How small businesses can avoid onboarding overload

In the past, onboarding new hires was a time-consuming and complex process that took weeks with a myriad of paper forms needing to be filled out and manually entered into payroll and other systems. Technology has disrupted these old approaches and now job offers can be issued and completed in under an hour, completely automated and paperless, saving time and reducing cost.

To remain competitive, small businesses need to make a positive first impression with new starters during the interview and onboarding process. These first few weeks are crucial in making sure new staff feel supported, can quickly get up to speed, and feel like they are contributing to business success. Automating the onboarding journey is the first step in ensuring a positive brand experience for your employees and to help you secure talent.

Creating a personalised onboarding journey

There are essential features that make or break a great onboarding experience – like personalisation. Personalising every interaction with a new starter lays the foundations for a truly unique experience. By using tech to scale personalisation, small businesses can easily and affordably move beyond the basics of onboarding and communicate in a more creative and engaging way.

Regardless of your industry, your size or employee type there are some key elements to factor to create an awesome onboarding journey. Ask yourself about culture – how do you put your values, vision and culture forward when integrating new hires into the team? What are your objectives – does the new starter understand the expectations of their role? And how do you manage introducing new hires to people they’ll be working with?

You can fully customise and personalise each aspect of the employees’ journey – right down to the day information is delivered. This is particularly useful for small businesses trying to compete in retail and hospitality. We know these businesses intentionally hire more people than required due to job abandonment issues before day one.

Start with the basics

It’s important not to get too bogged down in getting your journey perfect from the start. Consider the content that is essential for framing the onboarding journey, and then evolve from there. Break down your onboarding into bite-sized pieces and think about the absolute best time to share that information with new hires. It’s important to be careful and sensitive to your employees, this is why little nudges and drip-feeding micro-content is useful.

When you’re thinking about the delivery of your onboarding experience, you’ll quickly find there is an epic amount of information. Whilst important, it could wait a few days, weeks or even months until it’s relevant for your new hires.

Remember to seek feedback

When rolling out a new onboarding experience, it’s imperative you actively ask for feedback from both new starters, their team members and managers. Surveys are a great tool to gauge employee satisfaction and uncover potential improvements throughout their journey.

Gen Z are about to enter the workforce and like the Millennials before them, they expect to engage using technology tools that make working easier. They’re not used to receiving hard copy packs of information, with countless paper forms to manually fill out. To meet employee expectations, small businesses need to embrace cloud-based onboarding tools that reduce complexity and boost brand experience.

To remain competitive and secure the best talent to work for your small business, adopting cloud-based onboarding tools is crucial.

Peter Forbes, CEO and Founder, HROnboard and Navigo

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