When we think about inclusivity in the employee life cycle, our minds often immediately gravitate towards hiring. The hiring process is typically well defined, has standard steps along each way, and lends itself well to lists of bias-mitigating tools and tips on what to do (and not to do) to shape a more inclusive and equitable experience. However, one aspect of the employee experience often overlooked among the focus on getting a candidate to accept a job is the onboarding experience. What comes after the offer? Not all onboarding processes are alike, and this can be a make-or-break experience for new employees joining your organization.
I believe new employees should feel included from Day 0– that is, they should feel supported even before their first day. Someone’s experience ramping into a company can set the tone for the rest of their time with that team and organization. This experience is also one of the new employees' first exposures to the organization. The onboarding experience can fall by the wayside for many reasons, including pressure to hire quickly, focus on hiring only, pressure for the new hire to deliver quickly, etc. Another factor to consider these days is whether or not your new hire is remote, in-office, or in a hybrid role, as the steps for getting them set up may look different.
To ensure that your onboarding is inclusive, take a step back and consider what that process flow looks like from all angles. At SGO, we frequently assess whether our internal processes are inclusive and equitable. We’ve collected our top ten favorite best practices for how to make the virtual onboarding experience more inclusive (and note that an in-person onboarding process will look slightly different):
Ultimately, these best practices are things that have worked for us at SGO. They aren’t set in stone; the most important thing to remember is that this process can change. We’re constantly assessing our own process and asking our employees if it works for them. If you are onboarding people in person, there will be different considerations to keep in mind. And, you might have some tips that didn’t make it into our list! Let us know if there are additional best practices you use or have seen work!