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May 11, 2014

Onboarding: You Found Talent. We Are the Secret to Keeping It.

It’s been a few years – OK way too many years – but I can still clearly remember how I felt on the first day of school after summer vacation. There were always butterflies in my stomach as I walked up to school wondering: who’s my new teacher? Will he or she be nice? Will the other kids like me? Will I make lots of new friends?

Sound familiar? It’s probably exactly how you felt the first day of every new job you’ve ever had. Sure, we’re much more “mature” now, but there’s no getting around our fundamental human need to belong. Joining a completely new culture with its own personalities, patterns and hierarchy is just as formidable a task as walking into Grade One.

If your new hire is going to turn into your organization’s greatest advocate, the onus is on you and your management team to make sure a new teammate is excited about corporate vision, feels welcomed by the established crew and has all the tools to quickly become an integrated part of the team.

Assigning Desks, Filling Out Forms and Handing Out Access Cards Doesn’t Cut it Anymore

Properly onboarding an employee is vital, and it’s a process that goes well beyond day one. Despite a signed employment contract, any new employee standing in front of you is not yet dedicated to the company, and you need to keep an attitude of ‘recruitment’ towards them for first couple months. It’s a make or break time frame for winning that employee over and getting them excited about achieving great things at your company.

Effective onboarding helps employees understand their roles, but there’s a lot in it for you as well. In a competitive global job market, successful onboarding is an opportunity for companies to achieve greater employee retention, increase corporate morale and drastically cut HR associated costs.

Focus on Culture First

We believe that everything starts with culture – it’s the heart – and it’s from that heart you can grow and develop corporate compliance, clarification and connection amongst a team. Turns out, Workforce.com couldn’t agree more with us, and they’ve expanded on those four core aspects:

  • Culture (learning the unique “personality” of an organization)
  • Compliance (on-the-job basics needed for a given job)
  • Clarification (details and context of one’s job)
  • Connection (key interpersonal relationships, support mechanisms)

When it comes to onboarding, using Kudos is a game changer. It’s the perfect place to welcome new employees and get them communicating with the team right away. In minutes of being on Kudos, a new hire will see that they’re joining a team that appreciates and celebrates each other.

Sneak-a-Peak into Our Onboarding Process

Around our office, new employees are encouraged to fill out their Kudos profile before they even start to help team cohesion on the first day. A Kudos profile has more impact than just viewing someone’s LinkedIn profile. On Kudos, you get to know them as a person – on a social level – that goes beyond their business credentials.

Here are a few Kudos’ approved best practices:

New Employee Kudos Onboarding Checklist

  • Add them to the program and send them an email invite
  • Have a manager or an HR/Admin post an announcement or general message welcoming them to the team on Kudos
  • Show new employees where to set up their profile and mandate that as part of first day activities
  • Have a manager send welcome Kudos like ‘Good Job’ to show excitement at having them on board
  • Encourage new employees to send at least one Kudos message in their first week

We also like to show off the fun, quirky side of our culture, and we have Pez dispensers and ukuleles magically appear on the desk of new hires. Nothing makes a great first impression like a visit from the ukulele fairy!

Regardless of your stance on ukuleles, onboarding is critical to making sure your talent won’t go running the second another organization starts knocking at the door. If you’d like help with onboarding, give us a shout. We’re onboarding experts and can assist you in developing an onboarding process that will ensure you’re handing out years of long-term service awards on a regular basis.

Tom Short

Tom Short is the President and Co-Founder of Kudos Inc, where he is pioneering his vision for an industry leading recognition and engagement SaaS solution. Tom’s expertise in branding, marketing strategy and cloud-based SaaS development allows him to chase his passion of changing the world one thank you at a time. When he’s not showing the world that recognition matters, Tom enjoys coaching football, the Black Keys and a steaming vanilla latte to start his day.

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Tom Short

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