Employee Experience Starts Before The First Day!


The 2015 July/August edition of Harvard Business Review boasted the headline:

“It’s time to blow up HR and build something new.”

While the HR community did not receive this well, we can somewhat understand where they’re coming from. Employee onboarding and the entire hiring process is broken. For years, new hires are left to fend for themselves from the second they accept a job.

The result is a new generation of disengaged employees.

What we see today is an HR world that puts a lot more weight on the employee experience. 79% of HR leaders believe that employee experience is important, and we couldn’t agree more.

What’s most important to understand is that employee experience starts long before the new hire walks through the doors on their first day.

What is Employee Experience?


Employee experience is everything that someone encounters, observes, feels, or associates with your company while on the employee journey. The employee experience starts the second they hit submit on their application.

This is another reason why employer brand and reputation is so critical. With the growth of sites like Glassdoor and vanna.com, more and more people want to know about a company before they choose to work there.

How Employee Onboarding and Experience Relate


So how is the employee experience related to onboarding? What do the two have to do with each other?

You, as an HR manager or leader of the company, need to realise that employee experience starts long before the new hire starts working for you. As soon as you make that first contact with them, they are already starting to experience life at your organisation.

We live in a competitive job market, and many companies assume that employees are “lucky” to receive a job offer. On the other side of the fence, we see how many new hires quit before they even start or within a few days of starting.

Employers must create an effective employee onboarding strategy through employee onboarding checklists, processes, and organizational preparation.

You need to create a great employee experience by welcoming the new hire, but most importantly, by showing them that everything is under control. If they walk into their new job on the first day and everything is disorganised and confusing, they’ll never see longevity with the company and will likely move on.

How to Create the Best Employee Experience

Here are some of the most effective ways to onboard new employees:

Don’t forget preboarding - Employee onboarding starts before they walk in. Make sure you’re sending them welcome emails, letters, company swag, and checking in before they start. According to Typelane, a structured onboarding can improve retention rated by more than 82%.

Have everything set up ahead of time - The employee's first few days should be all about them. You shouldn’t be setting up badges, desks, and passwords during this period. They should walk into a swagged out desk complete with all the fixins’.

Check-in frequently - The worst thing you can do is assume that everything is fine. Even after the first few weeks, a new hire can still leave the company without letting you know what went wrong. Have daily check-ins during the first couple weeks and then check in at least once per week for their first six months. (we mean really check in - a quick head nod in the hallway doesn’t count)

Creating the best employee experience not only makes things simpler and easier for new hires, but it increases your employer brand. People will talk about how great the company is and why everyone should work there. That’s critical to your reputation as a business leader or HR manager.

If you’re struggling to retain employees or onboard effectively, you might want to start making employee experience a priority.

This is a guest post from Typelane.

Image source: Unsplash


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Team Vanna

Vanna's expert writing team

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