If you are hiring, or have been hiring, you hear the phrase “hire for culture.” This is very true. As you grow it gets harder to maintain your desired company culture. But what can you do after you have made the hire to ensure you maintain your culture and have the new employee feel a part of the team?
The onboarding process starts as soon as the job offer has been accepted. This is one of the most fun and potentially difficult things you will do. I have always enjoyed onboarding new employees, and with a tighter labor pool this is more important than ever. I know that I am responsible for the new employees’ success and getting them into the fold of the company culture is essential.
Here are some ways to start integrating culture during the onboarding process.
- Before they even start, send a welcome gift to new employees, which includes local gifts and a handwritten welcome card signed by the leadership team. No matter their role, you need to have an Onboarding Manual that outlines the roadmap for any new hire. Sending the welcome gift means a lot to the new hire and their family. Plus, it’s fun!
- It is important to develop a 90-Day Plan – a roadmap – if you will. This lets the new hire and others in the organization know what the new hire should be doing, with whom and by what deadline. Amongst other things, culturally, it shows you are organized, you know what success looks like and it gives the new hire direction and resources to help them acclimate to the organization. The roadmap should also include initial meetings with other team members in the organization.
- Make sure during the first few weeks or months, different people and/or groups are taking the new hire out to lunch. This makes the new hire feel welcome but also reinforces the culture and personality of the organization.
- As you know, it can take anywhere from 6-12 months on average for a new employee to be fully integrated. When crunches happen, it’s easy to unintentionally push the employee to the side because they haven’t done “it” before. This is a great time to include the new hire in whatever is happening. As a result, they’ll feel like they are part of the team. They will help you get things done and from a culture perspective it shows that you are inclusive.
- Do some fun things so that the new employee gets to know their coworkers and vice-versa. In one organization, they have a giant map and employees pin their names on the places they have lived, worked, studied, traveled, etc. They make sure that the new hire participates as an opportunity to get to know him or her better. This is fun but also gives people an easy ice breaker.
The more you can do to bring your new hire into your company culture, the better. It will help them acclimate and integrate into your organization. It also helps ensure that your culture is instilled into your new hires from the very beginning.
What do you do when you are onboarding new employees to make sure they become part of the culture?
By Blair Koch