Creating a great onboarding experience for an employee is crucial to their long-term success at your company. From the interview process, to the first day, to the first three months, there are factors in each step that help your new colleague determine how long they’d like to stay, how committed they are to the work and how much of a cultural fit they’ll be as they become comfortable with the team. That’s a big reason why we created Kin.
Before Kin, whenever we would hire our own team members, we would create a personalized one-page website, called Starting Point, to welcome them onto the team and deliver information prior to their first day. It contained email addresses, phone numbers, short bios of our team members, links to the tools we used most frequently and other facts, such as a great place to get some lunch in the neighborhood.
The goal? Get new hires feeling like they’re part of the team before they were actually, well, part of the team. That way on the first day, they felt like they were already in it all along. They knew names, they knew the tools they’d be introduced to, and of course, they knew where to grab a great bite come noon.
Little things like this led to big results. In fact, we have some of the longest tenures in our industry, with many people that we’ve hired as we’ve grown still being at Kin. The folks that have left still stay in touch for the most part. We even work with a few of them as they’ve gone on to create their own companies.
These types of great relationships amongst the team don’t happen overnight. They start well, they’re nurtured throughout the time people spend at Kin, and then, they’re often expressed in the software we create.
Here are a few examples of the way our tool has evolved to create a better employee onboarding experience – both at Kin and in your organization, too.
Create a personalized onboarding page to welcome new hires
Just like Starting Point, Kin has the ability to create a quick and easy onboarding page that gives new hires the exact information they need to succeed and be comfortable on their first day. It includes a quick welcome note, tasks they need to accomplish before and on the first day, an overview of the tools they will be using, a quick look at the teammates they’ll be working most closely with, and the ability to ask any questions they may have directly on the page to their HR Manager.
In our welcome note, we typically give a brief outline of what their first week will look like, helping them ease any fears that may come with not knowing what’s next. Overall, this sets the tone of transparency throughout the organization because the employee knows exactly what is expected of them over the next few days.
Make paperwork the easiest part of getting hired
The feeling of coming in on the first day to a pile of benefit forms, direct deposit forms, handbooks, policies and more doesn’t make for a great first impression. With Kin, you can send these forms out ahead of time so the new employee can have them completed prior to the first day and be ready to roll when they get there.
Everything through Kin’s HRIS is digital. You can add as many forms, booklets, handbooks and policies as you’d like. The new hire and the HR manager can sign and fill out forms right within our tool. We also have areas where you can collect information like emergency contacts, addresses, frequent flyer numbers and more to create a profile that has all employee data in one place. The employee can also edit this at any time, keeping everything up to date.
We typically send these out at least one week in advance. This gives the new hire plenty of time to get everything set. When they start on the first day, after we’ve made sure their technology works and they can access the tools they need, we do a quick run through of the paperwork. There, we make sure there are no questions, sign off on what we need to on our end and turn them loose on their next onboarding task.
Behind the scenes, our people operations director, Dee, begins filing the paperwork and getting them all set. It’s important to us that they immediately are paid on the pay cycle we’re on so getting the direct deposit and tax paperwork set needs to happen fast.
Make requesting PTO easy-peasy
One of our most “sticky” features about Kin is its PTO tool. Our team doesn’t email their manager to request time off, nor is it a Slack conversation. The entire workflow happens in Kin.
An employee can easily request time off with just a few clicks and it goes directly to their manager. Their manager can approve or deny the request right within their email, or go into the tool if they’d like to see more information.
Paid time off is crucial to a good working relationship with any employee at any stage of their tenure. By showing new hires how easy we’ve made it to request the time, we’re removing any trepidation they may have about approaching their manager for the time they need down the line. Just a few clicks, and you’re done!
Setting expectations upfront
After a few weeks of getting settled into the role, we work with our new hire to give them some concrete objectives that they can actively work towards. These objectives are loaded into Kin as part of Kin’s employee feedback tool. Employees can update them regularly with what they’ve accomplished toward the objective so far.
This part of the tool keeps the “eye on the prize.” It allows for our employees to know their main focuses, and to continuously work towards them while informing their managers of how they’re doing. It by no means removes the need for manager-employee conversations to be regularly taking place, but it does provide a great location for team members to keep track of their progress, and a good outline for those conversations.