From Newcomer to Team Player: Streamlining Onboarding Processes

Team onboarding is a crucial process that will help define an organization’s systems, processes, and culture for new hires. The tools we have developed at Heycollab are designed to make onboarding processes exciting, seamless, and beneficial to both the organization and its new employees.

The first thing that an organization needs to understand about team onboarding is that it’s a difficult phase for the employee. When the firm doesn’t have a system with the right steps, requirements, and answers, it can be extremely frustrating for the employee.

In this guide to team onboarding, we will explain why streamlining onboarding is important and lay out steps to make it productive and cohesive for everyone concerned.

What is team onboarding?

Team onboarding is a set of processes through which a new hire is integrated into an organization. It involves activities that new employees have to complete, including orientation and learning about the organization, its values, culture, mission, and structure.

To enable a seamless new hire transition, organizations may hold activities lasting a day or two or even weeks. The objective of team onboarding is to enable the new employee to become a productive and efficient contributor to the system.

Effective onboarding strategies help employees understand their roles and responsibilities, meet teammates, get used to the new environment, and learn the organization’s policies and protocols.

The difference between team onboarding and orientation

Far too often, team onboarding gets confused with orientation. Team onboarding involves multiple processes to assimilate the new hire into the system. It gives new hires the tools and resources they need to do their jobs. The process can last days, weeks, or even months.

Orientation is a subset of team onboarding. It’s usually a one-time event to welcome the new employee and introduce the company to them. It consists of documentation and other tasks to formally integrate the employee.

The importance of streamlining team onboarding

Team integration through effective onboarding strategies is important for both the employee and the organization. With seamless newcomer transition, employees can quickly become productive.

Over 93% of organizations believe that onboarding has a crucial role to play in an employee’s decision to leave or stay with the company. Glassdoor found out that effective onboarding strategies can improve a firm’s retention rate by 82%.

But as much as 76% of HR leaders believe that their onboarding processes are underutilized. Almost 35% of firms don’t invest a single dollar in their onboarding processes.

Team onboarding gives employees the first glimpse of the inner workings of their new firm. If the processes are ad hoc and disjointed, employees will perceive the company to be ineffective. This can affect their engagement and loyalty to the company.

Streamlining onboarding can unify processes and elevate the experience for the employees. Firms that want to increase their employee retention and productivity need to focus on effective team onboarding strategies.

7 effective team onboarding processes

These seven onboarding strategies will help you integrate new hires and encourage them to be productive and collaborative members of the new organization.

1. Plan your onboarding

To make newcomer transition smooth and effective, organizations should thoroughly plan the process. There should be specific processes with key responsibilities assigned to HR team members. Along with a welcome letter to the new employee, give an itinerary showing what will happen and what they can expect from their team onboarding.

Engaging the employee early on gives you a chance to listen to their queries. Answer all their questions and try to allay any fears about the process. For that, HR leaders should view it as not another routine function but the start of a meaningful relationship. While they may have multiple things to do, ensure that new hires aren’t burdened with chores on their first days.

Heycollab’s Templates help you design and apply custom workflows. Now there will be a uniform process for team onboarding. You can also use Tasks to develop a unique timeline for employee onboarding.

2. Ask your current employees

Heycollab’s experience with clients across sectors has taught us something about onboarding. An organization’s existing employees can reveal a lot about the process. Asking them about their team onboarding process with your firm and their previous firms can reveal things you might have overlooked.

Perhaps onboarding is too cumbersome and filled with needless documentation. Maybe it doesn’t give them time to meet their new coworkers. Or the process is intimidating and burdens them with unrealistic expectations. Or they may have preferred videos instead of presentations and a digital process instead of paperwork.

All these insights will help discover blindspots in your current process. You can use Heycollab’s Chat to have group, private, or one-on-one conversations with your employees to get their feedback.

3. Make it collaborative

For streamlining onboarding, it’s good to involve the team members who would work the most with the new employee. Communicate to them the job, projects, and tasks the new hire will be engaged in. Emphasis the need to make it easy for them by offering all support. Encourage both formal and casual interactions early on.

A team effort is important in newcomer transition because new employees may have questions about their jobs. They might be more comfortable asking their coworkers instead of their immediate bosses or HR personnel. This also fosters a sense of belonging. Such lateral interactions also help instill a collaborative company culture.

Heycollab comes with audio, video, and team calls to help you introduce the new hire to the team. This is particularly useful if you have a remote or hybrid workplace.

4. Digitize documents

Even in companies with fully digital operations, team onboarding tends to be paper-based. This makes it difficult for HR teams. They have to get multiple documents, including the welcome letter, rules and regulations, etc., printed and signed. It also conveys to the new hire that you have archaic processes that are slow and inefficient.

For streamlining onboarding, use the digital versions of all key documents. Provide digital copies of everything from payroll and insurance information to company procedures, the employee handbook, benefits, and any contractual agreements. Digital documents are easy to revisit. It will encourage the new hires to ask questions if they have any.

With Heycollab’s Files, you have unlimited space and folders to store your documents. Moreover, screen sharing and recording make it easy to use video to engage with your new hires.

5. Give clarity on team structures and responsibilities

Team onboarding will be successful if new employees know who they have to work with. Before the new hires enter the system, HR team members should talk to their prospective team leaders. Both the HR team and team leaders should know precisely where the new employee will fit in.

Give clear direction to the new employees on their responsibilities. Encourage them to ask questions about the job duties. If an employee feels that their job is different from what had been previously communicated, they will be disgruntled. There should be no confusion about their responsibilities or reporting structures when they begin the job.

Heycollab’s My Tasks make it easy for employees to see all their assigned tasks. They can also use Chat to reach out to HR team members or their managers.

6. Develop a buddy system

You may have the right intentions and effective onboarding strategies. But remember that at the end of the day, you’re introducing a person to a new setting. They may not have all the questions on the first or second day. When they do have queries later, they might be embarrassed to contact HR team members or their manager. The solution is to provide them with a buddy.

The new employee will be less intimidated by one of their new colleagues. Ideally, the buddy should be someone who knows their team and the organization well enough. This will encourage the new hire to ask questions even on seemingly trivial topics. It will also help them meet others in the company.

An easy way to facilitate the buddy system is by using the private, one-on-one chat feature of Heycollab.

7. Schedule feedback sessions

The new hires will have questions once they learn more about their job and responsibilities. That’s why you need to schedule follow-up sessions to answer their queries. These could be biweekly for the first two months.

While answering their questions, try to get their feedback on the team onboarding process. Find out what helped them and what they found to be challenging. This is an excellent way to continuously improve onboarding and provide effective experiences for new hires.

In short

Automation is key to successful team onboarding. Instead of having to focus on mundane and routine chores, a robust all-in-one platform such as Heycollab helps you automate key functions. Now you can increase productivity, improve team cohesion, and reduce turnover rates. In other words, with Heycollab, you get win-win situations for both the new hire and the organization. Join today and try it out.

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