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How to Avoid Onboarding Disasters

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How to Avoid Onboarding DisastersWhether you’re in the market for new talent or have just hired: congratulations!

New employees first enter with an air of excitement, and the things they can achieve within your organization are boundless!

But first: the dreaded onboarding process.

A flood of paperwork.

A tornado of information.

And just like these natural disaster embodiments, things get lost in the fray.

Maybe you’ve read all about great onboarding processes. You’ve implemented them and nothing’s changed. Right now you’re scratching your head, thinking, “where are we going wrong?”

But it might not be your methods at all; sometimes you simply need everything bolted down in preparation of the storm.

Let me explain…

Spread Out the Paperwork

Many blogs point out that overwhelming your new hire with a plethora of paperwork only works to overwhelm them. Very true.

These posts suggest instead that organizations pace paperwork so new hires can fill them out without staring at an ever-increasing inbox.

A great idea.

But typically, the HR professional in charge of sending and collecting these documents wears many other hats as well. Unless you’re rapidly hiring (or the not-great alternative: experiencing high turnover), they might neglect certain forms.

We’re not calling your HR professionals unqualified.

These things happen to the best of us.

But document distribution should be painless; a breeze for the HR professional and the new hire.

Likewise, why spend an HR professionals’ time collecting documents to send, then collecting them to file when they have more important tasks to accomplish?

Even spaced out, you might be experiencing difficulty keeping up with the collection.

Fortunately, a robust Human Resource Information System (HRIS) will send out, retrieve the new employee’s electronic signature, and collect these documents for you. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it service, one that works when and how you need to perform one specific task.

Once completed, the HR professional has all documents in one place; not scattered throughout days or weeks in email.

Orientations, Training, and Handbooks

When your new hire first swipes-in to their first day, a schedule hurricane storms the office. Many organizations find ways to keep the blowback from reaching the new hire, but that doesn’t mean the HR professionals responsible for orientation, training, and material distribution aren’t clinging to cubicles for dear life.

Organization, of course, is key. An HRIS is tailored to your orientation procedures, first-day schedules, and company-specific document distribution at your design and whim.

Instead of preparing for the storm with accountability meetings and strategies, use an HRIS to keep lightening in a bottle.

Benefits and Pay

Benefits and pay are usually reviewed during the interview process. When a new hire signs agreements to them, that’s usually the last time these documents are seen. Over time, benefits may change or employees may wish to remind themselves of these packages.

Frankly, this is an unnecessary task for HR professionals to take on.

Most HRIS’ offer employees real-time evaluation of benefits and current salary. Instead of asking HR for help, the employee self-service feature allows for simple login, review, and updates as necessary. No lost paper, no lost time.

It’s like a storm cellar for important documents.

Organizations must look to efficiency and development when onboarding new hires. Think: passive and active mechanisms and procedures. A clunky, scattered procedure causes new hires to think twice before pledging long term commitment to your organization.

After all, “nearly 90 percent of employees decide whether to stay or go within that first six months” reported in this SHRM article.

Active Onboarding Procedures

So far, we’ve tackled mostly passive (though extremely important) onboarding issues. We’ve gotten ahead of the storm by being prepared and focused.

Now we can look farther beyond, where the sun shines brightest, and give your new hire just the right amount of water to flourish, not drown.

Comprehensive, active onboarding procedures can include:

  • Having your new hire draft a list of goals they’d like to accomplish within 6 months or their first year. Review and save this document for reference during performance reviews. Let them know how far they’ve come in obtaining what’s important to them.
  • Meeting with management during the first days. Transparency is important to today’s workforce, and seeing the “face” of the company (CEO or C-Suite) will establish your new hire as important, respected, and part of the team.
  • Including employee development activities with coworkers in your orientation procedure. This allows new hires a time to meet-and-greet, get up-to-speed with company culture, and learn more about their role and responsibilities in an interactive environment.
  • Assigning new hires a “coworker buddy”, or somebody they can turn to when they need assistance. The first few weeks/months might include some learning curves, which means lots of questions. Give your new hires the support they need to succeed and they’ll stick with you in the long run.
  • Offering new hires an ear to voice concerns and criticisms about your organization. Sounds negative? It’s a matter of perspective! Millennials “can be vocal when providing feedback, but they also want to be part of the solution,” states this Fortune article. Leaders who incorporate a fluid environment are doing themselves a great favor.

    “After all,” the article notes, “in a few years, they will be your organization’s leaders, decision makers, and clients.”

Onboarding: Easy and Efficient

One should never weather a storm alone. 

Balance Point is committed to reaching compliance in all aspects of your organization’s onboarding process. We assist businesses like yours achieve higher retention through our methods, allowing you to focus on blue skies ahead.

Click here for more information and to schedule a consultative call with one of our experts.

Register for our webinar recording: Strategic Onboarding – Where Talent Meets Technology

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