The workforce of tomorrow is already here today and it’s up to businesses to be prepared. This new workforce with their evolving demographics, alternative work styles, and changing needs are impacting every area of business from recruiting to retiring.
HR teams need to start working on adapting their entire employee experience to better meet the needs of today’s workforce. We’ve looked at how recruiting and sourcing talent should be done in the digital age; now it’s time to discover what are the benefits of having a successful Onboarding process.
If you already have some kind of onboarding process in place then you might be wondering how different today’s workforce really is to need a completely new process. After all, onboarding just needs to get employees settled so that they can do their jobs and hopefully stay on with your business.
Unfortunately, onboarding isn’t that simple. There are a number of reasons employees may not settle into their new roles and with today’s workforce, there are more reasons than ever. While an onboarding process can improve turnover and retention as well as productivity for new hires, it can only do this when it’s working at its best. A blanket onboarding program simply isn’t going to appeal to the diversity of today’s workforce or meet the needs of today’s employees.
The good news is that when it’s done right, there’s a lot to be gained. Research has shown that companies who invest in creating high-quality onboarding programs experience six times better growth in profits as well as improved employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity. So, how do you create an onboarding process that successfully appeals to today’s workforce?
Related: Steps to a successful onboarding process
Based on future workforce trends and current onboarding challenges we’ve identified some key areas to optimise for a successful onboarding process.
All over the world, there has been an increase in the freelance and external workforce. Rate of growth in this area has been outpacing overall workforce growth and many companies are now seeing a large portion of their workforce made up of these types of workers. There are many reasons for this growth, including an increasing desire by many for a more flexible and independent work-life.
Businesses benefit too with productivity and cost benefits not to mention improved agility, so it’s no surprise that today many businesses consider this external workforce as critical to their success. This all means that external workers are not only here to stay, but are also likely to become an increasingly bigger and more important part of our workforce.
Despite being seen as essential for success, however, many businesses don’t treat these employees as such. Onboarding is just one of many areas that companies fall short when it comes to their external workforce. While they may be considered critical, they are also still seen as temporary and so their onboarding is treated similarly with little consideration as compared to what businesses give to full-time employees. This, despite the fact that onboarding is arguably even more important for these types of roles. It is better to have more specific information to help these temporary workers become familiar with the company and what is expected of them.
If businesses want to continue to benefit from external workers, they need to start putting the same consideration into their onboarding process to ensure that these temporary employees and freelancers stay productive and want to return. With a superior solution like the SuccessFactors Onboarding process, you can get comprehensive visibility over your entire workforce including external workers so you can monitor their onboarding and initial performance accurately.
SuccessFactors also enables businesses to create different onboarding workflows for specific groups like external workers so you can connect them to the most relevant and engaging information. This means you can supply information that is targeted to your external workforce and develop a more intensive onboarding process to help them get familiar with your company, their specific role and much more.
As well as external workers like freelancers, remote workers also make up a growing portion of the workforce. Taking on remote workers comes with a separate set of challenges, not the least of which is keeping these employees connected and subsequently engaged. Just as with temporary workers, the nature of remote roles can often see businesses fall short on the onboarding process just when it should be playing an even more important role. Failing to connect remote workers in the initial stages of their employment can leave these employees feeling disengaged, left out and ultimately unhappy and unproductive.
Businesses need to be utilising onboarding processes that create a more intensive and personalised experience for this group. SuccessFactors can provide a friendly and engaging employee portal that managers can use to communicate step-by-step guides and checklists that let remote workers know exactly where they are and what their next stage is. Eliminating guesswork ultimately eliminates confusion and means remote workers can stay on the right track.
Additionally, the onboarding process is a great chance to connect remote workers with line managers, team members, colleagues and other peers. Provide a list of recommended connections as well as ensuring managers and other key stakeholders can reach out first to make a good first impression and give the warm welcome your remote workforce deserves. You can even assign them to specific groups such as a group of other remote workers to provide support and a safe space to ask questions. Moving forward, the platform is an easy way for remote workers to reach out whenever they need and for managers to update them on any important information or changes.
It’s not just externally that the workforce is changing. Internally, many companies are utilising different organisational structures, ditching the standard hierarchy for a flexible format based around networks of teams. For employees, this means working across multiple teams and sometimes even reporting to multiple managers. While this has been shown to be better for innovation, creativity, and productivity, it can make it challenging to onboard these employees at every relevant stage. This is even more challenging when the employees themselves look for new opportunities that these new organisational structures are enabling and even encouraging them to do. Many businesses have yet to master this new cross-boarding approach, but doing so could significantly improve the way teams work.
Cross-boarding employees every time they transition to a new team, project or job role needs to include clear role definitions and goals as well as all the vital information they need to start working right away. With SuccessFactors onboarding, managers can set 30, 60 and 90-day goals that are aligned with team and business requirements so that every new team member has a clear sense of direction for success.
As well as being connected to their new team and manager instantly, managers can also assign or recommend mentors to new team members within the onboarding platform to help them get to grips with their role quicker and further stimulate collaboration.
By its nature SuccessFactors can also ensure that onboarding is consistent across the entire company so that employees get the same great experience every time they transition. They know what to expect, making the onboarding process more efficient every time.
The B2C experience is quickly becoming the new B2B experience and the same can be said for the business-employee relationship. Customers arguably receive some of the best services around, so why not take a leaf out of the retail handbook and deliver employees a similar experience? In fact, with many of us today enjoying an increasingly personalised and efficient consumer experience in most areas of our lives, many have come to expect this type of service from other areas including in the workplace.
To ensure your onboarding process reflects these new employee expectations, start by delivering the same technology that we are accustomed to day-to-day. An employee portal and an onboarding platform that can be accessed on mobile and across other devices enable your workforce to work more flexibly and access the information they need to get the job done whenever and wherever is most convenient.
SuccessFactors Onboarding can also enable HR teams and managers to personalise the onboarding experience with highly relevant materials and resources just as many retailers are personalising their experiences. Additional tools such as chatbots that utilise AI are also taking a leaf out of the retail book and enabling new hires to get access to other information as quickly as possible.
Finally, a great onboarding experience needs to be streamlined and efficient. Onboarding can be one of the most paperwork-heavy stages in the employee experience with multiple contracts and compliance forms to complete depending on the role. Using a solution like SuccessFactors that seamlessly integrates with popular tools like DocuSign means paperwork can be easily sent from any location at any time, and employees and other stakeholders can likewise remotely sign documents at their convenience. This ultimately reduces the time it takes to onboard new hires and minimises early frustrations to improve satisfaction, productivity, and efficiency.
Are you ready to start delivering the onboarding process your future workforce wants today? SuccessFactors Onboarding can do all this and more for a consistent yet highly personalised onboarding experience that your employees will love. Contact us today to find out more or book your free demo and see it in action.