Welcome to the Company: Ideas for Successful Onboarding

Hiring new employees can be an exciting time – for both you and the new hire! After all, you found an awesome addition to your team, and you’re excited to show them how great your business is. Although having a new hire can be really fun, it can also be really stressful – especially for the new person.

You want to alleviate stress for your new hire by giving them a smooth transition into your business. So, how do you do that? Here are some ideas for giving your new hire a smooth start in your business.

  • Start with the small stuff: When your new hire starts, there are some seemingly small items that can actually help make the transition a little easier for them. Consider a small welcome gift they can use in the office, such as a water bottle or coffee mug. Also, make sure to show them where the bathrooms are, how to use the copy machine and what to do if they’re having computer problems, to name a few. Although these may seem small, these items can help your new hire feel comfortable in the new environment.
  • Use the buddy system: Consider pairing your new hire with an employee who’s been with the company for a while. The buddy can be the new hire’s go to person if they have questions and concerns about getting acclimated within the company. The buddy can also share some of their tips, tricks and experiences, which can ultimately help the new hire get a great understanding of the ins and outs of the business. Having a buddy can also help the new hire feel more comfortable simply because they know someone within the company and are not all alone.
  • Hands-on approach: What better way to learn than by doing? A great way to get your new hire involved and comfortable is to start them off by doing rather than by watching. Whether it be a computer program or making phone calls, involving them from the get-go can provide beneficial training. It also allows the new hire to ask questions in real time as they arise, rather than scrambling for an answer if an issue comes up. However, try not to give them too much hands-on training right away. You want to help them feel comfortable, not overwhelm them.

 

  • Team involvement: Right from the beginning, it’s important to involve the entire team your new hire will work with. Whether it be going out for lunch on the first day or just holding a brief introduction meeting, letting your new hire meet the people he or she will be working with the most gives a level of familiarity which can help lead to better productivity. When the team works well together, better results are often produced.

 

Gaining a new employee is a fun and exciting step for your business. To reduce stress for them (and you), and to give them a smooth transition, consider some of these ideas. When your employees work well together, you can watch your business thrive.

*Bonus: If you need help with new hire onboarding, let us know. Our outsourced HR services can help make sure your new hire has an easy transition.

Workplace Wellness

You may have heard about a trend that seems to be taking the nation by storm – corporate wellness programs. Corporate wellness programs involve offering certain types of health and wellness benefits and programs to employees, and these programs are rising in popularity.

Just how popular are these programs? A 2016 study by PwC showed that 76% of employers are offering wellness programs for their employees. 93% of small business decision makers even stated that the health of their employees is important to their bottom line (for more on this, check out this awesome survey). Some of the most common wellness initiatives offered by employers were physical activity programs and tobacco quitting programs.

Employers have many reasons for implementing these programs — from employee satisfaction and well-being (some job seekers actively seek companies offering these programs) to reduction of healthcare costs. However, in order to implement a successful program, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Make sure the program is accessible – with seemingly longer work days, remote workers and higher stress, employees might struggle to find time to access these programs. Strive to create programs that can be accessed in the workplace since that’s where workers spend most of their time. If you have remote employees, create programs that offer benefits where they are, such as discounted memberships at nearby gyms or online resources.
  • Creativity is key – Fitness is adored by some and disliked by others. To get your more stubborn employees on board, think outside the box when it comes to creating wellness programs. When you come up with unique and fun ideas, it can be cause for employees to get excited about getting involved and be intrigued for what will happen next.
  • All hands on deck – Implementing a wellness program is no easy task. To make your program successful, you need support from everyone involved. This includes the top level down to the staff. When more people are on board, it can help get the message out.

Wellness programs can be implemented in any business, no matter the size. While larger companies may have more resources to implement larger programs, small businesses can also implement awesome programs for their employees. Some neat ideas for small businesses include:

  • Freshen up vending machines – If your business offers vending machines, take a look at what’s in them. Rather than containing only cookies and potato chips, consider adding healthier options such as granola bars and fruit snacks. If you have soda machines, consider adding bottled juices and water. Not only will this add healthier options, but it can also give employees some variety to choose from.
  • Consider fitness trackers – If you’re not sure about being able to provide gym memberships, consider some type of fitness trackers. Fitbits can be a bit more expensive, but could function as a great employee gift. Pedometers are relatively cheap, and can encourage employees to get up and get some steps. You could also consider creating activity competitions using the trackers to keep it fun and exciting, and to keep people moving throughout the work week.
  • Implement something unique – Being a small business implementing a wellness program can have some cool benefits. If you have a small amount of employees, you might be able to try unique programs and activities that larger companies would struggle to implement. Bring in a masseuse and offer massages one Friday a month, or consider offering fitness classes at work. Coming up with fun and unique ideas can help keep your employees involved and excited to participate.

