Setting up access codes, introducing the corporate culture and preparing new employee materials: the process of integrating new employees is often tedious, yet, it would be wrong to completely neglect. A new employee’s first impression of a company and their working environment is important to get right. Given the cost of recruiting, it is vital to take care of an employee’s onboarding path, from their first three months at the company to even their first year and beyond. Onboarding is a fundamental issue regardless of the size and sector of the organisation.
A well-conducted onboarding process is the first step in creating a long-lasting relationship between the company and the employee. By welcoming and integrating new employees into the company and its culture through targeted tools and information, HR teams can foster a sense of belonging amongst new employees, enabling them to become immediately operational. By nurturing a new employee, companies are often able to protect themselves against the risk of early departures too.
Beyond supporting the new employee, onboarding tools are also a great way to control spending and buy time within the company. By optimising administrative records of the employee's training and integration paths wherever possible, HR staff can reduce their time on administrative tasks, focusing on other more important tasks, resulting in saved time and money. Technology-based solutions, such as Cornerstone’s, can be a valuable support-aid with this.
The use of onboarding software is not limited to the beginning of an employee’s career. In fact, some software can implement mobility and training for employees throughout their time at a company. Virgin Media, for example developed Ignite, an in-house learning and development system which is the central hub for all courses, management and progression tracking. It allows employees to create their own career paths which HR can access and respond to, planning out learning and development routes to ensure there are no skills gaps.
Before starting the process of onboarding automation, a few simple measures to improve the induction process will need to be put in place. For example, setting up an information portal helps the employee to get to grips with the company before the start of their employment contract. At Cornerstone, the employee has access to the information portal within 24 hours of signing their contract. Within this portal, administrative tasks such as HR new starter documents can be completed by the employee, and they would have free access to preparation files like welcome videos and employee testimonials, enabling them to prepare for their new role. Designing a platform in which the newcomer can ask questions is also a way of accommodating and involving the new employee right from the get-go. Similarly, you could also create a blog post on the company intranet to introduce the new employee to their new colleagues.
Whilst creating a virtual social network for the new team member is significant, the importance of real contact should not be underestimated. It is essential that the new entrant has a supervisor which they can turn to if a problem arises and who ensures the smooth integration of the new employee into the company. Similarly, organising the official arrival of newcomers with an informal lunch or dinner is a positive way to start their employment.
When it comes to improving employee retention within your company, the most important thing to ensure is that new recruits are comfortable and supported every step of the way, not only by their HR team but also through the help and support of their new colleagues.
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