GreenThumbs Blog


Your source to the latest insights on what's trending in the HR arena - Recruitment, Talent Assessments, Employee Surveys and Training.

6 Creative Onboarding Ideas

6 Creative Onboarding Ideas

"Onboarding is a magic moment when new employees decide to stay engaged or become disengaged. It offers an imprinting window when you can make an impression that stays with new employees for the duration of their careers " says Amy Hirsh Robinson, principal of the consulting firm, the Interchange Group in Los Angeles.

On the same note, onboarding process of an organization is very critical for its employees. Employee onboarding is the process of blending a new employee into a company. The process usually begins with the delivery of an offer letter and continues through the new employee's first day, week, and even year. HR departments and firms that use effective onboarding procedures provide employees with the resources, information, training, and papers they need to succeed.

Importance of Creative Onboarding:

A strong onboarding process will make your new hires feel appreciated, help them better grasp their positions, and increase their productivity and performance, all of which will contribute to increased engagement. Employee onboarding raises the likelihood that new hires will stay with the company. According to a Glassdoor study, organizations with a successful onboarding process have an 82 percent higher new recruit retention rate. Few benefits of successful onboarding are:

  • It allows new hires to become acclimated
  • It motivates new employees to align themselves with the company
  • It aids employers in retaining new hires
  • It creates a positive image of your company as a fantastic place to work
  • New employee anxiety is reduced by a successful onboarding

Now that we know the importance of onboarding process, it is critical for an organization to device a creative onboarding process policy. Here are a few possible ways to strategize creative onboarding -

1. Arrange for an unofficial tour of the office and give them a chance to unwind themselves

Schedule an office tour for the new hire once they accept the offer. They can return to work with a more relaxed attitude now that they've already gotten the job. Alternatively, provide a virtual tour via video in your pre-boarding program.

Make the first day of their new job about getting to know their new coworkers. The employer can take them to a good restaurant nearby for lunch. Allow the new hire to settle into their new position gradually so that they develop a positive attitude toward shifting employment. An introduction session followed by a fun activity session can also prove to be a good start to know the organization and the people better.

At HROnboard, for example, a new hire's first week includes a wonderful lunch with their colleagues and CEO as well as shorter, more relaxed days.

2. Share Tribal Stories

Nothing beats welcoming new members into your tribe. Formalizing the process might be enjoyable, but people are most welcomed when they hear the tales that define an organization's culture and soul. On the first day, make it a point to tell several noteworthy stories.

3. Introduce a Buddy system

A new hire's onboarding buddy can provide much-needed stability. Officially, buddy informs employee about the company's daily operations, assists him/her in obtaining the goods organization require, and introduces the employee to the respective department and team. Unofficially (and more crucially), onboarding companion should be someone who understands the culture shock the employee is going through and won't dismiss his/her questions.

For instance, Dell follows buddy system with its new joinees and the feedback by new employees is positive and motivating for organizations.

4. Provide a breakdown of roles and responsibilities

It's surprising to know that 60% of organizations don't assign new staff short-term goals and tasks. Setting goals, roles, and duties for new workers not only gives clarity, but it also helps them achieve early victories and gain confidence. This also gives them a sense of responsibility, makes them feel valued and equips them with a sense of belonging to the organization. At the same time, balance should be maintained and they should not feel overburdened.

Image Source- Creative Web Mall

Image Source- Creative Web Mall

5. Strategize structured onboarding

Boring paperwork can be a big turnoff on the very first day. During the induction, it is best to adopt a systematic onboarding program that organizes the tasks for both the hiring manager and the new hire. It's easiest to conduct this with employee onboarding software, but in the meantime, the organization can use an employee onboarding checklist. Create a task list in the program for both current staff and new hires. With a complete work list, onboarding becomes more fluid and you have more time to focus on making it a pleasurable experience.

6. Make the new employee's desk look nice

This is an excellent idea for a new employee's first day at work. Decorate your new hire's desk with balloons, a welcome sign, and perhaps even cake. Oh, and if you have any company swag (like branded notebooks, pens, T-shirts, water bottles, and so on), you may include it as a gift!


“Every new senior vice president goes through an onboarding process. It’s very important not only that we impart the strategies and business objectives of the company but also that they understand our culture and our leadership requirements. I always meet with them for several hours and have dinner with them. One of the most constructive parts of the session is a no-holds-barred Q&A.”

-Ken Chenault, CEO and Chairman of American Express

Creativity removes the blockade in every arena. It is equally important in onboarding employees to make them feel valued and retain them. Organizations need to pay attention and follow a standard onboarding process, making the new joinees feel excited. Activities like increased interaction with management and teammates, story-telling and making them feel responsible will definitely go a long way to improve onboarding processes.


1 : What is the significance of creative onboarding in the modern workplace?

Answer : Creative onboarding is crucial in the modern workplace as it enhances employee engagement and retention, provides clarity about roles and responsibilities, and fosters a positive work culture. It helps new hires acclimate quickly and align with the company's goals, reducing new employee anxiety and setting a foundation for long-term success.

2 : Can you suggest some creative onboarding activities for new employees?

Answer : Certainly! Creative onboarding activities can include an informal office tour, sharing of tribal stories that embody the company's culture, implementing a buddy system, defining clear roles and responsibilities, using structured onboarding software for streamlined processes, and personalizing the new employee's workspace with welcoming gestures like decorations and company swag.

3 : How does a buddy system benefit new hires during the onboarding process?

Answer : A buddy system pairs new hires with more experienced employees, providing them with a go-to person for questions about daily operations and cultural norms. This system offers emotional support, reduces culture shock, and accelerates the integration of new hires into their teams and the broader organization.

4 : What role does storytelling play in the onboarding process?

Answer : Storytelling during onboarding helps new employees understand the organization's culture, values, and history. It creates a sense of belonging and connection to the company's mission. Sharing impactful and memorable stories can inspire new hires and give them a deeper insight into what makes the organization unique.

5 : How important is setting clear roles and responsibilities during onboarding?

Answer : Setting clear roles and responsibilities is vital for new hires. It provides them with a sense of direction and purpose from the outset. Clear objectives and expectations help new employees focus on achieving early successes, building confidence, and feeling valued within the organization.

6 : What is the best way to handle paperwork and formalities during onboarding?

Answer : The best approach is to use a structured onboarding program, possibly supported by onboarding software, to organize and manage paperwork and formalities efficiently. This approach ensures that necessary tasks are completed without overwhelming new hires, allowing more time for engaging and personalized onboarding experiences.