With the employee experience spanning from hiring to retirement, it can be difficult to single out a pivotal moment that stands above the shoulders of equally important milestones and day-to-day marks.
But, like most things in life, the beginning is incredibly important. First impressions matter in the work world, too.
Onboarding – the initial stages of getting hires acquainted with their new job – is the period of time many may forget under promotions, projects and retirement, but is an incredibly important part of the employee experience.
If you’re here, you’re likely planning on nailing your onboarding process, and know that there are platforms to help do this. So, here’s how an employee experience solution can help you do just that.
Onboarding to set employees up for success
Onboarding is the chance to help newcomers feel comfortable with the organization, while also ensuring that all of the important protocols and policies are understood.
Orientation weeks and bulk training for new employees might be what come to mind when you think of onboarding. However, these aren’t one-stop solutions for every business, and risk turning the introductory phase into a canned, not-so-warm welcome.
With the time frame not set in stone (some say three months; others say one year), it may seem daunting to implement a structured onboarding program. Here are some telling stats and points to keep in mind while planning:
- Employees need to feel like they are coming into an organized role with a clear purpose. Have documents that define their procedures, processes and more.
- Over half of individuals will likely remain with their organization if the onboarding experience is a positive one.
- More than 50% of organizations that do have a structured onboarding process in place polled as having much higher employee engagement numbers.
- For HR and the departments in charge of monitoring and reporting on onboarding, the top challenges are inconsistent/unclear onboarding and measuring the efficacy of the process.
This planned, formal introduction is so important for everything from retention to productivity. Luckily, digital platforms that manage employee experience are an excellent solution for onboarding your teams – wherever they are.
Onboarding hybrid teams with employee experience software
Employee platforms are tailored to enhance and measure each step of the experience. For onboarding, this is especially true: A targeted, filterable resource library means that newcomers can find everything they need easily; Social intranets allow for warm welcomes and notices; And scheduled training makes the process a gradual, easily-digested experience.
Here are some of the features the best employee experience platforms pack for onboarding and how they play into the phase:
- Protocols, policies and documentation
You’ve been there: New position, and you’re already buried by paperwork. Slotting into a new company means that you have to read, understand and sign off on both their unique policies and more general documents.
Built into the platform directly, a digital library stores all of the necessary documentation for onboarding. If a piece of paperwork needs to be signed off on, it can be built into a checklist or form that allows for the employee to input an eSignature at the end, formally agreeing that they understand the document and notifying HR or their supervisor that they’ve complied.
All of these things can be scheduled and assigned as well in an employee experience app, so the risk of information overload is greatly diminished.
Training during onboarding both reinforces what is learned in face-to-face (or video) sessions and introduces new content.
Whether it’s annual mandatory training or learning unique to your workplace, new hires benefit from having their courses stored on an employee experience platform.
Solutions that answer onboarding challenges will include a learning management system (LMS) that allows administrators to both create learning modules and import existing, certified courses.
And – like with paperwork – onboarding courses can be delivered or assigned over a period of time, so there’s time between training to understand, take a breather and get ready.
- Communication and engagement
Communication makes the onboarding process personal, memorable and more engaging, while also opening opportunities for feedback and conversation.
By using an employee experience platform, you can leverage its messaging and social intranet features to establish a great first contact and stick with it throughout the employee lifecycle.
Messaging tools help onboarding teams send new hires reminders, instructions and more. This means that the ‘open door policy’ so many leaders (and employees) are looking for is upheld for the entire work day, even if it’s a remote work situation.
Social intranets that are built into employee experience platforms allow for pulse polls, engagement surveys and posts, among other things. Seeing everyone socialize helps feel more at home for new employees, but posting also leaves room for notices and alerts.
Employee Experience platforms can structure onboarding
So, while onboarding has a tremendous impact on newcomers, it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge to structure an engaging, structured process.
The tools provided by employee experience software can truly power the meet-and-greet phases, yes, but they can boost every other part of the lifecycle too.
Give your employees a great introduction to their new company, and you’ll already be on your way to providing a better employee experience.
by Tanya Harris
Tanya is iTacit's Director of Operations. Working with HR-related tasks, crucial operations and more, Tanya sees every side of the company and knows what it takes to make the most important wheels keep on turning.