A recent quote from Bruce Temkin, head of Qualtrics XM Institute, implored company leaders “to look at where employees are headed next and to get ready for the next phase of the ever-changing employment situation: The Great Onboarding.”1 So in our final segment about “the great resignation” we’re focusing on the flipside – the onboarding experience – and three ways to take a good experience and make it great.

Here are three considerations for effectively onboarding new employees:

Preboarding sets the stage for your company culture; onboarding confirms your commitment.

Preboarding and onboarding are more than just forms and admin. And it’s more than just an HR function. The concept of preboarding is about setting the tone for how you present yourself to excite your “newbies” about your company, values, and people. It also helps upcoming new hires feel more prepared for their start date while reducing the surprise factor – rationally and emotionally. You can start your engagement process with recognition messages (“we appreciate you already!”), company promotional items, and “what to expect” information. Following up with a solid and comprehensive onboarding from EVERYONE makes a new hire truly feel like a member of the team.

A sense of belonging is a very real thing.

In a recent McKinsey research study around the great resignation (“’Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The choice is yours”2), over half the people surveyed cited a lack of sense of belonging as a reason for quitting. There was a big gap between what employers felt was important to employees versus what employees consider important. In fact, the softer more relational components such as a sense of belonging and feeling valued at work were cited by 51% of employee respondents as being most important, while employers cited those as less important.

So, what are the basics to create a sense of belonging for new hires? Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, belonging is right up there on the hierarchy of needs. It’s simple relationship management.

• Recognize that person’s value (in a relevant way) and new perspective

• Welcome that person authentically

• Check in on day one, week one, and every 30, 60, 90, 180 days (whether it’s a manager or a skip level or even an executive)

• Involve them in team thinking, ask their opinion, recognize their contributions early and often

Integrate and automate recognition into the onboarding process.

You may have heard us mention once or twice that frequent recognition plays a critical role in shaping high performing cultures. This is exceptionally important during onboarding. Small contributions from a new hire, and the recognition in support of that contribution, set the tone for creating that sense of belonging. What that means is that recognition touchpoints, no matter how you execute them, drive results for new hires and existing employees.

Conclusion: The emotion of connection is real.
Investing in recognition efforts on the front-end with a new hire will pay the proverbial “dividends” on the back end, creating and maintaining a thriving culture of continuous employee engagement. So, make it great! 2022 will be the year of the renewed employee experience, and your chance to flip “the great resignation” into “the greatest year of retention.”