Employee On-boarding – Be Creative!

Building positive relationships with employees is absolutely the key to long-term success and the onboarding process is a perfect opportunity to build a foundation with a new hire.
A solid onboarding experience has so many critical parts, but one of the most important aspects, for me, is taking the time to get to know the employee on a more personal level.

✅ Pro Tip: I highly recommend you take your new employee out for a meal, activity or when/if possible, take the day to do something that is fun and outside of work.

Gauge their interest. Find something that is of interest to them, share a personal interest of yours or try something new together.

Obviously, you need to do some probing, if your new hire fears heights, then maybe you won’t choose rock climbing as your bonding activity 😱

Perhaps it’s a meal at their favourite restaurant, or a cooking class, a round of golf, or a hike in nature. Whatever it is, be creative, and make it an experience that they will remember and cherish. This will show them that you genuinely want to get to know them without the regular work distraction.
The benefits are priceless: it allows you to start to build a positive rapport quickly by asking questions and enjoying small-talk and you will create experiences and make memories to share for years to come and you will no doubt learn things about each other that could take weeks, even months or possibly years to figure out in the workplace setting.

I’d like to share one of my own experiences. Below, is a picture of Shawn McKinley. During my time in the Credit Union system, I hired Shawn as a Commercial Account Manager.

During his first week, I asked him if he fished. He said, “No, I never really had the opportunity to get into fishing”. I said, “Great, how would you like to spend a day away from the office to go fishing on Wednesday?”. He looked at me a little perplexed, he replied, “On work time?”. I said, “Absolutely! It will be a great opportunity to do something fun and get to know one another better!” He still looked a little perplexed, but he said he was up for anything (and I assured him he would still be home by quitting time).

That day allowed us to talk and get to know each other. We talked about our families, work experiences, personal interests and so much more! It was an opportunity to really build a foundation to propel our professional relationship.


Matt Carter, Business & HR Consultant

It has been 7 years since that fishing trip. Even though I decided to leave the Credit Union system, Shawn and I remain great friends. Shawn often talks about it to this day, so I know it made an impact and created the foundation I was hoping for.