If you tuned in to Part 1 of this series, you’ll remember that “high point” or “peak” moments are those magical windows of experience that give life meaning. The Heath brothers say we don’t have to wait for them to just “happen.” Instead, it’s up to us to craft them.

Let’s dive into some of the ways to specifically design memorable moments to boost your onboarding culture.

Peak moments don’t have to be extravagant or epic.

Based on their research, the Heath brothers found that the most memorable moments are often simple. Here’s how this might look in an onboarding program:

  • Elevation:
    • Put company-branded balloons and swag in the new hire’s office or in the training room.
    • Place a welcome sign in the lobby, customized with new hire’s name.
    • Designate company “welcome ambassadors” to greet the new hire.
    • Schedule a celebratory lunch (in or out) for the new hire and other team members on the new hire’s first day.
  • Insight:
    • Design onboarding presentations (e.g., safety, company culture, code of conduct, etc.) in an experiential and learner-centered model. Avoid death by PowerPoint or stale, irrelevant videos.
    • Build upon what a new hire already knows in order to engage reflection and curiosity.
    • Incorporate activity stations, discussions, multimedia, company tours, and other learning methods to share content in a variety of engaging ways.
  • Pride:
    • Incorporate formal and informal employee storytelling. Include personal stories of success, triumph, and transformation.
    • Tell the story of the organization and how it positively impacts the industry and the people touched by your services or products.
    • Tell stories with the new hire’s specific role in mind. Showcase how their role makes a difference to the team, department, and the organization.
  • Connection:  
    • Provide a casual lunch with supervisors and team members.
    • Support the new hire with an onboarding buddy.
    • Ensure the team, department, and administration welcomes and has adequate time with the new hire throughout the onboarding experience—for job-specific and personal rapport-building.

But keep in mind that creating high point moments is everyone’s job. 

While it’s important for a new hire to have primary onboarding “point people,” the Heath brothers remind us that it’s everyone’s job to create peak moments.

Give a new hire a high five in the hall. Or leave them a welcome note. Make yourself available for a conversation. After all, it’s the little things that make a day full of peak moments. And which, ultimately, make a culture of peak moments.

During an onboarding program pilot we recently designed, the senior leader walked into the room full of new hires—all mingling with their supervisors—to greet them at lunch. The leader was struck by a vibrancy in the room he had never experienced during any prior onboarding. This palpable energy is a marker of a memorable moment. People are connecting, engaged, and inspired to be with one another. What could be a better hallmark of an onboarding experience?

As the Heath brothers share, a life that is rich with these moments is both longer and better. So, it’s not surprising that intentionally creating memorable onboarding moments is an indicator of employee retention.   

What moments will you create to boost your onboarding culture?

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