Even when your organization has a robust and thoughtful training and onboarding program, employees aren't always given some basic tools they need to ramp up quickly. Below, we outline items to add to your new employee onboarding campaign -- as in, a process that occurs over time, not during a one- or two-day crash course -- to make sure every employee gets the help they really need to acclimate quickly.
1. Introduction to a (non-supervising) peer
The first item is the most important: Every employee needs someone besides their boss they can go to for help during their acclimation period. Every new-hire should be paired with a peer -- someone who does generally the same job, but to whom the new-hire doesn't report -- that can answer any reasonable questions about "how things are done around here."
2. "Jargon of the day" glossary
Every industry has its own technical language and acronyms, and each company has it's own internal shorthand and slang -- and most new-hires never get an adequate list of these terms. Waiting for a new employee to "learn the lingo" on their own can slow their onboarding. The answer is to compile a glossary of the local jargon and then parse out that insider's dictionary so employees are given this information at a timely but digestible pace.
3. Employee handbook item of the day
Odds are, your employee handbook was thrust at a new employee on Day One with an expectation they'll read and memorize it at the same time they're learning a whole new job. What really happens is the handbook get dropped in a desk drawer and never thought of again. Breaking up the employee handbook into quick-read sections that can be delivered as part of an orientation campaign makes the material more easily absorbed, and more usefully retained. More importantly, by linking to an online version of the handbook, employees don't have to be at their desk (or contact HR) to get a policy question answered.
4. Link(s) to primary software tutorial(s)
Some new-hires show up knowing how to use your company's core software applications. Others have used similar programs, but not the specific version your organization has deployed. Still others may never have used your in-house, heavily-customized, niche-industry software before. In every case, having quick access to that software's user guide, tutorial programs, and documentation means new-hires can find answers on their own. Parsing out lessons from those tutorials and delivering them as part of a campaign means the employee gets a well-rounded view of the software suite -- and how your organization employs it.
5. Link to the IT helpdesk
No matter how good your technology maintenance, security, and training, stuff breaks. And when your technology goes down, the new employee not only can't work, they likely don't know the process for getting help. Making sure your new employees know how to contact the help desk -- and file a help request or service ticket -- will keep them from getting bogged down by common technology issues.
6. Link to the payroll portal
Many companies use online payroll systems to deliver pay statements, manage time off requests, and make changes to benefit elections. Unfortunately, most employees are never well trained on these systems. Your employee onboarding campaign should include a link to your payroll system -- and its tutorial -- on their first payday. (Nothing takes the edge off software training like direct evidence you're getting paid.)
7. Link to the employee directory and organizational chart
Too often, documented processes have instructions like "contact accounting," or "submit to marketing" -- with no explanation of who in marketing or accounting should receive the information. Giving employees access to the local org chart and employee directory solves this problem, and gives staff a broader insight into how your company operates.
8. Link to organizational goals
Most companies share mission statements and corporate culture manifestos during new employee training, but more tactical objectives like sales goals and quality assurance metrics are left out. By introducing new-hires to these organizational goals, they can more quickly contribute to company initiatives, thereby increasing their own investment and satisfaction in their work.
9. Link to a suggestion box
New employees bring fresh perspectives -- they should be encouraged to share their observations and ideas. Make sure new-hires know the feedback procedures at your company, and how to contribute their suggestions.
10. Link to the HR "distress signal"
It's important to broach difficult topics during employee onboarding, and that includes sharing the procedures for contacting human resources to address critical issues. Every employee should know how to report harassment, how to document criminal or policy violations, or how to solicit help from any Employee Assistance Program. Openly introducing these processes during orientation will help ensure employees are aware of their assistance options and are comfortable exercising them.
Campaigns like these are the platonic ideal of an automated, scalable onboarding process, but many organizations lack the tools to create such campaigns. That's where Talla's new messaging management technology comes in. We've developed software to build campaigns just like these into messaging apps like Slack and Hipchat. When you're ready to take the work out of onboarding new workers, Talla is here for you.