Employee onboarding’s (or HR onboarding) definition is pretty simple. It’s what the name suggests. It is the process of helping your new employees fast-track with your work culture and practices.
I recently joined Plum. And, I thought it was best to elaborate on our HR onboarding process through my experience. There is no one way to get employee onboarding right. However, since I joined a larger organisation with many functions, our HR onboarding process was efficient to a great extent.
Let me explain. To any new employee, the onboarding day can be daunting. If you’re like me, the number of introductions you have to make can be overwhelming. Employees are onboarded to the company’s communication channels before day one comes. By the time you get to the bottom of catching up with your workplace, the list of things to catch up on increases by 10x.
There's a 13/10 chance that your new employee is pulling their hair out if you don't have an onboarding process yet. So, here is a list of things that were perfect about my employee onboarding process.
Introduce the most essential tools and benefits from the start
Think about it. Your company probably has one platform for internal communication. There’s another portal where you have to apply for leaves. There’s yet another platform where collaborative work happens. I can keep listing different platforms for different usages. But do you see where this is going?
Help your new employees by showing them which tools matter the most for their work. For instance, you use Slack for internal communication. There’s Notion for collaborative work. Then comes an HRMS tool where employees can apply for leaves or claim reimbursements. Showing your employees these tools can help them be more productive at work.
Talk to your new employees about your company’s policies and benefits. This is the easiest way for them to gauge what your organisation stands for. This also introduces them to perks they can take advantage of when they need them the most.
Conduct induction sessions
One thing that helped my onboarding at Plum were induction sessions. Knowing the work each team does and meeting new team members helped me learn about the work culture. This personal interaction with other team leads and members helped build rapport. This shows new employees who they can reach out to when they have questions or ideas to discuss with other teams.
But here’s why these induction sessions matter.
There’s a 120% chance that your new employee might not have the bandwidth to meet everybody and know all functions. This is where your role as their employer strengthens. Arrange sessions for your new employees with other teams. Enable your new employees to meet and interact with other teams. This reduces the ramp-up time taken by your new team members.
Potential hires look at the why of the organisation. A McKinsey study pointed out that the employees derive their sense of purpose from work. Aligning company and personal values is a big deal for many new employees today.
A founder connect is an excellent way for new employees to engage with the founders. This allows them to learn about the founders’ journey. It's an opportunity for them to ask them questions about work, life and everything in between. Conversations with founders can be empowering. It symbolises that everybody is walking this journey of building a company together.
Also, there’s no one else better equipped to talk about the company's vision and mission better than the founders!
HR onboarding makes new employees informed & productive
Many employers struggle to define their employee onboarding process. And, like I said, there’s no one approach to employee onboarding. It’s a matter of understanding your organisation’s culture. Once you're clear on that, decide how you want to impart this knowledge to your new employees. Consider all the things your new employees will need to know to succeed in their new job.
Talk to them about the best practices at work. Once your new employee completes onboarding, take their feedback to know the aspects you can improve. Ultimately, there are four pillars to a fruitful employee onboarding process:
- Defining the role and setting the right expectations
- Helping new employees build relationships with other teams
- Building trust, confidence and belief
- Enabling new employees to set healthy work boundaries
Employee onboarding processes are effective when they are spread out. This helps new employees retain information better and eliminates the scope for overwhelm. We recommend considering these points as a starting point for your onboarding process.
The final point is: the clearer your onboarding process is, the better. And the easier the HR onboarding process, the happier the new hires are!
Check out our previous blog post where we deep-dive into hiring, onboarding and retention strategies with Achuthanand Ravi, the founder of Kula.
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