You found the perfect candidate and it’s finally their first day in the office. It’s been a long recruitment process to find the best person so you want to make sure they stay in the company and succeed in their new role. Having an efficient onboarding process is your chance to show her all of the great things about your company that you discussed during the interview — you only have one chance to make a great first impression, which is why using Slack can make your day and their first day better. Make sure you get it right!

If your company already uses Slack to communicate, you can use it to create a process that helps employees feel less lost. 

From creating an #onboarding channel to using tickets to encourage and resolve questions, in this article we’ll cover some ideas you can use to make sure your onboarding process is a success.

What is employee onboarding?

Starting a new job, while exciting, can also be quite daunting 😰: learning new processes, adjusting to working with a new team, and getting familiar with the company’s policies. It’s a lot to take on! Onboarding is the process designed to make these first days easier with the goal of integrating new hires into an organization.

The onboarding process typically lasts for a few days but can go on for weeks depending on the complexity or needs of the role. For example, if your role involves learning a complicated software it would typically last longer — it basically continues until a new hire feels comfortable in their new role and ready to work fully independently.

Why Onboarding is Important for Companies

The first few days at a new company have a big impact on new employees: it’s the time to learn how things work and get acquainted with the company’s culture. If yours is a negative experience, those poor first impressions could solidify into negative permanent perceptions about the company, which could make you want to leave.

A poor onboarding experience “may be one of the reasons that more than 25% of new hires quit their jobs after their first three months”, according to Workable. “This is a huge loss for a company that must repeat a costly hiring process to find a replacement so soon – not counting the resources spent to train or compensate that new employee during their time with your company.”

Besides preventing employees from quitting early, a great onboarding experience gets employees up to speed much faster. For example, a solid training program delivered to new hires could help ensure nothing falls through the cracks and that employees’ knowledge bases are consistent — no matter if they’ve been at the company for a month or a year. This is key to providing good service to your customers!

You can get new hires up and running faster by sharing information relating to those first days in an #onboarding channel. If your team uses Halp, they’ll be able to easily create and resolve the issue right away. Encourage new hires to ask questions (like, when there’s cake 🎂 in the office, where is it served and how long do I have before it disappears?—important issues like this can be solved easily and quickly!), before you know it, it’ll seem like they’ve been at your company for as long as you have!

Setting up an onboarding channel is a simple but effective way to centralize all questions related to an employee’s first days. From there, you can also build a FAQ repository that will help you standardize and improve the onboarding process. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, organizations with a consistent onboarding process experience 62% greater new hire productivity, along with 50% greater new hire retention. That’s enough to consider a clear, positive and organized onboarding process a sound investment, right? (The answer is “YES, RIGHT!”, fyi.)

How to Make Onboarding Easier

1. Teach New Hires How Things Work at Your Company

Every company comes with its own instruction manual — it’s just not very clear where to find it. Try to reduce the number of uncertainties associated with a first day by covering the basic “how-to’s” needed to operate day in and day out: how to access the building 🏢, where to park your car 🚘, how to enroll in health benefits ⚙️, and teach new hires about any specific office regulations and policies ✅. Even mentioning the expected work attire or whether there’s a cafeteria in the office in an 📧 email before they start can help ease the anxiety of a new hire on their first day.

Bear in mind that they’ll probably feel overwhelmed by all the information so make sure you give them clear instructions that they can refer back to. ▪️ ▪️ ▪️ Bullet points, bullet points for everyone! ▪️ ▪️ ▪️

We also suggest adding the newest team member to your Slack workspace a week before they begin. This way they can get up to speed on what channels your team uses, read up on current team channels they will be working in, and allow them to ask questions ahead of arriving on their first day. We believe the sooner your new teammates are up and running on Slack, the sooner they’ll be having an impact in their new workplace.

2. Give New Employees the Tools They Need to Work from Day One

When Microsoft ran a survey to find out why some employees were quitting shortly after having started in the company, they found out that it’s the little things that matter most to new hires. Things like having a working computer and immediate access to the building, email, and the intranet on day one. Turns out, it’s super important to actually be inside the building you work in with functioning equipment to do your job—who knew?!

Make sure your onboarding process gives new hires the tools they need to work. An easy way to start with this is by adding custom fields to your forms in Halp. For example, you can make a custom form for “New Employee” that asks the hiring manager what IT needs to set up. For example, things like the type of keyboard ⌨️, or laptop 💻 needed, software 🌐 to be installed, and more. That way, the IT team can track equipment requests in their help desk, and the hiring manager never needs to leave Slack to ask for it.

Use custom fields to track and route requests from the hiring manager to each department’s triage channels without having to leave Slack or be sent to fill out a long-form. 

3. Use Technology To Your Advantage

Technology: when used right, will not only streamline the administrative process but save you time. Don’t waste it giving new hires a ton of stuff to memorize, instead, train them on how to use the company’s resources like the intranet, wiki, or tools in Slack so that they can refer to them and soak up the information as they need it.

The key here is to streamline processes as much as you can. For example, you can create an onboarding form within Halp with all of the resources that must be shared for every new employee. With the use of Halp as an onboarding tool you never have to replicate the form or resend the onboarding email. Saving your team time and manual resources. Now when someone new comes on board the hiring manager can have a dedicated form they fill out before the employee arrives that will also kick-off all onboarding needs and allow the manager to follow along to see the status. That way, your newest IT hire can stop feeling guilty about not wanting to read “Best Practices in Sales Management,” so they can focus on learning all about Halp’s badass 🤘 features instead.

Using Slack, create a to-do list in a dedicated channel for onboarding by ⭐ starring ⭐ messages and files that need your attention: this is a great option for tracking tasks. To view your starred items, click the star icon at the top-right corner! When you’re done with something, just remove a star.

4. Show Them You’re Cool: Make Onboarding Fun

Onboarding is not only about paperwork and training sessions. Yes, it needs to follow a certain structure, but there’s nothing that says it can’t be fun. After all, a new hire will eventually be the person you’ll be sharing laughs in the office and see day in and day out! Make sure you show them the best side of your company and team.

Use the onboarding as a positive experience that creates community. For example, you can ask them to resolve a quiz to find “fun-facts” about others and encourage them to start conversations. If they figure out all of the questions in time, give them a prize with customized swag. You can create a quiz using Slack. Head to Slack’s app directory to check them out.

It’s all about reaffirming the good impression that new hires got from when they were only potential candidates. When you’re going through the design of the onboarding process, think of ways your company is special and use it.

Retaining Employees Starts With Onboarding

Research shows that a clear and thorough onboarding process not only contributes to employee retention, but speeds up the time it takes for a person to be productive and feel confident at work. That’s key for them to want to stay at your company.

Make sure you use those first days to give a good impression by providing a great onboarding experience to every new employee. It’s your one chance to show them you care about them being in the company and support them doing a great job. Like a mamma bear 🐻 nursing and cuddling her cubs until they’re ready to be out and about, frolicking on their own.

Using Slack ticketing is a handy way to give help when it’s most needed  — we all remember the anxiety that goes with starting a new job! By providing clear instructions on what to do when they need help, you’ll create an environment where a new employee can thrive and be excited about staying with the company for the long haul.

New employee onboarding: make it easy through Slack ticketing