How Technology Can Improve Employee Onboarding

July 21, 2015 Nicole Klemp

employee onboarding

Starting a new job can be stressful enough for most people, but starting at a company without a structured onboarding process can make an employee think, What exactly am I doing here?

Even though the onboarding period is a critical time in an employee’s career, many organizations are failing at the process. Only 28 percent of companies say that they have a highly successful onboarding program and 22 percent of companies don’t have a program in place at all. This may explain why within the first 6 months at a job, almost one-third of people begin looking for a new one. Among the other negative implications of employee turnover, it can also cost big money for your company — about 150 percent of an employee’s annual compensation.

Digital tools for onboarding success

A successful onboarding process can result in increased productivity, shortened ramp-up time, greater employee engagement, and less turnover. To make this happen, it’s important to invest in technology that will set your employees up for success, and make those crucial first weeks (or months) enjoyable and productive.

The right digital tools will save time for both employees and managers and create a great Worker Experience for new hires. Handing a new employee a 50-page “handbook” is not onboarding. Neither is sending them on a wild goose chase through network drives to find PDFs, or dumping a bunch of information onto a company intranet and telling them to “read through it.”

Organizations should look to implement enterprise platforms that are intuitive, customizable, and collaborative. Employees should be able to learn how to navigate them quickly — within their first few days. The more scattered and buried important resources are, the less likely new employees will be to take the time to find and utilize them.

Platforms built for engagement

Companies like Workday have been focused on delivering HR tools for years. Their Talent Management application gives companies the power to assign tasks and pre-work materials to new hires, and streamlines HR administration by allowing employees to fill out their own personal profiles — essentially making onboarding 100 percent digital.

Salesforce has also recently joined the HR space, by taking what they have successfully done in CRM and shaping it for the enterprise. Not to be used in place of systems of record — like Workday — Salesforce for HR is instead meant to work in conjunction with those platforms, and add more depth to the Worker Experience. The platform was built with mobile in mind and is designed to promote a collaborative workforce. It allows companies to build different apps for different departments and automate processes like interview tracking, employee referrals, and of course, onboarding.

Salesforce for HR helps to provide a more consistent onboarding experience that can be repeated and perfected with each new hire. It also greatly benefits those working remotely, as they can essentially receive the same onboarding experience as their peers in traditional offices. Arming new employees with technology like Workday and Salesforce’s native mobile apps — and custom apps that use those platforms — allows them more flexibility, and a better work/life balance. When thinking about your onboarding strategy, assume that mobile is going to be the primary way people consume HR services and design your process around that idea.

By investing in cloud technology and mobile apps for your employees now, you can reduce the future costs of high turnover and lost productivity due to disengaged employees. Create a Worker Experience that will excite and energize new employees, and make them want to stick around long after the onboarding process ends.


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