You know that onboarding holds a special place in my heart. I facilitate the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) seminar on Talent Acquisition: Creating Your Organization’s Strategy. During the seminar, we talk about onboarding success strategies. And I wrote the book on “Manager Onboarding: 5 Steps for Setting New Leaders Up for Success” where we talk about how to design an onboarding program specifically for managers and supervisors.
In both, we discuss the importance of infusing a bit of fun into the process. Today’s Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos made me smile because it reminded me about those conversations. Learning doesn’t have to be stuffy or boring. In fact, finding ways to make learning more engaging and interesting is part of our responsibility as HR and learning professionals.
Games can be a valuable learning tool. I don’t hear the term gamification as much as I used to, but that doesn’t mean the value of games in training and learning has diminished. I’m amazed at the business lessons I’ve found playing Pokémon GO or going to an Escape Room. A scavenger hunt is a great (and fun!) activity to incorporate into orientation.
A field trip is both interesting and more relevant than pictures. I know that sometimes we have to use visual aids like videos and pictures to explain something. I’m sure none of us wants to deal with field trip logistics. But let’s be real, it’s so much more effective taking employees to the actual location or showing them the actual product. And field trips can be fun. It’s an opportunity to create interaction and connection.
Mixing up learning mediums can make onboarding interesting. There’s no rule that says orientation and onboarding must be held in a classroom or meeting room setting. By a single person in HR. Sure, do some activities in the classroom. Do some team teaching. Conduct a webinar. Create a new hire podcast series. Design a buddy program. Learning can happen in a variety of ways. Take advantage of all of them.
Orientation and onboarding are the organization’s opportunity to make a first impression. They tell new hires that they made the right decision coming to work there. They let the employee know that all the things they heard and all the promises that were made are really going to happen. Those are exciting things worth celebrating. Why not make that first impression enjoyable, interesting, and a little fun?17