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Organizations must attract and empower the new Millennial generation of employees. The first official interaction with the employee and the organization – employee onboarding – can set the tone by providing support and access to resources that help new hires get up and running quickly.

Unfortunately, sometimes employee onboarding processes are less than optimal. This can make employees feel frustrated and even have second thoughts about their choice of employer.


Guest Post by Tom Franceski, Vice President and General Manager at DocStar.


For the hiring organization, an inefficient and cumbersome onboarding process robs departments of time and energy they could spend on other value-added activities. An inefficient process can also be costly; without automation, the cost of employee onboarding can skyrocket.

Millennials, who are expected to comprise up 75% of the workforce by 2020, are having a huge impact on the employee onboarding process. The rise of the so-called “gig economy” is as well. Consider this: A full 50% of the U.S. workforce is expected to be freelancers by 2020. To adapt in these changing times, the onboarding process must be internet-enabled and accessible at any time.

Millennials have a vastly different idea of how work should be done than previous generations. They won’t, for example, put up with processes that are arduous and time consuming. They also have a more transient approach to careers. The “average tour of duty” for a Millenial is only 6-to-12 months, maybe 18. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers stayed at companies 10-to-20-times longer.

The bottom line is this: Employee onboarding must be made as efficient as possible.

Complex and Costly

Onboarding entails an extensive amount of paperwork, including W-4s, I-9s, benefits enrollment forms, tax forms, employee handbooks, non-compete affidavits, signed offer letters, 90-day goal sheets, and so on. The management and completion of that paperwork, along with other administrative aspects of onboarding, can often take up to 10 hours of processing time. The process also involves provisioning desk/office space, issuing badges and access credentials, assigning computing devices, creating business cards, scheduling new hire orientation, and delivering new employee training.

Cornell University has identified a few of the “loss leaders” among employee onboarding administrative activities:

  • New hire lost productivity (due to workspace, tools, and supplies not being ready or training not scheduled)
  • Costs related to printing, handling, and mailing offline forms
  • Processing and data entry by HR admin (a full-time employee) for new employee setup
  • Mistakes due to manual data entry

Best-practice employee onboarding involves electronic processes and workflows ensuring that all document-based and process-based steps are followed. Such processes can also ensure that the full complement of onboarding activities are conducted with coordination and oversight.

The Role of Records Management

Throughout the onboarding process, and even after, proper records management is critical. Organizations are at serious risk when they are ordered to produce employee records and cannot comply, as well as when documents are kept longer than their necessary disposition schedule dictates.

As opposed to HRMS solutions – which are focused on talent acquisition and development – Enterprise Content Management solutions enable the secure and compliant maintenance of all articles of record involved in employee onboarding. Such solutions can also ensure that these records are collected and disseminated at the exact right times for the best onboarding experience from the start.

Investing in Onboarding Pays Off

Investment in employee onboarding can go a long way. Research shows that a structured, best practice onboarding process can help stave off early turnover. One study, for example, found that employees who attended a structured orientation program were 69 percent more likely to stay with the company for three years.

The faster new hires feel welcome and prepared in their new workplace, the faster they can contribute to achieving the organization’s goals. Optimal onboarding does more than reduce administrative burden and safeguard corporate liability – it sets clear expectations for employees and equips them for success, increasing job satisfaction, and improving performance.

Digitally reengineering employee onboarding is the change that’s needed to attract and empower today’s next-generation workforce.


Tom Franceski is vice president and general manager of DocStar – (www.docstar.com) – a division of Epicor Software Corporation. DocStar proven business process automation technology and workflow expertise empowers organizations to operate at peak performance, navigate change, and grow.

 

Image Source (Creative Commons): Cortto.

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