Hiring and orienting new employees, or the onboarding process is critical to employee and business success. Onboarding takes extra planning and effort, and rightly so. You only get one chance to make a good first impression and that sets a tone. This process is designed to cultivate a long-term relationship between the employer and employee. It is especially important in these times of remote and hybrid work environments. As such, employers should prioritize on-boarding and ensure it is a seamless and memorable process.
The new hire most probably left another company to work for you. Don't make them regret it in the very first week. Having a very shabby and scattered onboarding experience is a sure-shot way to disappoint them. Overwhelming them with too many welcome meetings scheduled at your convenience is the second most popular way to ensure disappointment.
If remote work culture has taught us anything about better team management, it must be this one — companies tend to underuse videos and much of the onboarding information can be communicated through pre-recorded videos. "We were planning on automating it", says Sitara Subramani a HR Generalist with over 10 yrs of industry experience. "This very good idea. We currently have an internal channel where everything is uploaded and it makes all the difference."
As a part of employee onboarding, the new team member interacts with their new team mates, builds social capital, and gather information needed to help them grow, learn, and contribute. This fosters positive relationships and is a start to a healthy work environment — remote or otherwise.
These fundamentals contribute to building human relationships and are best done human-to-human(s). However, there is a myriad of other onboarding activities that can be automated or done through pre-recorded videos to ensure they have a seamless experience. Using videos, communication can be made effective and faster.
Every team has its own ways of onboarding and engaging new team members and most of this can be automated. This not only saves HR a substantial amount of time, but also provides for the members to understand and familiarise with everything on their own time.
Smart teams are figuring out ways to make onboarding more personal without any face-to-face meetings. "In fact, this (video onboarding) is long overdue.", says Paul Jose a Sr.HR Manager. "The pandemic just made CHROs realize that this (video onboarding) is possible! In an era where we open bank accounts digitally, there's no reason we can't digitally complete the entire hiring and onboarding process.".
Good onboarding practices
- A typical onboarding can be lengthy and this can be broken down into parts. To make this effective, have a flexible time-frame to complete all the onboarding activities.
- Better yet, make onboarding videos of repetitive sessions as a one-time activity and share these videos with each new hire. This is especially efficient and effective in fast-growing companies.
- In the first few days, spell out the fundamental practices, team culture, tools, and how to collaborate better with the team.
- Foster team connections. Make virtual introductions through video snippets of all the current team members. Teams can introduce themselves, what they do in the company and outside, fun facts, and what they can help a new hire with.
- Provide a broad company overview, product information, structure, overall business, how the company operates — internally and with customers — and the various HR policies.
- Be explicit with the company values and principles. Especially when teams are working remotely, it's challenging to figure out the nuances in the organization's culture. Every team/organization is full of unwritten rules. It helps the team and new hires if these are spelled out, spoken, and made available in the future. This helps new team members navigate quickly and with ease.
- Provide a detailed explanation about goal setting, KPIs, how and when these are measured and tracked, and everything else related to performance.
- Team culture is important. You can have an entire video series detailing the culture of the team. It also helps to mention it in the onboarding kit.
- List out the protocols set in place for video conferencing — how they can access team members through video calls, what times are appropriate, scheduling guidelines as per the tools you use.
- List out all the communication, HRM, storage, CRM, and other internal tools they have to set-up and how.
- Most importantly, make sure you communicate the security guidelines, details about licensed company softwares, and the dos and don'ts.
Benefits of on-boarding with pre-recorded videos
- An onboarding playlist can be made easily available for as long as they are working with your organization. This enables the user to refer to any of the content at any time.
- All the standard repetitive processes can be pre recorded and made into video snippets which can be shared with a new employee as a part of the welcome kit.
- As an HR or manager, you only have to do this activity once. The new hire can watch it anytime, from anywhere, and however many times they want to!
- It allows both the new hires and respective managers to track the hiring process and the completion thereof. The new hire would be much more engaged and in their comfort zone with an interactive, media-rich video that presents the team members and culture.
- A video can be shared anytime with anyone internally.
Going digital in the HR space is a crucial step towards managing and running high-performance teams. Whether you are converting an on boarding process or defining a new one digitally, the end goal is the same — make the new hire feel welcome, well informed, and well connected.