Signable: Digital onboarding is the answer to employee engagement, retention and productivity

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Digital onboarding improves productivity by 54% studies show

With the movement of many companies towards faster, more effective digital solutions, it’s no wonder digital onboarding is changing the way we integrate new employees.

But, why fix what isn’t broken? Well, the long and short of that is that traditional onboarding is broken, but many don’t see it. The older onboarding of new employees has been proven to be slow, inconsistent and at times, ineffective and overwhelming for new team members. 

Let’s look at the role employee onboarding plays in modern business, and how to integrate your communications to help solve onboarding challenges. 

Importance of onboarding

We first need to consider the importance of onboarding in the employee’s journey to understanding your company and your culture. 

Traditional onboarding starts the moment a candidate steps foot in your building. Digital onboarding, however. starts from the moment someone submits a CV or job application. The interactions you start with, will give either a good or bad first impression. If your processes take weeks to complete, and seem chaotic, you may lose that candidate before you’ve even interviewed them. 

So by getting these first few steps working like clockwork with fast, easy digital tools, new employees will feel safe and informed from day one. 

The same goes for once you’ve hired said new employee. The steps you take to integrate them into the team and get them up to speed with your processes, can be the makings of a positive or negative work environment.  

The pro’s include: 

  • 54% faster employee integration 
  • Maintained consistency across the company, especially in large organisations
  • 24/7 access to essential information
  • Less paper, meaning a better carbon footprint
  • Faster and more thorough application processes
  • Online training proven to be more effective than in person training 
  • No overloading, employees can look over information when it suits them

How to digitally onboard and what digital tools to use

  • Application management

Where are you tracking your job applications? An easy win can be using a job advertising platform like Indeed, Reed or Monster, as you can post and track your applicants through their software. 

  • Contract streamlining

Finally found the dream hire after many painstaking interviews? Time is of the essence, so using an electronic contract to seal the deal straight away will make your new employee instantly feel valued and in safe hands. Signable has great eSignature software that allows you to upload your own contract and get it electronically signed by the new employee within minutes. 

You can also ensure they don’t miss any valuable information with the required fields function. There’s endless customisations available, so check out their website for more. 

  • Initial onboarding

Now is the time to deliver essential information to your new employee before they start in their new role. This can include things like health and safety packs, dress code, parking spaces, location of their desk etc. It should also include a brief introduction to their team or even can be used as an opportunity to introduce other members of the company they may never meet in person. 

This electronic introduction is proven to speed up employee integration time, as they get to know the company and it’s values before they even step foot in the building. 

Software such as Trello, Bamboo HR or Talmudo do the job perfectly. Depending on your business size, you might want to opt for a different software package to include things like automated messaging in Talmundo, but if you’re a Small – Medium sized company, the free tool Trello can work just as well by creating a board with all the information the new employee might need. 

This also means they have 24/7 access to the information, should they want to re-read anything during their time with the company. 

  • E-Training

Training is arguably the thing that takes the most time when onboarding a new employee. Usually it involves a room full of new employees, and one instructor running through how the team operates and the tactics you implement. Either this, or the new employee is thrown in the deep-end to learn on the job. Both take time. But, by using e-learning software, essential training can begin before the employee’s first day. 

What’s more is that online learning is proven to be more effective through the use of gamification like quizzes and a points system. It’s learning that employees actually enjoy doing. This means that the training will stick faster, leaving more time for the new hire to actually settle into their new role and start improving the company. 

“ According to a Brandon-Hall Study, learning through e-learning typically requires 40% to 60% less employee time than learning the same material in a traditional classroom setting. This is because it can be performed asynchronously and whenever the student needs it; this way workflow is not interrupted”

Good eLearning software to check out include Shift, Edgepoint Learning & (again) Talmundo. 

  • Retention – Perks

So this isn’t necessarily “onboarding” but it’s a huge part of why employees decide to stay with a company. Business ‘perks’ contribute directly to employee happiness, and not just at work, but also outside the office too. 

Clutch’s employee happiness report says that:

 “Over half (53%) of employees say that perks give them a better quality of life. In addition, nearly half (49%) say that receiving these benefits means they know that their employers are invested in them as individuals”

This latter point around showing your appreciation as a company to your employees is integral if you’re looking to increase your retention. Employees want to feel valued, so by giving them benefits like, free back massages, money off certain stores, reduced price healthcare (like opticians, therapy sessions and other bespoke services) they will really feel loved. 

We love the plans from HealthShield, as they offer both healthcare cashback and high-street store perks and discounts on days out. If you’re just looking for giving your employees a treat now and then, software like PerkBox or Hugg are great. Hugg also allows you to manually send ‘gifts’ like a free coffee when you feel a certain employee or team need a little pick me up. 

Onboard into your culture

Of course, whatever you choose to do to enhance your employee onboarding with digital tools, it has to sit in line with your culture as a company. It’s no good pretending to be a light-hearted company if your other processes don’t align with that, so make sure you’re providing a consistent journey for your employees. If you do that, we’re sure you’ll see happier, more productive teams. 

Author Bio: 

Sophie Torry-Cook is Signable’s resident Content Exec, based in Bristol. She loves storytelling and simplifying techy subjects for almost any reader.

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