Digitization of onboarding for job-ready talent
In the new business environment, employees like customers, are beginning to expect the real-time fulfillment of their needs even at their place of work. The expectation may have emerged from digitized business models, almost all utilities today like Net Banking, online payment of rent and fees and online retailing, hence today’s employees expect their employers to have an automated processes of on-boarding where one is acquainted with the organization through a set of digitized process and not be shy of asking the same questions over and over again.
Yet many organizations cannot meet these expectations. As a result, disconnect with an employee occurs even before an employee establishes an understanding of the organization. While employees will not explicitly mention this in their onboarding feedback forms, studies show that employees are expecting a radical overhaul of the onboarding process. The desire for systems with intuitive interfaces, round-the-clock availability, real-time fulfillment, personalization, global consistency and zero errors have become not only expected, in some cases without these an organization is not able to suitably impress most of their employees. When implemented correctly, companies can expect not only enhanced productivity and better operational efficiency quickly, the propensity of mistakes made by new employees also reduce significantly.
The impact of traditional onboarding
Large organization have multiple roles and structures, HR and Departments have to generate multiple checklists based on the new employee’s role, assigning various documentation to appropriate departments for fulfillment – from IS to internal training units. A typical onboarding process comprises a mix of activities, such as classroom trainings, online courseware, reading various documents—including regulatory controlled documents—and also face-to-face meetings with key people from different teams. Key to this onboarding training is the paper-based checklists that are given to the new employees. The checklists define the different activities the new recruits must complete and the order in which they must be completed. The new recruits are expected to complete the tasks assigned and also get the appropriate individuals to sign the sheets, as proof that they have completed the tasks. This part of the onboarding process is a manual and time consuming, as employees spend hours ensuring the lists are completed. In case of a change in policies, there is an immediate need to revise and realign roles and responsibilities. One of the largest impacts, however, of a traditional onboarding process is the significant increase in the time taken to be productive for the organization. Maintaining customer satisfaction and driving long-term growth in a fast-paced business environment requires proficient, agile and flexible workforce.
The road to accelerated onboarding
Proper accelerated onboarding of an employee is not only essential but crucial to the success of the organization. It is during onboarding that new employees become familiar with the expectations, conditions, avenues of collaboration and learn criticalities of conducting business and creating meaningful relationships with various teams. Any lack here will show up negatively in the near-term, including lackluster sales numbers or higher rates of attrition. To ensure organizations can start decisively and demonstrate success quickly, they need to:
1. Streamline the entire process for speed, efficiency, and accuracy. Provide essential component and relevant resources and documentation, is not only current but can be easily accessed and referred to when necessary
2. Automate the onboarding process by eliminating slow manual processes removing chances of error and delays in response time
3. Support the change management efforts with enhanced communications, providing for smooth transition and better performance
Hit the ground running
An effective accelerated onboarding program can cut training time significantly, resulting in not just annual savings but accelerating the time needed to increase new hire competency – thereby increasing productivity. At the earliest stages of a transformation, the development of an accelerated onboarding plan needs to be attuned to the contractual and statutory requirements. But it is most critical to position strategic messages that encourage performance and helps build capabilities of employees. For example, an onboarding portal can have a real-time view customized for various stakeholders who are logged in to the portal according to their roles. Task based rules can simplify the need of sifting through numerous paper documents to verify if the listed tasks are complete. This can be further supported by ready assessments that facilitates rapid identification of high performers and provides remediation and reinforcement for gradual learning. A customized accelerated onboarding program can help employees forge a strong bond with the organization, while motivating strong performers to contribute decisively and reducing time to proficiency for all employees.