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Culture-Centric Onboarding: Infusing Values From Day One With New Hires


Thu Aug 24 2023

Culture-Centric Onboarding: Infusing Values From Day One With New Hires

With great onboarding, an average of 69 percent of new hires will likely stick around for at least three years in your business. But what does great onboarding actually mean?

For a many businesses, the key to connecting, engaging, and inspiring the newest team members lies in a culture-centric approach. Immerse employees in your brand and ensure they’re comfortable from the get-go by building a strategy that embraces who you are.


What Is Your Company Culture?

Company culture is the beating heart of your business—at least from your employees’ perspectives. It goes beyond what you do and gets to the roots of who you are and how you operate.

For most, company culture sets out expectations around what it’ll be like to work for your brand and guides your team’s behavior. It can include:

  • Beliefs and values

  • Goals

  • Business work structure (for example, hybrid working, flexible hours, 9–5)

  • Social culture

  • Attitudes toward work

From how you set out your office to the activities you invite your team to, every interaction you have with your employees helps build your culture.

How Does Culture Improve Employee Onboarding?

You can create a smooth onboarding experience in many ways, from implementing employee management software to teaming your new hires up with mentors. So, why bother with culture-centric onboarding?

To begin with, focusing on company culture can help your team settle in quicker. You’re trying to help your latest employees fit into your workplace, keeping first-day nerves to a minimum and ensuring they feel comfortable through processes like team-building events and mentorship schemes.


Your culture can also increase engagement among your team. By creating a strong brand image beyond a product or service, you’re far likelier to connect with your employees and help them find a purpose. This could be through a shared belief or a keen interest in trialing a four-day work week, all of which help your workplace stand out from competitors.

A culture-centric approach keeps your employees at the center of your onboarding. Through every step of their journey, you’re working to inspire and build connections, ensuring your environment is one new team members can thrive in.

What About the Broader Employee Experience?

By embracing culture in your onboarding process, both your new employees and your business will see benefits that extend beyond the first few weeks.

For example, studies show that a strong company culture can improve retention, productivity, and revenue. It also fosters a more collaborative, supportive environment where motivation should skyrocket among your team.

By focusing your onboarding on company culture from day one, you can maximize these benefits and hit the ground running with your new team.


How to Build Culture-Focused Onboarding

Culture-centric onboarding builds a clear sense of what your brand is and ensures the newest hires for your company fit right in. But how can you infuse your values into your onboarding? We’ve put together our top tips to help you get started.

Start Before Day One

Onboarding doesn’t have to wait until your new team is in the building. Help your employees tackle their nerves and feel ready for their first day with pre-onboarding support and resources. For example, you might send them workplace blogs that introduce them to your values and vibe, as well as invite them to a pre-work social where they can get to know their new colleagues.

Give a Good Tour

Finding the bathroom or making a coffee on your first day at work can be daunting. Make sure your new staff knows their way around with a great tour. Before they start working, walk them around the entire space, pointing out areas you think they’ll need to know—including social spots to build that friendly company culture! This is a good opportunity to start introducing other team members, too, so your new hires already know some friendly faces.

Host Team Events to Welcome New Members

Being the newbie in a business isn’t always fun. Help your staff settle in with team events, such as a morning coffee break, after-work drinks, or a lunch out on the company. It doesn’t have to be anything wild, but prioritizing a little non-work-related time for your team to get to know each other is smart and contributes to a positive employee experience.

Create Clear Training Programs

Clear training is a must for culture-centric onboarding. In your training, make sure your team understands:

  • What you expect from them

  • What they can expect from you

  • How your business processes work

  • Your values and beliefs

  • Where they can go for support

Your employees should leave training sessions feeling knowledgeable and confident and have everything they need to get started in your business.

Provide Consistent Support

A supportive culture is a must for most brands. During onboarding, ensure you give your new hires all the help they need to settle in. This might include teaming them up with a buddy or mentor and booking some one-to-one sessions with a manager or member of HR to see how they’re getting on. For remote onboarding, give new hires a phone number or private Slack channel to contact their manager or buddy directly. A team channel for all new staff is a good idea, too, encouraging employees to get to know each other in their first few weeks.

Encourage Questions

During onboarding, your employees must know they can ask questions. Whether in training sessions or when they’re independently working, ensure you’ve made it clear you (or a mentor or manager) are always happy to help. Encourage your staff to help each other, too, and create a supportive, collaborative environment with no wrong questions.

Final Words

Culture-centric onboarding is a brilliant way to get your new hires off to a good start. Hopefully, these tips have given you a clear idea of how you can infuse your values in your onboarding and provide a supportive environment for your team to thrive in.

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