Employee Onboarding: The Hr Guide To Process Automation
Managing employees within an organization is one of the most challenging tasks performed by HR managers. HR professionals undertake an array of processes daily to ensure that the employees work in a conducive environment and the organization is staffed with talent that is best suited for the company. Of all the processes carried out by the HR department, employee onboarding is arguably the toughest. The first few weeks that an employee spends working in an organization are incredibly crucial for them and their organization. If they do not find the new work environment conducive and their needs are not taken care of, employees are likely to switch companies without hesitation.
It is, therefore, important for an organization to take employee onboarding seriously and make sure that they can retain talented employees for as long as possible.
Before getting into automating the process, let us briefly understand what employee onboarding exactly is.
What Is Employee Onboarding?
Employee onboarding is often confused with recruitment. It is essential to understand that both processes are entirely different and should not be used interchangeably.
Recruitment (and selection) is the process of creating a pool of suitable candidates for a specific job and selecting the best ones to have a shot at the opportunity through subsequent interview rounds. On the other hand, employee onboarding is welcoming new employees within an organization and ensuring that the hiring process is taken care of in the best way possible. From managing hiring paperwork to providing new employees with their tools/devices, employee onboarding focuses on helping employees adjust to their new work environment.
The definition of employee onboarding is different for different organizations. While some organizations limit it to paperwork, others take employee satisfaction and engagement into consideration. Also, the time required for onboarding employees differs from one organization to another. In fact, it also differs from one employee to another. The time taken by an organization to onboard an employee depends on familiarity with the company, the designation of the employee, the difficulty of the processes to be performed, and several other factors. While some employees can be effectively onboarded within a few days, others may take a few weeks.
Why Is Effective Employee Onboarding Important In 2021?
- Reducing Turnover
In 2021, the competition in almost every industry is so high that employees often have multiple alternatives and backups. If you cannot onboard your employees well and provide them with streamlined support, they would switch to the next best organization. This would result in the organization having to bear turnover costs. Streamlined onboarding allows your organization to retain more employees and build a team of skilled and capable members.
- Higher Engagement
In 2021, the employee needs are entirely different from what they were a few years ago. You can no longer motivate your employees to be driven towards their work by increasing their remuneration or promoting them to a better position.
Today, employee engagement is based on the flexibility of work, the effectiveness of collaboration, streamlined communication, personalized support, and many more factors. If you fail to onboard your employees well, the overall employee engagement within your organization is bound to go down.
- Building Healthy And Lasting Relationships
The first few weeks spent by an employee within an organization often indicate the kind of relationships they will have with their peers and managers. No matter how valuable a job is, faulty onboarding will prevent new employees from building healthy and lasting relationships that directly or indirectly affect their productivity.
- Keeping Managers Accountable And Accessible
Employees rarely have issues with the CEOs and COOs of the companies they work in. They often have issues with their immediate managers or team leaders. These senior employees act as barometers for the work done by the new employees and help them improve the same.
Effective employee onboarding allows you to make team leaders and managers access your employees whenever needed. Adequate delegation of authority helps the new employees obtain the necessary help to get their work done with ease and efficiency.
Benefits Of Automating Employee Onboarding
As discussed earlier, employee needs have gone through a significant change in the last few years. They can no longer be handled using traditional and manual employee onboarding processes. Organizations need to automate their onboarding processes to cater to the individual needs of every employee and keep track of their progress.
Here are some of the major benefits of automating employee onboarding:
- Reduced Paperwork
Like any other business process that requires a lot of paperwork regularly, automating employee onboarding helps your HR professionals switch to digitized platforms. As digital records replace the sheets of paper, it becomes easier for your HR department to manage their processes and update their records in real-time.
- Reduced Onboarding Lifecycle
Although organizations should let the onboarding programs last longer, it is essential to ensure that they are not stretched unnecessarily. Whether it is filing paperwork, setting up the employees' devices, or conducting orientation, traditional onboarding processes often take a longer time than required.
Automating the employee onboarding processes helps your HR professionals to get their work done on time and streamline all their processes with a few simple clicks.
- Increased Accuracy
No matter how capable your HR team is, there will always be some scope of error when all employee onboarding processes are carried out manually. When you automate the processes, you allow a software platform to conduct a range of HR processes, thereby increasing the same accuracy.
- More Focus On Core Business Issues
Although employee onboarding is critical for your organization, it is crucial to understand that it is a short-lived process. Traditional onboarding practices often indulged HR professionals so much that it distracted them from the core business issues.
By automating employee onboarding, you can help your HR team to save their time and effort that can be channelled towards other important matters pertaining to your organization.
Common Ways Of Automating Employee Onboarding
- Sending Personalized Emails Via Modern HR Helpdesk
Modern HR helpdesks allow HR managers to send personalized emails to the new employees based on their user persona with a few simple clicks. These emails often contain contact details of team members, login credentials for email/collaborative platforms, company policies, details about orientation, and other important information. Such personalized emails are ideal for onboarding employees working remotely.
- Training Your Employees Virtually
Training often forms an integral part of employee onboarding. You can automate your onboarding processes by providing virtual training to your employees. Modern HR helpdesks are equipped with the feature of microlearning that helps your employees train themselves.
Once you add all relevant training resources to your enterprise knowledge base, your employees can access them from any location and get themselves trained without being dependent on anyone else. This makes your new employees self-reliant, leading to high engagement and productivity over time.
- Making The Most Of Collaborative Platforms
Especially when you are onboarding remote employees, it is never advisable to set up different accounts on different platforms. Instead, you can automate all your employee onboarding processes using a centralized collaborative platform. This helps your HR managers reach out to your employees directly through their platform for working and interacting with their peers.
Using a single collaborative platform to automate your onboarding processes allows you to provide your employees with an ideal mix of support services in a seamless manner.
- Letting Employees Auto-resolve Their Issues
Another common way of automating employee onboarding services is to help your new employees auto-resolve their issues with the help of an automated ticketing system. The modern helpdesks make use of conversational AI to help your employees interact with AI chatbots.
These chatbots understand the context of the issues and provide them with personalized solutions for the same. If your employees are willing to get help from support agents, the helpdesk would automatically create a ticket and route the cases to suitable agents. Right from creating tickets to tracking and closing them, you can help your employees auto-resolve their issues using a modern HR helpdesk.
- Conducting Automated Surveys
Along with automating your employee onboarding processes, it is important to conduct regular surveys of all your employees to understand the pulse of your new workforce. Use modern helpdesks in conducting personalized employee surveys and analyzing the feedback obtained from the same.
This helps your HR manager make necessary changes in their approach and take important decisions regarding employee onboarding.
The Final Word
Employee onboarding is an essential HR process that needs to be automated to obtain the best results. If you are willing to improve the rate of employee retention, engagement, and productivity within your organization, it is advisable to switch to an automated approach towards onboarding your employees.