By RedBalloon for Business

Creating an employee welcome experience to remember

“The main way to reduce stress in the workplace is by picking the right people,” Jesse Schell.

In this ten-part series we suggest ways to improve your business’s success by making moves to ‘shift people’s experience of work’. In #3 we talked about how experiences at work can motivate lead generation within your business, allowing you to unlock valuable contacts, stories and opportunities. In this fourth post we look at how creating a positive employee welcome experience has a valuable impact on both the employee and your business.

Given the current context where the majority of the workforce is working remotely, the way that business’s onboard new employees and make them feel welcome is more challenging and more important than ever.

How to create a positive employee welcome experience

The way a business welcome’s team members into an organisation has a direct impact on their experience of life at work. It also plays a significant role in shaping the employer brand, not just for that employee, but by extension how the brand is perceived on a larger scale.

Evidence demonstrates that the way business’s approach bringing someone onboard to join the organisation will ultimately determine their level of engagement. Ultimately they want to know that what was promised through the recruitment process is true, that they will be valued and proud of where they work. Even – or especially – on day one, they want to be made to feel special, and needed.

With the isolating factor of remote working, businesses need to be extra creative in making new employees feel welcome and getting them excited about joining the team. While a lot of the practical aspects of onboarding can be done online, that really doesn’t allow for any real connection to be made to the business and brand they’re joining. Because the experience of starting a new job has had to be significantly adjusted, it’s important to find new ways to create a positive welcome experience that new employees can associate with starting with your business.

Giving the gift of a welcome experience

To arrive on your first day and be treated to an experience voucher – or a team experience planned – this will greatly add to reinforcing that they made the right choice. In the first few weeks in a new job, employees will be asking themselves, “Is this right for me?” “Is this the job/company that I was promised?”. Employers must make sure the reality of the role and the organisation matches the sales pitch. It’s the old adage, “never overpromise and underdeliver”. In fact, try to do the opposite wherever possible.

Some 87% of new employees will decide in the first 6 months when and how long they will stay in that new job. A 2016 survey from The Australian Institute of Management found four in five Australians are unhappy at work. This number whilst large can be addressed with a few consistent initiatives. But the good news is, it’s something that isn’t actually that hard to change.

We have set up a buddy system where by in our recognition platform we give the buddy an ‘award’ or badge as part to recognise the important role they play for new hires. And also we give them each an experience to do together. With continued remote working this is a great way for new hires to get to know the culture and the business. #experiencesatwork

In this two minute video, RedBalloon founder Naomi Simson offers some advice on welcoming people to your business – and shifting people’s initial experience of work. These insights will have a direct impact on the employer brand.

Top 5 tips for creating a good employee welcome experience

1. Start the welcome before day one. If you can immerse your new employees in the company vision, purpose and values before they even start, you’re already one step ahead. Making sure new people understand what it is you do, but more importantly, why you do it, is key to getting them inspired and engaged to do great work.

2. Buddy up. It’s been proven that having a work ‘bestie’ is good for you. In fact according to Gallup, people who have a best friend at work are 43 per cent more likely to report having received recognition and praise for their work within the last week. Give your newbies a buddy on day one and help them make valuable connections from the start.

3. Implement an open door policy. New people need to know they can speak up if they have an issue, so make sure your leaders are approachable and prioritise their people. Book a lunch, walk or roundtable with the CEO and the new team members, have it in their diary for when they start.

4.  Say what you mean and mean what you say. So many businesses list ‘integrity’ as a value, but you need to do more than give lip service to this. If you can establish from the beginning that you’re a company true to its word, you’ll be on the fast track to retaining your top talent. Live your values always.

5. Recognise beyond day one. Make sure you start out the way you intend to continue. Keep the momentum going with rewards for great work or milestones like length of service. You can even celebrate personal milestones for your employees, like birthdays or significant life events.

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To find out more about how the RedBalloon for Business team can help you reward and recognise your people, contact us today.