Does culture play a role in onboarding?

By / September 5, 2017 / , , / 0 Comments

Walking through the front door on your first day can be as daunting as it is exciting for any new starter. With this mixed bag of emotions, these first few weeks are critical to ensuring the new hire is a great fit for your company long term. 

So how do you convey the quirks of your culture that have organically grown over the years?

A new hire onboarding program is a major tool for HR to share insights into the team culture with new starters. It can help new hires feel engaged and get them settled into their new role. However, all too often the onboarding program is quick and focused on getting the new starter simply set up to complete their job tasks.

 

How to add cultural value to your onboarding tasks

The Aberdeen Group found that 86% of respondents felt that a new hire’s decision to stay with a company long-term is made within the first six months of employment. While it’s important to know how to get around the office and where the printer is, focus should also be placed on how to define and communicate your culture and values. Define what makes your employer brand unique, and think of engaging ways to convey that message – such as videos, infographics and team one-on-ones.

Your onboarding of a new hire doesn’t stop after the first few days. And it’s not only important for the new hire. Hiring someone that doesn’t fit into the company culture can cost your company anywhere from 30-150% of the person’s annual salary. So plan how to share your unique culture before the first day, and beyond their first anniversary.

Make your culture a key competitive advantage

Leave culture out of the mix of an onboarding program, and your new hire will spend those first critical months working out the fastest way to leave. Whether you pride yourself on flexibility or strive for innovation; employees are more likely to invest themselves personally in your company’s success if they feel aligned. This starts by being immersed in your culture.

“Our business is tech-savvy with Apps for each brand, and we wanted our new recruits to experience a better first impression of our brands like we offer to our customers. This means that excitement levels for the new hire don’t decrease and we can keep our excited newbie engaged!” Retail Zoo.

In practice, as little as an induction into ‘what we stand for’ and ‘here’s what you can expect from us’ can go really far in helping a new employee to understand how they can be a part of the team. Understanding their team’s goals and how these relate to the company vision is essential when building effective teams. Using technology to automate much of the administrative parts of onboarding can free a lot of time in the critical first few days to focus on engaging the new starter with the rest of the team. Encourage team meetups, coffee runs, and social activities to help new hires feel included in the team culture.

Plan how to nurture your culture, beyond the first week

Culture isn’t something you pick up in a day. So don’t allow your new employee to wander aimlessly in a sea of inside jokes or terms; inform them from the beginning. Let them know that Walter is a product guru and can speak 5 languages, while Billy knows all the best place to eat around work. If you have a weekly Friday lunch and catch-up as a team, get the new hire involved and aware of why you do – even if it’s something that’s evolved over time. The sooner they understand how their workplace culture operates, the earlier you can provide them with the opportunity to realise their full potential.

While getting your new starter set up with the tools for success is important, what’s clearly seen is that culture plays a significant role in the longevity and engagement of your employees. Take the time to think about all the things that make you unique, and plan the best ways to convey them.

Interested in learning more?

Spring is the perfect time to invigorate your onboarding engagement experience ready for the holiday season. To find out more, book in for a personalised demo with our onboarding specialists or download our free whitepaper – The 5 Pillars of a Great Onboarding Program.