7 Super Cool Onboarding Traditions That Reflect A Great Company Culture

November 30, 2017

How you bring new hires into your organization is critical; as a matter of fact, employees areย 69% more likely to stay with your company for at least three years if the onboarding is great. And because turnover costs the organization 16-20% of the employee’s annual salary, retention becomes critical to protect the bottom line.

If you think further about the real reason WHY onboarding is important, it’s because (after the hiring process is all said and done) it’s a huge first-indicator of your organization’s company culture.ย  Whether you already know that your company culture needs workย or you’re actively trying to maintain a healthy company culture, it’s in your and your entire company’s benefit to give each new hire a unique and enjoyable onboarding experience that keeps them hooked on your company from the get-go.

Not to toot our own horn, but here at kununu we try our best to put this knowledge to action. For example, here is how we decorate every new hire’s workspace to welcome them on their first day on the team:

We also make sure to explicitly sayย how glad we are to have our new team members on board. For example, when our PR Manager Sofia started earlier this year, we made a proud public acknowledgment on our instagram to share our excitement:

[For more on how to leverage social media in your HR processes, read this]

Horn-tooting aside…as you think about your own onboarding process and how to make it even better, let the following companies and their onboarding practices give you some inspiration. They’ve incorporated awesome traditions that new hires can’t stop talking about:

Cornerstone OnDemand

Not only does Cornerstone OnDemand make onboarding easier for it’s clients (they provide talent management software), but they make onboarding memorable for their own employees by incorporating volunteer work. The company believes that teaming up their new hires with their existing team to make their communities better promotes teamwork and extends the company culture on day 1.


Zappos might have the most innovative and controversial onboarding tradition of them all – they onboard their new employees and then offer them $2,000 to quit. This gives Zappos an opportunity to keep the team members who are truly invested in their work and quickly weed out those who aren’t before sinking years of salary and benefits into them, and gives new hires who aren’t feeling it motivation to jump ship. Less than 1% of new hires take the offer!


ATLETO, a social sports network, has welcoming new staff figured out; every new employee gets to choose their favorite sport and play a game with their new team and leaders. The company believes this practice gives new employees an opportunity to share their personality by picking a sport they feel passioante about, pushes both new and existing employees out of their comfort zone, and contributes to team-building.


Bazaarvoice, a company providing online solutions for connecting businesses with their consumers, onboards employees by sending them on a weeklong scavenger hunt that requires them to connect with people, learn more about the company, and get familiar with their surroundings. What a great way to make onboarding fun, extend the company culture, and promote relationships between new hires!


Netflix, like Google, engages new hires by letting them make an impact on day one. They do all the prep work in advance so when an employee arrives on their first day of work they’re ready for challenge, delivery, and recognition. This ensures employees are able to dive into the culture of work from day one and prevents the boredom that often accompanies lengthy onboarding programs. They mitigate the risk of giving new hires responsibility by assigning an experienced mentor for guidance.

Guardian Removals

Although you might not be familiar with the company, Guardian Removals has an onboarding tradition that you can’t ignore. This UK storage companies takes new hires for a walk in their local area and then out to the company’s favorite local cafe, where the new hire has to order food and drinks for his or her new team. The selections often produce a laugh and are a great way to break the ice and begin building team connections.

Distil Networks

Distil Networks, a internet security company, allows every new hire to be a part of the company’s story by a photo in an iconic place of each onboarding team together. These photos are printed and hung in different office locations, creating a visual representation of the company’s growth of the years and incorporating every new hire into the company’s story.


These onboarding traditions are missing just one thing – they aren’t yours! Use these as inspiration to find an activity that extends the company’s culture, pays homage to the local community, and encourages team building between the new and the old.


Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

Back to posts