It’s been a bit more than a year since the pandemic hit, bringing with it a sort of Bear Grylls way of life: Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. That is what many companies worldwide did when shifting to a 100 percent work-from-home model, establishing a new focus on the workforce.
Due to the fact that “virtual everything” became the new normal, it was only a matter of time before companies started taking a long look at their onboarding programs and redesigning the entirety of the initial employee journey, recognizing that the impact of a successful onboarding strategy can help engage and retain talent from day one.
When starting a new job, new hires used to be faced with first-day jitters and a considerable amount of paperwork, names to remember, internal organization training and questions; so many questions. But companies strived to make it a social and enjoyable experience, providing candidates with helpful tips and onboarding buddies to share their doubts and hardships.
Now, the remote factor of onboarding has led companies to find ways to help candidates have the same experience as they would in person, streamlining the process to make it as effortless as possible for all parties involved, while still having a certain social touch that won’t cause new hires to feel alone in this unique journey. To achieve this, many have turned to technology.
But, in an ever-growing strategic HR technology market, finding the right solution for your organization’s onboarding plan may seem overwhelming, to say the least. Fear not! We’ve taken into consideration a recent report by Deloitte (you need to be a member to access it) and rounded up some of the elements and capabilities that your company may need to keep in mind when looking for your glass slipper of a solution. Let’s take a look.
The Importance of Being Cross-Functional When Onboarding
The fact remains that integration and alignment between teams are a fundamental necessity when focusing on the starting point of your onboarding strategy. From the IT team in charge of setting up computers for new employees to the several stakeholders and groups in HR involved throughout pre-boarding and beyond (Talent Acquisition, Learning and Development, etc. ), the company as a whole needs to ensure that the process and practices put in place will meet the needs and goals set when onboarding new hires.
Cross-functional approaches to onboarding seek to encourage communication and seamless collaboration between areas and stakeholders, bringing employees from different departments or skill areas. This is important to take into consideration when choosing an onboarding solution. Why? Well, in the great words of the Beatles, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” and this applies here as well.
When we pull from different areas and employees with different skill sets, new hires get a more holistic image not only of the company in general but also of the culture and roles that make it up, transforming any process into a more collaborative one and covering all the bases.
Solutions with a cross-functional approach in mind can help widen the impact of your onboarding strategy by presenting several capabilities that can be combined to help support the plan put in place, such as on-demand video interviewing and social features like employee hubs or training portals). Integrating these functionalities combined with automated workflows, allow for the set up and triggering of different steps throughout the employee journey, personalizing your process while streamlining everyone’s collaboration.
From an alert to the hiring manager to set up an interview, to reminding IT to prepare a computer and even alerting the training team to assign new hires their learning plans, workflows save you the trouble of sticking post-its on your computer screen or creating alarms on your phone in order to remind every stakeholder involved when they need to participate.
Capabilities and the Onboarding Experience
We’ve previously mentioned the importance of engaging talent throughout the employee’s onboarding journey, aiming to achieve retention in the long run. Remember: 90 percent of new hires decide whether or not to stay at the company in the first 6 months. For retention to succeed, personalization is a must.
Personalization entails looking for a solution that is capable of creating not only a generalized and broad internal onboarding plan (sort of like your intro to the company), but also a tailored onboarding experience that focuses on the specific roles and responsibilities of a new hire’s job. It’s essential to strike a balance between both since a new hire needs to know the company’s ins and outs and what is expected of them in their new role.
An integral part of any employee journey during onboarding is the shaping of company culture. Onboarding solutions can help reinforce a company’s culture, focusing on building resilience in the workforce and this, in turn, allows them to respond and adapt to change. For example, by building an employee engagement hub, teams can share news and recognize colleagues or endorse their skills. These also play a part in the social and human aspects of the employee journey.
Give Your Onboarding Experience a Personal Touch
With the rise of remote work, companies now more than ever before need to focus on delivering a “human touch” in every interaction during an employee’s journey from day one. This can help with retention by creating social bonds that make new hires more inclined to stay. It may seem challenging to bring the human aspect while using onboarding technology, but it can be done.
This can be incorporated during the entire onboarding process by way of personalized onboarding portals that guide new joiners through administrative tasks and allow them to connect with teammates prior to day one, assigning new hires with an onboarding buddy (companies that have implemented a buddy program have seen an 87 percent boost in new hire proficiency), and even setting up a training portal for their continued development as well as one-on-one video meetings to catch up and make them feel welcome.
This designed growth, through effective onboarding, can provide the necessary elements that allow accelerated development of new hires. Technology can support this, socially and culturally integrating new hires to the company quicker and transforming their learning journey into a continuous one throughout the entire employee lifecycle.
Onboarding Solutions: The Report
The image below showcases the key findings of Deloitte’s report, keeping in mind all the points discussed. As you can see, Avature Onboard is powerfully positioned regarding the capabilities that companies need to spearhead their own onboarding strategies.
If you are a member, you can access the full report here.
Being prepared to enable a virtual workforce seems more crucial now than ever before. And with onboarding being one of the first steps in an employee’s journey, companies everywhere are looking to leverage technology that will allow them to successfully transform it from day one.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution, though. When looking for an onboarding solution that best fits your needs, don’t forget to take into account your own company journey as well as the employee’s. Working with every area involved when choosing the right one can ultimately be the difference between setting new hires up for a successful journey or risking high employee turnover.