How to Onboard a New Employee to Your Company Culture

There are few things more important than finding the perfect candidate for an open role in your organization: someone who checks all of the boxes for the soft skills, competencies, and personality traits that you were looking for.

In today’s world, it is difficult to find great employees, they just don’t come knocking on your door every day. The rules of the game have shifted — instead of candidates competing for open roles, now companies are challenged to position themselves as the “employer of choice”.  Businesses in all industries are taking strides to up their benefits offerings, promote their culture and “sweeten the deal” for high potential candidates.

Can you guess what a top motivator is for the generation of employees in the workforce today? Culture. A good company culture not only attracts top talent, it helps to retain them. But having “great” culture isn’t enough. You have to make sure your employees, especially new ones, assimilate to that culture.

To be truly successful in their role, new employees have to do more than their “job”; they must align to and ultimately weave themselves into the DNA of your organization. This DNA is, of course, dictated by your company culture. Leaders that fail to consider this assimilation process are more likely to experience higher turnover rates, decreased employee satisfaction, and overall greater challenges in retaining high-quality talent.

Read on to learn how to onboard new employees to your company culture in order to set them up for long-term success with you.

Expose them early.

An employee’s first taste of your culture should not occur on their first day. Instead, they should have begun to understand it throughout the interview and hiring process. Whether this means inviting late-stage candidates to “shadow” employees on the job, making potential peers available for answering questions prior to hiring, or simply by encouraging questions related to culture throughout the process, organizations have many options when it comes to exposing candidates to their culture in a meaningful way — before they ever sign a contract.

What is most important is ensuring potential candidates are not left in the dark about the rhythms of your business so that they can feel confident that they are a good fit for you, just as you are for them.

Incorporate mission, vision, and values education into onboarding.

In the past, a company’s mission or vision statements were often hung on the wall or mentioned in annual meetings … and little else. Today, as more organizations have learned the value of strong culture, these things serve as everyday cornerstones in their business. Employees know and understand the mission and vision of their employer, are on board and bought into the values, and ultimately feel personal ownership of these things.

As you bring on new team members, treat these foundational characteristics of your company as you do the other operations and responsibilities you expect them to master. Educate them on your history, encourage their participation in owning your company values, and demonstrate your commitment to culture on a day-to-day basis by ensuring decisions large and small are in alignment with who you say you are.

Provide resources.

Onboarding a new employee is not truly complete until they are fully incorporated into your culture, so provide ongoing support for becoming part of your company’s DNA. Consider assigning mentors to new hires who can guide them not only in their job responsibilities, but in engaging and contributing to your culture. Provide ongoing refreshers and training to employees to discuss significant culture elements and make it easy for every employee to access handbooks and other resources.

By giving the appropriate time, attention, and resources to assimilating new employees, you will develop a team that does not merely meet goals and complete tasks but serves as a living example of your values and mission as an organization. By meaningfully investing in your culture, you are making an investment in the ultimate legacy of your business.