The onboarding period is a crucial time to set people up for success in your organisation. Most new employees form a decision on whether they want to stay or leave a company within their first 90 days, so first impressions count. In fact, a 2017 study revealed one in five employees leave before even completing their probation period .
A successful onboarding period will not only aid in retention and engagement, but should also aim to maximise ROI and fulfill compliance requirements.
In this guide we will explore how HR software can be utilised to maximise your onboarding process within these three key areas: compliance, retention and ROI.
The right HR software should not only streamline the onboarding process and cut out administration time but also add value to the process by minimising errors and strengthening record keeping.
Setting up an automated onboarding workflow will help ensure nothing slips through the cracks and all employees have a consistent onboarding process. You can even create different workflows for different roles or business units if they require slightly different steps to be completed.
Here are just some of the steps you can include when setting up your onboarding workflow to help maximise compliance:
Allow new starters to input their mandatory qualifications like working with children checks, machinery licenses or other certifications. The individual and the HR team will be notified when these are due to expire.
Deliver all relevant policies to new hires, allowing them to read and accept as part of their onboarding. Managers and employees will receive notifications about any policies that have not been signed off yet so nothing gets forgotten.
Your automated onboarding workflow should also enable you to easily fulfill all employment law and statutory requirements. This could include gathering necessary information from employees that might impact on their entitlements to ensure these are delivered or providing information to employees that makes them aware of their rights at work.
Getting started in a new company can be a significant learning curve. Not only will your new starter be undergoing training of relevant systems and procedures but doing so whilst entrenched in a whole new set of company values, goals and culture norms. Even seemingly small things like learning their way around the building, getting to know coworkers or discovering the best places to get coffee nearby are all important steps that every employee must take to really feel comfortable in their new position.
Helping your new employees feel at home in their new role is the first step toward keeping them engaged in your workplace. Let’s explore a few ways HR software can be used to support this:
Pulses are an automation tool that can be used to send out periodic emails to staff, inviting them to complete a form in intelliHR. This allows your organisation to easily engage in continuous feedback, which should be conducted with all staff old and new, but the forms you send out can be tailored toward different stages of the employee lifecycle.
For example, you may choose to set up a pulse that goes to new starters at the end of their second week to check in on how they are settling in. Here are a few sample questions you might want to include:
Check-ins will provide good insights into how people are feeling in their new role, but we can take this one step further by looking at the underlying emotional tone behind their responses. And this does not just apply to check-ins either, intelliHR’s Sentiment Analysis feature also looks at diary notes, goal comments and more to reveal the emotional tone behind responses. This data will be available for every employee, but in the case of onboarding, the management team can filter down to look at employees in their first year an see how they are feeling and why. These insights are invaluable for identifying potential problems early and acting on them before new hires become disengaged.
With retention comes ROI. Why? Because it takes time for new employees to reach their full potential. The biggest opportunity for ROI in your business is getting people performing at their peak early, and keeping them there for as long as possible.
This process can take time as people find their feet in a new role. Even the most experienced hire will still take some time to fully align themselves to a new organisation. During this period, the new employee is generally a direct cost to the business as they are not necessarily producing outputs yet. In knowledge-based roles, this journey can take many months.
The graph below demonstrates how employees typically progress from an initial investment phase to a point where they are generating returns for the organisation.
As a leader, understanding the learning curve will help you identify how staff progress from an initial investment or onboarding phase to a point where they are performing (and being profitable) for the company. This will help you interpret how to get the best out of your people. The key here is to shorten the time in that initial investment period by equipping your new hires with an onboarding process that gears them with all the tools they need to succeed, helping them reach peak performance sooner.
These are just some of the tools successful managers are leveraging to achieve this:
An automated, online onboarding process not only reduces the admin burden on managers and maximises compliance, but also allows new starters to get setup in your organisation quickly and without the inconvenience of paperwork.
With intelliHR you can leverage automated email reminders inviting staff to undertake all necessary tasks to get started from recording their qualifications, to entering their emergency contact details and even setting the first goal they want to achieve in their new position.
What’s more, an automated process allows you to streamline and control the onboarding experience, meaning every new starter gets a consistent and enjoyable first interaction with your organisation.
On top of helping new starters get set up in their new role, onboarding can help accelerate performance by exposing new starters to culture norms within the organisation and helping them feel they fit in faster.
This could be achieved by:
New starters in your organisation will typically be required to undertake some training, particularly in entry-level roles where people are honing new skill sets. Training requires a significant investment of money and time, so it’s essential to be able to measure the ROI generated from this training. Training and its value can all be recorded and tracked within intelliHR.
Most importantly, you’ll be able to measure the ROI of different programs or courses over time and use this data to select the most worthwhile training opportunities for different teams to undertake.
As we mentioned earlier, employees decide if they will stay or leave an organisation in the first 90 days, so it’s important to give new starters a taste of their role’s full potential as early as possible. Never underestimate what your people are capable of, give them the opportunity to extend themselves and show what they’re capable of in a low-risk scenario. Limiting new hires to menial tasks could leave them bored and take away the opportunity for them to demonstrate their true value.
How can your HR software help with this? Use your system to set three core goals for all new hires within their first two weeks to ensure they have something to work towards and a sense of purpose. To conceive these goals, managers should meet with their new direct reports one-on-one and collaboratively derive these initial goals from high-level objectives to ensure alignment across the business.
 People Management (2017). One in five employees have left a job during their probation period. https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/employees-leaving-job-during-probation