Blogs

The importance of onboarding in the digital age

By Phoebe Barker

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Over the last month we’ve spoken a lot about how businesses need to adapt to changing environments and consumer trends if they want to survive. We’ve considered the importance of mobile in the digital age and looked at ways to prevent further failures in employee engagement. Next we’re tackling one area of business that can make or break employee engagement completely: onboarding. 

As a key part of the employee lifecycle, onboarding is the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organisation or familiarising stakeholders with the products or services. While the rewards can be extremely fruitful, a bad or limited onboarding process can reduce overall job satisfaction and seriously knock profitability and company morale.

HCI found that only 40% of onboarding programs effectively retain talent.

Onboarding is a challenging HR process but it has the potential to increase productivity, performance and overall job satisfaction.

Great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82% and productivity by 70%

A successful onboarding process makes management and individual growth easier. It also makes education and training on everything from processes and systems to company culture clearer, more efficient, and more memorable too.

Digitising onboarding

At a time where most of us use our mobile devices for more than three hours every day, equating to a whole day a week, we’ve become a nation who expects access to information instantly, across fast and accessible programs. When we’re learning new things, whether at home or in the workplace, we expect these instant and streamlined experiences. If things don’t work the way we expect, we get frustrated. After all, it makes our lives easier, why not make our jobs easier too?

One huge problem HR leaders face in the current climate is retaining talent during the constant influx of job-related content online. Competition is high. LinkedIn has become a prime platform for job hunting and advertising, and recruiters are all over the platform searching out the best of your talent, even if that talent isn’t actively looking to move jobs. With rising awareness of the importance of onboarding, your talent will be sizing up your company from the minute the onboarding process begins. First impressions count!

An effective onboarding process has several crucial elements that can greatly impact a new employee’s first few days on the job and their overall experience and work satisfaction. Each one can be supported with digital solutions that are practical and in-keeping with existing user tech preferences.

Clarification

A new role can be a lot for an individual to get their head round in a short space of time. To support them during this time of change it’s important to be clear on the details of their job and requirements.

Once they understand what’s expected of them they’ll be in the best possible position to get on with the job, avoiding unnecessary stress or discomfort. Having a defined list of responsibilities and tasks as part of a guide that they can access at any point during their employment will be an invaluable resource for the years to come.

Inconsistent application

Every company will have some level of onboarding process, but one of the first hurdles it falls on is consistency. There are so many variables, including:

  • Who do you choose to oversee the procedures?
  • What do you need to cover and equip them with?
  • How will you introduce them to the team and environment?
  • How will they be supported?
  • What reviewing system is in place?
  • How do you track their progress?
  • What timeframe does this need to be done in?
  • What’s the budget?

To guarantee maximum impact and a positive experience each one of the above has to be aligned to the next, as well as tracked and reviewed consistently. Migrating and digitising a process like this via an employee experience system will make it much easier to sustain and improve.

Preparation and explanation

It may sound obvious, but the better you explain something, the better those listening will understand. While you don’t want to patronise, one of the biggest mistakes employers make when they have a new hire is to presume they know what they’re doing or that they can ‘figure it out’. 

Prior to the first day, there should be a list of all the hardware and software that they will be required to use. Once the information is collected, each tool should come with a guidebook, instruction manual or, best case scenario, an actual human being to talk them through using it, and on hand afterwards for any questions. This procedure can also cover best practices, rules, regulations and any compliance issues.

Learning apps like StoryShare’s Learn are brilliant ways to train in stages, containing the right information in the right order, and without expiry, so anything forgotten can be returned to. It also guarantees nothing gets missed.

Catching up

Great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82% and productivity by 70%, but the real value of onboarding is unprecedented. This is because 88% of organisations don’t onboard well, meaning only a small minority are currently getting the most from their employees, from day one. Just imagine what could be achieved if that 88% caught up…

 

About StoryShare

StoryShare exists so employees can love their work.

StoryShare is a SaaS Communication and Learning Experience Platform optimised for mobile. The platform delivers ‘Netflix style’ communication and learning experiences to improve Employee Engagement and better equip people to do their jobs. The service can reach any employee, anytime, anywhere, on any device.

StoryShare is deployed at leading brands including Unilever, Accenture, Covestro, Renault and Upfield.