4 Tips to Drive an Improved Onboarding Experience

4 Tips to Drive an Improved Onboarding Experience

Scale onboarding efficiently while increasing employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention

As a professional services firm in the technology industry, onboarding is critically important because time is money and turnover is costly. At Cask, we call our employees Coopers because a cooper is the artisan engineer that makes wine casks and our employees are the artisan engineers of our workforce. The sooner we can get new Coopers engaged and productive in their roles through an improved onboarding experience, the more effective we can be for our customers.

Prior to our first day at Cask, we received a brand new laptop and two books to our home via expedited delivery. The books were Small Giants by Bo Burlingham and What the Heck is EOS? by Gino Wickman and Tom Bouwer. These two quick reads described the culture and operating model that our President, Mark Larsen, has established for our small 250 Cooper company of highly specialized consultants.

Due to this, most of us appreciate that we were welcomed into Cask with a strong foundation of who we are and how we operate, which resulted in faster time to productivity and more effectiveness in our roles. Click To Tweet

Our first week at Cask is called Cooper Camp. We have a predefined schedule of key meetings and activities to equip us to better perform in our roles. In the meetings, leaders from various functions of the organization presented orientation materials that help us understand our role and how our roles may overlap. Each of the presentations is posted on our company’s intranet for future reference. We knew exactly what to expect in our first week and had access to the information necessary to do our job. Most of us also appreciated being initiated with other new hires, even though we are all remote, so that no one feels alone in being new.

Perhaps Natalie Tollefson, Cask’s Practice Leader for Employee Experiece’s, favorite thing about new hire onboarding is that she gets to help other companies create their ideal onboarding experience! Her role at Cask is the Practice Leader for Employee Experience, so her team specializes in helping companies streamline HR processes and enhancing the employee experience from hire to retire. Our customers range anywhere from 200 to 20,000 employees, across all industries and all across the globe.

At a well-known global security software company, Cask delivered an improved onboarding experience and transformation that reduced time and effort to onboard new employees by 80% while streamlining global engagement from five different process variations down to one. This was a company that previously had significant employee turnover during the onboarding process because it was such a poor experience.

By implementing human centered design and process automation strategies, this customer had a significant reduction in attrition and has since become known for their world class onboarding experience.

4 Tips to Drive an Improved Onboarding Experience

An employee’s onboarding experience sets the tone for their entire employment. It can be very difficult to change the perception created by a poor first impression. Especially in today’s hybrid workforce where onboarding is often fully remote, employers must identify creative ways to engage employees and increase their productivity faster. Here are a few tips for an improved onboarding experience for your company:

  • Start with Strategy. Do an honest assessment of your current onboarding experience and collect candid feedback from your employees. Use that information to develop some key objectives, performance metrics, and guiding principles for your onboarding initiative. Then, capture the data to tell the story of how your strategy will make a measurable impact on your employees and your company’s bottom line.
  • Map the Journey. When we say journey mapping, we don’t mean just a Visio flow chart of the onboarding steps, but rather a visual story of the onboarding journey from the perspective of your employees. Conducting a journey mapping exercise will help you develop empathy for the “customer” (in this case, your employees), and helps you identify the moments that matter most to your employees so that you can infuse personal touches that will leave lasting impressions.
  • Take out the trash. In Lean and Six Sigma there is an emphasis on eliminating “muda” or waste in a process. This is where detailed process documentation is helpful because you can then identify sources of waste and remove them. Pro-tip: for each issue or pain point you capture, ask “why” five times until you understand the root cause, then solve that problem once and for all! Examples of waste that are common to onboarding are:
    • Time waiting – new hire waiting for a password, or waiting to be told what to do next; lack of visibility into where the process is held up
    • Unnecessary process complexity – process variations by location, role, business unit handled manually; multiple functions involved
    • Errors – new hire experiences technical issues with equipment or receiving access to systems
    • Unused talent – longer time to productivity for a new employee, or HR spends most of their time on administrative tasks rather than strategic work
  • Make it Personal. Starting a new job is a very personal experience for a new employee and can generate all kinds of emotions, both positive and negative. The more a new employee feels connected and productive, the more likely they are to be satisfied and retained. But, delivering this personal experience doesn’t have to be manual or inefficient. With the right technology solution, your company can create a sense of belonging for employees from Day 1 (or even before!). Imagine that when your new hire first logs into their employee portal, they receive a warm welcome video from the CEO in their language, a digital welcome card with personal messages from their new team members, the name and picture of their buddy or mentor, and a personalized to-do list with prizes for task completion. Now that’s a fun way to start a new job!

Hopefully these tips help get your wheels turning on how your company can scale new hire onboarding efficiently while ultimately increasing employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. With the right strategic partner to help you, you can make a highly visible and meaningful impact on your company!

Request a demo and let’s talk about how you can create an improved onboarding experience and let’s make it happen!

Check out Natalie Tollefson, Practice Leader at Cask for HR & Employee Experience’s interview on this topic by Academy Ocean here.

At Cask, we know how to streamline business.

We understand that the world moves fast, but information moves faster. You need data in a hurry, and company-wide automation is the answer. If your business can’t keep pace, we can guide you through a strategic transformation to optimize your operational efficiency.

That’s why we are proud to partner with ServiceNow to provide the solutions to move from manual tasks and paper deliverables to digital applications for managing your business.