Onboarding can sometimes be an overarching term to capture many types of activities. It can also mean different things to different departments. Organizations may have an onboarding checklist, but very soon they want to change it to accommodate newer scenarios.
So, the smart organizations use onboarding software. It allows them to configure workflows on a case by case basis. Each type of role can have a distinctive onboarding process. Without onboarding software, this is not possible using manual means.
Yet, there are some industry best practices for onboarding. These best practices are utilized by a majority of organizations – because it works. The following is a short guide to employee onboarding best practices.
Candidates want all information about the organization, its leadership, clientele, revenues, business model, team, team management and HR practices. Providing information is an evolving process. The information that is relevant today might need an update tomorrow.
There could more information required to be provided. That’s why HR elicits feedback from employees – just after they are onboarded and after they spend a few months in the organization. This feedback helps the HR build the information package for an onboarding process.
The welcome is a very important part of onboarding – and the foremost amongst the best employee onboarding practices. First impressions are always the best. They are lasting too. Although some employees are able to overlook the quality of a welcome, especially the experienced ones, yet it makes a difference. HR has to come up with ways to welcome the employee, receive the employee properly, and make the first day memorable.
One of the ways is to keep everything ready for employees. Their account IDs, temporary passwords, ID badges, forms etc. They have to be given welcome kits, welcome gifts, and information pamphlets. They have to be given lunch and dinner depending on the new hire orientation time. They also have to be introduced to the organization.
Some organizations allow eager employees to start working on their first day. This is a drift from the usual routine of new hire orientations, where employees sit in meeting rooms, and listen to presentations. In a workspace orientation activity, the employee gets to sit at his or her desk. They are allowed to access their mails, fill out forms, and seek any assistance.
This also provides them an opportunity to mingle with their team members. They get a feel of the workplace and workspace. Later, they head towards the new hire orientation. And here when they listen to people talk about the organization, its policies, departments – they can relate to it better.
HR would love it if their CEO would be able to deliver a presentation to new hires. But this seldom happens. More so because new hire orientations may happen many times a month. And CEOs are usually busy. The same goes with senior leaders. But here is where the opportunity lies too. If senior leaders are part of the orientation, the new hires get a better sense of the organization. They are inspired by the leaders, and have a clear understanding of their career path in the organization.
Onboarding doesn’t stop on day one, day two, or even after a week. Employee onboarding best practices continue even after the first week. An employee is actively onboarded during the first couple of weeks. Then the employee is passively onboarded for the next several months. During the passive onboarding process, the employee will participate in training and development programs.
These programs assist the employee, who is still fairly new to the organization, to learn the required skills for their job. So, the HR can use onboarding software to provision such trainings. Managing trainings, trainees, and trainers is a complex process. It can involve external trainers, course material, course licenses etc. HR onboarding software can be used to manage all of these processes without any manual intervention.
Once an employee is onboarded and has started to settle in the organization, the HR should check back with the employee. Not only for feedback, but to check on how they are doing. This type of communication can also be automated.
Whatever the onboarding process is, and regardless of the number of people it serves, and irrespective of the stakeholders involved, using employee onboarding platform is critical. Without automation, onboarding would be a game of hits and misses.
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