarding process and making it memorable for new hires doesn’t have to sap so many resources.

Thinking ahead

Every employee wants to feel as though they are valued and supported when they start a new role. Nothing gives a bad first impression like frantically scrambling around on a new hire’s first day to make sure they have everything they need. Simply thinking ahead and anticipating what they might need over their first day/week/month can make sure everything runs smoothly and they feel at ease as they adjust to their new role. This includes signing paperwork before the first day begins; get all the official stuff out of the way so your new employee can settle in.

Creating a roadmap

When you go to a new restaurant, it can be helpful to know details about where you’ll be eating. What’s the price range? What’s on the menu? Knowing all this before you even arrive at the restaurant can help you feel at ease so you can enjoy the meal and the conversation. Onboarding can be similar for many people. Create a guide for new employees of crucial information – remember, it doesn’t need to be boring! Where are the best places to eat around the office? Who should they talk to if they have a problem? Where is the stationery cupboard? Knowing all the basics before they step foot in the building for their first day can help them feel more comfortable.

Mentorship programs

Mentoring comes in all shapes and sizes and it’s likely that you have set up some kind of buddy system for the first day. It’s helpful to have someone show new hires the ropes on day one, but consider assigning a mentor for the first crucial 90 days of a new employee’s time with you. Having someone to introduce new employees to other individuals within the organisation can be invaluable, not to mention the benefits of having a point of contact for any issues, questions or simply as a friendly face amongst a sea of unknown people. Making the onboarding period less daunting for new employees is important for helping them settle in easily and quickly, making them one of the team as soon as possible.

Your onboarding process is a time for your organisation to shine. Your culture and your values will all naturally show through your onboarding process. You don’t need endless resources to make the process memorable for your new employees – all it takes is thinking about how you can make their first 90 days with you exciting, comfortable and different from the rest.


Greg Weiss is Australia’s Leading Career Coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step framework for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf/

He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.

He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

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