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Why Online Onboarding Isn’t Enough Anymore

Retention, engagement, satisfaction, productivity; these are goals that keep HR personnel up all night because of their importance for both employees and employers. Luckily, employee onboarding is a game changer and a major factor in ensuring that these four areas are managed more effectively.

Statistics further confirm this:

  • Retention – 69% of employees will stay with a company for at least three years if they had a great onboarding experience. (C. Tanner)
  • Engagement – Unless engaged, employees will leave their employers. 33% of new hires turnover before their first anniversary, costing their employers 100% to 300% in organizational costs. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Satisfaction – Managers reported 20% increased satisfaction when employees undergo formal onboarding. (UrbanBound)
  • Productivity – Organizations with a standard onboarding program experience 50% greater new hire productivity. (UrbanBound)

Onboarding is the most critical time in a new employee’s experience at an organization. Realizing this, industry leaders have taken things up a notch with online onboarding. The process is delivered via web-based technologies, giving new hires the flexibility to begin their orientation anywhere and anytime. Online onboarding can also reduce potential litigation repercussions as it digitally records that a new hire has read particular documents and procedures when hired.

Despite these advantages and more, online onboarding has several shortcomings that can affect its efficiency.

The Limitations of Online Onboarding Programs

There are several issues that can reduce the efficiency of online onboarding, these include:

  • Online Onboarding Requires Online Access Every Time – In order to log into the system and begin their onboarding journey, new hires need access to the internet. This can be troublesome for many, especially since most onboarding sites aren’t mobile-friendly. Moreover, some of your new employees may not have online access for reasons such as taking a short vacation before starting their new job.
  • The System May Be Too Generic – Some online onboarding systems can be too generic, so there’s always a chance that your employees may have used the same one at their former workplace. If you don’t make a great impression during your initial interactions with your new hires, they may provide limited or even negative feedback to friends and colleagues asking about their experience at your organization.
  • Communication between New Hires and HR Won’t Be as Quick as Expected – Email is an integral part of most online onboarding programs. Despite being an essential work tool, it isn’t one of the best communication tools. For starters, it can affect productivity by reducing their IQ by 10 points and wasting 10-15 minutes until they refocus on the task at hand. Without clear and effective email policies in place, employees and HR will be overwhelmed by email overload. This, in turn, will cause miscommunication and frustration.
  • Employee Documentation Still Requires Paper – Despite being promoted as a paperless solution, online onboarding still uses paper in several phases. For example, a new hire will need to print their contract, sign it, and then scan it. This can reflect badly on your organization, especially if you’re trying to flaunt a more eco-friendly image. After all, the system you chose drove your employee to waste paper.

The Solution: ‘Mobilize’ Online Onboarding

Though mobile is a relatively new frontier, enterprise apps are growing in number across organizations worldwide. What especially makes them popular is their appeal to the millennial workforce, which makes up 75% of the world’s employees. Apps also deliver content in a personalized manner on a regular basis and offer native functionality and processing. Since some don’t require a network for users to access content, they’re also extremely user friendly.

By extending the functions of your online onboarding solutions through an app, you can easily limit the effects of the aforementioned four issues. You may even successfully eliminate them altogether. An employee onboarding app can provide offline access to documents and policies for new hires to read. It can reduce HR and new employees’ reliance on email and ensure prompt notifications and notes. Apps can also be customized to flaunt your company’s branding, creating a positive impression in users’ minds.

An employee onboarding app further makes your onboarding process truly paperless. Documents can be ‘scanned’ via camera and signed using electronic signatures. And, of course, each app comes with its own benefits and features to add to this list.

So, don’t be left behind.  Consider getting an app that truly complements and mobilizes your online onboarding program to overcome its shortcomings.

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