First impressions matter, especially in a work environment. According to research by Zippia, it costs up to 40% of the base salary just to fill a vacant role, which can take anywhere from 36 to 42 days in the United States.
Onboarding is very stressful. There are forms to fill, new people to get acquainted with, skills to learn, and roles to take on. There’s so much to get accustomed to, and employees can feel left in the cold if they have to figure out everything themselves.
But those first few weeks are also the best time to set the stage, immerse new hires into your company culture, make them a part of the family, and create a lasting first impression that will lead to higher employer satisfaction and retention.
Why is a positive first impression important?
Why do you need to take time to impress new hires with your company’s uniqueness when you can just send them a bunch of forms to fill while you recite the same generic “welcome to the family” line you tell all your employees?
Does that extra warmth make a difference?
Actually, it does. It can make or break your employee experience, and here’s why.
better employee retention
During those first couple of weeks, when employees still have nostalgia for their former workplace or have doubts about working with a totally new team, you need to reassure them by creating a warm, welcoming environment they can stick around long enough to figure out how your company works.
Giving a positive first impression suggests to the employee that you value your employees and the organisation at large. It immediately makes them want to reciprocate the same energy and enthusiasm they have received from you.
If an employee feels they are just one out of many on the payroll, there will be a decline in the enthusiasm they put into work. A positive first impression increases productivity in workers as they feel excited and honored and will want to give their best in return.
As we’ve said before, switching jobs is stressful. Sometimes, new employees have to move locations on top of changing their position, making the process even harder. But giving them a warm welcome helps ease the anxiety of starting a new job all along with everything they’ve been through.
No one wants to work in a hostile and unfriendly environment, so giving them a positive, lasting memory should be one of your highest priorities to help them function efficiently.
stronger compamy culture
Strong company culture is essential for businesses that want to stay afloat. Research shows that company culture isn’t only crucial for existing employees, but 46% of job seekers consider it an important factor too.
Companies with a strong culture are associated with an increased productivity level and higher employee engagement. Creating a positive first impression fosters unity, leading to stronger company culture.
Satisfied employees are 12% more productive than the average worker. They work harder with more enthusiasm and creativity and usually exceed expectations.
A worker left out in the cold regarding his onboarding will immediately understand that they are just one of the many individuals who draw a paycheck from the company. But when an intentional effort is put into making a positive first impression, they want to perform better and be more productive at work.
Increased productivity reduces operational costs while increasing profitability which every business desires.
5 tips TO creatE the perfect first impression
Making a positive first impression has many benefits. But you can only achieve them if you have proper practices and structures for the perfect onboarding experience. Therefore, it is important to use employee onboarding software to streamline the employee onboarding experience.
Here are 5 tips for creating the perfect onboarding experience.
ENSURE QUICK INTEGRATION FROM DAY ONE
Making the new hire feel special eases them of the anxiety that comes with the whole process of entering a new workplace. Try giving them a welcome gift, send a personalised email, or arrange for them to meet the other employees in a warm and friendly environment. This is your best bet for making an employee feel special and honored.
The integration of new employees into an organisation isn’t always smooth, but it’s incredibly important. To ensure a positive start, departments should work together seamlessly. Here are some tips for smooth integration process:
- Create a central onboarding hub for resources and information.
- Encourage cross-training among onboarding personnel.
- Maintain open communication channels.
- Form welcome committees with representatives from various departments.
These practices foster a coordinated and supportive onboarding experience, leaving a lasting and positive impression on new hires, setting the stage for their long-term success within the company.
ASSIGN MEANINGFUL TASKS
Every motivated new hire wants to make a great first impression on their employers by jumping straight into work so that they can be productive and useful to the organisation. However, when that enthusiasm is met with tons of unnecessary paperwork, things can get messy.
If you want to get the most out of your new employee, try to take care of all the formalities and signatures during the onboarding process. Then, once they’re scheduled to start, assign them meaningful tasks they can sink their teeth into. But don’t forget to consider their experience and skills so you don’t overwhelm them with projects they can’t deal with.
It is also vital you establish strong communication channels with your latest team member so they always have a way to contact you and ask questions. And one of the best ways to do that is by setting up a communication plan for your company.
Utilise a task management system like Asana or ClickUp to assign new hires meaningful projects from day one. For instance, a junior developer is assigned to work on a small feature of an ongoing project, allowing them to contribute immediately and gain a sense of accomplishment. This approach boosts enthusiasm and productivity during the onboarding phase.
ASSIGN A MENTOR
It can be overwhelming being the new guy among strangers. But this is where a mentor comes in handy. They help integrate new hires into the system, introduce them to company practices, show them around, and give a helping hand when needed.
But perhaps most importantly, assigning a mentor signals to the employee that you care about their well-being at the company and want to see them succeed. Suffice to say, it can help create a great first impression.
For example, you should pair each new employee with an experienced mentor who provides guidance and support. In a virtual environment, mentors and mentees regularly connect via video calls to discuss projects, answer questions, and offer insights into company practices. This mentorship program not only eases the transition but also fosters a sense of belonging.
PREPARE THE paperwork
It is necessary to prepare the paperwork even before the new hire shows up, as onboarding a new hire can get very monotonous, leading to a decline in the employee’s enthusiasm. To help prevent that, incorporate smart e-forms and digital signatures to automate the paperwork. This will reduce the time spent on paperwork and help you hit the ground running.
For example, you can implement an innovative digital onboarding system for new hires where they can complete all the necessary paperwork and create a comprehensive guide that can lead them step-by-step. This forward-thinking approach not only minimises administrative overhead but also enhances the overall onboarding experience by allowing new hires to focus on getting acclimated to their roles from day one.
Request for Feedback
Feedback is crucial for the onboarding process on both your and the new employee’s sides. By giving the new hire an opportunity to offer honest feedback, you can improve your hiring process and show them you value their opinion.
Similarly, you should offer feedback on their performance in return. Creating clear lines for communication and a safe space for discussion is vital in managing expectations and building a healthy, long-lasting relationship with your employees.
It is a common practice for many companies to conduct regular onboarding feedback surveys, allowing new employees to share their experiences and suggestions anonymously. Based on this feedback, the companies can make adjustments to the onboarding process, such as clarifying certain training modules and improving communication channels.
You have only one chance to make a great first impression on your employees, and you don’t want to ruin that chance. This is why all hands should be on deck to ensure that the onboarding process for every employee is a memorable one. When employees have a great time working with you, their productivity skyrockets, and the organisation gets to realise its goals.
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