How To Improve The New Hire Experience With Onboarding Automation

By Mike Howard - April 23, 2019

The employee onboarding process is a critically important step in the employee journey that can color the experience throughout the employee’s tenure with the organization. It’s not just important for employees—companies have a big financial stake in ensuring the success of new hires. Half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first four months and half of outside senior hires fail within the first eighteen months, costing businesses billions per year in associated turnover costs.

A positive onboarding process can reduce both turnover and the time it takes to bring a new hire up to full productivity. (Tweet this!) Onboarding automation can make that process go more smoothly and help ensure that no important element is overlooked. This article will examine automated employee onboarding processes, and how they can help new hires succeed.

A positive onboarding experience sets new employees up for success. Learn how to improve the experience at every step of the employee journey with our free Employee Experience Playbook.

Onboarding Automation: Closing The Gap Between Hiring & Starting Work

Although our primary focus in this article will be how automated onboarding processes can improve the employee experience, automation can also make onboarding easier for HR in the period just before a new hire begins work.

There is a large amount of paperwork to get out of the way before a new employee can start working. Onboarding automation can help simplify the completion of paperwork via automated messaging and prompts. Among the tasks that can be fully or partially automated are:

  • A welcome email sent to candidates who have accepted a position.
  • Providing contracts, NDAs, and benefits paperwork to the new employee for completion.
  • Nudges to remind new hires who have not completed and returned paperwork.
  • Engagement emails to help the new hire build a connection with the organization before starting work.

These repeated contacts can help keep new hires engaged and prevent them from entertaining other offers before they even start the job.

Improving The Onboarding Experience With Automated Onboarding Processes

As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. New employees’ first days on the job will color their perceptions of the organization in the future. Of employees who rate their onboarding experience as excellent, 80 percent indicate that they are more committed to their jobs. Surveys have shown that employees with positive onboarding experiences take more pride in their companies and have better clarity about their roles.

The goal of onboarding is to position the new employee for success, and automated onboarding processes can help in a number of ways. Some of these processes are targeted directly to the new employee, while others are targeted to provide nudges or reminders to managers to ensure that they remember to do the things that will help the new employee succeed.

Processes Targeted To New Employees

Some examples of messages that can be automatically sent to new employees to boost their success include:

  • Information about where to find information and resources needed to do their job.
  • Mentoring suggestions.
  • Interest groups they may want to join.
  • Training and career development opportunities.
  • Tips for what it takes to be a successful employee at the company.

Processes Targeted To Managers

Automated messages to managers serve primarily as nudges to help keep them on track with doing the right things to help new employees succeed. These include:

  • Check-ins with new employees at specified points in time.
  • Training suggestions and tactical information to provide the employee.
  • Information about the employee’s preferences for recognition (collected with onboarding paperwork or from onboarding survey).
  • Reminders about important dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries.

These messages may be delivered via email or messaging platforms like Slack.

Evaluating The Onboarding Process

Automation can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the onboarding process, by prompting new employees to complete onboarding surveys at specified times, such as 30, 60, and 90 days after they begin work.

The onboarding survey typically includes questions similar to these:

  • Do you have the resources and information needed to do your job?
  • Do you understand the expectations for your job performance?
  • Does the job align with your expectations?
  • Are your interactions with your manager helpful?

The onboarding survey provides feedback about the employee’s experiences to date; negative responses to any of the items can flag the need for intervention to ensure the employee’s success and engagement and reduce the chances of attrition.

Automated onboarding processes can help ease a new hire’s transition into a new job and increase their engagement and sense of connection to the organization. They can also increase a new hire’s chances of success and productivity in their new role, and dramatically reduce the risk of attrition—providing significant financial benefits for the organization.

Gain the insights you need to improve the onboarding process—and every other aspect of the employee experience.

At Perceptyx, our goal is to help you gain the insight into the employee experience you need to help your business succeed. Our survey platform and customized surveys are designed to collect the data you need to understand and improve the employee experience and address your biggest strategic challenges.

Contact Perceptyx today and see how we can help you gain the information you need to improve the employee experience, reduce turnover, and increase productivity to boost business success.

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