Onboarding programs help ensure that every new member (or client or employee, for that matter) receives the same experience. Now that’s not to say that you want to give them a cookie-cutter welcome. It simply means that by establishing a process you’ll be less likely to have things, like educational components of being new, fall through the cracks.
Reasons for Starting an Onboarding Program
- It reduces turnover. Whether we’re talking about members, clients, or employees, making someone feel welcome will keep them coming back. It’s hard to recover from a bad first impression so starting your relationship with this special person off well is critical to them returning.
- Gets them involved. Onboarding also helps explain to them programs and activities that they can get involved in right away. People who are involved form a stronger bond with your chamber or business. This goes a long way to them staying connected to you and remaining a member, client, or employee long into the future.
- Explains processes. At your onboarding program, you can explain processes, programs, challenges, or any other relevant information they need to know. You could do this in an email too but its easier to see the connections and the correlations when meeting with people in person.
- It shows you care. You have taken the time out of your schedule and formalized an introduction of these newbies to your existing community. They are in the honeymoon period. Any reaching out you do will be effective because they’ll be looking for it. It’s becoming more of an expectation these days.
- It reduces new member anxiety. It’s likely your new member joined to find their tribe and interact with like-minded people. But knowing where to start can be overwhelming and make some people feel anxious. Bringing them through an onboarding process makes that initial introduction feel much more comfortable.
If you don’t have a formal onboarding process it’s time you implemented one. When you factor in how important it is to build a relationship with your new contact, it’s hard to not see the value in the undertaking, especially since the investment is minimal outside of your time.