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6 Ways Digital Employee Onboarding Can Be Improved

Digital Employee Onboarding Tips

 

6 Ways Digital Employee Onboarding Can Be Improved

 

Imagine the nightmare scenario of your new employee’s first day at work.

Perhaps as an employer, you inadvertently overwhelm them right from the start. They are unsure about whom to approach for assistance with the daunting and ambiguous tasks assigned to them.

Due to the lack of a proper introduction and sufficient training, they are left to navigate the situation alone, risking failure.

Regrettably, this narrative is all too familiar, particularly when employers are pressed for time to fill a position. Predictably, such circumstances result in frequent turnover and low employee retention rates.

To address this issue, it becomes imperative for employers to prioritize the establishment of a welcoming and supportive workplace culture that fosters the retention of new employees.

Implementing effective employee onboarding procedures is crucial to ensure that new hires feel at ease and can quickly become productive in their roles.

For numerous companies, adopting digital employee onboarding processes has emerged as the ideal solution.

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What is Digital Onboarding?

 

Digital onboarding means leveraging digital tools and technology to onboard new employees.

It is often cheaper, more efficient, and makes accurate storing of onboarding documents a breeze. Digital onboarding often involves some form of automation to help your HR team and your employees with onboarding.

From interactive voice response systems to scheduled onboarding emails, automation is becoming vital for employee onboarding. A range of HR and employee management tools can help you plan and implement your onboarding plan.

However, you don’t want to risk alienating new hires with a cold and impersonal introduction to the company.

Balancing an efficient digital onboarding process and a welcoming introduction is essential.

Before we delve into the top six ways to improve employee onboarding, let’s quickly look at how we define successful onboarding.

 

The 4C’s of Employee Onboarding

 

Whether you’re doing it digitally or in person, successful onboarding should address these four core requirements: compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.

 

Compliance

This refers to the mandatory actions needed for all employees, such as filling out paperwork, learning the organization’s rules, and general housekeeping. This is a non-negotiable stage of onboarding. Even organizations that do not have a formal process need to be compliant at this basic level to stay in business.

Clarification

This means ensuring new employees understand their role and what is expected of them. Structure and clarity do wonders for easing first-day anxieties and putting new hires at ease. Answer any questions, and be specific. Taking the time to explain the technicalities of the role to new recruits at this stage properly ensures clarity down the line. Start as you mean to go on: with clearly defined expectations.

Culture

This refers to how well employees understand the norms and values of their new workplace. Management and HR usually explain how things are done and what matters to the company. Instilling new recruits with the stories and symbols at the organization’s heart helps make them feel like a part of something special.

Connection

This is all about developing relationships within the organization and fostering friendly collaboration. Employees who feel connected are more likely to ask questions, try new things, and engage more fully with the organization. Making new hires feel secure and valued can be difficult in remote work setups, so this stage is the most difficult to deliver digitally.

Note: With the right tools and strategies for remote onboarding, such as virtual team-building activities and video conferencing platforms, new hires can still create opportunities to connect with their colleagues and establish meaningful relationships.

These principles should be at the forefront of your mind, regardless of how your onboarding processes are delivered.

Whether you’re welcoming them into the office, or communicating remotely, onboarding entry-level employees is all about making a good first impression.

 

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6 Ways to Improve Digital Employee Onboarding

 

1. Analyze Your Current Onboarding Process

You can’t improve employee onboarding until you’re honest about your starting point.

Looking at your current process to identify the weak points is essential.

You don’t need to do this alone. Ask recent hires for feedback on their experience and what worked for them.

Once you’ve identified what works and needs improvement, use the information to create a standardized process. We’ll talk about customization later.

To begin with, come up with a streamlined process that will become standard practice. You could also leverage automation to optimize onboarding procedures.

 

2. Focus on Pre-Boarding

After finding the perfect candidate, some businesses will wait for the new employees on the first day before doing anything else.

This doesn’t make a great first impression.

Show employees from the beginning that you value them and their time.

By implementing a pre-boarding process, you demonstrate a commitment to employee satisfaction early on.

