You can do many things as an employer to elevate your onboarding process. First, make the process more collaborative so that onboarding is a company-wide effort rather than an HR effort. A more collaborative process decentralizes onboarding, saves time, and leads to a more relevant, reality-based experience for new joiners.
In addition, this onboarding format increases engagement for the new employees and staff, as they will contribute to the positive experience of each new employee.
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At Audvice, onboarding is a team effort, and when someone new joins the company, we all know which roles we have to play in order to ensure a great onboarding experience. Over the past couple of months, we have developed a collaborative onboarding process, and today we want to share some of our best practices with you. Our goal is to help you make your onboarding process more collaborative and ensure your new employees have a productive and excellent start in their new job.
#1 Involve the whole company in the onboarding process
Nowadays, there are numerous ways to involve the whole company during the onboarding process. Rather than isolate a new employee with an HR representative or leader, they should interact with people from different departments and professions to understand how departments work cross-functionally. That will make them feel part of the team and company faster.
Here are some examples of how you can get more employees involved during the whole onboarding process:
Onboarding with Expert Content
Initially, you want to provide your new employees with your knowledge base, where you store and maintain all general information concerning your company (information about departments, operating methods, CI, culture & vision, and more). This information tends to exist in text format, but a pile of documents might be overwhelming and time-consuming for your new employees in the beginning.
At Audvice, we decided to use our tool audvice to get information across more efficiently.
We share all our expert and company content with new employees through playlists in an audio format. This means they can listen to company content anytime without wasting days drowning in onerous company documents. We ask our team members to record playlists on specific subjects, so new joiners can benefit right from their expertise right from the start without having to jump on several calls with them or read through hundreds of documents.
In essence, our company knowledge and guides are recorded and shared by the people who know the company best: our employees!
Another advantage is that it takes almost no time to record a playlist; you simply have to sit down, take out your phone, open the app, record all the expert and company knowledge you have, and share it with your new employees.
This way, your new employees immediately connect with people from other teams and gain insights into their team and the whole company.
Another way to get your whole company involved in the onboarding process is with an onboarding buddy system.
An onboarding buddy can be an employee from any department who actively socializes and interacts with your new employee more personally.
This person answers all company and onboarding-related questions and helps introduce the new joiner to other people in the company to learn more about the company’s culture and people. It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone your new joiner will work with; you can pair up people from entirely different departments. This will allow new employees to see different sides of your company.
For example, the welcome buddies at audvice have four online meetings with the new employee during their first four weeks to help make the new joiner feel comfortable and to put them in touch with people from outside their team.
Your onboarding buddy could also schedule coffee talks with people from your company who
might be interesting for your new employee to talk to. For example, at audvice, we are a fully remote team, so the welcome Audvicer schedules 2-3 virtual coffees during the first two weeks with people from any department.
The great thing about these coffee talks is that your employees don’t have to talk about work, but they can chit-chat and get to know each other on a more personal
level, even though they won’t be working together closely in the future. That way, you give them a chance to form deep connections and foster a better company culture. Remember, your staff should know that these coffee talks aren’t optional but essential to the company culture.
At first, they might seem like an additional unimportant meeting. But if these conversations aren't taken seriously, and people decline these meetings at the last minute, your new joiner might feel discouraged and let down, leading to less success and employee satisfaction.
Meet the Team Playlist
Obviously, your new employees won’t have time to meet everyone in the company. But we have created a solution for this problem with our app; you can record “Meet the Team” playlists for every department.
These playlists include short tracks about every employee with a brief introduction about themselves. Your new joiner can then simply log into the audio library in the app and listen to all of the “Meet the team” tracks in the “Meet the team” playlist.
And let’s be honest: we all love stalking our new colleagues on LinkedIn, so imagine how awesome it is to listen to their recorded profile, which includes some fun facts about them.
#2 Make the onboarding process transparent
Onboarding should never be an HR thing; if you want the whole company to help with onboarding new employees, your staff needs to embrace the benefits and know their responsibilities. Getting involved in onboarding people that are not directly their subordinates is an additional task on top of their current to-do list, meaning they need to see the overall goal and how their contribution helps to achieve it.
First, your whole company needs to understand the structure and goal of your onboarding process. You can quickly and authentically provide this information by asking your Head of HR to record a short playlist on the Whys and Hows. This playlist shouldn’t be super detailed, but after listening to it, your employees should know why your onboarding process looks like it does and why they should actively participate.
Also, you want to show them how getting involved will benefit the whole company. Here is a list of some benefits of why a collaborative onboarding process is essential:
New employees will integrate with your company culture easier
Expertise passed on by real experts is more legitimate and will leave a significant impact
If your whole company makes an effort, your new joiner will feel valued as an individual
New joiners get an overview of the whole company, which leads to a better understanding of your goals and how you achieve them
Lastly, a project management tool that helps you assign onboarding-related tasks to your current employees will help you stay organized. Additionally, you can add playlist guides for more clarity, e.g., a guide for the roles and responsibilities of an onboarding buddy. You can get inspired about the tools we use to establish efficient onboarding processes directly from this blog post.
#3 Encourage feedback
Collaboration doesn’t work without feedback.
Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that both your current employees and new joiners give and receive feedback during the onboarding process. That way, you will learn more about the benefits of a collaborative onboarding process and can give feedback immediately.
You should encourage day-to-day feedback between the people that directly interact during the onboarding process, e.g., between HR, the leader, or onboarding buddy, and the new joiner. It doesn’t need to be formal, the two parties can simply share their thoughts when conversing.
Remind current employees to encourage feedback, as someone new in your company might be a little hesitant at first to share their personal opinions out of fear of stepping on someone's toes.
In addition, you may want to include all the collaborative aspects of your onboarding process in a feedback survey you can send out to your new joiners after they have completed their onboarding process. You could ask questions such as:
How did you find the content we provided for you?
On a scale from 1 to 10, how well do you think you got to know the company culture?
How efficiently was the collaborative onboarding organized?
…or any other questions that interest you and the company.
You can implement and adapt your onboarding process faster by conducting surveys and open feedback meetings. This will help you to structure collaboration during the onboarding process more efficient and provide a better experience for your new employees.
In conclusion, implementing collaboration as part of your onboarding process ensures new employees a fast, authentic, and people-oriented entry to your company.
If you want to learn more about how our app audvice can help you to facilitate collaboration during onboarding processes, check out our website here.