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Long-term Loyalty Starts from Day One: Exploring onboarding for the new normal

By Attar Naderi, Associate Director, Europe and MENA at Laserfiche

November 30 2022 - The wake of the post-pandemic workplace reshuffle has created a host of priorities for human resources teams. Recruitment of vital talent and the retention of long-term employees has sat alongside the challenges of new remote and hybrid working models. At the same time, more people than ever are leaving jobs to start new ones. As research shows, job-to-job flows (the rate at which people leave their jobs to find new ones) reached an all-time high in 2021.

This means employers must work hard to ensure these recruits are welcomed and retained. Employers seeing colleagues leave, must ask "why"?

Retaining employees starts from day one; by investing in thorough onboarding processes, retention rates for new hires rise by 82% and productivity by over 70%. As identified by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 50% of hourly workers leave new jobs in the first four months, and half of senior outside hires within 18 months, citing poor onboarding processes as a key contributor. Gallup also found that just 12% of employees report receiving a good onboarding experience.

Poor onboarding sets new hires up for failure but is too often low on the list of priorities for HR and managers battling a raft of challenges.

Consider too, that with remote and hybrid working becoming increasingly ubiquitous, onboarding experiences must evolve. Finding ways to streamline and automate parts of the onboarding process is essential, and using a HR onboarding automation system can help with the demands of this rapidly evolving hiring climate.

Here we explore how automation can assist in creating an encompassing onboarding experience that drives greater engagement, productivity and retention.

Exploring Automation

HR onboarding automation uses software to standardize and automate the manual steps involved with bringing on new hires. For example, collection of personal information; scheduling an orientation and tour of the office; employee review and signature of company agreements or policies or IT requests - these can all be made digital actions taken in an automated workflow.

All of these essential steps are required to ensure day one goes well, but when they are part of a traditional, analogue process they also require a lot of managersí time. Creating a standard onboarding process for your company allows your HR team to move seamlessly through the new hire process while staying organised with the required paperwork and signatures required to bring new talent aboard.

Beyond speeding the process and staying organised, automation also enables managers to invest more time in the most important parts of onboarding: bringing their hire into the company's culture, coaching and connecting.

Finally, HR automation for onboarding makes it easy to get employees up and running sooner by creating a streamlined process to help them start the training process, get introduced to their role and ultimately begin their first assignments. Research shows that employees who have a positive onboarding experience are almost three times as likely to feel prepared and supported in their role, boosting confidence and improving productivity.

The Four Levels of Onboarding

Most onboarding processes happen in four levels, ranging from pre-onboarding, where typical tasks include gathering new hire and payroll documentation; onboarding, which comprises welcoming the new hire to their team and introducing them to the company, followed by training; and post-onboarding.

Automation and digitisation of the onboarding process can take many forms, all of which can be adapted to the needs of the organisation. For example, consider how you might be able to benefit from automated employee records management, benefits enrollment, software enrollment and new hire training.

Not all Automation is Made Equal

HR automation brings many benefits but choosing a solution can be challenging. There are a few key factors to consider.

Firstly, usability: Your HR automation solution should be easy to use and easy for your team to adopt. That should be a given, but too often teams are faced with overly complicated systems that add to stress rather than alleviate it. With that in mind, your onboarding solution should also easily integrate with and support your organisationís existing software.

Leading solutions today additionally offer pre-built automation templates that organisations can use right out of the box. Built from industry best practices, these templates enable workplaces to jumpstart automation without taking the time to automate processes from scratch.

People Plus Technology

Technology and automation cannot replace the human element of onboarding. However, it can allow more time, energy and resources to be invested in cultivating the vital connections between people that drive long-term engagement - and, crucially, long-term loyalty.


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