Excellent employee onboarding begins the minute they apply.

Stay on top of the selection process for the role using an applicant tracking system. Then, when a successful candidate is selected, get things in place for their first actual day on the job.

This could mean setting up email accounts, creating necessary access, scheduling onboarding meetings, sending company-wide emails, or creating a welcome package.

This attention to detail will make an employee more likely to stay with your company.

 

3. Personalize as Much as Possible

While consistency is important, so is the personal touch.

Each new hire will have a unique learning style.

Understanding and catering to their individual needs during the early days of their employment will set you both up for success.

How can you provide a personalized online onboarding experience that reflects the company’s culture and values while creating a fun and innovative employee experience?

By utilizing People Search software, you can gather information about new hires and tailor their onboarding experience accordingly.

This software allows you to access public records, social media profiles, and other online sources to gather relevant information about the individuals joining your company.

With this knowledge, you can create a customized onboarding plan that aligns with their background, skills, and interests.

By personalizing the onboarding process, you can make new hires feel valued and engaged from the very beginning, ultimately contributing to their overall satisfaction and success within the organization.

Some may benefit from an introduction video, while others prefer virtual meetings.

As long as the important information is covered, it’s great to grant employees the flexibility to choose the type of material they want to learn from.

You can also engage employees through quizzes, questionnaires, and problem-solving exercises.

 

4. Provide Learning Resources and Tools

Onboarding can be an overwhelming process for any new hire.

To make this easier, provide your new hires with the learning resources and information they need to get started but make it accessible to them online whenever they need it.

Having this information on hand will allow them to learn at their own pace and revisit documentation as they need.

These resources can come in many forms. Some organizations make all their onboarding resources in-house, while others gather a database of useful information.

For example, Vonage explains the different types of phone systems in this guide, which can be useful for new hires in a contact center or UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) business.

Pre-recorded videos, one-on-one sessions, onboarding platforms, or written guidebooks can all play a role here.

With a wealth of information on hand, your new employees will be empowered to take control of their own learning experience.

 

5. Start a Mentorship Program

Assigning a mentor is a great way to engage your current team members while helping the new addition to settle in.

For digital or remote employees, in particular, it can do wonders to reduce isolation and ease their transition into the organization.

Assigning a mentor for the first 90 days is a good rule of thumb.

Pick a senior team member who is willing to share their experience, provide guidance, and serve as an introduction to the company culture.

You can organize regular video calls for the mentor to check in with the new hire.

Having an ally in the workplace may make new hires feel more able to ask questions, clarify anything they don’t understand, and start to expand their network beyond their appointed mentor.

 

6. Set Timelines and Expectations

Even if your new hires are keen to start working hard, it can be difficult to get going if they don’t know exactly what they are aiming for.

Help new employees know where they stand by providing tools that help them track their progress.

From the outset, try to provide lists of regular tasks, goals, stretch goals, and key performance indicators.

You might create a 30-60-90 day plan to demonstrate the bigger picture and how the individual’s work fits into wider company goals.

Make sure that any tasks you set are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

There’s only so much a new team member can learn in their first few months in the role, so try not to overwhelm them with too much information at once.

Consistency is key.

 

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VIVAHR provides you with the best tips to onboard your new hires!

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Create A Positive Employee Experience With Digital Onboarding

 

Digital onboarding, if done right, can be just as good as traditional, in-person employee onboarding.

In many ways, it may even be better – more efficient, less convoluted paperwork and filing systems, more easily accessible – the list goes on!

However, it is important to be diligent about providing the best employee experience possible.

Just because it is online does not mean you should be any less attentive to the needs of your new hires.

In everything you do, the focus is on the 4Cs: compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.

You can foster these by looking at your current onboarding process and creating a standard template that ensures compliance with basic protocols every time.

Then, you can start to personalize the experience: for example, using mentors and referral programs, finding multiple media to deliver training information, and trying out fun new ice-breakers.

Preparation is especially important. You want your new employee to feel that you were prepared for their arrival and have got everything in place to give them the best start possible.

Good luck to you and your new hires! 🙂

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