Employee Onboarding Ideas: Examples from Experts

Anja Zojceska | 7/28/2018 | Recruiting

If you are looking for a great employee onboarding ideas, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we will present 8 real-life examples of enchanting employee onboarding practices. Learn from experts and get inspired to improve your own onboarding process!  

Employee Onboarding Ideas: Examples from Experts

How to become an employee onboarding expert?

Kudos to you for wanting to create the best onboarding process for your company! 👏🙂

Investing a bit more time and effort in creating an effective (and fun!) onboarding program will pay back big time!

A good onboarding program has many benefits. It will:

  • Help you retain your new employees
  • Speed up their ramp-up time
  • Ensure they are highly engaged right for the start
  • Boost up your company growth!

➡️ If you’re just getting started, I suggest you first check out our detailed Guide on how to successfully onboard new employees.

➡️ Our Ultimate onboarding checklist will also come in handy. It will help you plan, organize and streamline your onboarding process.

➡️ You can also take a look at different employee onboarding tools that can make your life a lot easier by automating your employee onboarding process.

And if you interested in improving your existing employee onboarding process and you’re looking for awesome onboarding ideas and examples from experts, keep on reading! 🙂

Best employee onboarding examples from experts

Here are 8 awesome real-life examples of employee onboarding practices used by big brands:

Employee-onboarding-best-examples

Example #1: Buddy system

Who?
Percolate is a tech company that created a very popular content marketing platform for the enterprise brands. Their users include Mastercard, Cisco, Electronic Arts, and Bosch. 

What?
Onboarding at Percolate includes a “Buddy system”. It means that each new employee is assigned to a so-called Percolater. A Percolater is an experienced colleague who has volunteered to be the new hire’s buddy.  

The responsibilities of a Percolater include:

  • Taking the new hire around the office and introducing him/her to other employees
  • Taking the new hire out to lunch on their first day
  • Checking in with the new hire regularly
  • Being available to answer all the new hire’s questions.

Idea to steal:
Implement a Buddy system in your own company!
With a Buddy system in check, you will ensure that your new hire always has someone to turn to during the first few nerve wrecking weeks at their new job.  

Example #2: Entrance interview

Who?
Designer Blinds is an Omaha based company in the line of business that includes the manufacturing of drapery hardware, blinds, and shades. 

What?
Designer Blinds company had a problem with a great turnover. After analyzing their turnover statistics, they discovered that most of their new hires leave between 90 and 180 days into their employee experience. This is why they instituted so-called “Entrance Interviews”. 

These interviews are held to find out what their new employees needed and how they could help them be successful in their new job. By implementing these entrance interviews, this company has reduced turnover from 200% to 8%.

Idea to steal:
Implement entrance interviews to learn exactly how you can help each of your new employees during your onboarding process. This way, you will ensure that your new employees feel valued since the day one!

Example #3: Gamification

Who?
Essar Oil & Gas is an Indian based company that produces, refines, and markets petroleum products. 

What?
Essar Oil and Gas company gamified their onboarding process. They partnered up with Indusgeeks, a company that provides game-based trainings. Together they developed an interactive 3D onboarding gamification solution for new hires that takes them through their work environment and lets them meet with the varied stakeholders. 

Introducing gamification into their onboarding process resulted with reduction of time new employees needed to get up to speed, improved productivity and bigger profit.

Idea to steal:
Think about the ways you can make your own onboarding process more fun and playful
Even if you don’t have resources to gamify your whole onboarding process, try to think of the way to gamify at least some aspects of it (hint: you’ll find some ideas in our next example 😉).  

Example #4: Scavenger hunt

Who?
Bazaarvoice is a Texas-based digital marketing company with offices around the globe. It provides software that allows retailers to add customer reviews to their websites.  

What?
Bazaarvoice onboards new hires with a unique Scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt is a series of tasks and questions designed to expose new hires to all areas of the company. It is also a fun way to ensure that the new hire meets all the other employees and learns what they do.  

This way, the new hires get familiar with all other departments quickly and establish cooperation form the day one.

Idea to steal:
Organize a scavenger hunt
for your new employees! 
It is a much more interesting and engaging way of getting on board than sitting through an orientation or reading a handbook. 

Example #5: Bootcamp

Who?
Etsy is an American e-commerce company that provides a global Internet marketplace for handmade wares. 

What?
Etsy came up with the great idea for onboarding their new employees in leadership roles. All the new employees who were hired to lead teams, from middle managers to new C-suite level employees, go through a so-called "Bootcamp".  

