How to automate a seamless onboarding experience with workflows

Appical Team
Lukas Bodenstein
January 15, 2021
min read
Table of Contents
In today’s prevalent remote work environment, a majority of companies are seeing the importance of digitally preparing their new employees for a productive start in their new positions. Particularly by doing so before their talent’s first day with the company, organisations manage to get a head start on necessary paperwork or IT setups. But for a new hire, the stress of onboarding a new job remotely reaches far beyond the inevitable compliance processes with the Human Resources department.

In fact, there is a common misconception among organizations nowadays that onboarding is only a task for the Human Resources department. To truly set up your new hire for success, active participation of IT, hiring managers, team members and other departments is paramount. The reality? In many businesses, the process of getting up to speed on the admin front leaves new arrivals feeling a little spent by the end of their first week.

"40% of new hires say getting a response from HR about their question takes too long" - Digitate, 2016

Fortunately, automation technology grants organisations the ability to break down siloed onboarding processes and establish new, more efficient connections right across different business departments. 

In this blog, we will introduce onboarding workflows and give you 5 quick and easy tips on how workflow automation can benefit and strengthen your onboarding program. 

What are onboarding workflows?

As onboarding is filled with multiple checkpoints that are dependent on personal input or approval, workflow software helps manage the flow of information between departments by making it easy to message, monitor or trigger actions. By automating workflows, you allow you and your organisation to save time that can be devoted to other high-value tasks and projects.

Tip 1: Achieve a more streamlined onboarding processes

While working remote, companies increasingly count on multiple departments to have a hand in the onboarding procedure, provoking new types of errors. More often than not, miscommunication and misalignment between teams causes delays in the employment paperwork, IT setups or first contact of colleagues. 

Workflow automation software addresses each of these looming oversights by arranging tasks and software involved ahead of time to ultimately integrate a new hire into the company successfully. As an example, an integrated eSignature software like DocuSign or PandaDoc can be effortlessly automated as part of a workflow, creating a more streamlined process for everyone involved.

Do you want to learn more about integrating eSignature software like DocuSign into your onboarding process? Read our blog "Digitizing the onboarding process with the use of integrations" here!

Tip 2: Be prepared ahead of a new arrival

Particularly for the hiring managers of new employees, onboarding does not always enjoy the highest priority. Similarly onboarding buddy's, oftentimes an immediate team member, peer or colleague, whose role is to be an informal support, friend and navigator within the first months, also have their own agendas and responsibilities (Learn more about the onboarding buddy). For their role of connecting and establishing a relationship with the new hire, it is very important to stay notified ahead of their new teammates arrival. 

In our software, time-based triggers simplify the preparation process ahead of time. For example by making it easy for users or admins to craft a personalised welcome message that helps circumvent individual time management mistakes by buddy or hiring manager. Ensuring the first point of contact is pleasant and on-time. 


Tip 3: Keep track of your new employees’ progress

Following the warm welcome into the onboarding program, the new hires take their first steps in their onboarding journey. To ensure the early compliance aspects like gaining an understanding of their role or performance expectations are clarified, it is important that accompanying hiring managers or buddy's can stay on track with the new hires early development. 

With Appical, the progress-in-content triggers allow users to monitor and support their new colleagues by staying notified of each completed story or chapter. Easing a look to see if a new hire is on course with his progress or demands attention as he is falling behind. 

For more critical tasks like digitally signing the contract or setting up an IT and software connection, users have the chance to utilise check-list item notifications. Those prevent costly and irritating delays, by making it effortless for departments like IT or HR to stay notified when they are or are not done on time.

Tip 4: Coordinate learning and development programs

In most well-performing companies, the end of the onboarding process kicks off successive internal learning processes and programs. While the length, intensity and timeframe of each onboarding and learning process can be different for each company and department, automating your onboarding process with the help of workflows will help create a more seamless transition into the program that suits your organization the best. 

By setting up time-based triggers, Human Resources can get notified shortly ahead of the end of the onboarding process to get in touch with the new employee to collect feedback on the onboarding journey or discuss personal goals and aspirations that can then help create and set up an individual LMS program.

Tip 5: Give your co-workers a proper goodbye

Workflow automation not only allows you to make a smooth transition into learning and development programs. To maximize the use of an employee after its decision to leave or at the (natural) end of its contract, we recommend to utilise an offboarding program. 

Automated workflow triggers, like the time-based trigger, can help kickoff such an offboarding course and prepare processes like exit interviews, financial dues, return of technical equipment or a (virtual) goodbye lunch. While offboarding a talent, involved stakeholders like HR, managers or IT can stay on track with check-list item notifications to ensure all necessary steps are completed on time. Thus, assuring a smooth and positive last impression with the company.

Address all your onboarding hurdles by embracing workflow automation.

Automating the onboarding process and corresponding employee journeys with the use of workflows makes it easy for new colleagues to experience a fast, consumerstyle service that makes them immediately feel “at home” at work. Consequently, such new employees will be able to fully contribute and reach their max potential more quickly while receiving the ongoing support they need, whenever they need it. 

On top of that, IT and HR, plus other related operations including facilities and finance can regain some of their capacity by eliminating oversights and saving time for other high-value tasks and projects, boosting enterprise wide productivity. As such, automating onboarding workflows can help hurdle onboarding obstacles and create a more seamless onboarding experience.

Interested in learning more about how workflow automation can help out your organisation? Talk to us today!

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