5 Original Onboarding Ideas for Your New Hires
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employée heureuse
Catherine Maheux-Rochette
November 1 2021

Onboarding Idea #1: Internal Newsletter

It all started when I first started working at Folks. In an interview, I had mentioned to the guy who is now my boss that I was a shy and rather introverted person. A few days before my first day at work, partly to help me and partly to challenge me, he told me that my first project would be to write a newsletter for… my future team! My only constraint? I had to be the subject of the newsletter. The verdict? The whole team loved the concept, so much so that we decided to integrate it into our onboarding plan.

Why is it a good idea?

First of all, the newsletter, sent to all staff, serves as an official announcement of the new employee’s arrival. This way, the entire team is informed of the date of arrival, first name, etc. The newsletter is also an excellent way to introduce yourself to everyone at the same time while simultaneously opening the door to future discussions.

Onboarding Idea #2: Mentoring

While mentorship in itself is not a revolutionary idea, it is a good practice with which there is always room to be creative!

Basically, it is important to choose a mentor who:

  • Is a good employee;
  • Has interpersonal skills;
  • Wants to play this role;
  • Has the time to play the role.

Concretely, the mentor becomes the contact person for the new employee so that the new employee will know who to turn to if they encounter a problem or has questions. The mentor will also be able to talk to the new employee about the company’s story and organizational chart, introduce them to the team, help them integrate into it, show them around the office, etc.

This is where your creativity comes in! Why not give special assignments to your mentors? For example, write a personalized welcome note to their mentee, or introduce them to their favourite restaurant during their first month on the job. The possibilities are endless! This program encourages communication, helps new employees build relationships, and is always highly appreciated by employees, both mentors and mentees.

Choosing a mentor is even more important in situations of remote work!

Why is it a good idea?

This type of program encourages communication, helps new employees build relationships, and is always highly appreciated by employees, both mentors and mentees. Indeed, mentoring is a good way to involve employees in the life of the company and, at the same time, strengthen your employer brand.

Onboarding Idea #3: Scavenger Hunt / Mystery Questions

Surprise your new employees with a scavenger hunt that they can complete during their first few weeks with you to familiarize themselves with your organization!

What is it? A series of tasks and questions that the employee will have to solve by walking around the office and talking to their co-workers.

Be creative! Do we need to repeat it? In any good onboarding process, creativity is the key!

Scavenger Hunt / Mystery Questions

Some ideas

Ask each employee to create a scavenger hunt question about themselves. This way, the new employee will learn a little bit about all their colleagues. Examples of such questions include:

  1. Who has the most pets among all employees?
  2. Who in the marketing team collects corks?
  3. Who always wears a minimum of 2 pairs of stockings in winter?
  4. Who has a special talent for creating balloon decorations?

Give the employee a deadline to solve the treasure hunt and promise a surprise if they succeed.

Compose questions about the company: when was it founded, fun facts about its evolution. For example:

  1. Why are the company colours blue and yellow?
  2. In what year was Folks founded?
  3. What crucial decision did Sylvain (president) have to make when developing the Canadian HRIS software?

Why is it a good idea?

The scavenger hunt is an excellent alternative to the typical—and necessary—presentation of the company to new employees. I guarantee that they will have much more fun participating in this activity and will retain much more information this way! Not to mention the fact that the many interactions they will have with their employees to complete the hunt will facilitate their integration into the team.

Onboarding Idea #4: Decorate the new employee's office

Decorate your new employee’s office for their first day with you! Do you know their interests? If so, you can use them to choose personalized elements. You could also write them a welcome note that they will see when they arrive, or give them a small gift such as a box of chocolates or a beautiful green plant!

We stole Etsy’s good idea! They’re offering $150 to their new employees to decorate their office to their liking.

Why is it a good idea?

It’s a well-known fact: a healthy and comfortable work environment promotes productivity. A well-decorated office, either by you or by your employees, will make them feel good about their workplace and motivate them to stay there.

Onboarding Idea #5: Lunch Roulette

This concept is quite simple and can be declined in several ways! The exercise consists of randomly selecting employees who will go to lunch together, at the company’s expense. This could be a monthly draw among all staff, but you could also integrate it into your onboarding process by assigning your new recruit to one or more other randomly selected employees. Does your organization have several divisions? Don’t hesitate to pair employees from different departments!

Why is it a good idea?

Who doesn’t appreciate an invitation to lunch? It’s a great way to warmly welcome your new employees and help them quickly break the ice with their colleagues!

Now that your head is full of ideas, it’s time to implement them! Since any good process needs to be structured, we suggest the use of an HRIS for this purpose. Folks HR’s Onboarding module allows you to define tasks, assign them to different people and receive automated reminders, ensuring that they are completed on schedule.

What about remote onboarding?

Virtual activities

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about major organizational changes. You’ve probably had to welcome new employees remotely, and this reorganization of onboarding outside the office can be unsettling.

Don’t worry: our onboarding ideas are perfectly applicable to a remote work environment! Support and activities can and should be organized both in the office and remotely, and remote working employees should feel as warmly welcomed as their colleagues.

Welcome and introduction videos

Why not send welcome videos to your new coworkers? It’s important to share the company’s values and employer brand, even remotely. You have to highlight the benefits offered by the organization as well as the daily work atmosphere.

The employee’s team can even get together to create a short introduction video, so they can quickly get to know their colleagues and feel at home right away. At Folks, that’s what we do, and our new employees are huge fans!

Send fun items through the mail

Another great idea for welcoming new remote workers is to send them goodies with the company’s logo and small gifts in the mail. By taking the time to send a welcome package to their home, you’ll show new employees that they are an integral part of your organization. This kind of small gesture goes a long way in helping new employees integrate and feel like they belong.

Contact our team of experts!

Want to see how our HR management software can help you structure a unique onboarding process?


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