Starting a new employee is always going to be a daunting step, both for the new recruit and for the recruiter. They say the first few weeks are often the toughest because your employee may decide to leave for pastures new. But a good onboarding can prevent all of that. In fact, research on Glassdoor has shown that a good onboarding program can raise employee retention by 82% and productivity by 70%.
But there’s only so much you can do through face-to-face chit-chats. Onboarding software needs to take the reins and we can show you how.
Automating the process
There are several hoops to jump through, such as training protocols, policy education. And of course, all the paperwork that both yourself and the employee are required to keep track of. This will only hinder the employee’s workload if they’re spending the better part of their first week filling out forms. Look at the process and try to automate what you can. Have all the policy forms available to fill out online and use video to provide training. It will alleviate the administrative side of proceedings.
Personalize the journey
Automating the process doesn’t mean you have to give every employee the same welcome. There is one piece of software that offers a personalized note from the interviewers as well as a few perks and gifts that you can make use of later on. And remember, the relationship between employer and employee should be two-way. Help the newcomer understand how you can support their professional and personal growth. This shows the employee that you’re seeing the individual working under you rather than the cog in the machine.
More often than not, newcomers are going to find themselves struggling with certain aspects of the onboarding process. They will need to defer to the experience of their peers. Having a shared online network through which employees can support each other builds up that sense of community and belonging. And if there is an issue an employee wants to handle outside of working hours, then you can make sure there is an automated answer service available 24/7 to answer any queries.
One difficulty that some recruiters have noted is in getting employees to adapt to different types of procedures. When it comes to the application process, for example, some of it may be written, some may be a back-and-forth exchange and some may involve a computer. Employees are forced to familiarise themselves with various types of processes which can add a mild bout of pressure during the first few weeks. Using an onboarding software for most of, if not all, of your company processes establishes some consistency in protocol and means employees can take to the system like a duck to water.
The average person spends five hours a day on their phone. So, it stands to reason at some point, an employee will use the phone as part of their working day. This could be to check their inboxes for reminders on meetings, catching up with co-workers. The mobile will be one of their most commonly used items at work other than a computer. Whatever software you choose to make use of, it has to be compatible with mobile. Onboarding software needs to be treated as a constant companion, which won’t be possible if you have to be sat before a computer to access it.
The whole of the business
When employees take on a job and learn about the company along the way, they often fixate on the areas/department most relevant to their role. But the best employees, the ones who become the most capable, they will try – and need – to familiarise themselves with all aspects of the business, especially if they plan on climbing the career ladder. Whether it is administration, sales, marketing or customer service, the onboarding software should be able to provide a detailed overview of the business’ functions, culture and values.
Gamification is becoming an increasingly popular addition to non-game elements. If you’re looking to help employees come to grips with what is expected of them, then gamification lends an interactive feel to the learning curve. One mistake is that because it is treated as a generic online test, it is easy for employees to become passive and disengaged. But by adding interactive elements such as music and prizes for completing orientation exercises, employees remain engaged. The prizes could be a digital badge stored on their profile, or perhaps points that will add up over time to unlock a later benefit. Medium reports that 90% of employees are more productive with gamification, with 72% stating that it inspired them to work harder and 95% stating that they enjoyed it.
Extending the Onboarding Journey
One mistake that many recruiters make is they only focus on onboarding during the first week, but employees are always progressing. You cannot assume that employees are going to learn everything they need to know after five working days. The best way to get employees to stick around is to work with them to develop a long-term progression plan. That’s where the software comes into play. You can use it throughout the employee’s time there, giving them some goals to work towards both short-term and long-term with the software charting their progress.
There already has been some stellar work by some organizations that offer software as a service in identifying many of the issues that recruiters face at the onboarding stage and has taken steps to rectify them. Their work has seen a focus on issues such as recruitment onboarding as well as HR solutions.
The purpose of onboarding is not just to help employees through the early stages of the job, but also to ensure they stick around for the long run. Research has shown that employees who receive a good onboarding program are more likely to stay with a company for years to come. Today, onboarding software is one of the greatest energizers when it comes to employee engagement and no business should be functioning without it.