Make Employee Onboarding Process Flow Easy for HRs and New Joiners
No manager wants to welcome a newcomer with a round of Kafkaesque alienation. The question is how to invite the new recruits? How will you welcome the newcomers and integrate them with the organization? You need to understand the techniques of onboarding and the best practices of onboarding for the smooth transitioning of the new recruits.
What is the onboarding process? Employee onboarding is the process of familiarizing the newcomers with the vision, mission, and goals of the organization. An employee onboarding process flow will help organize a lot of repetitive tasks that the human resources team has to put up with every time a new employee is selected. Things can become even more complicated when a bunch of ten or twenty employees is selected simultaneously for ongoing projects. The onboarding begins when the new employer is offered the new position and ends when the employee becomes fully functional.
Attracting potential talent and retaining them in an organization is an arduous task, especially in the millennial world where employees no longer stick to the same organization for decades. It is up to the company to understand their requirements, impart knowledge quickly, provide them with the necessary equipment and make them part of the group so that they can work efficiently.
However, some organizations fail to differentiate the onboarding and the orientation process. The orientation of the new employees is somewhat of a standalone process that is done by the HR executives. The orientation process is necessarily the transactional tasks, paperwork, and other routine tasks. But the onboarding process can last up to 12 months, depending on the company’s policies.
Here are a few questions to answer before answering the formal onboarding process:
- When will the onboarding process begin, and how long will it last?
- What impression about the organization should be given to the new employee on the first day?
- What do the new employees need to know about the organizational environment and work culture?
- What is the role of managers, HR managers, and co-workers in the onboarding process?
- What kind of goals do you want the new employees to set?
- How will you gather feedback on the onboarding process and evaluate its success?
Upon answering the above questions, the HR team and the upper management will formulate the onboarding process and assimilate the company’s policies. The onboarding process needs to be conducted in such a way that the new employees get quickly acquainted with the company’s culture.
Let’s break up the process into the pre-employment and post-employment onboarding processes.
The workflow that you are going to use will vary based on whether the person is already on your premises or not. It will also focus a lot on fixing communication gaps so as to allow the new joiner to feel comfortable with the process.
Pre- Employment Employee Onboarding Process Flow
Notifying the candidate – The first step once a candidate has cleared all rounds is to let them know they have been selected in a formal, welcome email.
Offer letter and additional documents – The next step is to quickly release the offer letter so that the employee can make up his or her mind. It should also include all additional documents such as NDA, bond, policy documents to be signed if they choose to accept.
Acceptance – As soon as an employee accepts your offer, HR should personally get in touch and guide them into filling up the forms.
Follow Up during notice period – Employees can easily choose to pick up another offer and it is necessary to keep in touch with them weekly once or bi-weekly to create an emotional bond with the organization.
Welcoming them onboard – Finally, when the joining date arrives, a seamless employee onboarding procedure will give them confidence and convince new joiners that they are now part of a reputed organization.
Post-Employment Employee Onboarding Process Flow
Getting documents signed – Once the employee reaches your office venue, they are expected to sign a bunch of documents and paperwork including agreements, the offer letter. The HR will guide them, and this process will also include digitally signing multiple forms.
Granting access – In most companies, the employee is supposed to register their fingerprint, receive temporary ID cards, and have their place assigned.
IT/ Operations – Every department in an office will get to work when successfully onboarding a new employee including IT, operations, admin, finance, and HR. The IT team is responsible for assigning a new computer or laptop to the designated place.
Induction process – After having formally introduced the employee to their reporting manager and teammates, an induction process is mandatory to give them a good idea of the organization and its processes.
However, the main question is, “how can companies improve their onboarding process?” when the new recruits are encouraged to apply their personal strengths and showcase their skills. The new hires need to feel more connected to the company so that they are more likely to stay for a longer time. When they feel connected, there will be less employee turnover.
Reinventing the Process of Onboarding
Many organizations follow the common theme of the onboarding process – to accustom new employees to the organizational structure. The ultimate goal of the onboarding process is to instill a sense of pride in the new employees about their new affirmations. The new employees need to know their roles and responsibilities from day one.
The HR managers generally begin the onboarding process by explaining the different departments and discussing the importance of building and retaining talents. The company should be strict in making the new employees understand and discuss the company’s future goals. This is the general norm that many companies follow to enable the newcomers to get accustomed to the company’s work culture. It also gives leaders to have control over what to expect from the newcomers.
However, the traditional ways of the onboarding process have some drawbacks. They think that the organizational values and company’s vision are something that needs to be taught to the newcomers. Sometimes in the onboarding process, the newcomers might downplay their own identities to fit into the company’s work culture. This may not be useful for the company in the long run, as downplaying one’s own identity in the workplace can be upsetting and reduce the employees’ efficiency.
Furthermore, some employees may not subscribe to organizational values. Though they seem to comply with them by their external behavior, leaders and top management should know if their employees want to contribute to the company’s performance in specific ways that are not programmed. When the organization fails to socialize with the newcomers, it raises the issues of work dissatisfaction and emotional exhaustion, which leads to employee turnover.