Etsy’s Bootcamp onboarding program rotates its new employees through every team in the organization. The goal of their bootcamp it that their new managers get to know the teams they'll be working with (and their expectations), before starting to manage them.

Idea to steal:
Think about implementing the bootcamp program for your new managers and team leads. 
It is a great way for your new leaders to get to know all the teams quickly, learn how they operate and develop strong personal ties with other employees and departments.  

Example #6: Employee handbook

Who?
Valve Corporation is an American video game developer and digital distribution company headquartered Washington. 

What?
Valve has created an awesome 56-page employee handbook that is anything but boring and totally worth a read, even if you’re not their new employee!  

It is full of fantastic illustrations and step-by-step guides on everything you need to know as the new employee. The best part? It is written in a fun and quirky way that perfectly showcases their company culture and makes their new employees feel welcomed and at ease.

Idea to steal:
Consider turning your employee handbook into a great and fun read
Your employee handbook doesn’t have to be just another boring document...it offers a wonderful opportunity for showcasing your company culture in a unique way.  

Example #7: Beer trolley

Who?
Perkbox is a UK company that has created cloud-based employee perks and engagement platform for business of all sizes. 

What?
Perkbox came up with a fun new activity for their new employees. They make them push the beer trolley. Yes, you’ve read that right! 😁 

Every Friday, they make the new Perkboxer trudge through the office handing out libations to their existing employees. It’s a great way to introduce new employees to the team and puts a smile on everyone’s face (or maybe that’s the beer). Whatever it is, it seems to work!

Idea to steal:
Brainstorm the fun activities you can implement to welcome and socialize your new employees! 
Of course, these activities don’t have to include alcohol. Try to think of an activity that would fit in with your company culture. What is fun for your employees? What do they enjoy? Go ahead and ask them!  

Example #8: Champagne

Who?
TINYPulse is a Washington software company that created an employee engagement and feedback software that enables companies to measure how happy, frustrated, or burnt-out their employees are. 

What?
TINYPulse has a unique approach to employee onboarding. This company welcomes each of their new employees by giving them champagne on their first day. They always pop a bottle of bubbly on their employees’ first day at the office. While it might seem a bit crazy at first, they make some interesting points on why do it: 

  • They’re excited to have their new employees
  • They want their new employees to know how excited their company is to have them on board
  • They want to start out on a positive note.

Idea to steal:
Why not throwing a surprise party for your new employees? 

Again, the event doesn’t have to include alcohol. Simply think of a delightful way to celebrate your new employees’ first day on the job. It will make them feel wanted and appreciated right from the start!  

3 additional employee onboarding ideas

Yeah, the examples we presented are cool. 😎

But if you are a small company, you probably don’t have the resources to apply those expert ideas.
Even if you do, your company culture might not be that easy going and relaxed.

But don’t let that stop you from trying to create a great welcome for your new employees! 🙂

Here are 3 additional, budget and time friendly onboarding ideas you can implement for sure:

Idea #1: Welcome GIF or video

This a great idea to engage your new employee and make them feel welcome even before their first day at the office.

Gather your team and create a welcome video for your new employee! Let your existing employees say a few words about themselves personally, what they do and why do they love working at your company. Don’t worry, this video doesn’t have to be fancy - it only needs to be candid.

It is a great opportunity for your new employees to connect names, faces and voices of their future colleagues and feel really welcomed!

If your employees shy away from a camera or you don’t have enough time on your hands, go with the quicker version - create a welcome GIF for your new employee! 

Idea #2: Decorate the new employee’s desk

This is a great idea for your new employee’s first day at the office.

Decorate your new employee’s desk with some balloons, welcome sign and maybe even some cake (or at least donuts 🍩)!

Oh, and if you have any kind of company swag (such as branded notebook, pens, T-shirt, water bottle, etc.), you can pack it as a present! 🎁

Here is a great example to inspire you!

Onboarding-employees-creative-ideas-2

Source: Baudville

Idea #3: 100th-day party

This is a great idea to celebrate your new employee’s first three months in your company.

By then your new employees will be settled in and immersed in their everyday duties. If you did your onboarding well, they won’t feel as the new kid on the block anymore.

Throwing a 🎈100 day on the job party 🎉 for them is a great opportunity to shower them with some attention and remind them how much you are happy to have them joined your company.

That way you can renew their excitement, make them feel appreciated and keep them engaged.

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