I remember my first job in Honeywell after I finished my MS from Arizona State University. It was perfect from many angles, and I appreciate it today even more because during my career of 17 years, I have been to a workplace where I waited at the reception whole day while they created my logins and checked if my paperwork was complete or not. Honeywell was different, my badge was ready when I reported at 8am to the HR Manager, my email id was already set up and a desk with a red carnation ready for me. Since then, carnations have been my favorite flowers. I never realized or bothered to pay attention to “onboarding” process then because I assumed this is what it is in every workplace. A couple of jobs later, I realized the difference it makes when this process is not smooth.
So is onboarding process so difficult to execute that not many organizations are able to have a smooth process laid out? These days there are many excellent HR software that provides paperless onboarding processes customizable to the organization needs. But generally speaking, some simple practices can be followed to make employee onboarding a smooth process and help your organization break the ice and develop a relationship of belongingness with the employee on that first awkward day. These have been listed below:
- Register with e-Verify – Enrolling with e-verify is free and online document screening and verification will ensure that the employee is authorized to work in U.S. Employers may check the list of all required documents mentioned on the USCIS website. New employees must fill-in, sign and send them to the HR prior to the joining date.
- E-Sign – Investment in a good e-Sign tool because it can save lots of time and also because the trail of the document exchange can be easily back tracked along with the dates.
- Cloud Storage – Go paperless, a good automated HR system will ensure that all your documents are saved safely on cloud. BizMerlin provides integrations with Dropbox to save your documents. This ensures that the documents are available on-demand and accessible from anywhere.
- People Database – In this world of data analytics, some of our clients have created custom fields in people database to save information about their T-shirt size or favorite ice cream flavor or favorite vacation destination. Whatever seems trivial now, may be priceless some day; so store the information now and use it later for any employee engagement activity.
- System readiness – Get the logins and email id’s ready along with any hardware needed. If laptop or other asset is assigned, the e-signed copy of the relevant policy may be again stored on cloud storage box.
- Employee Handbook – List down all the company policies in the employee handbook. This should cover your policy regarding security, sharing of public information, vacation policy, drug and alcohol policy etc. The list of public holidays may be sent to employee along with this email.
- Cubicle/Place to sit – If the cubicle/desk has a red carnation, for me it will be like cherry on top but most importantly it should be clutter free and a clean place to sit and work. Don’t forget to include all necessary desk items.
- Agenda for first week – Generally use this time to introduce him to the team, a warming up session/lunch, shadowing with the senior to understand the role, relevant HR orientation with sessions on job safety, disaster prevention and recovery plans. Employers also may record the skills possessed so that the HR managers can map a skill acquirement growth map.