5 Ways Corporate Comms Can Speed Up The Onboarding Process

Onboarding can make or break the employee experience, especially in a hybrid environment.

Nov 14, 2022


Onboarding can make or break the employee experience, especially in a hybrid environment. Most workers today feel less connected to their teammates than ever, and this disconnected feeling only adds to the time it takes to move past the learning curve and start getting things done.

While many enterprise organizations leave onboarding to HR, corporate comms play an outsized role in cultivating connection and upholding the employee value proposition (EVP) from the start. As stewards of company culture, comms teams have a responsibility to infuse initial communications with employee branding so new hires understand what makes their organization special.

And there are tools at their disposal to make this crucial process faster, better, and more fun.

From gamification to easy-to-use resource libraries, here are five tips comms leaders can use to speed up their hybrid onboarding processes.

1. Personalize the journey.

Each member of your team is on a distinct journey to their own version of success. Your onboarding process should reflect that.

Embrace a customizable onboarding solution so that anyone can hit the ground running — regardless of their department, their role, or where they are in the process. It’s important to share content that feels unique to each hire, something that speaks to their location, interests, or particular skill set. Provide a space for new hires to share their unique interests and set personal goals as you guide them through the beginning of their career at your organization. By personalizing new teammates’ onboarding experiences, you empower them to take ownership of their work from the get-go — and show them that they’re valued along the way.

2. Anticipate the FAQs.

Don’t wait for your new team member to come to you with questions. The first few weeks are filled with asks employers can plan for, from “How do I log into my email?” to “Who do I ask about ERGs?” Show your new hires you care and supply answers ahead of time.

Easy-to-use tools like comprehensive resource libraries and dynamic people directories can help your newest faces get their bearings and promote self-directed learning. When these tools are made readily available, no one loses time or patience feeling lost.

3. Make a game of it.

Who hasn’t stared at an endless list of onboarding tasks with boredom and dread? Part of making the process faster is making it fun. Enter gamification.

Features like incentives and leaderboards offer new team members a sense of whimsy and satisfaction. They also have potential to generate employer brand equity. When you turn an everyday process into an opportunity for distinction, your employees are more likely to talk about it. Simply put, people like to share their wins and accomplishments. Gamified onboarding can build your brand’s reputation when your team shares their experience with others.

From quick polls to company trivia, interactive elements replace yawns with laughs, allowing your new team members to fly through checklists, build positive rapport with colleagues, and represent your brand in the wider world.

4. Foster community.

Community is foundational to employee success, but it takes time to build — even more so at a large organization with colleagues across the country. Take advantage of technology that can deliver on your EVP from day one.

Introduce new hires to discussion forums for skill development or hobbies, or recommend ERGs suited to their interests and circumstances. By maintaining a regular cadence of internal communications that highlight these offerings, organization leaders show employees at all stages of onboarding and beyond that there’s space for them to express themselves. Most importantly, create a space for two way communication between employees and leadership from day one. Executives need to be able to share information quickly and effectively, and your team needs to know that they are seen and heard.

Community isn’t a one-way street. Create forums where people can connect up, down, and across teams.

5. Maximize face time where you can.

For fully remote employees, it can be hard to feel like you really know your teammates. For newcomers, face time can help them to feel more comfortable more quickly. They won’t always be able to meet in person, so it’s important to create opportunities to convene virtually so they can link names to faces.

Comms teams should supplement in-person gatherings with focused outreach that helps newcomers feel included. Hosting camera-on events or one-on-one video chats allows employees feel a human connection in a virtual workplace. In tandem, thoughtful virtual communication and face-to-face intros will ensure new hires don't struggle to put a real face to the name six months down the line.