Onboarding: How can technology take us beyond compliance to connection?

Onboarding: How can technology take us beyond compliance to connection?

This is part of a new blog series with NTT Centerstance, where Ken Steinman is a Senior Consultant and Certified Performance Technologist. NTT Centerstance is a market leader in implementing business-friendly technologies such as Salesforce and FinancialForce.com to help companies achieve a high rate of adoption and maximum ROI.

In our last post we discussed the user experience during the recruiting process.  Just as a frustrating recruiting process might cause a potential candidate to fire an employer before they even apply, it is imperative that the same mindset continues throughout the onboarding process. Onboarding needs to focus on more than just compliance.  A common mnemonic coined by Talya N. Bauer, PhD. from Portland State University, is the 4 Cs: Compliance, Clarification, Culture and Connection.  Each must be used systematically in order to build employee engagement throughout the onboarding process.

Recruiting and onboarding have a huge ROI if done right and an inverse cost if not.  Studies commonly show that the cost to replace an entry-level employee is up to 50% of their annual salary, 150% for executives.  Team morale also suffers for those who are left to handle the workload of vacant positions.  It’s a wise investment of time to plan, assign ownership and get these steps right.

HCM systems do a very good job of simplifying the compliance process.  Standard processes now include secure delivery of offer letters and automation of standard government forms.  How can technology take us beyond compliance to connection?  An onboarding process should be documented with all parties who participate to ensure they understand their role.  This can be in the form of checklists, templates and any other tools managers and teammates need to welcome their new coworker.  Clear ownership of the process should be determined, metrics should be established and should be part of the onboarding team’s overall performance reporting.  It is important to note that the process should begin prior to the first day and last for at least 6 months.  Research has shown that 90% of employees make their decision to stay with an employer within the first 6 months. 

Clarification should involve interaction with a new hire’s line manager as well as other company leadership.  While corporate intranets and other online tools can provide quick reference to information, the new employee needs to be able to interact with their new team.  New Employee Orientation programs provide a level of interaction and can be delivered online and/or in person.  The outcomes of the clarification level should be role clarity – ensuring the new hire knows what’s expected of them – and helping the new hire assimilate into the team.  Remember, it’s not just up to the new employee to impress everyone, this is still a two way street!

Tools available using HCM in the Salesforce ecosystem include Content and Chatter, which help new hires learn company culture and make connections.  When added to goals, feedback, onboarding and learning, you have a comprehensive suite of tools which can bridge the gap from hired to productive.  A subset of these tools can also be used for lateral transfers within your organization. In the next post we’ll continue with the retention theme, addressing goals and performance.

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