Can something as simple as on-boarding new staff the right way really improve a large company’s performance? My answer to this is YES, it really can! The key is keeping the information they need where the employees go to find the answers to all their questions – in the self service solution.
I have conducted a few thousand meetings during my various positions as a sales professional and most of them have been with the HR and IT department of large companies over the last 10 years. One of the most frequently reoccurring discussions I have with my professional customers is how they manage their processes when hiring new employees.
We can all agree upon the fact that supporting new employees during their first year in their new job is important. Keeping in mind that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, it is crucial that your business make sure that new employees feel welcomed, valued, and prepared for what lies ahead.
Here are some simple steps that can support your On-boarding, using the self service solution.
1. Agree on a roadmap for On-boarding
On-boarding only makes sense if it´s done consistently throughout your organization. I recommend making a set of basic guidelines that everybody involved (co-workers, managers, mentors etc.) follow when introducing a new employee. Making an overall plan will almost certainly be a useful tool in making the Onboarding process faster and more efficient.
I suggest making a plan that describes both how the company operates and guidelines on how to get started with the company’s core systems. Coupling this information with a good job description will give your employees a unique possibility to shine brighter much earlier.
2. Make your own on-boarding site
Most companies introduce their new employees by letting them meet new colleagues and become acquainted with their new job through meetings and courses. However, many new employees are often left to their own devices after they have formerly been introduced.
We all know how much we really remember after massive amounts of information is given. Speaking for myself I tend to need a reminder on how to do things typically e few weeks after attending a full day course.
Keeping the introduction program in a dedicated place within the self service solution is a great way of making it easily accessible within the IT infrastructure.
Content and format
I recommend making a site that contains a complete menu for your new employees. Most of the information that needs to go into your site is already available within the organization, but needs to be gathered into one system. To make the site as effective as possible I recommend setting it up with easy step-by-step guides that easily instruct how to work with the systems and policy’s.
When using the ComAround knowledge solution, the “how to” guide format makes it possible for your new hires to get the answer to their questions faster, right at the moment they occur. The easy to handle video tool is a great complement when required. The whole idea behind On-boarding is to make your new colleague a part of your company as fast as possible.
“A dedicated on-boarding site can support large scale On-boarding making it more manageable when hiring many new employees. “
Two main categories
I recommend setting up the site with two general main categories.
- The first main category would be the companies guidelines, containing “how to” guides related to the company processes and policies.
- The second main category should be about the company’s business systems containing “how to”, describing how the new employee can utilize and manage the many systems they have to be acquainted with.
The guides in both of the main categories should be broken down into different sub categories making it easy to find the relevant help when needed.
A fast way of gathering and creating the required information is to delegate the writing process. Many companies I have visited utilize their super users’ expert knowledge to make good guides. Delegating the task to your expert users is an easy and fast way to create the needed information.
A nice side effect of gathering existing information into one system is the fact that you discover that some information is outdated or missing, which is an excellent way of improving and updating the content.
Making it mobile
Being a new employee can often feel like coming to a party full of strangers. Providing a “cheat sheet” can really make a huge difference in your colleague’s confidence much earlier than before. I strongly believe that a responsive design that works in all devices is key to be able to access the information anywhere. By doing this you give your employees the tools they need to get into the job a lot faster.
3. Starting off light
It may sound like a mammoth task to turn your on-boarding process around with a proactive site that contains the information your new hire needs. The reality is that it is actually quite easy. The secret is making the information available as you go.
Please don’t make the common mistake of thinking that your site has to be perfect before going live. An early edition of a new employee site will always be better than not having one at all.
Instead, use the statistics gained in the self service solution and monitor how your employees search for information when using the site. You will gain two very important advantages:
- Your site will be up and running much faster – helping your business being more efficient.
- Your new employee site will contain relevant information only. This is because you continuously improve the information instead of trying to guess what your users really need.
Therefore, my advice is simple – start light, measure and improve!
When using the ComAround knowledge solution as a complement to the traditional servicedesk you can easily implement the on-boarding site there. It is a logical and smart way to gather all the answers to the employees questions in one place.
Good luck with your future On-boarding!
David Aadne, Country Manager ComAround Norway