Onboarding should be a critical focus area for any business, particularly right now when so many employees are working remotely. You certainly shouldn’t skip onboarding when you have remote employees, and if anything, you should work to improve it and strengthen it to maintain a sense of connection.
Onboarding is essential for cybersecurity because this is when you train employees on best practices, allocate software licenses, and, if necessary, hardware and user accounts are created by the IT admin. As part of this, you should be training new employees on how to always think about cybersecurity.
When an employee first comes into your organization, this is also when you help them understand your culture.
The effectiveness of your onboarding is often what determines things like employee satisfaction and turnover, which have a big impact on your profitability and ability to innovate.
The following are some tips for onboarding in 2021 to ensure effectiveness and relevancy.
We touched briefly above on the idea of IT onboarding, which can be especially tricky in a remote work environment.
The goal of IT onboarding, with remote workers or otherwise, but especially for those employees who work outside the traditional office, should be automation.
When you automate as much of your onboarding as you can, you can minimize paperwork and help reduce the burden of mundane, repetitive tasks on your IT team.
There are a lot of ways you can automate onboarding, so you can find what works for your company and your employees.
For example, you might use a robot to guide them through the documentation and setting up all of their accounts.
Another way to simplify IT onboarding is with the use of a single sign-on. Single sign-on can also be automated so that employees get enrolled in the systems they need to do their work.
General tips for automating onboarding include:
- Assign documents automatically—this is great not just for remote employees but onsite employees as well.
- A good place for automation is with benefits enrollment. You can email new employees detailed information and self-service instructions on how to get started.
- Use artificial intelligence to provide feedback. If you’re using automated onboarding software, you can automatically send out surveys at different points during an employee’s onboarding and initial days with the company. AI can actually pick up on potential dissatisfaction within these surveys that you can use to work with an employee and resolve the issue before they leave the company.
Begin Before Their First Day
If it works for your business and your employees, you might want to go ahead and start onboarding even before the start of the first workday.
For example, don’t waste time when they’re on the job if there are things like paperwork to be done. Go ahead and send it to them so they can begin the more compelling parts of their job when it’s time to actually start.
If you can, track employees’ progress throughout onboarding. For example, set goals that are in line with what their responsibilities are going to be. Then, you’ll be proactive if an employee needs additional help in a particular area.
Have a Detailed Plan
This sounds simple, but it’s something a lot of companies fail to do—they don’t have a detailed onboarding plan.
First, create a digital getting started checklist. This should have everything a new employee needs to download and sign up for during their first week.
It should also include any documents they need to sign, who their point person for certain types of communication will be, how they should communicate, and who they need to have meetings with.
The more detailed your checklist is, the better.
New employees are nervous enough as it is in most cases. They don’t want to add uncertainty to that.
Use a Mentorship Program
Whether your employee is starting in-person or remotely, mentorship is a really critical tool in a strong onboarding program.
Their mentor is that one particular person who will check in on them on a regular basis and who will be able to dedicate time to helping them get a feel not just for the logistics and duty of the role but the company culture.
Finally, get creative with how you convey culture. For example, you can have every employee create a quick introduction video that lasts just a few seconds. Then, your new employees will have faces to put with the names of the people they’re working with, and it can showcase a bit more of your culture.