Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating a strategic and logical onboarding plan for non-technical hires:
Instead of waiting for the actual orientation to begin, start onboarding the new hire with small gestures from day zero. You can send them a welcome email or a hand-written note to make them feel appreciated and comfortable.
To relate better with the new hire, you'll need to showcase your brand's backstory and purpose as masterfully as possible. This is where a customized video can help. You'll also need to outline the company structure, management hierarchy, and the new hire's responsibilities and workflows. However, err on caution and stay away from information overload.
Make sure to assign a mentor to the new hire so that the latter can reach out and get their queries addressed. Onboarding is most successful when interpersonal work relationships come into the picture.
It's only natural for the new hire to have a steady stream of questions. This is why you'll need to set up go-to resources and knowledge repositories that clearly talk about the organization's processes, guidelines, regulations, etc.
To ensure that you're always on top of things, create different checklists: checklists for day one, checklists for paperwork, checklists for policies and procedures, checklists for orientation, you get the drift, right?
Every minute your new hire spends on the onboarding process is invaluable with respect to critical information such as the employee's strengths, challenges, etc. So, make sure to collect data at every touchpoint possible and drive better performance.
Moving on, let's look at how you can effectively onboard tech employees remotely. The process is largely the same, with a few changes to the approach:
Step 1: Go beyond the paperwork on day one and provide the requisite work devices and infrastructure.
Instead of focusing solely on the paperwork, payroll, and benefits, demonstrate to the new tech hire how valuable they are. For instance, Netflix asks employees for their preferred laptop choice and configuration before Day One. This kind of thoughtful attention to detail paves the way for a strong onboarding experience.
Step 2: Streamline the induction process and make it mission-oriented.
Technical onboarding can work wonders if the tangible skills are aligned with the company's overall mission. You can conduct 'Get to know the business' sessions during the onboarding process to ensure that the new hire is perfectly acclimatized with the company's broader goals.
Step 3: Introduce the candidate to the job role with a fun yet challenging task.
To instill confidence and drive motivation, Apple employees receive their new iMac and are tasked with setting it up themselves. Creating these kinds of opportunities allows employees to feel accomplished via small-yet-significant wins. This engages them effectively and helps them get used to the work culture.
Step 4: Drive open and honest conversations and assign a buddy.
Often, technical hires are seen relocating to new places with no known acquaintance or family around. This is why assigning a mentor or buddy early in the onboarding process can make the transition easier from a 'social' standpoint. The buddy can also help the new hire bond better with the extended team, technical leaders, and other stakeholders in the organization. Plus, the new hire can speak more openly about any issues they face, creating a feedback-driven environment built on trust and honesty.
The learning: The onboarding process should enable a hyper-personalized experience for every new hire. It should be crafted with immense thought and care. It should keep the new hire engaged with the brand. It should make them feel welcomed and comfortable from the get-go. Hence, organizations must pay special attention to their onboarding strategies to build employee loyalty before day one. Plus, they need to invest in the right digital solutions to streamline the onboarding experience and make it friction-free.