Unboxing Day: 4 Ways to Enhance the New Hire Experience


Everyone loves buying something new and the sense of exhilaration that comes with unboxing the product for the first time ��� whether it's an iPhone, a live reptile, or a chainsaw.

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Consumer goods companies have become experts at making people fall in love with their products, building anticipation, and creating a memorable experience once you open the box.

But the unboxing experience isn't limited to opening a new product.��In a way, when a new hire joins a team, it's kind of like an unboxing.

Think about: The new hire has already formed an impression of your company throughout the recruiting process. As they start their first day, they have the crucial moment where they can see what's inside and determine whether they'll celebrate or immediately regret their decision to join the team.

So, what can your company do to ensure an unboxing experience that leaves new hires excited and eager to be part of the team? Consider using the following strategies to make a strong, positive, and lasting impression:

1. Enhance the Physical Reveal

The moment when the new employee arrives at their workstation provides the opportunity to do more than just introduce them to their surroundings. Just like opening a box, the moment is a kind of��physical reveal. Capitalize on the new hire's excitement and anticipation to help them realize they made the right choice. How their new workspace is presented can make a huge impact.

At the very least, you want to bring them to a workspace that's clean and equipped with the tools they'll need to do their job. Unfortunately, many companies neglect to even deliver on this most basic element of the new hire experience.

But in addition to providing the physical tools, you should strive to really wow the new hire and deliver an unforgettable experience. To get the best response, pay careful attention��to what you want the new employee to see and feel from their first moments on the job.

2. Make Them Feel at Home

A great onboarding experience means��more than just providing the basic office supplies; it should instantly make the new hire feel a part of the team. Consider a company like Humble Bundle, which greets employees with their favorite breakfast, a handwritten note from the company cofounders, an exclusive employee-only T-shirt, and candy.

The approach can and should be customized to reflect your employer brand and company culture. For instance, energy data company Opower presents each new hire with a bottle of champagne to be saved for a special occasion: when the company achieves its goal of helping reduce emissions in the United States by 1 percent. This serves as a fun reminder of the company's mission while getting new hires on board with that mission right from the beginning.

In any case, you'll want to consider presenting new hires with equipment, gifts, or other fun swag that would make them feel truly welcomed.

3. Share Just the Right Amount of Information

A lot of employers still give their new hires thick packets of company policies, HR manuals, and other paperwork on the first day. Instead of causing information overload or expecting people��to actually read through all of that in one day, employers should rethink how they get new hires informed and up to speed.

Being more creative about sharing information is one step; recognizing that you don't have to wait until the first day is another. Establish a "pre-boarding" process to share information about the company and location, the new hire's manager and team, and company policies via physical packages or links to the company wiki before the first day. An effective pre-boarding strategy helps new hires arrive confident and eager to get to work and helps eliminate first-day jitters.

4. Help New Hires Build Connections

No matter how well prepared a new hire is, they are bound to have questions as they get acclimated to their new role. Assigning a company buddy gives them access to a dedicated resource they can turn to in order to get their questions answered. After all, it can be intimidating to approach the manager with every question that arises, especially smaller ones like "What do people do for lunch?" or "How does��the printer work?"

Periodic onboarding sessions led by members of each department will help new hires get acquainted with their colleagues throughout the company and allow them to establish working relationships across the organization.

Unboxing a Successful New Hire Strategy

By seeing the onboarding experience as an unboxing experience, you can make a positive emotional connection with new employees while minimizing stress levels and first-day jitters. Day one is an opportunity for employers to confirm the new hire made the right decision to join the company and set them up for a successful, productive tenure.

Dane Hurtubise is the V.P. of new initiatives at Greenhouse.