A Guide to Digital Onboarding

According to a TechJury report, an effective onboarding process increases employee retention by 50%. The same report shows that at least 69% of new employees stay with a company for three years if onboarding is done right. 

An effective onboarding process sets new employees up for success in their new role and supports them to reach full productivity. The process can be tedious and daunting, especially the traditional onboarding! 

You should switch to digital onboarding to automate the process if traditional onboarding is getting in the way. This way, you can save time, money, and sanity by automating manual tasks. But getting started can be a hassle! 

We’ve put together this guide to help you get started.

So, let’s get to it!

What is Digital Employee Onboarding?

What is digital employee onboarding? Simply put, digital employee onboarding is the process of inducting new employees into a company by leveraging technology and digital tools.

The digital employee onboarding process is characterized by the automation of manual processes. It involves orientation and online training via digital platforms. 

The goal is to introduce new hires to the company and enlighten them on company goals, culture,  and other expectations. Here’s why you should consider digital employee onboarding!

  • Highly efficient–the process is efficient because it helps onboarding managers and new hires save time and money. It’s less rigid and can be conducted when it’s convenient for everyone. 
  • Proper storage and management of onboarding data–digital employee onboarding enables accurate and safe storage of onboarding information, regardless of how many employees you’re onboarding. You can also access and share the information effortlessly, especially when you operate a cloud-based onboarding system.
  • E-signatures–many digital employee onboarding platforms feature a convenient inbuilt signing function for e-signatures. New hires don’t have to travel to the office to sign the job contract and other documents.

What is Included in the Digital Onboarding Process?

Digital employee onboarding is relatively new. Getting started can be a hassle when you don’t know much about the process. Here’s what is included in a digital onboarding process! 

Digital Pre-onboarding

Experts recommend beginning the onboarding process with pre-onboarding. An effective pre-onboarding exercise involves various activities to warm up the recruits for their new roles. 

This is the time to create an impression and paint a good picture of your company. Savvy talent managers go this route to lower employee turnover A typical pre-onboarding exercise involves the following activities;

  • Sending a welcome email to confirm the new employees’ start date, time, and location.
  • Requesting any paperwork and other details your new hire should submit in advance.
  • Encouraging your team members to connect with the recruits on professional social platforms like LinkedIn and sending personal welcome emails.
  • Sharing your employee handbook, culture decks, and other relevant company information.
  • Ordering new employee swag like diaries and other stationery in advance to prepare for their first day at work.
  • Getting them access details like office access codes, keys, employee ID, and security cards, depending on how your company operates.

Digital Onboarding

The pre-onboarding stage sets the pace, date, and time for the onboarding activity. It’s crucial to get the pre-onboarding phase right for smooth digital onboarding. This is the time to onboard and orient the new employees into the company.

Onboarding ensures new employees are comfortable and they understand their duties. On the other hand, orientation is about introducing them to the company.

This is the time to present an onboarding kit to your new employees. Lastly, prepare a list of onboarding activities, and have your new employees bond with the existing ones.

Follow-ups after Onboarding

An effective digital onboarding process doesn’t stop after onboarding your new hires. It should continue for several days or weeks to ensure new employees have everything they need. You should optimize your communication channels, especially if you have remote workers.

The digital onboarding process can be daunting when it’s your first time. The good news is that you can use a checklist to ensure no stone is left unturned. Here’s an employee onboarding checklist you can use!

How to Create the Best Digital Onboarding Experience

A negative onboarding experience doubles an employee’s chances of looking for another job. After investing time and money into the process, this is the last thing you want. Here’s the step-by-step guide for creating the best digital onboarding experience for remote and in-office employees!

Audit the Current Onboarding Strategy

Probably you already have an existing traditional or digital onboarding strategy. First, you’ll want to audit the strategy to enhance its performance. This way, you can tell where to improve. One way to go about it is to interview some of your recent hires to learn about their experience.

Plan your Strategy

You’ll want to make an onboarding plan based on the audit findings. At this point, you know your existing onboarding strategy’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Next, you should strategize how to tackle each of these amicably.

Map the Process

First, list all steps/activities involved in your onboarding process. Remember to create two lists for standard and role-specific onboarding. This will significantly increase your employee onboarding success rate.

Also, you’ll need to move some steps/activities to the pre-onboarding phase if they fit. This is crucial if you want a well-balanced digital onboarding plan. 

More importantly, consider flexibility in the new onboarding plan to accommodate remote and in-office employees. Lastly, create a flow diagram to map the entire process.

Automate the Process

Automating the onboarding process becomes seamless when you’ve mapped the process in a flow diagram. You’ll need a digital onboarding solution to convert the manual workflow to a digital process.

Best Digital Onboarding Solutions

There are several digital onboarding solutions out there. But choosing the best one for you can be daunting. Below are the features to look for when choosing a digital onboarding solution.

  • Hassle-free submission of upcoming onboarding events–the best digital onboarding solutions support submission of onboarding requests in minutes. Time is of the essence, and you don’t want an unresponsive platform to waste it.
  • Centralized employee tracking and management–this feature lets you know your onboarding request’s status.
  • Device procurement and procurement–this option goes a long way if you intend to repurpose an existing device or acquire a new one.

Wrapping Up

While finding the best digital onboarding solution can be frustrating, it doesn’t have to be. This is where Electric AI comes to the rescue. 

Our platform has all the above features of the best digital onboarding solutions. So, don’t hesitate to contact us for your digital employee onboarding needs!

Navick Ogutu

Navick Ogutu is an expert website content writer with tons of experience in B2B and B2C content writing. He offers top-notch content in article writing, blog writing, SEO writing, Copywriting, proofreading and editing for multiple industries. Content planning and writing is a long term strategy that you need to factor in your marketing plan. Reach out to Navick for a free consultation concerning your content needs.