13 Unusual But Effective Strategies for Sharing Your Company Culture With New Hires

Effective Strategies

Onboarding a new employee is an exciting time for any business. While you’re eager to get your new team member up and running on their tasks, you also need to ensure they understand the company culture and will mesh with your organization for the long term. That’s why we asked the members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

“What’s one unusual element of your onboarding process (e.g. having new hires read the founder’s blog, having them complete a task) that helps communicate your company culture to new hires? Why do you find it effective?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say.

1. Conduct a ‘Genius Zone’ Exercise

“We take new employees through a ‘genius zone’ exercise to get to understand what gives them energy and what drains their energy. By doing that, we can make sure that the work they are responsible for maps to what they can do uniquely well. Prioritizing helping people get and stay in their genius zone showcases our commitment to a person’s success.” ~ Russell Benaroya, Stride Services

2. Have Them Create an About Me Page

“New employees are asked to create an ‘About Me’ page on the company intranet and practice using our system by adding text and photos. They’re encouraged to include hobbies, favorite drinks and dream vacation spots so we get to know each other. It’s easy to treat virtual team members as positions instead of people, so this is our virtual watercooler.” ~ Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

3. Give Out a Swag Bag

“Our company’s onboarding process includes giving them a swag bag introducing them to our brand and getting them familiar with our company. It’s a fun way to exercise their knowledge and teach them something new without being boring. It also helps them retain information better so they can succeed in the future.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms

4. Ask Them for Examples of Key Values

“One onboarding process that helps communicate the company culture to new hires is having them read the key values the company stands for and asking them to come up with an example of each. This is effective because usually your first day or week at a new company is pretty impactful and it will stay in your mind longer.” ~ Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

5. Encourage a Company-Wide Introduction

“We encourage all new employees to introduce themselves in the company’s family chat channel. I’ve found that a small introduction will help employees quickly find others with similar interests, which helps build connections and keeps everyone close.” ~ John Turner, SeedProd LLC

6. Give Them a Task Right Away

“We have all new hires merge code into the main codebase within their first two days. This helps us because it shows the new employee that we are a fast-moving company that wants them to get their hands dirty as quickly as possible. It also makes them feel like a part of the team right away and it brings them up to speed a lot quicker than if they waited for a week or two to do it.” ~ Ashwin Sreenivas, Helia

7. Require Them to Collaborate With Other Teams

“Assign onboarding tasks that require collaboration with members from other teams. Asking people to touch base with colleagues and connect can showcase the cultural traits early on, ensuring that top talent will stay on board while potential misfits will be identified early on.” ~ Mario Peshev, DevriX

8. Have Them Recite Your ‘Whys’

“Within the first month, any new team member has to recite our company’s ‘Seven Whys,’ which are the seven key reasons our business exists. They recite this out loud in front of their whole team. It helps them memorize the important aspects of our culture and business and vividly see how important they are. It’s a simple, fun and effective way to show what matters and what to always keep in mind.” ~ Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery

9. Plan a Fun Team Activity

“We do escape rooms. Our company culture is focused on work-life balance and these simulated high-stress games work wonders for team building, especially when we are onboarding a new hire. Even when we are coming back from a break or if we have launched some new services, coming together as a team for a common purpose in sport delivers big in business.” ~ Matthew Capala, Alphametic

10. Have Them Learn Everything They Can About the Business

“For all new hires, it’s mandatory that they spend their onboarding week reading about our products and learning everything they can about them. Whether they’re writers, developers, technical support, etc., they need to understand our brand and what it offers to our customers. So far, it’s been effective at helping all departments work together and understand each other’s responsibilities.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

11. Invite Them to Sit In on Company Meetings

“When we onboard a new employee, we have them join up in company meetings right away without actively participating. They get to view and experience how we conduct meetings and get a sense of how we work. Over time, they get tasks and start to join the meetings to report on their work. This little way to onboard new members makes the transition easier.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress

12. Get Them Chatting With Their New Colleagues

“One unique part of our onboarding process involves our Slack channel. We ask our new team members to write an introductory post on the general thread discussing their favorite animal, the best meal they’ve ever had, what books they’ve been reading and so on. This gives them a chance to share their personal interests and helps ‘break the ice’ when other team members chime in with their thoughts.” ~ Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

13. Review Core Values

“We review our core values for each person we onboard. Our core values set the stage for how our company operates and what’s important to our company. We want to make sure our employees know our culture and the best ways to handle issues or problems as they arise.” ~ Jean Ginzburg, JeanGinzburg.com

Image: Depositphotos

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.