Why Is Onboarding So Difficult?
Most business owners would agree that productivity and engagement are high on their list for onboarding goals for new employees. These factors directly impact the bottom line and yet many organizations fail to define and map out their onboarding process. Onboarding goes beyond the completion of new-employee paperwork. It is a series of processes intended to create an experience that helps an employee want to stay with and contribute to an organization.
It is important to define what a successful onboarding experience is from start to finish. By doing so you will learn the overall process can be quite complex – involving many stakeholders and different activities. More often than not, no one takes the time to look at the employee’s experience with onboarding. As with any process there needs to be an owner. An owner can help drive the vision to create a positive experience for the employee that will help meet onboarding goals.
How Can Technology Help?
Online onboarding solutions are becoming increasingly popular. Many are designed to help automate the collection and management of new-hire paperwork. Tasks can be assigned to workflows which can alert work groups to activities needed and can automate approvals. Policy and handbook acknowledgments can be tracked and managed.
Using an online solution, companies can “preboard” new hires, assigning them log-in credentials before they start. This way, employees can complete their payroll and benefits paperwork prior to their first day.
Checklists can be created to organize and streamline various processes. For example, interdepartmental checklists can help ensure that a new hire has a work space, phone, and computer prior to their start date. Manager checklists might include items such as preparing and providing a job description, organizational chart, and the new employee’s schedule.
Onboarding goals should be set for 30 days, 90 days, 6 months, and a year. Performance goals can be established for training and development. Many systems have online performance management modules in which goals can be created online.
Finally, portals provide an excellent opportunity for employees to learn more about a company’s culture and what makes it unique. Most portals can be customized with the following information:
- Welcome message
- Company mission statement
- Links to website, newsletters, and other resources
- Corporate event pictures
- Social media widgets
- YouTube and video clips
Both research and common sense tell us we should invest time and effort into preparing employees to be successful at their jobs. In spite of this, many organizations still fall short when it comes to effective onboarding. A top-notch onboarding solution requires commitment and creativity to move beyond solving transactional needs. Leveraging technology can help ensure consistency, automate processes, and free up time for other activities.