An organization’s work environment, mission, values, and interpersonal relationships are said to be some of the defining aspects of its company culture. Often referred to as the soul and personality of a company, some commentators go as far as calling company culture the only truly sustainable competitive advantage of a corporation that cannot be successfully duplicated by competitors.
In this blog post, we outline: why being aware of, and maintaining an authentic company culture is important; why onboarding is a crucial time to introduce a new-hire to an organization’s culture; and what strategies HR professionals can use to structure their onboarding process to better demonstrate company culture.
Why Company Culture Is Important
As we have already touched on in our blog post on developing trust and authentic collaboration, a workplace with an engaged culture can observe far-reaching internal benefits, such as increasing employee awareness and safety on an organizational level. With online job boards like Indeed, Linkedin, Glassdoor, and PayScale increasingly moving toward transparency in reporting employee experience, company culture can have significant external impact on a company’s reputation as well. 86% of employees report that they would not continue to work at, or apply for a new job at a company that has been revealed to have a negative reputation with former employees or the general public.
Making sure that workers fit within an organization’s culture helps them to be happier in their role, and increases the chances of them staying with the company long-term. Personal alignment with an organization’s values also helps to ensure that employees find genuine satisfaction in their work, making them more open to forming productive relationships with coworkers.
Why Onboarding Needs to Be Used as an Opportunity to Welcome a New Hire into Your Company Culture
A new-hire’s onboarding period is an especially important time for introduction to company culture. While the first few days at a new job can often be a disorienting experience, especially for new-hires just starting out on a new career path, this period of initial anxiety has also been demonstrated to be a time when new-hires are most open to adapting new values, attitudes, and beliefs. Additionally, studies have demonstrated that people tend to have more enduring memories of experiences that were different, unusual or novel to them at the time. As an example, people are generally better able to recall the first time they navigated the directions to get to a new destination than the subsequent times they make the same trip.
For onboarding, this means that initial impressions really can make a lasting impact. The new-hire’s early weeks are when they will be introduced to many “firsts” - whether they be new technical duties, new locations, or introductions to fellow colleagues. This combination of new experiences with the first week “butterflies” mean that the new-hire’s onboarding period is a paramount time for expectations and attitudes to be calibrated.
How to Better Structure Your Onboarding Experience to Reinforce Company Culture
Understand the Current Company Culture
Clear communication with current employees will help onboarding specialists understand the current cultures prevailing in different parts of the company. Consulting with leadership teams will help communicate what positives are desirable to pass on to new-hires, and what negatives should be discouraged.
Help New-hires See How They Fit into the Overall Picture
Authentic introductions with people from multiple facets of the company will help new-hires see how their role contributes to a greater whole. Instead of keeping the onboarding process strictly focused on bureaucratic necessities or technical, job-specific instruction; using the onboarding period as an opportunity to encourage new hires to build authentic, collaborative relationships before they are fully immersed in their day to day functions can be beneficial in the long-term. The more an employee understands the underlying purpose of their role, the more they will be intrinsically motivated to put in their best efforts.
Allow Opportunities for Engagement and Feedback from New Hires
Often, the onboarding experience can feel very different for a new-hire compared to what the HR team had set out to create. Gauging feedback will let the onboarding team know what elements are working as expected. Ongoing refinement to the onboarding process will also help to ensure it stays up to date with current company culture, and prevent it from becoming stagnant over time.
Re-board and Cross-board When Company Culture Is Updated
As a company grows and shifts over time, it’s inevitable that company culture will adjust as well. Re-boarding of employees returning to work, cross-boarding employees shifting to new roles, or even of all employees after a change to the company culture will help even long-term employees maintain perspective of the organization’s overall mission. Maintaining social bonds built by employees in previous roles can also help to maintain synergy across different teams.
Many enterprise organizations are already successfully using GooseChase as a unique tool to introduce company culture and gather feedback from new-hires during the onboarding process. See how the platform can be used to compliment your current procedures and software suites. Visit the how-it-works page and start create your first game.
What is GooseChase?
GooseChase is an online platform that helps organizers create and run digital scavenger hunt experiences for team building, learning, public engagement, or a variety of other events. Sign up and try creating a free recreational game, or contact us to learn more about our enterprise solutions!