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5 Ways to Make Your New Hire the Star of their Employee Onboarding Story

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Many of us remember our childhood story time and being read to by our parents and teachers. Storytelling has been part of how we learn, acclimatize, and relate to the world since we were young.  

As children, stories helped us learn to read and write. As adults, they allow us to share knowledge, our journeys and life experiences. And who doesn’t love a great story? So why not learn from the hero’s journey and weave this concept into the onboarding process as we welcome a new hire onto the team.  

As we can see from novels and screenplays, there are many elements to a great story. For our onboarding journey, we will focus on the hero, supporting characters, point of view, setting, and the goal.  

1) Hero 

Starting a new job can feel daunting, but it can also feel like an exciting adventure with the right support in place. Place your new hire in the starring role. View them as the hero of the story and help them learn, grow, and become as they embark of this next chapter of their career …pun intended. 

2) Supporting characters 

Next, have your new hire meet with other key players within the company or their area of business, from the leadership level to individual team members. Foster an environment rich in support with the voluntary sharing of personal stories of working at the organization or their career journey. These interactions deepen trust, accelerate rapport building, and help your new hire build relationships founded on a personal connection vs. simply a surface level meet and greet. Some employees will generously share their journey while others may prefer to start slowly but creating conditions ripe with psychological safety from the outset helps both parties connect in more meaningful ways helping to make the onboarding experience a more human one. 

3) Point of view 

With our hero (new hire) top of mind, design the onboarding experience from the perspective of what they need to know and how they would want to feel to have a successful ramp-up into the organization. Gone are the days where the company is at the center of the design process. Build an onboarding roadmap optimized for user experience not solely knowledge transfer.  

Like everything we do at Powerhouse, we recommend a co-created approach to design a process with meaning. Connect with team members to better understand their experience. From there, layer empathy into each milestone to ensure the new hire’s needs are at the forefront. 

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4) Setting 

Next up is context. Bring your new hire into the story by sharing and demonstrating the values, mission, and vision of the organization. It is important for the new team member to understand why the organization does what they do and what their value system is. Take them on a visual storytelling journey of how the organization was built and how it grew to be where it is today. Use casual images and videos but keep them unfiltered and real for authenticity and credibility. Add employee stories and experiences to demonstrate how people have grown with the organization and the value of a shared sense of purpose. This helps our new hire see how they fit into the story and empowers them to make a difference as they become part of the organization’s future success. 

5) Goal  

Like any great tale, there is a story arc. In onboarding, we are setting the stage for what’s possible. Our new hire may be the creator of the organization’s next product innovation, they may tap into new markets, or further reengineer a process, freeing up valuable capacity for even more meaningful work to be completed. Incorporating buddy systems or shadowing within the onboarding process encourages team members to work through and/or share challenges they are facing further optimizing the process for the next hire. 

While the complete hero’s journey is yet to be written, the goal of onboarding is to set this individual up for success. This means more than simply sharing processes and granting platform access. It’s about inviting the new hire into the story…celebrating its history, sharing its vision, and encouraging our hero to help write its next chapter of success. 

Great onboarding is not a nice to have, it is a business imperative. #DidYouKnow that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for 3 years if they experienced great onboarding? While many organizations are investing in their EVP and employer brand strategy, it’s important not to lose sight of how we honour our people promise and deliver our brand experience. Exceptional onboarding is one critical component of doing exactly that. 

Need help standing out in a sea of sameness? We got you. Hit us up over at powerhousetalent.ca or [email protected] to learn more about our award-winning employer brand strategies. It’s time to POWER UP! 

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