Do you remember your first job? The young age and the foreign surroundings. No comfort around you. No familiar faces. No information on what would happen next? Unpredictable and unknown.
That’s right, most of us remember our first day at work with the “fear of the unknown”. Sometimes this fear can overtake all rational thought processes and really impede our well-intended performances.
And what about the “first impression is the last impression?” Pardon us for the cliches, but employee onboarding programs are in place to alleviate these very regressive feelings. And much more.
In this article, we share with you some innovative ways to use your company’s online portal to change the way employees are brought into a company.
Gone are the days when individuals would feel lucky to be part of a successful organization. With the proliferation of dot com and brick and mortar companies all around us, companies consider themselves lucky when a new employee accepts an offer and continues to stay with them beyond six months!
Companies now offer sign-on bonuses, yearly bonuses, a percentage of stock, competitive health and tuition benefits to attract the top talent. The hiring and recruitment to the final selection process is time, resource and budget consuming for companies. And they face grave losses when an employee decides to leave within six months (or less).
Most firms believe that the employee onboarding are the activities taking place on the first day of work. On the contrary, business research indicates that the employee onboarding begins on the day the employee accepts the offer and goes well into their first year in the company. Employee onboarding is an employee acclimatizing program!
And would it be possible to cram all company information, its culture, business processes and unique individuals into the new hire, in one day? We wouldn’t agree if it was even one week!
Many of us have been through an unorganized and mismanaged onboarding process. All we wanted was the right information at the right time without asking around too much. Let us tell you that the tolerance for such lack of information is lowering in today’s corporate environment. Employees need information at their fingertips.
Emails and phone calls run out of their welcome and colleagues are also tired of repeating the same information for new faces each time. The employee onboarding process is another application of new-hire related knowledge management. Up next, we explain how your learning management system or learning portal can be employed to manage new knowledge for new hires so that it is available when needed.
Create an in-house Online Support for Employee Onboarding
Onboarding training software is not the only solution to this entire new-hire scenario. A learning portal or a learning management system needs to emphasize knowledge management. Instead of repeating themselves over and over again, senior and experienced employees need to share their wisdom in an organized manner in the form of a Wiki.
The commonly asked questions need to be answered by the right personnel, signed off with their screen name. This adds to the confidence of the new employee, while involuntarily introducing the person who answered the question.
Specific questions are for specific time frames. First day questions are different from questions the new-hire may have during their fourth month. All possible issues need to be documented within the discussion area of the learning management system, TalentLMS in our case.
This is also a great area for addressing performance concerns and sharing “lessons learned”. Encourage key employees to maintain a “reflective practice” journal and share with peers and juniors. Imagine the amount of time and resources saved when a new-hire works proactively and is alert of potential pitfalls.
New employees need to learn and adapt to a new workflow and new software. These training programs include screenshots or videos of software used by the company. These include the regular database management software, the CRM, the LMS software and so on.
All training tutorials need to be visible and available for use when the new employee is ready. Online support questions need to be answered and mentored in a “community of practice” manner.
HR related questions need to be portrayed on the learning portal too. A bundle of click-and-read interactive information articles should be available on the following:
- Your company’s basic products or services
- Size and general organization of the company
- An overview of your industry and where your business fits into the overall picture
- Your competitors
- Your company’s mission statement and values
- Company goals and strategic objectives
- Your organizational culture
- Mandatory learning programs available for employee development
Create an Online Position Profile
Managers need to describe in detail the entire job description, expectations and behaviors expected from the employee under the specific position profile. This area needs to be updated as the need arises. Any new requirements are directly conveyed to persons holding the position. This keeps everyone in the loop, including the new employee. Job expectation transparency is the key to employee onboarding.
Have all formalities completed online
Create an automated task list for new employees. This list gets checked as soon as a task is completed. The related knowledge base for the task is also available as a link. Orders for stationary, software and other utilities can be made online too.
Forms can be filled and signed electronically and sent for processing. Having all workflows online helps create a knowledge sharing environment. It also demonstrates a need for an online training program for the new employee.
Get Social Online
Welcome messages and walking around on the first day is a great way to introduce the new employee. When things get busy, help may not be available for the new employee. Introduce them to the social groups in the online portal. The social group can be gamified to motivate peers to help each other, with bonus points to help the new employee.
Quick questions can be answered without leaving the desk! Undivided attention can be provided when busy managers chat with new employees. This is also a great way to remove the culture shock experience. Invitations to casual meetings are also best when shared on the social network.
Provide Online Feedback
Managers and peers who receive work from a new employee can rate the performance, offer feedback and provide some improvement pointers. Real-time feedback that is provided online is more sincere, honest, constructive and discrete. The new employee can immediately adjust performance according to unique expectations.
The best part? No fears of the unknown! When it’s time for the 90-day review, the new employee is confident about their capabilities and the managers are aware of the new employee’s capacities. Any online training programs for professional development can also be recommended easily.
Your online portal, particularly the learning portal, is the ideal place for the new employee to turn to for guidance, advice and information. Stock it with organized and categorized knowledge throughout the year. Mentor it carefully to weed out any unwanted content. Add recommended professional development tutorials, job-aids and eLearning programs for new employees. Gamify the entire onboarding process to help the new employee catch their bearings and contribute in their successful entry and acceptance.