Meet Alex. Alex is a recent graduate who just landed his first full-time job as an in-house graphic designer. As it’s his first job outside of college, he’s feeling a bit like you do on the first day of school: nervous, stressed, and unsure of himself.
Although 90% of organizations believe employees make the decision to stay or leave within their first year, only 15% of organizations extend the onboarding process beyond six months. Creating a successful, ongoing onboarding process is essential to assimilating and holding on to new hires like Alex.
Making a great first impression at your company starts with having a great onboarding process for new employees. However, onboarding isn’t what it used to be; a stack of paperwork and a week-long training session won’t cut it anymore.
Fortunately, throwing technology into the mix can make the process more enjoyable for employers and new hires alike in the following ways:
1. Give New Hires a Warm Welcome
While tech can’t replace in-person greetings, it’s nice to have some messages to refer back to when the introductions and company tour are over. After all, remembering names, job duties, etc., isn’t easy —especially on an employee’s first day.
Fortunately for our friend Alex, when it comes time to return to his desk, he’s greeted with a custom welcome message on the company’s social news feed. An automated welcome email gives Alex a brief overview of where the company is heading and Alex’s role in the process, introduces the department he will be working with, gives him a basic itinerary, and encourages him to ask for assistance, if needed.
Not only can automated messages be used to welcome new hires, but they can also be used to quickly introduce new hires to the rest of the team or department.
2. Save Trees and Go Paperless
Alex was expecting to spend the lion’s share of his first day sifting through, filling out, and double-checking a number of important documents, but he’s surprised to find out his company has adopted a paperless onboarding system. This makes it easy for him to hit the ground running from day one.
One of the biggest ways tech can up your onboarding game is by enabling you to go paperless. Say goodbye to those seemingly endless stacks of new-hire paperwork, and say hello to a simplified way to manage, track, and store important onboarding documents. Automating this portion of the onboarding process will save both you and your new employees time, as well as make it easy to avoid compliance issues.
3. Provide Ongoing Training
New-hire training should extend beyond the employee’s first week on the job. How long should it last? No two employees are exactly alike, and they shouldn’t be expected to assimilate at the same speed. New-hire training should last as long as it takes for the employee to adjust and achieve the level of productivity expected of them.
You might be thinking there’s no time (or money) to devote to this — but you’d be wrong. With the addition of technology, ongoing onboarding is a cinch. Alex’s new workplace, for instance, provides initial training through a series of videos. These videos demonstrate everything from how to navigate the office to how to use the company’s project management platform. It’s new-hire training made easy — and it can continue on demand for Alex in the months ahead.
4. Don’t Forget to Socialize
One of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of the onboarding process is socialization. Like Alex, most new hires are plagued with first-day jitters. The sooner new hires feel like an essential part of the team, the sooner those jitters subside. While office tours and communal lunches can help acclimate new hires into the company culture, consider implementing tech to keep the conversation going.
Alex’s company did this with an internal social platform that allowed him to view employee profiles, stay up to date with happenings on the company news feed, congratulate coworkers, and more. A similar option would be to invest in a company chat platform that enables team members to easily communicate and collaborate. While technology can help new hires socialize, it doesn’t hurt to also take them out to lunch or invite them to happy hour (an offer no one can refuse).
The real reason technology should play a large role in the onboarding process isn’t so that you can spend less time training new hires, but so that you and your employees can spend more time pursuing your goals.