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How to build a sound onboarding process for your startup

Priyanka Gupta
28th Jun 2016
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The journey of becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy one. Like a mother, an entrepreneur needs to play many different roles. As an entrepreneur, you have to be a mentor, a manager, a founder, a CEO, a customer service manager, an advisor, a CMO, an HR manager and much more, and all at the same time. One process that you will really need to focus when playing the HR manager’s role is to design a flawless onboarding process.

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The onboarding process is a vital function that helps build a foundation of a great working relationship. Since employees in a startup often work extended hours, they need to be alert at all times, and most importantly they need to feel like a part of the startup. Thus, your focus should not only be on whom to hire but also on how well your hires can integrated with the company. Here are few ways to build a sound onboarding process if you want your startup to grow and scale successfully.

Connect with them before their first day

You could introduce your team to the new hire before their joining date via email. Also, you could informally get them to meet their team heads over a cup of coffee or dinner. This will make the new hire more comfortable on the first day. Keep sending them important emails and share necessary details.

Have ice breaker onboarding games

These days, companies and employees look for interesting ways to welcome new hires. It creates a more comfortable space for both the company and the new hire. For instance, you could organize a quiz or a treasure-hunt or any game that allows your existing employees to work with the new hires. This is a very effective ice breaker which can really help all your employees to get to know each other.

Arrange for personal meetings with founders, senior management and team leaders

Nothing inspires new hires to work their best than being appreciated or connected to the who’s who of the startup. This makes them feel important and goes a long way in helping them commit to your company. Your hires will also get to know their team leaders better and understand what their department does. This also helps their team leaders understands their new hires’ interests and skills better.

Inform them about company policies

A nice orientation could be given to new hires about the company polices. Explain to them all they need to know about their payroll, leaves, insurance, work culture and the organisational hierarchy. When the rules are laid out and the new hire is expected to follow them, he is going to feel like a part of the family.

Give them a proper work space

This could be a desk with a laptop, a soft board and enough stationery. A personal touch could be added by giving a special company hoodie or company mug. This will again give them a sense of belonging and assure them that the company is proud to have hired him/her and would love for him to sport the company merchandise.

Allot them a timeline and milestones

A proper set of achievable goals right from the first day charges up the spirits of new hires. But ensure that the scope of their work progresses slowly. However, having them start early with a set course is a good idea. This makes them confident about the functioning of the company and they know their role in the same. This makes them feel important.

Read a lot about successful startup onboarding

Be up to date with what others are doing. Hires might have friends in other startups and they often compare such things. If one feels what they got is less, it can put them off immediately. The hire may lose interest very soon.

The onboarding process is very much like planting a tree. The tree doesn’t just grow by sowing the seed. You need to water it time and again and use fertilizers, too. New hires work the same way. They will obviously take more than just a day to get a grasp about the company and its ways. So just be patient and take the process as smoothly as you can.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory)

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