Remember what the first day of school felt like? You probably felt nervous and excited, and hoped that you would make friends and have someone to eat lunch with. The first day at a new job isn’t that much different. Companies have the opportunity to thoughtfully shape what that first day feels like for new hires—and that’s important. Research shows that one-third of people employed in their current job for less than six months are already looking for new opportunities. Starting strong on day one is critical for companies to build employee loyalty and engagement.
Anaplan’s hyper-growth (read more in this press release) means that lots of new hires join the Anaplan family each week. To ensure that employees feel the Anaplan excitement from the start, the enablement team created a weeklong onboarding program. Here are a few tips we learned throughout the process.
Connect new hires to executives from the start
Bring new employees into the onboarding program after they’ve had a chance to complete their paperwork, set up their laptop, etc. The first week is about the Anaplan story, our product, and our path. We start with a leadership welcome—this is a great chance for new hires to hear our startup story and learn about our high-level goals. New hires also learn about the customer life cycle, from marketing to implementation, and receive technical training on our platform so everyone finishes the week as a certified Anaplanner. It’s a great chance to slow down, connect with each other and the company, and dig into the product.
Build new hire camaraderie through teamwork
We have our new hires take a short personality assessment and then match the outcomes to the Anaplan core values. It’s a visual way to see how each individual is a fit at Anaplan and allows us to learn more about each other. To build a connected new hire cohort we made sure to build plenty of fun into the schedule, too. Whether it’s at a baseball game, on an evening cruise, or out to lunch, we make sure that Anaplanners have time to get to know each other. Volunteering is another way to bring people together, and we reserve a half-day for volunteering in the city—working together to plant trees or serve meals at a local shelter are great ways to build community.
Emphasize the big-picture value of onboarding
Start early and remind busy managers of the benefits of a thorough onboarding experience. Startups are busy places and leaders are often eager for their new hires to dive into projects. But taking the time to build a solid foundation pays dividends. Bringing new hires together encourages cross-departmental connections that can’t be built by jumping straight into work on the first day. For global companies like Anaplan, connected teams are vital to our success, and it’s important to provide time and space for people to get to know one another.
Does your company have a strong onboarding program in place? Leave a comment below and let us know how you welcome and train new hires.