Onboarding: The Opening Ceremony of a Career

The 2016 Olympic Games are slated to kick off tonight with the Opening Ceremony––an event that will unite nations, celebrate history and showcase host country Brazil’s culture. Our lives, as we sit on the couch watching the events unfold on TV, couldn’t feel more removed from what the athletes will be experiencing. But for HR professionals, you may be closer to the Olympic lifestyle than you think.

As the Olympic opening ceremony highlights storytelling, world connections and technological advancements on a global scale, onboarding is the opening ceremony of an employee’s career with your company. By developing your company’s story, adopting HR software and focusing on connecting new hires with other employees, you’ll ensure that you make your employees into MVPs.

The next time you’re onboarding a new hire, be sure to follow the Olympics’ lead:

Create a connection. Creating connections between countries and engaging nations from around the world is the foundation of the Olympic games, and it should be part of the foundation of your onboarding strategy. During onboarding, new talent should have a chance to interact with all teams and managers. Throughout these trainings, they should receive coaching and instruction from managers and gain exposure to the roles and projects of other team members. By connecting with seasoned employees early on, new hires will gain a level of comfort and familiarity when it comes to future collaboration.

Take advantage of technology. From massive projection screens to LED panels that change colors to the beat of music, technology is an integral part of making the opening ceremony as awe inspiring as it is. New HR software is emerging and can make your onboarding a more exciting and organized learning process overall. In particular, corporate LMS software makes it easy for HR professionals to house their learning materials, present new ideas and track employee progress. These tools often integrate with other HR software, and the analytics gathered from them can be a huge benefit to monitoring an employee’s performance.

Use storytelling to convey culture. The spectacle of the opening ceremony is used to honor the traditions, values and history of the host city, and it’s done through elaborate musical and visual storytelling. The new-hire onboarding process is the perfect opportunity for you to instill a sense of your company’s culture in your new employees, and it’s easier to get that message across by showing them your culture, instead of just telling them.

Sure, your presentation isn’t going to be be a multimillion dollar, star-studded affair. But some storytelling options, such as a culture-focused video of your employees speaking to your company’s values or situation-based learning that demonstrates your practices and traditions, can be valuable tools to quickly immerse new employees in your company culture shortly after they’re hired.

As Q3 hiring begins to ramp up, think back to these onboarding trends and ask yourself, “Is this onboarding worthy of a gold medal?”

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