This is the second post of a 4-part series on Human Capital Management and the application of digital technologies, such as cloud-based HCM tools.
In my last post, "Recruiting: The Role of Technology in the Employee Lifecycle," I discussed the user experience during the recruiting process. Just as a frustrating recruiting process might cause a potential candidate to fire an employer before they even apply, it is imperative that the same mindset continues throughout the onboarding process.
Recruiting and onboarding have a huge ROI if done right and a significant cost if done poorly. Studies commonly show that the cost to replace an entry-level employee is up to 50% of their annual salary, 150% for executives. Team morale also suffers for those who are left to handle the workload of vacant positions. It’s a wise investment to plan, assign ownership, and get these steps right.
A common mnemonic coined by Talya N. Bauer, PhD. from Portland State University, is the Four Cs: Compliance, Clarification, Culture and Connection. Each must be used systematically in order to build employee engagement throughout the onboarding process.
Cloud-based HCM systems, such as those from FinancialForce, do a very good job of simplifying the compliance process. For example, standard processes now include secure delivery of offer letters and automation of standard government forms. All digital businesses today provide the baseline compliant onboarding processes, and most go far beyond this level and provide exemplary HCM practices in Clarification, Culture, and Connection.
A good onboarding process should be documented with all participating parties to ensure everyone understands their role. This can be in the form of checklists, templates, and any other tools that managers and teammates need to welcome their new coworker. Clear ownership of the process should be determined, metrics should be established and, those metrics should be part of the onboarding team’s overall performance reporting. The process must begin prior to the first day and continue for at least 6 months. Research has shown that 90% of employees make their decision to stay with a new employer during the first 6 months.
Clarification should involve interaction with a new hire’s line manager as well as other company leadership. While corporate intranets and other online tools can provide quick reference to information, the new employee needs to be able to interact with their new team. New Employee Orientation programs provide a level of interaction and can be delivered online and/or in person. The outcomes of the clarification level should be role clarity – ensuring the new hire knows what’s expected of them – and helping the new hire assimilate into the team. Remember, it’s not just up to the new employee to impress everyone, this is still a two way street!
Common HCM tools in the Salesforce ecosystem include Content and Chatter, which help new hires learn company culture and make connections. When added to goals, feedback, onboarding, and learning, a digital enterprise will have a comprehensive suite of tools which can bridge the gap from hired candidate to productive and engaged employee. A subset of these tools can also be used for lateral transfers within a company.
In the next post "Performance Management: Employee Retention and the Power of the Feedback Loop," I’ll continue with the retention theme, addressing goals and performance.
- Ken Steinman, Consultant and Certified Performance Technologist