5 Onboarding Practices Used By Top Brands

5 Onboarding Practices Used By Top Brands

You’ve conducted the interviews, made the tough decision and your new employee has signed the contracts – all of the hard work done, right?


It turns out that the onboarding practices are recognised as one of the most important parts of the recruitment process, with Cezanne HR revealing that 37% of candidates admitted to having changed their minds on at least one occasion, despite initially accepting the role.

The same study also found that 41% of respondents said that they had quit a job within the first six months.

So why is this?

Well, 15% of those surveyed by Cezanne HR claim it was because they didn’t feel welcome and 11% saying they didn’t like the culture.

While 20% of them claim to have felt frustrated or ignored on their first day with 23% having no desk and 28% missing a computer on their arrival.

This is a serious issue for businesses, as poor staff retention can cost thousands on continually repeating the recruitment process.

The question is, where are businesses going wrong?

What’s the key to making your new employees feel welcome on their arrival and happy in their first few months?

To help inspire you, here are five onboarding practices used by household names.

Pushing the beer trolley – Perkbox

As a works benefit package provider, you’d expect Perkbox to do things right.

Their simple but very sociable tradition is to get all of the new starters to push the beer trolley around every department on a Friday afternoon.

This helps them to start off on the right foot and give every current employee the opportunity to get to know the newcomer.

Let’s face it, nothing quite beats a bit of bonding over a cold one.

An embarrassing introduction  – Google

Google’s got a few onboarding practices, but this definitely stands as the most embarrassing.

However, their employees certainly seem to enjoy it!

To stop a newcomer from going under the radar on their first day of work, they’re required to tell an embarrassing story in front of the entire office.

Talk about an icebreaker!

And if that wasn’t enough, some of the search engine’s offices make newbies wear a hat or tie a huge balloon to their desk.

If your business encourages a good level of wit and banter in the workplace, Google’s methods might just be worth a go.

Conducting an entrance interview – Designer Blinds

While Designer Blinds might not be as well known as some of the other examples in this list, this Omaha based drapery hardware, blinds and shades specialist sure does know how to combat high turnover rates.

After suffering from poor staff retention, they decided to tweak their onboarding practices and start conducting entrance interviews.

The idea behind this interview is to give the managers of the new employee the chance to get to know what’s required to ensure they feel welcomed in their first few days.

As a result, they are able to restructure the way that they work and stop any issues before they escalate.

After analysing statistics, they realised that most of their new hires were leaving because of their employee experience during the onboarding process.

The result?

Well, Designer Blinds reduced their turnover from 200% to 8%!

Not bad, eh?

Play bingo – Netflix

New employees at Netflix certainly won’t leave within the first six months because they feel unwelcomed.

In fact, their ingenious method of onboarding is to give their newbies a bingo-esc card which will be stamped every time they have coffee or go for lunch with a fellow employee.

Sure, it’s a bit crazy.

But it gets employees all talking and bonding.

In return, Netflix presents its newbies with a prize.

In your business, you could give away a bottle of bubbly or take them for a free lunch – if you’re feeling kind!

You could also extend this idea and implement the “buddy-up” system.

This practice is used by thousands of businesses around the world to get new employees working and learning alongside a current member of the team.

If you do decide to add this into your bingo onboarding practice, you should be mindful enough to pair the new employee with someone who is of a similar age and hierarchy so that they feel completely comfortable.

Go hunting – Zazzle

The huge online retailer, Zazzle, also like Netflix’s approach of mixing new and existing employees with each other.

However, instead of playing bingo, new employees at Zazzle are sent on a scavenger hunt where they are required to ask existing employees for clues.

This is a simple, yet effective way of getting newcomers to feel comfortable interacting and a part of the team.

If you choose to use this practice, make sure you have a cool prize waiting for them at the end!

Final thoughts

Granted, these examples won’t necessarily cure high turnover rates, but it will certainly give you a good springboard to do so.

The key to making newbies feel welcome is to ensure you have any or all of these ideas in place before they even sign their contract with you.

If they turn up and you aren’t 100% prepared for their arrival, you’re already painting a bad image of yourself and your company.

As a starting point, try asking your current employees what they thought about your company’s onboarding process – including areas which you can improve on.

Once you have these results, you should have a solid basis to work from to boost employee satisfaction and reduce turnover rates in a timely fashion.

Enjoyed reading this? Then you might find our previous post useful: ‘What Perks Do Employees Want the Most (According to Research)?’

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