Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the future of onboarding, part of Onboarding New Hires.
Today we're faced with an increasing acceptance of onboarding as a vital part of creating new productive employees. However, exactly how we approach the onboarding process is rapidly changing, thanks to advances in technology. Starting with the orientation event at the beginning of the process, we're about to see a serious digital revolution. Right now, we have people interacting with tools online before they begin work to streamline how we provide them with information and how we receive information from them.
Progressive firms are now going further with the goal of reducing the wrote bureaucratic work that often dominates the orientation sessions. Today, it's becoming easier and cost effective to have new hires meet people in the organization online via live video, together in real time. They can interact with each other while also interacting with documents and the company's computer system. From W-2s to I9s, and a lot of forms associated with compensation and benefits, there is very little limit to what can be accomplished after someone is hired, but before they show up for the first day of work.
What this means is that orientation sessions in the future will be less based on boring paper work, and boring policies. That will have been accomplished virtually. Now, they are free to have a shorter, more fun and focused orientation that addresses the firm's history and culture. In the end, all this gets the new employee inside the firm and to work with their team much faster. Another way technology is going to change orientation is to reduce the ambiguity associated with the fact that you've never worked there before.
That's why in the future, you'll see many versions of tailored virtual tools. You can easily show high quality video of the new employee's work space, colleagues, their new supervisor, the cafeteria, the park in the back of the building, and so on. This way, when they show up for the first time, it doesn't have to feel like the first time. I mentioned tailoring a moment ago, that's actually another huge way that technology is going to change onboarding. We're going to see a shift from a generic onboarding approach that has every employee receive a nearly identical onboarding experience towards a future where new hires experience a process tailored just for them.
Yes, there will be certain things that you need to say or do with every new hire, and information we need to receive from every new hire. But, a lot can still be tailored. Let's say you're hiring someone in a marketing research position. You can share information about the history of the firm, but you can also talk about the history of the marketing function, the history of the marketing research group, and maybe even a little bio and history for the new hire's direct peers and their supervisor. There's no reason not to provide a meaningfully customized experience to increase the person's understanding of their new job.
The general principles of onboarding aren't likely to change a great deal in the future, but the tools we use will. Pay attention to changes in technology, and the possibilities we just discussed, and you can create an onboarding process that employees will like, one that will reduce the time between day one and becoming productive, all in less time than traditional approaches.
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