When the newcomers are given the opportunity to express themselves at their work, their self-esteem is enhanced, and they represent a positive identity even in a time of crisis. Therefore, companies now employ the so-called “personal identity socialization” approach. This approach helps acknowledge the newcomers to express their unique perspectives and strengths from day one. This acts as a platform for bringing out the best and making them feel welcome.
The approach has basically four principles: (i) breaking the traditional employment flow, (ii) helping newcomers to find their authentic fortitude, (iii) facilitating acquaintance with other organizational members (iv) encouraging newcomers to showcase their strengths in their work.
The four principles will help a newcomer to get accustomed to a fresh start in a new social setting. It provides them with the opportunities to show their individuality among their colleagues. The best way for an organization to advance its goals is when managers use their employees’ authentic core strengths from the beginning daily. But is it possible to expect this from the employees in their daily work? Organizations are reshaping their employee onboarding and socialization process using the four principles, keeping the employee-employer relationship light.
- The first principle is the most difficult one as, traditionally, many employers think of the jobs as the cluster of activities that the employees do, and they get paid. They think jobs are a set of scripted activities, which makes them not care about how well they connect with the employees. Especially, today’s millennials who come for the jobs are hungry to make a change and be the best in what they do. Limiting their individuality will only suppress their true potential. Therefore, managers need to break out of that traditional mindset. They need to start acknowledging the fact that the organization is made up of people who have the desire to showcase their signature strengths. They need to help each other to enhance the company’s performance.
- Managers in Wipro asked the new employees to reflect on a scenario either at work or at home where they acted as “they were born to act.” Also, they did a 360° review where they asked their close relatives and friends to share a moment about them. The second principle is where the newcomers showcase their authentic talents, and the employers acknowledge them. One way to achieve connectivity is by asking the newcomers personalized questions like “tell the happiest moments in your work? What is something unique about your character that led to your best performance?” Interacting with them like this will put the newcomers at ease and make them feel welcome into the team.
- The onboarding process generally has the newcomers to introduce themselves to their co-workers from other departments. It will be helpful if the introductions are structured so that the newcomers can freely express their authentic strengths. At Wipro, during the onboarding process, the newcomers were said to activate their “best self” while engaging with the people from other departments and strengthening their social identity.
- The final principle is asking the newcomers how they will incorporate their authentic strength and their skills into their jobs. Wipro used the personal identity socialization approach to introduce their organizational goals and what they expect from the newcomers. They asked the newcomers to reflect on their authentic strengths with the company’s vision and how they will actively perform in their new jobs.
Goals of Onboarding Process
There cannot be two identical onboarding processes as each process is tailored to suit the needs and goals of that organization. Moreover, there are some goals of onboarding that are necessary for creating a positive experience for the newcomers.
- The onboarding process should mirror the organizational environment in which the new recruits want to work.
- The onboarding process should emphasize communication and be clear and concise about the acceptable modes of communication. The newcomers need to communicate about their roles and responsibilities and what is expected out of them in the first year.
- The predominant goal of the onboarding process is to align the new recruits to the goals and vision of the organization. They need to know the business strategies and communicate how they work in achieving the company’s goals.
Why Is Onboarding Important?
Now that you know how to reinvent the onboarding process, now it is essential to understand why onboarding is essential.
Why is it important? As said earlier, some companies conduct an onboarding process for up to 12 months. Onboarding is regarded as the second most critical phase in an employee’s career lifecycle. The process comprises four parts – (a) speculating and attracting the right talents, (b) onboarding, (c) guiding the talent, (d) transitioning
There are several reasons why onboarding is vital. The first thing is companies invest large amounts of money in searching for and recruiting top talents. They cannot afford to disenfranchise the lost employees as it costs the company valuable resources and time. The second thing is the onboarding process ensures that the hired employees are at their functioning level, and they can learn the organization’s workflows as soon as possible. Third is, when the company implements the onboarding process effectively, the new recruits can make a smooth transition which in turn enhances employee engagement and reduces employee turnover rates.
Initially, the newcomers feel motivated and have a desire to be successful in their affirmations. New employees will have certain expectations about their learning during the time they are with the company. Only when their expectations are met, will they sustain their motivation. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the level of employee engagement in the first 30-90 days of employment determines their retention. Moreover, when a comprehensive onboarding process is implemented, with proper communication indicators, and performance indicators, assessing strengths and weaknesses, providing constructive feedback, and providing proper training can increase employee retention by 11.3%.
The ultimate goal of the onboarding process is evaluation. Many employees will be on probation during the onboarding period. The onboarding process will be effective by giving the new employees the necessary tools and support needed for them to succeed in their roles. Moreover, their performance needs to be monitored regularly. At the end of the onboarding process, the evaluation needs to determine the impact and significant areas of improvement. The evaluation includes strategic and operational performance.
