Onboarding Process Strategies for New Employees

How to establish new hire loyalty, motivation and advocacy during the onboarding journey

The significant value and relevance of investing in your new hires was underscored in Part 2 of this series. When you intentionally and thoughtfully invest in your candidates, you can transform them into happy, engaged and ultimately productive employees. This is the perfect segue for the final blog which pays a close focus on how to INSPIRE your new hires.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that inspiring new employees can be a difficult undertaking. It takes energy, charisma, creativity, innovation and so much more. But providing inspiration during the pandemic? Well, that’s been a bit of a gargantuan challenge.

The pandemic has done an extraordinary job of annihilating any semblance of normalcy, standard protocol and ordinariness for nearly a year. For everyone, everywhere. But looking straight into the eye of such adversity, the HR community united. That act alone punctuates the power of inspiration (and dedication)! Our motivation was not squelched, and we found alternate ways to accomplish the same or similar goals.


Be a pedestal for success.

When you INSPIRE someone, you “fill them with the desire or ability to do or feel something.” It’s all about empowerment, autonomy, ownership, advocacy, passion and long-term commitment. But how do you inspire new employees to get fired up about your organization? Or immerse them in the culture while embracing the company’s vision/mission? And during a pandemic of all things!

Our super-charged panel of HR aficionados Jess Von Bank, Don MacPherson and our Senior Solutions Manager, Danielle Balow shared their sage insights and career wisdom during our live session at the 2020 HR Tech Symposium. Definitely our most unique topic, you’re sure to gain ample insights to inspire your new hires. Plus, it’ll set you apart from the rest while others merely quit after “invest” or sadly, even after “impress.”

Introduce “stickiness”
Jess Von Bank made a great statement: “Onboarding is not an employment contract; it’s an employment relationship.” She couldn’t be more accurate. Relationships are deeper, stronger and more personal than contracts. To maintain and grow those relationships, you have to nurture them by introducing stickiness. Immerse new employees into your company’s culture, brand and basic guiding principles. Encourage them to join:

  • company task forces
  • trade associations
  • user groups
  • volunteer events

Actively engage new hires by inviting them to contribute at company meetings, corporate events, strategic discussions, etc. By allowing new employees to voice their opinions, they’ll feel like they’re part of something bigger than just themselves.

Don MacPherson acquiesced, stating that “by 90 days, you should be well on your way to building loyalty and engagement among your new employees. We’ve found, however, that early engagement can evaporate quickly if they aren’t connected to the infrastructure and vision of the organization.” He recommends that during these types of pivotal moments, you need to get team members more deeply involved in your corporate culture. Make a point to encourage participation in groups such as new hire cohorts, associations or affinity groups.

Another consideration Jess addressed was operationalizing internal talent mobility. Leverage this uncertain time by redeploying your existing workforce and recruiting from your internal talent pool. Schedule dedicated time to sit down and talk about career paths at length. What are their long-term goals? What tools or resources will they need to achieve those goals? Get them really motivated by actually mapping out what the possibilities could be!

Raise the bar on confidence
Generally speaking, most new hires won’t come barging through the door with brazen confidence on Day 1. Try to be especially cognizant of that during the onboarding process, especially during the heightened precariousness and uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Building trust with your new hire is tantamount during the onboarding process. Genuine trust the kind that lets they know that you really have their back no matter what. Establishing that kind of solid bond will forge trust and confidence, which will in turn cultivate a sense of ownership and pride from your new hire.

Confidence can skyrocket when you provide autonomy. It’s an unspoken way to let your new hire know that you trust them and their abilities to get the job done. When you empower as needed, you’re creating a sublime balance of support, coupled with the time and space, to complete tasks and projects. The results will speak for themselves: passionate employees who feel a sense of ownership in their work and a sense of dedication to the corporate vision.

Motivate with meaning
As the onboarding process rolls forward and your employee begins to get more comfortable with the team, the processes and the culture, your next priority is maintaining their motivation. Learn which types of tasks or projects get your employee most excited about work…and take notice when they give 110%. Over time, you’ll see the transformation. Whenever possible, allow for autonomy. It underscores trust and personifies confidence. 

As you integrate our three “Is” into your onboarding strategy, don’t forget about employee recognition! It allows employees to see firsthand that their contributions are valued by the company. Create a recognition program to publicly appreciate employees with displays of merit, recognition and acknowledgement.

Jess Von Bank made an exceptional point on the importance of employee recognition, “Everyone is motivated differently, so get to know them to understand what motivates them.” As Danielle Balow confirms, “It all comes back to personalization, the personal preferences of your employees.” Understand what motivates your new team members from the get-go!

New hire “Inspiration” tips from the experts

  • Deliver digital invites to corporate associations and networks, allowing new hires to opt in where interested.
  • Facilitate regular discussions around career growth opportunities and advancement.
  • Send employees down your formalized review process for ongoing development. Don’t shy away from internal mobility.
  • Flip the script: assign an employee as a buddy or mentor for the team’s next new hire.
  • Recognize milestones and achievements by sending employees awards, eGifts or simply a genuine, raw “thank you” video. Whatever floats their boat (not yours).
  • When they’re more comfortable, ask employees for honest feedback in a secure, anonymous fashion: What’s currently working for them? As a manager, how can you help them be more successful? What are their barriers?
  • Share links and resources for continued learning opportunities delivered in the format your new hire learns best.
  • As employees receive promotions or transition to different teams within the organization, reboard them into their new roles to ensure continued success and employee engagement.

An inspirational takeaway
The moment employees become professionally committed to the success of the organization is the moment they become true brand advocates. It’s your responsibility to foster and support that commitment! Why? Because inspired employees take an inordinate amount of pride and ownership in their work and are determined to achieve success, just like an entrepreneur. Both scenarios feature an employee who’s opted into the vision, mission and values while going above and beyond to do their part!

Our final words
Your employees expect more from you and your organization. Make sure you deliver by being authentic, empathetic and intentional as you onboard new hires from Day 0 and beyond. It will make or break their long-term success and your retention stats.

When you’re ready to take the next step of focusing on your people and letting the process run itself, we’re here for you.