Building a productive, long-lasting relationship with your workforce — and keeping them engaged — starts during the employee onboarding process. When an organization drops the ball during onboarding, employees don’t start off on the right foot. This could have implications down the road by convincing new hires they probably aren’t working for the best-organized company — which ultimately leads to turnover costs.
Beyond that, an inefficient onboarding processes can adversely affect the bottom line, chewing up more resources than necessary to get employees up to speed with their new gigs.
How confident are you in the efficiency and effectiveness of your company’s onboarding program? If you feel like your approach could be tweaked a bit, you can always take a look at how other well-established organizations handle onboarding to see what they’re doing differently.
Once prospective candidates accept an offer at Twitter, a number of departments (recruiting, HR, facilities, and IT) begin a 75-step “Yes to Desk” (think farm-to-table) process. The goal is quite simple: make sure that desks are set up, email addresses are squared away, and documents explaining job expectations are available the moment employees walk through the door.
Oh, and the team also makes sure company swag and a bottle of wine are prominently displayed on each new hire’s desk. Not a bad first impression, right?
Even the most confident professionals can’t help but get butterflies when they start a new job. Understanding this completely, Twitter took strides to increase the likelihood new hires get comfortable right away.
When a new employee sits down for breakfast for the first time, a manager will join them, giving them a familiar face right off the bat. Next up, employees do the dance with HR, facilities, and IT. Once they’re squared away, new hires have lunch with the folks they’ll be working with — they don’t have to walk around the company cafeteria aimlessly looking for an empty seat.
When their stomachs are full, new hires take part in a company ramp-up session where they learn about corporate structure, current projects, company history, internal tools, inside jokes, and more.
Hit the Ground Running
There’s a lot to do at Twitter, and new hires are expected to get to work quickly. So after they get familiar with the company on their first day, it’s time to jump right in for many of them.
But the onboarding process doesn’t stop right away. There’s a new-hire happy hour held with the senior team. There are 30-minute presentations given every Friday afternoon, so over the course of a couple weeks, new employees get to meet with almost all of the project managers and leads.
Because of the nature of their jobs, engineers have a bit more formal training than most other Twitter employees. This involves a couple of longer days where they get familiarized with Twitter’s codebase.
Perhaps most importantly, the onboarding process at Twitter is always a work in progress. It’s updated often.
After a few months on the job, new hires are asked what they thought of the onboarding process — what worked, what didn’t, what they’d like to see done differently.
Changes are made, and the cycle continues.
How does Twitter’s onboarding process compare to yours?