The retention and turnover rates are measured at the end of the onboarding process. The retention threshold needs to be monitored regularly and the percentage of employees leaving in the first six months to two years of employment. Performance indicators include the number of new employees enrolled in the training and mentoring programs. Finally, formal and informal feedback can be done with the help of
Best Practices of Onboarding Process
With the entry of millennials, the onboarding process trends change with technological innovations. Today many of the routine transactional tasks are being handled through the web and automation using sophisticated tools. With most of the millennials being tech-savvy, they are much eager to learn new things and advance in their careers quickly. Therefore, the tasks associated with their orientation on the first day are being handled completely through the web. The welcome message from the Chief Executive Officer, the organization’s history, goals and mission, employee profiles, online tours, company policies, and other additional benefits that the company provides – all these details are fully provided to the newcomers through web portals.
This accelerates socialization, and many organizations have started using Web 2.0 tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook to create networks that include their colleagues before starting their work. Similarly, different organizations use different ways to welcome the newcomers and make them feel they belong in the organization from day one.
Since the early stages of onboarding are crucial and help in establishing a lasting bond between the organization and the employees, Alice Snell, vice president of the research division of Taleo, outlines some of the best onboarding practices and tips to avoid pitfalls.
When companies conduct a streamlined onboarding process with technological improvements, they can:
- Reduce the time and effort of the HR executives directly involved in the onboarding process.
- Accuracy and speed in data collection can be significantly improved, especially in terms of payroll data.
- Consistency in legal and policy compliance can be achieved.
- Less paperwork when using web-based tools where the company can save printing and shipping costs of onboarding forms.
- Increased efficiency in tracking and evaluating performance metrics of new recruits.
- Employee–manager communication is attenuated.
- Employee performance and productivity is increased.
- Enhanced loyalty and employee job satisfaction.
- Improved teamwork because of strong bonds among colleagues.
- Improved company’s brand image.
These are some of the crucial benefits of the onboarding process. Therefore, the key to successful onboarding is a complete process – using a technological platform with customizable workflows and seamless integration with the organization’s HR and talent management system. The process must be balanced between consistency and flexibility at different levels.
Accordingly, there are four crucial steps in onboarding, and practicing these steps can help organizations to have an effective onboarding process.
When you use a workflow automation tool, the business logic can be established at the beginning, and automation can be applied efficiently. The software or the automation tool that you use can typically collect all the data flow from the new hires, both internally and externally. Activities such as reminders, service requests, and other data transfers to the HR information system in the company can be handled by the automation tool. Also, data pertaining to the orientation, training, evaluation, and feedback.
The four crucial steps include – Competence, Execution, Incorporation, Disclosure
- Competence – This is the first step where the processes are analyzed. Here all the activities and processes involved in onboarding are reviewed, and their impact is evaluated in addition to HR executives and, top management officers, many stakeholders involved in the onboarding process. Now the process is analyzed, the payroll benefits are evaluated and established through direct deposits. The office managers will assign the work to the newcomers. The security department will provide the badges and take care of other access documentation. Now the training will be set, which will be job specific. Moreover, the team members and mentors will provide the general orientation and give an office tour explaining the facilities. Finally, the IT department will allocate the resources such as desktop laptops and any other necessary resources for the newcomers to complete their assigned work.
- Execution – In this phase, including the configuration and implementation of onboarding technology. For instance, the automation can do the hiring and administering activities that happen in the portal, manage the workflow correspondence, and supervise the custom forms.
- Incorporation – In this phase, the information of the newcomers is integrated with the company’s HR system, including both the internal and external flows.
- Disclosure – This is the reporting phase where the final evaluation and performance metrics are disclosed. The final process of onboarding is monitored, and feedback is given to the newcomers for their continuous improvement.
Moreover, when you automate the HR practices, it can simplify the onboarding process much more. The onboarding technology alone cannot perform the socialization activities which are crucial for employee engagement. However, when there is an automation tool, it can transform the haphazard onboarding practices into digital and systematic workflows. Automation corresponds to the applicants’ personal and work-related information and can be embedded in workflows. Automation also reduces the data entry time which enhances the time spent on administrative tasks. It promotes a positive environment and employee engagement.
Comprehensive onboarding helps the company have a clear picture of the performance of the new recruits. An automated and well-designed onboarding process helps hasten the time, reduce process costs, and improve employee retention, and employee satisfaction. The optimized onboarding process acts as a crucial element by radicalizing management strategy, increasing efficiency, reducing disparity, and providing better insight to the hiring managers. A properly planned onboarding process helps maintain staffing consistency.
In today’s competitive business world, organizations are striving to identify the best practices of performance enhancement and to generate expected results. Optimizing the company’s onboarding process in combination with talent management is the apparent solution for attaining the company’s goals and vision.
Cflow Makes Employee Onboarding Process Flow Easier
The series of steps mentioned above are some of the most important things to take note of when onboarding a new employee. There are additional tasks to be done such as creating email ids, assigning a place, getting them into projects, and so on.
Cflow is a workflow automation software that is integrated with an employee onboarding process workflow that you could make use of. The template simplifies the process and there is also an option to go for customized templates based on your organization’s requirements.
Create a great impression with your new employees with Cflow automation and make employee onboarding a pleasant experience like never before.