Creating an Effective Employee Onboarding Process

Workato Hackathon 2023

Employee onboarding is key for every growing organization. Whether you run a small business looking to hire its first employee or a multinational conglomerate expanding into new territories, knowing how to acquire and train new talent is crucial. This post will provide a brief overview of the employee onboarding process and detail some key components of a good onboarding strategy.

What Is Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the process of training new staff to be effective workers. It involves teaching new employees their basic roles in the company, instilling the company’s values, and informing them about the support structures the company provides for both their personal and professional lives.

Traditionally, onboarding lasted only a few days to a few weeks. However, as companies modernize and employee roles become more complex, the onboarding process is rapidly evolving. Today, HR executives agree that an effective onboarding process takes an average of three months.

The process presents several benefits for both employees and employers. First, it allows new hires to fully understand their duties and know how to execute them. Not all professionals are made equal, and companies often have customized workflows they expect employees to follow. A good onboarding process will explain these things before employees begin fulfilling their duties. That way, the employees seamlessly integrate into the company’s systems.

Second, onboarding instills the company’s goals, values, and ethics. What targets are the company (and by extension the employee) expected to hit this year? That should be explained during onboarding. What does the company value? That’s to be clarified during onboarding. How does the company do business? Are employees allowed to communicate with consumers, or do they simply provide services? This all needs to be outlined during the onboarding process. Proper onboarding allows employees to work toward your vision for the company rather than what they believe is your vision for the company.

Third, and perhaps most important: the onboarding process should inform employees about the support resources available to them, be it the latest technology to enhance their workflow or a communal meditation room where they can relax and unwind. A good onboarding process lets workers know that the company not only wants their labor but also wants them to be able to perform as efficiently and happily as possible. This, in turn, creates employees who are more willing to work and produce better results.

What a Good Onboarding Process Looks Like

According to the Human Resource Standards Institute (HRSI), there are several essential components of a good onboarding process. They range from conducting training that engages new hires to building real relationships.

Logistics and Policy Training

Processes and policy sound like the most boring parts of an onboarding process—because they are. And far too often, companies make the mistake of focusing their onboarding solely (or mostly) on processes and company policies. This not only bores employees but makes them feel like mindless drones brought in merely to fulfill tasks. Needless to say, that’s not the mentality you want your employees to have. Workers are humans, and humans can only put in so much effort if they aren’t engaged with the work.

With this in mind, a good onboarding process might focus on processes and policy at first but quickly move on once new hires are aware of how to do their job.

Building Real Relationships

Building on the last point, one of the best ways to engage employees is to build relationships with them. Ask how they feel (not just about their work performance). Even if it doesn’t seem professional, having a genuine conversation with your employees goes a long way to keeping them engaged. These conversations can also help you both to realize how the employees’ new job position aligns with their long-term career goals. The HRSI recommends asking the following questions: 

  • How do you see this job as a step along your career journey? 
  • What do you want to learn, experience, or achieve?
  • What kind of skills from your previous jobs will port over the easiest and provide you with easy wins?
  • What do you anticipate will be your steepest learning curve?

Managers can incorporate these check-ins into regular performance meetings. They do wonders for employee morale.

Personalized Training

As stated before, not all employees are made equal. Some may come with previous experience, while others do not. Some will learn faster or slower than normal. These considerations need to be accounted for throughout the onboarding process. Sometimes it’s okay to take more or less time explaining a topic, depending on the skill of the employee at hand.

Entry-level talent might require a detailed orientation, while managerial onboarding may focus more on teaching soft skills and talent management. Just ensure that everyone is learning what they need, not what others need, from onboarding.

Workato—Your Company’s Automated Onboarding Assistant

Workato is the world’s leading hyperautomation manager. It has several features that you can use to streamline your onboarding process. The Workbot simplifies the hiring process by giving HR managers end-to-end control over it. By integrating Workato software into familiar apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams, managers can create custom bots, forms, and more to automate referrals, hiring, interviews, and even app management. 

With its HR automation, employees instantly gain access to apps and features they otherwise would have waited days for. Conversely, employees who leave the company instantly lose access to the organization’s proprietary information the minute they walk out the door.

This also extends to requests for new apps. Workato streamlines the process using a chatbot that allows users to request new apps right from their workstation. Once requested, relevant personnel can then grant or deny access to those apps. If they need more information, they can send a message back to the employee. Anyone who has attempted to get clearance or access to apps within large organizations knows that this can be a lifesaver. It will save hours, even days, by taking a formerly long and cumbersome process and condensing it into just a few clicks.

Workato also allows employees to submit referrals from their usual communication platforms. Its referral bot allows you to fill in candidate details and send them over to senior managers without ever leaving your office. The ease of this model means that employees can submit dozens, sometimes hundreds, of referrals throughout their stay at the company.

[insert a picture of Workato’s referral form here]

These are just a few ways in which Workato’s automation helps not only the onboarding process but improves the efficiency of the company in general.

Ready to Expand? Integrate Workato into Your Onboarding Process

Employee onboarding remains one of the most crucial yet overlooked aspects of human resources. Every good employer must give their employees both the skills and support (professional and psychological) they need to perform effectively at the company because doing so indirectly helps the company in the long run.

As you continue building your employee onboarding process, remember to keep a holistic view of onboarding and know that Workato will be here to help you every step of the way.This post was written by Jo Efobi. Jo is a Software Engineer with a degree in Neuroscience. She has worked with the MERN stack, Vue,js, Python, and Golang. She loves contributing to open source and exploring the intersection of medicine, healthcare and technology.