Three common employee onboarding problems and how to fix them

It’s not uncommon for onboarding to be something of a lost priority compared to recruitment. All the effort can go into finding the best person for the job and then their actual arrival becomes an afterthought. When welcoming a new hire and setting them up to succeed, there are a number of common pitfalls, some of which your HRMS may be able to help avoid…

1. Lack of manager involvement

Managers, especially first line managers and supervisors, tend to be busy people. And while few would deny that the first few days on the job are critical for a new team member, the reality is that they are often juggling so many priorities that the temptation to delegate, or even abdicate from responsibility for onboarding new hires, can be overwhelming.

Get advice on employee onboarding features with this guide to 52 features to look for in your next HRMS

For the HR team attempting to ensure consistent and effective induction of new hires, a common tool is the humble checklist. A simple example might look like this:

  • Have a role and responsibilities discussion with new employees’ line managers

  • Match your new team member with a buddy and or mentor

  • Introduce the new person to key people; i.e. help them to network

  • Agree initial targets and goals

  • Set up a series of regular checkpoint meetings to discuss and monitor progress

Your version may differ. However, whatever it looks like, why not incorporate your employee onboarding checklist into your HRMS by setting up push notifications to the manager and new hire to ensure these simple but essential actions take place?

2. Information over/underload

Remember when you joined the organization? The Folder! The Presentation! The Induction Course! The chances are, you were bombarded with information about your new workplace, the structure, the people, the purpose, the culture, the customers, the list can be endless. Or perhaps you experienced the opposite, too little data, in the canoe and up the creek but without the necessary paddle?

"Your HR technology can be used to notify new hires of the truly essential information automatically and signpost the location of the remainder."

Again, your HR technology can be used to notify new hires of the truly essential information automatically and signpost the location of the remainder. Even better, why not do some ‘pre-boarding’ -sending key information before they even arrive? This could include contracts, terms and conditions, benefits, essential policies, building layout, and names and profiles of key managers, peers and clients?

And these are simple ideas compared to the sophisticated gamification strategies that are beginning to emerge in HRMS-driven onboarding systems, including ‘quests’ for key data, acknowledgements and rewards for information accessed, and game-like levels in which a set of tasks must be completed in order to ‘unlock’ the next stage of the onboarding process.

3. Too many fingers in the pie

Of course, onboarding requires input and action from many more people than just the new hire and their overworked manager. To really get your fresh employee up to speed as soon as possible, you’ll need the involvement of security, IT, finance & payroll, HR, and any number of other people depending on exactly what their role is going to be.

The right onboarding technology should be able to take care of all necessary notifications, track and monitor actions taken, and ensure contracts and policies are signed, equipment is issued, training arranged, and whatever else is essential in your new hire’s first few days.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall

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