Onboarding your freshly hired employees is one of the most important HR functions to master. It is critical to get them up to speed as soon as possible, but it also has long-term implications. Do it badly, and you risk high turnover rates for new hires – meaning you’ll have to do it all over again. That’s not to mention many hours of lost productivity. For example, according to a study by Allied HR, almost 25 per cent of new employees leave their jobs within a year. That’s more than most organisations can afford.
Clearly a well-rounded onboarding program is essential. This is where your intranet can really make a difference, both in terms of ramp-up time and efficiency. Take a look at some of the ways that a digital platform will engage new employees, thereby turning them into valued colleagues.
It’s so boring
Before newcomers get to do any actual work, there’s a stack of administration to get through. Automating these processes through your intranet streamlines the paperwork. Whether it’s payroll or security clearance, the faster you get through the tedious bits, the sooner training can start. It also makes capturing information easier for employees and HR.
Then there are compliance issues like health and safety regulations. It’s not much fun, but essential all the same. Using the intranet to enlighten new employees has the advantage of consistency – everyone gets exactly the same message.
You ought to know
Your new employees face a steep learning curve. Even those with lots of experience under their belts have to learn how your organisation does business. That’s why building an extensive intranet database of relevant knowledge is so valuable.
Newly hired workers are sometimes wary of asking questions, fearing that it will reflect badly on them. They need a new hire FAQ. They should have practical information about systems and procedures when they need it, but it must be searchable and easy to use. It must also be engagingly presented; merely dumping large amounts of information on them is ineffectual.
Make friends and prosper
Arguably the most important part of onboarding is the social side. Especially important is for new employees to know where they fit into the organisation. Plus, they need to know the people they will be working with closely. Of course there is no substitute for dealing face to face with new colleagues. But particularly in large companies it can be tricky navigating through entire departments of unfamiliar faces.
Your intranet’s social function can play a key role in socialisation – it works like an interactive organisational chart. Furthermore, it can act as an icebreaker for future contact. For new employees, it makes senior figures more approachable. This is a good foundation for building strong working relationships, which is crucial for the newly hired to feel connected to the organisation.
Organisations with comprehensive onboarding programs enjoy significant advantages over those that just implement basic orientation. How much employees contribute largely depends on how well they are assimilated into the organisation. If you’re not using digital technology to onboard, your strategy is outdated. See for yourself how efficient and engaging your intranet can be for new employees.
Allied Workforce Mobility Survey 2012. (2012). Hriq.allied.com. Retrieved 24 May 2016, from http://hriq.allied.com/surveys/#results
Rollag, K., Parise, S., & Cross, R. (2005). Getting New Hires Up to Speed Quickly. MIT Sloan Management Review. Retrieved 24 May 2016, from http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/getting-new-hires-up-to-speed-quickly/?use_credit=9f8684e630c4c30cad7b1f0935cd62ab
Willyerd, K. (2012). Social Tools Can Improve Employee Onboarding. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 24 May 2016, from https://hbr.org/2012/12/social-tools-can-improve-e/