While organisations realise the essentiality of an effective onboarding process, an overwhelming majority struggle to deliver an experience that a new employee would cherish. What makes onboarding critical is the lasting impact it creates on an employee’s productivity, engagement and, in turn, her or his willingness to continue with the organisation.
Historically, organisations have approached onboarding as a process to ‘document and file a new employee record’. Overtime, as research has evidenced the influence of onboarding on employee performance and retention, the process of welcoming new employees has seen a strategic shift.
However, its execution still largely comprises manual and paper-oriented processes, which creates room for errors and information gaps. Not only is this detrimental to organisations from a compliance perspective, but it also creates a negative impression in the minds of new employees.
Surprise and delight new employees
An onboarding process isn’t merely a checkbox amongst many others that organisations must implement to comply with acceptable procedures and practices. Go beyond to deliver a positive experience that new employees appreciate, remember and share within their networks.
Here are five ways through which organisations can create a memorable onboarding experience:
In a digital age where technology drives organisational capabilities through innovation, employee onboarding largely remains a manual process.
A new employee is provided a stack of paperwork or a series of emails with attachments, that include the employment contract, policies and procedures, to review and sign. Based on the length and volume of paperwork, the process could stretch between a couple of days to an entire week; consuming valuable time and productivity.
Now, imagine a scenario where a new employee completes and submits all essential documents using a cloud-based solution within a matter of minutes from the comfort of their home at any time. It’s a win-win that enhances the employee’s experience and secures a time-efficient and compliant process for employers. Intuitive cloud-based onboarding platforms not only make this possible, but also deliver scalable and secure solutions.
Personalise the journey
Establishing a compliant, seamless and efficient onboarding process is just the first step. Customising the process to suit the differing likes and hobbies of each employee can instantly heighten this experience and create a lasting impression.
Utilise the onboarding process to learn about the new employee’s likes, hobbies, interests and life skills. This is a great way to learn more about your new employees and customise the onboarding experience to delight them. A new employee walking in on day one to find their favourite beverage on their desk or going for a team lunch at a restaurant of their liking are both excellent ways to establish instant rapport. There is nothing better than to make an employee feel at home right from the start.
Advanced onboarding platforms enable organisations to add an element of personalisation. Designed to provide a customised experience for each employee, Flare’s onboarding platform offers employers the opportunity to capture details about a new employee’s likes, interests and hobbies; enabling organisations to delight new employees.
Showcase company culture
Employees spend more time with colleagues at work than with their families. The rapport and synergy they share with their team is essential to the organisation’s culture and performance. Ensuring that new employees seamlessly integrate within this culture is vital to their engagement and performance at work.
Onboarding is presents an ideal opportunity to acquaint new employees with the company culture and demonstrate initiatives that promote a fair, equitable and inclusive workplace.
There are several ways in which organisations can showcase company culture. These include a welcome message for new employees from the CEO/Managing Director, a video highlighting employees’ participation in social events or a calendar of upcoming team events or offsite activities. An employee who feels a part of the culture is more likely to participate in the organisation’s social initiatives outside the realm of daily work.
Focus on professional development
Moving away from manual processes to cloud-based onboarding significantly improves time, cost and process efficiencies. It provides the employer an opportunity to efficiently plan the onboarding process and role requirements to align its objectives with the career aspirations of a new employee.
It’s essential to ensure alignment of an employee’s career goals with the role, and to manage their expectations from time to time. A recent Deloitte Millennial Survey (Australia) report re-emphasised that employees least satisfied with learning opportunities at work were more likely to leave the organisation within two years.
During the first few days, schedule one-on-one time with new employees to understand their goals and reinforce the impact of their role upon wider organisational outcomes. Identify and schedule relevant training for new employees that can support their career development and advance their skills to help them perform better in their roles.
Identify and provide resources to succeed
Every individual has a unique working style. Whilst it’s not feasible to adapt the workplace to suit everyone, it’s good to recognise the needs of your new employee and offer resources that can help them execute their tasks.
Are they comfortable using a PC or Mac? Do they require a specific tool to help them better perform their tasks? If your new hire is differently-abled, what adaptations are required to improve access and mobility within the workplace? Ensure to check such requirements with the new employee before they start, and to make necessary arrangements ensuring a smooth transition into their new workplace.
From engaged employees to ambassadors
A seamless, digital and compliant onboarding process is the first step to delivering a positive impression that enhances employee engagement and improves retention. Over time, this enables employers to nurture employees as ‘ambassadors’ who actively promote the organisation, refer high-calibre individuals for future opportunities and continue to stay with the company long-term.