Once you’ve done what it takes to implement the program, you can rest easy knowing you’re helping improve your employees’ health and giving them some great work benefits. There are many benefits that can come from establishing a wellness program, no matter how small or complex it may be. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Liven up the workday – Let’s face it: sometimes the workday seems like it’s dragging on for ages. When you have a wellness program in place, you have the opportunity to split up the day and give employees a moment to step back from their work and get reenergized. For example, at Eide Bailly, our wellness committee has organized yoga sessions throughout the week around the lunch hour that employees are encouraged to attend right here in the office. This fun, get up and move activity helps break up the day and keeps employees on their toes.
  • Increased productivity – To piggyback off our last point, taking small breaks throughout the day can lead to employees being more awake and alert. This can lead to more focus on tasks throughout the day, and more energy for employees to complete their work.
  • This one is obvious: healthier, happier employees – Wellness programs are meant to maintain and improve your employees’ health. Wellness programs can help keep your employees from being susceptible to common illnesses, such as the cold or flu, which can result in them missing work. The programs can also help them fight off lasting health issues, such as heart disease and arthritis. When employees are healthy, they are likely to be in better spirits as well.
  • Attract – and keep – top talent – Employer sponsored wellness programs are so popular that job seekers often seek to work for companies that offer such programs. In fact, according to The Institute for Healthcare Consumerism, nearly nine out of 10 employees consider wellness benefits and programs when considering an employer. When employees find companies that offer these wellness benefits, they’re more likely to stick around.

Wellness programs are rising in popularity amongst employers and employees alike. With the benefits these programs can provide your company and your employees, have you decided if you’re ready to give it a try? Seem like a lot of work to implement? Don’t sweat it (see what we did there?) – our HR team can help you develop a program that works for your company!

Keep ‘em coming back for more – 5 tips for keeping employees engaged

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there … waking up at the crack of dawn, hitting the snooze button a few too many times, dragging ourselves to the shower, and dreading the work day that lies ahead of us. We get to work, go through the motions, and question if this is the job we really want to have.

The feeling of dreading work can take a toll on your employees, as well as your company. It can lead to sickness, lack of motivation and a decrease in productivity, to name a few (source). We’re guessing this is not what you want for your employees or company.

So how do you change this perception? Here are five tips keep your employees happy and excited about coming to work.

  1.  Emphasize the all-important balance between work and life. Life happens. Whether it be a child’s dance recital, or being under the weather, employees have matters that need to be attended to outside of the workplace. Instead of offering the usual 9-5 routine, offer your workers some flexibility so they can have time for life’s activities. Provide them with options to create a balance- whether it be the option to work from home, or maybe flexible, non-conventional hours. Giving employees this flexibility not only lets them participate in life outside of work, but also helps them understand the value placed on them by their employer. A company that understands and relates to its employees can lead to satisfied, motivated workers.
  2. Get feedback from employees….and do something about it! We get it. Sometimes harsh feedback can be a challenge to take action on. However, if an employee takes the time to give feedback, by all means, act on it! If an employee is willing to give feedback, this means he or she would like to see something changed, or that he or she likes what they have been working with. See employee feedback as an opportunity to better the workplace, and to improve on the workplace atmosphere.
  3. Hire according to the company culture. Your company possesses a strong set of values and ethics that should be adhered to at all times. It’s important your employees do just that. Employers want their employees to be living, breathing examples of the culture embodied by their company, and having employees who do just that will help build a strong, successful workplace environment. So, even though you may like the interviewee with the inappropriately funny humor that doesn’t quite fit with your company, choose the one that fits the culture that your company is known for.
  4. Have Show & Tell. Throwback to 1st grade- except this time, it’s the adult version, and by adult, we mean ideas! Lots of ideas! The thing is, ideas can come from virtually anywhere in a company, and often times, that fact gets overlooked. You never know what might be brewing in someone’s head … you hired some smart people after all. Consider hosting a day once a month in a common area where any and all employees can come and share ideas, plans, and projects that may benefit some aspect of the company. A simple event like this generates creativity, and shows employees that their ideas and thoughts are truly valued. This can also help build employee to employee relationships, as employees will often comment on, and build off of others’ ideas.
  5. Get some face time. And no, we don’t mean using your iPhone. To encourage face to face communication, and even some physical activity, pick one day out of your workweek and designate it as “no talking through technology day”. On this day, employees will not be able to communicate via phone, email, or instant message, but instead in a face to face setting. Seems a little crazy, right? Well, not only will employees be actually talking to each other in person rather than from behind a screen, but they will also be getting up and moving around rather than sitting in one place all day. The walks employees take to meet with coworkers encourage physical activity, and it has been shown that small breaks throughout the work day actually increase productivity.

Remember, these are just suggestions … though we think they’re pretty good ones. So use these, or brainstorm other ideas to keep your employees coming back for more, without feeling the dread of going to work!