There are plenty of discussions around the digitalization of workflows - typically on the customer facing side as well as data-driven processes. Everything from new customer forms to insurance claims to bank account applications and more…today there are simple, digital solutions to nearly any document workflow, both internal and external.
The move to take employee onboarding online is more than just sitting a new hire in front of a company computer on their first day to read through specifications for their role, company policies, data security measures, step-by-step of setting up their email, calendar, internal communication channels…the list goes on.
However, companies are cottoning-on to the fact that the onboarding experience does more than set the tone for an employee’s first days and weeks. A Glassdoor survey found that employees were 18x more likely to feel a commitment to the company if they rated their onboarding experience as highly positive.
The digitization of the onboarding process
Depending on the company and the role, onboarding training processes can take days or even weeks. The importance of this experience is recently coming to the forefront, especially with the forced shift to remote work in 2020.
Companies were still needing to hire - to fill gaps in their staffing that became more obvious after the start of the pandemic. But the typical in-office onboarding procedures were no longer possible. Moving all the materials online quickly was likely the first action of many companies with more traditional training.
Businesses that had already started their digital transformation likely had taken their onboarding into consideration and created more engaging, interactive, positive new hire training experiences. Simply providing a PDF or link to extensive online documentation that requires reading is an outdated, alienating, and let’s face it - boring way to handle onboarding.
Digitalizing onboarding gives companies the opportunity to make use of more thorough, efficient, and easy workflows to bring new employees up to speed. In addition, digital onboarding helps:
- Save time: by giving new employees the option to manage their training at their own pace and reducing the need for additional training from supervisors
- Ensure up-to-date information: onboarding details can be edited instantly, all in one place, so any changes are reflected immediately
- Provide a consistent experience: new hires have a more similar experience than if receiving training from different individuals or departments
- Allow for access anytime: employees can check on certain topics at any time, review policies, and with the right software, even ask questions and get answers
While it might seem like a large project to transform in-person onboarding, most companies have been forced to start this process. But just making it digital is one thing. Making it meaningful, educational, and even motivational is quite something else - but is possible.
Employee onboarding: a great start
Even with a great digital employee training program, there might actually be a major part of onboarding that many companies are overlooking.
The onboarding experience for a new hire starts well before their first day. And how a company handles the hiring process from the beginning can have a major impact on the first impression an employee has in working for that company.
From the moment a hiring offer is made, companies should consider this part of that person’s onboarding. What follows is usually a series of paperwork - employment contracts, often non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or other confidentiality assurances, etc.
These are often high-tension moments that involve sensitive information about both the company and the employee exchanged in back-and-forth documentation. Reviewing contract details and confirming correct details are crucial for both parties involved. Signatures must then be collected securely and the information processed and added securely to company data systems.
Not surprisingly, it has become necessary for this part of onboarding to also undergo a transition to the online space, and do so in a streamlined, safe, and easy-to-use way.
Digital employee onboarding solutions
With the growing need to quickly implement comprehensive and engaging digital onboarding for remote hires in the last few years, there have thankfully been companies that have recognized and built solutions for this necessity.
A great example is 50skills, based in Reykjavík, Iceland & Boston, MA, USA - it combines the search for new employees with a digital contract and onboarding process including verified digital signatures.
Options like this show that finding a straightforward solution for simplifying digital onboarding from first documentation through to engaging training and even continued education can, in fact, be easy.