7 Simple Steps to Automate Your Employee Onboarding Process

steps to automate employee onboarding process

The employee onboarding process gives you an opportunity to make a significant impact on new hires. This first impression can greatly influence their opinion of your company—and ultimately impact their willingness to stay.

Outdated and disorganized onboarding processes can leave employees with a negative impression and decrease the chances that they’ll stick with the company for longer than a year. Streamlined and modern processes, on the other hand, can make an excellent first impression, even increasing new hire retention by up to 82%. By implementing consistent and helpful onboarding systems, you can establish positive long-term relationships and promote employee satisfaction and productivity.

1. Formalize the Onboarding Process & Standardize Workflows

Employee onboarding should be a relatively standard process; each new hire should get the same experience, and HR should follow the same general workflow each time. You can accomplish this by managing your onboarding tasks with automation to create a standard workflow that’s used for each new hire. You can then customize it to fit each new employee’s role, department, or location. For example, accounting personnel won’t need the same training as those in IT.

Pro Tip: Use an onboarding checklist to standardize workflows. This ensures that all required tasks are completed and creates a seamless experience for new hires.

2. Enable Automatic Document Sending & Signing

New hire paperwork is an inconvenient, time-consuming process that takes the focus away from your company’s people and culture. Utilizing HR software or eSignature services saves significant time for HR, decreases errors, and ensures compliance.

The HR department can set up automatic delivery of all required documents to the new employee, including W-4 forms, I-9 forms, state tax forms, employee handbooks, non-disclosure agreements, and direct deposit forms. Once the signed documents are received, the data from each applicable document can be shared across departments. HR software or eSignature services can also track the status of each document and even file employment verification on your behalf.

Pro Tip: Automatically send new hires’ digital paperwork before their first day to reduce the time to productivity.

3. Leverage Widgets & Reminders to Send Scheduled Information

The onboarding process requires extensive communication between the company and the employee to prepare them for their first day. Various departments need to communicate information during pre-boarding and onboarding, and throughout the first few months of employment.

New hires need to understand the onboarding process, first-day reporting details, company policies, and how and where to complete onboarding paperwork. Once the process is completed, some companies also request feedback from the employee regarding onboarding and their first several months of employment.

You can leverage widgets and reminders that are included or integrated with your HRIS to send scheduled messages. This saves you time and helps to present an image of a well-organized employer. For example, you can automatically send welcome emails and feedback surveys to new hires using pre-written message templates.

Pro Tip: To get the most out of email widgets and scheduled messaging, use integrated communication channel notifications to keep team members updated on each task’s status.

4. Set Up Task & Role Assignments

Using HR software to standardize the onboarding process allows tasks and due dates to be assigned to various people within the company. The workflow seamlessly connects managers and departments like HR, IT, and Finance to the onboarding process, increasing efficiency and reducing errors. Automated reminders and templates can also be used to notify the involved personnel of completed tasks or upcoming deadlines.

Pro Tip: Assign each new hire an onboarding buddy—someone they can rely on for questions about the company or their new role—and connect them before their first day. Matching new hires with onboarding buddies has been proven to increase productivity and employee satisfaction.

5. Create Useful Communication Channels

Integrate internal communication channels with HR software to create consistent and open communication between new employees, HR professionals, and other involved individuals. The onboarding process can be tracked and coordinated within these channels.

Connecting internal departments in messaging apps allows teams to work and communicate more effectively. Adding new employees to these channels enables them to engage with co-workers, ask questions, and get an authentic sense of company culture.

Pro Tip: Set up an onboarding-specific channel in your preferred messaging app for new hires to ask questions or access shared documents where they can find answers.

6. Analyze Performance & Implement Continuous Feedback

Analyzing metrics like time to productivity, employee performance, and feedback from new-hire surveys can significantly impact the onboarding process in the future. These KPIs can alert you to issues with the onboarding process. For example, excessive time to productivity can tell you that an employee’s orientation and training weren’t enough to get them up to speed.

Celebrating milestones in your new employee’s role at the company is also essential. Sending automated emails at significant points in the process can help employees to feel welcomed and appreciated.

Pro Tip: Use automation tools within your onboarding software to automatically send pre-written emails to celebrate milestones, as well as surveys to assess the impact of the onboarding process.

7. Automate Employee Benefits Enrollment

Manual benefits enrollment can complicate budgeting and forecasting, because it’s hard to predict how many employees will opt for each benefit. An automated benefits platform provides on-demand reports to give you insight into historical data, facilitating budgeting and forecasting. Automating this process also allows employees to self-enroll, freeing up the time and resources that HR would have to spend enrolling them.

Pro Tip: Include benefits enrollment in your onboarding workflow by automatically sending pre-written enrollment process information and links to your new hires.

More Benefits of Automating Employee Onboarding

An automated employee onboarding process can significantly benefit your whole organization. It helps save time, increases engagement, showcases your company culture, and places the focus on employee wellbeing. Integrating HR platforms and communication channels streamlines the onboarding process, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Ultimately, engaging with and investing in your new hires before, during, and after the onboarding process will improve employee retention and productivity across the board.

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