When last did you review your company’s employee onboarding process? Are your new recruits expected to join the fray and learn as they go? Or do you provide a structured introduction to the company, their co-workers, and the way things are done around the office?
It’s important to remember that the employee experience starts the moment a new hire walks through your door. This is why it’s vital that onboarding should serve to promote engagement from day one. After all, with recruitment costs accounting for approximately 15% of all HR expenses and job-hopping being an ongoing trend among Millennials, a strong focus on talent retention is no longer optional.
Here are a few important steps your HR team should take to create a friction-free employee onboarding process that seamlessly ushers your new team members into the fold.
Tailoring A Friction-Free Employee Onboarding Process for Supercharged Engagement
1. Start The Process Before They Arrive
The onboarding should ideally begin while you’re still recruiting. By providing applicants with a realistic idea of what a workday will look like and what they can expect when they walk through the door, interviewers can weed out candidates with unrealistic expectations. It also provides interviewees with an idea of what they can expect once they arrive.
When a candidate is selected, they can also be instructed to fill out their HR paperwork using an online platform prior to arrival. This way, their whole first day will not be spent on tedious admin, and could instead be used to interact with co-workers, learn more about processes, etc.
2. Leverage The Power of Innovative Onboarding Software
Investing in user-friendly onboarding software like &Team can help you to streamline the intake procedure and support new employees to be fully productive 35% faster. For instance:
● Document e-signing can save up to 10 hours of people operations team management per new hire.
● Location- and worker-specific workflows will allow new employees to settle in much more easily.
● Software that automatically assigns tasks to HR, business partners, and managers to complete throughout the onboarding process keeps things from falling between the cracks.
● Quick document uploads ease manual tasks like sharing identity documentation and proof of qualifications.
● And so much more!
3. Map Out The Guiding Principles
New hires need to be informed of the four big C's in order to find their place in your company. I.e. compliance, clarification, culture and connection.
● Compliance = company rules, policies, legal procedures, etc.
● Clarification = specific breakdown of job requirements, company structure, who they report to, etc.
● Culture = workplace norms and ethics, leadership styles, the company 'vibe', etc.
● Connection = the human element, e.g. introductions to colleagues, managers, mentors, etc.
4. Share a Checklist
It helps a lot if a new recruit knows what they need to know. Providing them with a checklist of information they should have received by the end of their first day can go a long way to helping them help you to ensure that they have been properly inducted. Such a checklist may include:
● Who do I report to, and who else forms a part of the team I will be working on? How do we communicate?
● What tools and software do I need to understand and learn to do my job?
● Have all my accounts been set up (email, server access, etc.)?
● Where do I start? What are my first tasks, and which KPIs are associated with it?
● Are there company resources I should be accessing on my own time to learn more about the business, etc?
5. Have All Roleplayers Informed and Ready
There is nothing worse than arriving at an office on your first day and realising that no-one has been assigned to take care of your onboarding. Or having a harried, overtaxed HR person try and deal with the induction process in a matter of ten minutes. It’s no wonder that one in five new hires is unlikely to recommend the employer to a friend or family member after the initial onboarding experience.
Ideally, you want every person who will play a role in a new recruit’s work environment to be ready to receive them on the day they arrive. Their workspace should be ready, and their email and other platforms should be set up, with guides provided for proprietary software, etc.
Reception should be awaiting their arrival, and their direct line manager should have set aside time to welcome them, and introduce them to their co-workers. Here are a few more ways to smooth the way for a good first employer brand impression:
● Help new employees to learn names and titles by sharing a fun, informal organogram mapping out who's who in their department, and who they should ask if they need anything (e.g. Martha in admin - the best person to ask if you need awesome lunch recommendations, or run low on staplers).
● Instead of listing their responsibilities as chores that they need to complete to receive their salary, frame their KPIs as challenges that have been specially tailored according to their skills and competencies.
● Assign a ‘welcome mentor’ or ‘first-day buddy’ to guide the newbie through their first day. Managers are often too busy to spend the whole day with a new employee, which is why it is a good idea to assign a peer to show them the day-to-day ropes, e.g. how to use the copier, where the good coffee is hidden, etc.)
The employee onboarding process is your first touchpoint with a new recruit. Make a streamlined affair of it so that new members of the company feel welcome and productive from day one.
Focusing on starting the process before arrival, leveraging the power of innovative onboarding software, mapping out guiding principles, sharing a checklist, and having all roleplayers informed and ready can make all the difference.