HR Hacks Series: Improve Employee Engagement and Productivity with Onboarding Hacks
by Sharlyn Lauby January 19 2016
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According to Equifax Workforce Solutions, 40 percent of employees who leave their jobs do so within the first six months. This can cost organizations thousands of dollars. Once an organization has spent a lot of time and money hiring an employee, the last thing they want is for the employee to leave.
In this mini-series of posts, we introduced hacks for making the sourcing and interview process better. This last post in the series is focused on the onboarding process. Once an organization finds the best talent and selects the right candidate, they will want to set that person up for success.
Sometimes orientation and onboarding are used as interchangeable terms, but they’re really two different things. Orientation is the activity or event designed to build the foundation for an employee. Onboarding is a process to help employees become productive in their role.
One way to think of onboarding is that it focuses on building relationships between the new employee and the organization. Onboarding starts during the recruitment process when candidates are building relationships with human resources, their manager and co-workers. It also includes training employees on their new role and setting performance expectations.
In fact, it could be said that onboarding happens anytime an employee moves into a new role. Whether that’s from outside the organization or within via an internal transfer/promotion. There’s this process where the employee learns how to be productive in their new role. Bottom-line: onboarding builds working relationships and gives employees more opportunities to collaborate.
To make the onboarding process better, organizations should consider the role technology can play in the process. Technology can be used to handle onboarding administration. This provides the organization with consistency, compliance and cost-efficiency. All things that allow HR and the employee’s manager to shift focus on relationship building.
Another way to utilize technology is by leveraging the technology tools that employees have with them every day: mobile and social.
Pew Research cites that 64 percent of American adults own a smart phone. It only makes sense to take advantage of employee access to this technology. Organizations can deliver pre-hire paperwork to an employee’s mobile device. They can also send welcome messages and other relevant information such as what to expect on Day One and when benefits paperwork is due.
A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) notes that most HR pros feel that job seekers must have an online presence. Chances are very good that current candidates already have an online presence. Use this opportunity to Introduce new hires to internal communities. Encourage social sharing of information so employees can learn from each other. Collaboration helps build teams and promote employee engagement.
The onboarding process is a key component to employee success. Onboarding gives new hires an opportunity to build positive working relationships that are necessary for getting their jobs done. It helps them engage with the organization. But the way to improve the onboarding process is by letting technology handle the pieces they can do efficiently, such as new hire paperwork. And letting technology like mobile devices and social media platforms be the medium to deliver messages.
Employees are accustomed to using technology on a daily basis. Giving them an onboarding process they are comfortable with only makes sense. Because if employees find they can settle in with the company easily, maybe it means that they will stay.
What types of “hacks” are you using to onboard employees? Comment below!
Sharlyn Lauby is the HR Bartender and president of ITM Group Inc., a South Florida based training and human resources consulting firm focused on helping companies retain and engage talent.
Sharlyn sees human resources as a strategic partner - the marketing department for a company’s internal clients rather as administrative. During her 20+ years in the profession, she has earned a reputation for bringing business solutions to reality.
Prior to starting ITM Group, Sharlyn was vice president of human resources for Right Management Consultants, one of the world’s largest organizational consulting firms. She has designed and implemented highly successful programs for employee retention, internal and external customer satisfaction, and leadership development. Publications such as Reuters, The New York Times, ABC News, TODAY, Readers Digest, Men’s Health and The Wall Street Journal have sought out her expertise on topics related to human resources and workplace issues.