Integrating a new employee into the culture of a company can be challenging. “Cultural” onboarding of new employees involves clarifying their roles, giving them confidence, integrating them socially and making them aware of company culture. Companies that do this successfully are more likely to retain employees.
Establish communication and trust
One of the fastest ways to get new employees to understand company values is to establish communication and trust early on. Don’t underestimate the role of forming bonds and connections over meals. Employers can even eat a meal with new employees to help impart the company’s vision and opportunities.
Inform new employees ahead of time that they don’t need to bring lunch with them because you have an office lunch program. They will be impressed that you care enough to offer this. They won’t have to go out to find food and can spend time getting to know fellow employees while eating together. CaterCow offers a lunch program that allows employees to order healthy meals from a variety of quality restaurants and caterers.
Infuse your branding into everything
Infuse your company values into everything new employees experience in their first few weeks. This starts with customizing your job offer letter with language that expresses your values and gives new employees an idea of what to expect. The earlier you can start introducing them to your company culture, the better.
A senior leader could have a discussion with new employees highlighting a certain value and how it helped the company to make a difficult decision. Stories can stick better than just defining a whole lot of values. Giving new employees some company swag can also help them to understand more about the tone and voice of the company culture.
Give new employees confidence to ask questions
Impress upon new employees that you encourage questions. You could provide each one with a dedicated mentor to answer their questions. If they feel comfortable asking questions, they will get up to speed and integrate far quicker.
If you answer any logistical questions they may have before they even ask them, it can be very reassuring. Where they can find parking, who they should ask for when they arrive and what they should wear are just some of what they are likely to ask.
Knowing the answers from the start will make them feel welcome instead of bewildered and embarrassed. A welcoming environment is a great start to integrating new employees.
Reinforce values through employee recognition
You can reinforce your core values by using an array of tools, such as handouts, office signs, and visual displays. But what can help the most is recognizing employees who exemplify your company values. Positive role models that embody the values of the company can accelerate building culture in new employees.
Offer guided tours and introductions
Assign an employee to take a new employee around the office on the first day and introduce them. A guided tour and introductions are not revolutionary, but they can help to make new employees feel less awkward. They won’t bump into random people in the break room to whom they haven’t been introduced. They will also get a good impression of how employees in the company are expected to behave.
Encourage participation in community events
Invite new employees to participate in an upcoming community event. This encourages team building with co-workers. It also helps them to learn first-hand about what the company values and how it supports the community. Instilling your company culture in new employees is often not so much about what you say but about what you repeat and do.