Despite us being in the 21st century, most organisations still adopt a paper-based approach towards employee onboarding. New hires are still required to fill in a myriad of forms before attending one on one meetings so that they gain an initial understanding of the organisation. By the end of the induction process, new hires have loads of handouts and workbooks.
Why does it make sense to migrate your induction content online?
If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic has made organisations across the world aware of their need to have robust online platforms. Turning induction workbooks and handouts into pdfs may be a good idea, but this means that employees will still be merely reading through non-interactive content on a screen rather than paper. Besides, it’s highly unlikely that on-site operations will resume fully due to compliance requirements.
This notwithstanding, the other key reasons why it only makes sense to introduce online induction into your organisation include:-
- Availability – new hires will be able to access the induction content no matter their location provided they are connected to the internet.
- Consistency – through a digital platform, new employees get the same set of induction material and experiences. This has a huge advantage over one on one training delivered by humans who can be forgetful, get distracted or fail to connect with the new hires.
- Efficiency – platforms such as Induct for Work have templates that make it easy to set up your induction content. You can also make edits to your induction content as and when you wish to do so.
- Expectation – the modern employee is exposed to myriad content about amazing induction platforms used by different organisations. Therefore, most of them are on the lookout for technology-led employers. Using an online tool to onboard them is the first step towards fulfilling their expectations.
- Feedback – using an online induction tool enables you to capture your new employees’ feedback as they go through the induction program. Are they happy with the content? What information did they find most useful? What do they feel is missing? Is there they feel you can make the content more interactive and engaging? Capturing such feedback will help you further improve the induction process.
- Reduced costs – using an online platform helps you avoid such costs as printing of induction materials, transport costs, costs associated with the hiring of the venue and lost productivity from experienced employees who will be guiding the new hires and so on.
- Timeliness – when it comes to one on one training, new hires have to wait for the availability of key people. This means they remain unproductive for the first few days before the induction workshop takes place. When using an online induction platform, new hires can undertake the training wherever and whenever.
So how do you go about inducting your new hire remotely?
Make sure they have all the supplies they need
Come up with a list of all the office supplies, hardware and software your new employees need. If you will be providing them, order and deliver everything well ahead of time to ensure that everything is set up. If it’s the employees will be using their hardware, refer them to your IT department so all software is installed.
When using Induct for Work, the system automatically sends out emails to your new inductees once you set up. However, you will need to send the log-in credentials to any online portals they will be using.
The introductory call
Apart from the introductory email, a phone or video call would be a good way to connect with your new hires. Let them know how delighted you are that they are joining your team.
Sharing the employee handbook
At the beginning of your induction program, you will need to cover all basics including the organisation’s vision, mission, it’s history and culture. Remember to include a module that includes all the forms your new employees need to fill. The handbook needs to have an outline of your short and long-term goals.
Due to the absence of in-person interaction, you might have to make your induction program more structured.
Introducing your new employees to existing ones
New employees will be grateful to be introduced to people they will be directly and indirectly working with. However, the introduction needs to be done in such a way that you do not overwhelm your new hires. The idea is to have a strong peer support system as early as possible.
Feedback and support
Unlike existing workers who know their way around even when they are working remotely, a new hire is likely to be rather uncertain of their progress and what’s expected of them. Lack of proper communication only creates room for confusion and rumours. Let your new employees know of their progress and what they need to work on. It is a good idea to buddy them up with an experienced employee and encourage them to regularly communicate. If possible, let them work on a joint project.
Remember it’s important to constantly review your onboarding content. Adding an onboarding survey to your program will help you learn what’s working and what’s not meeting your expectations.