5 Tips a Successful Experience-driven Onboarding Process

Posted in Talent & Onboarding

So, you’re on board (lol – we can’t help ourselves) with the concept of experience-driven onboarding. You get that it makes people happy and more engaged on the job, and you know it saves your company time and money by driving higher retention and performance.

What do you do next?

Here are five tips we’ve found that can really help you get great onboarding off the ground.

1. Define your goals and set your limits.

The first step to any successful endeavor is to understand the goals you hope to accomplish. In this case, you want to wow your new hires. Pretty straightforward, right?

Here are some questions to consider as you start to work toward that goal:

  • What’s your budget for pre-boarding? What about for onboarding?
    • The purpose behind nailing down this number is to better understand what the limits of your process are going to be. A greater budget allows for more physical gifts – a welcome box, for example. A smaller budget might allow for only digital messages to your new hires.
  • What tools does the new hire’s role require and how can you make sure they’re ready on Day 1?
    • An art director or programmer might prefer Apple products. A financial analyst might need a PC with Microsoft products.
  • How does your team prefer to communicate? What are the required channels of communication they use for their job? Options include phone, email, text, Slack, Skype, FaceTime, any of the Googles, and more.
    • This might sound like a question only for the millennial or hipster segments. But the answer to this question has real consequences. If the new hire’s team prefers Slack, is training in place for how to use it? If the team prefers Skype, do they already have an account? Do you need paid accounts for the selected services, or can you get by with the free versions?

You need to answer questions like these before you map the new hire’s journey because each decision along the way influences the next.

2. Map the journey.

The second step is to map out what the typical new hire journey looks like. That way, we can compare it with your overall goal (and the more specific ones, such as reducing turnover in the first 90 days), so that in the next step you can see where the opportunities lie between your goals and the current journey, thus helping to form a new one.

Consider these questions to inform your journey map:

  • Does your new hire need to meet with just her manager, or also with the director and SVP?
  • Does she need to meet a buddy on the first day, or can that wait until later in the week?
  • Who else will play a role in your new hire’s journey that you should bring into the communication loop? Think about team members, folks above and below her in your org structure, as well as others.
  • Is she moving from out of state and needing help getting around town?
  • Can any of these tasks be completed before Day 1?

Thinking about the broader context surrounding your new hires can help speed up the pre-boarding and onboarding process and make it more personalized, friendly, and welcoming.

3. See your opportunities.

Once you have your goals identified and the new hire’s journey mapped out, you can see areas and instances where you can start to create an out-of-this-world experience for your new hires.

Let’s say you know your new hire is a younger worker fluent in technology and social media. So, you want to send her all her necessary onboarding documents the week before her first day via text to her phone – tax forms, proof of identification instructions, direct deposit info, and appropriate company policies, for example.

Maybe you include a link or two to some good information that appeals to her interests or needs of the job – a list of preschools in a guide to the new area, and maybe some friend suggestions, depending on what you’ve learned about her in the hiring and pre-boarding processes.

Think about this idea: Because you know she has a son starting school, you send her a kid-size T-shirt branded with your company logo so he can wear it to his first day of class. With one small action, you’re bringing the whole family on board.

Now that’s what we call a personalized onboarding experience.

4. Get some great technology.

person using a mobile phone

This is the fun part. By now you know what you want to do to have a stellar journey planned, and have a great team behind you to support your new hire and their manager every step of the way.

Now you just need a platform to get all that done.

Why should you get a platform that offers dedicated, experience-driven onboarding?

One size doesn’t fit all for the onboarding experience. With an experience-driven platform, you can trigger and adapt employee journeys based on data and feedback to deliver a truly one-to-one experience for smart, personalized communication.

A modern platform is designed to work the way your people do. You need intelligent journeys at the right time, on the right device, with the right message. Then you can focus on action, not numbers, so you can help managers take relevant action at the right time with nudges based on feedback.

With the right technology, you can integrate all your workplace software – from HR systems like Lever and SAP SuccessFactors to document organization like DocuSign to collaboration apps like Slack and Jira – into the onboarding process.

After you’ve integrated and created new journeys for your new employees, simply automate and segment the new hire’s onboarding flow based on her preferences or geography. This allows the right people from your team to communicate with her at the right time through the right media.

Oh, and btw, we can help with that. 😎

5. Go live.

Now all that’s left to do is push that button to launch your new experience-driven onboarding process. This might sound complicated to get all the right pieces in the right places, but the truth is you could do all this in one afternoon.

Your new employees are desperate for a better, personalized experience. Great technology and great people can make that happen.

Let’s get to work. 💪

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