Are you looking for a way to retain and engage your new hires from the start? Do you want to give them a positive and memorable onboarding experience? If yes, then you need a great onboarding system that has the 10+ must-have features that we will explore in this article.
These are some common scenarios that can happen when you run a business without a proper onboarding system. Onboarding is integrating new employees into an organization providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to perform their roles effectively.
A robust onboarding system is essential for ensuring a smooth and successful transition for new hires, as well as improving employee retention, engagement, and productivity.
According to a survey by BambooHR, 31% of new hires quit within the first six months, and 16% of them cite poor onboarding as the main reason.
A comprehensive onboarding system should have clear objectives and advantages for both the employer and the employee.
- For the employer, the onboarding system should aim to reduce manual workload, improve efficiency, and foster employer branding.
- For the employee, the onboarding system should offer a positive and welcoming experience, a clear understanding of the expectations and goals, and a sense of belonging and alignment with the organizational culture and values.
In this article, we will guide you through 10+ must-have features that create a perfect onboarding system.
Element 1: Objective-Setting Mechanism
One of the key features of a great onboarding system is a mechanism that allows the employer and the employee to set and track specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives. This feature helps establish a clear direction and purpose for the new hire, as well as monitor their progress and performance.
An objective-setting mechanism should include the following components:
- Enable the employer and the employee to formulate and agree on daily and weekly goals, as well as long-term objectives, that are aligned with the organizational vision and mission.
- Allow the use of external HR tools, such as spreadsheets, calendars, or project management software, to document and track the objectives and the corresponding tasks and deadlines.
- Give the team a holistic view of the progress of tasks.
Element 2: Onboarding Checklist
The final and foremost component that makes up a great onboarding system is the Checklist function. This feature helps HR-in-charge avoid any important items when onboarding a new hire. Besides, new members can easily know step-by-step what they should do and the deadline to complete all necessary tasks before starting their new role.
An onboarding checklist feature should include the following components:
- Assign and categorize the tasks and activities based on the role, department, and level of the new hire, as well as the duration and phase of the onboarding process
- Communicate and coordinate the tasks and activities with the relevant stakeholders, such as the HR team, the manager, the trainer, and the peers, and ensure that they are aware and involved in the onboarding process.
- Automated reminders and up-to-date progress
Element 3: Precision Analytics
Another essential feature of a great onboarding system is a built-in metrics and data collection feature that provides accurate and timely information on the employee's training and development.
This feature helps evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the onboarding system and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the new hire.
A precision analytics feature should include the following components:
- Automatically generate progress reports that show the employee's completion rate, time spent, scores, and feedback for each lesson.
- Conduct lesson evaluations that measure the employee's knowledge retention, comprehension, and application of the concepts and skills learned.
- Analyze the data and provide insights and recommendations on improving the employee's learning outcomes.
Element 4: Feedback Channels
A vital feature of a great onboarding system is a secure, private, and user-friendly channel that enables the employee to communicate with the employer, the trainer, and the peers.
This feature helps promote open communication and collaboration, as well as address the employees' questions, concerns, and feedback.
A feedback channel feature should include the following components:
- Allow the employee to send and receive messages, voice notes, or video calls to the employer, the trainer, and the peers.
- Ensure the confidentiality and security of the communication, as well as the responsiveness and professionalism of the recipients.
- Encourage the employee to share their opinions, suggestions, and onboarding experiences, as well as to seek and provide support and guidance.
Element 5: Device Compatibility
It's important for an onboarding system to work on all devices, like computers, tablets, and phones. This feature helps enhance the accessibility and convenience of the onboarding solutions, as well as cater to the different learning preferences and styles of the employees.
A device compatibility feature should include the following components:
- Adapt or respond to the screen size, resolution, and orientation of the device, as well as the browser and operating system, to ensure optimal viewing and interaction.
- Support offline access and synchronization of the onboarding system in case of internet connectivity issues or interruptions.
Element 6: Group Learning Facilitation
An important feature of a great onboarding system is a group learning facilitation feature that enables the employee to interact and learn with other new hires, as well as with existing employees.
This feature helps foster a sense of community and belonging, as well as enhance the social and interpersonal skills of the employee.
A group learning facilitation feature should include the following components:
- Create and manage social media groups, chat threads, or built-in messaging apps where the employee can exchange information, ideas, and feedback with other new hires, as well as with existing employees,
- Organize and conduct live or recorded webinars, workshops, or seminars where the employee can participate in discussions, presentations, or demonstrations led by experts, mentors, or peers
- Assign and monitor group projects, tasks, or activities where the employee can collaborate and cooperate with other new hires, as well as with existing employees.
Element 7: Process Automation
A modern tool should automate the repetitive and tedious tasks involved in the onboarding process, such as sending emails, filling out forms, or updating records. Using a modern tool to automate repetitive tasks in the onboarding process can help avoid common onboarding mistakes, such as human errors and inconsistencies, which in turn saves valuable time and resources.
This feature helps save time and resources, as well as reduce human errors and inconsistencies.
A process automation feature should include the following components:
- Connect the different stakeholders involved in the onboarding process, such as the HR team, the manager, the trainer, and the employee, and streamline the communication and coordination among them.
- Create and execute automation workflows that trigger actions based on predefined rules and conditions, such as sending reminders, notifications, or confirmations or requesting approvals, signatures, or feedback.
- Visualize the automation workflows with interactive charts, graphs, or diagrams and allow the user to edit, customize, or optimize them as per the requirements and preferences.
A newcomer in the market offers automation workflows, Grove HR, a cloud-based human resource management software. Grove HR allows the user to create and manage automation workflows for a full cycle of employees.
Grove HR also provides a dashboard that displays the status and progress of the automation workflows, as well as the analytics and insights on the onboarding process.
Element 8: Interoperability with Existing Systems
A good onboarding system should be able to work seamlessly with the organization's other systems and tools, like accounting, timesheets, and corporate assets. This ensures the consistency and accuracy of the data and information.
An interoperability feature should include the following components:
- Allow the user to integrate the onboarding system with the existing systems and tools using APIs, webhooks, or plugins and to transfer and update the data and information between them using encryption, compression, or encryption techniques.
- Enable the user to customize and configure the onboarding system with the existing systems and tools, using templates, settings, or options, and to align and optimize the onboarding system with the organizational policies and procedures.
- Notify and alert the user of any changes, errors, or issues in the onboarding system or the existing systems and tools and provide solutions and support to resolve them.
Element 9: Anywhere Access
A post-pandemic workplace is ideal when employees are able to access the work system from any location and at any time. This provides flexibility and convenience for the onboarding process.
An anywhere access feature should include the following components:
- Allow the employee to log in and access the onboarding system with a unique username and password or a single sign-on (SSO) option and to verify and secure their identity and data using biometric, two-factor, or multi-factor authentication methods.
- Enable the employee to access the onboarding system from any device, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, or smartphones, and to switch between devices without losing their progress or data.
- Support the employee in accessing the onboarding system from any location, such as home, office, or remote, and adjust their learning schedule and pace according to their availability and convenience.
Element 10: Cloud-Enabled Infrastructure
An exceptional employee onboarding experience is further enhanced with a cloud-based infrastructure that operates on the cloud rather than being dependent on physical servers or local networks.
A cloud-enabled infrastructure feature should include the following components:
- Store and manage the documents, files, and data related to the onboarding system on the cloud, using encryption, compression, or backup techniques, and allow the user and the employee to access and share them using a web browser or a cloud app.
- Ensure the security and privacy of the onboarding system and the data and information using firewalls, antivirus, or encryption software, and comply with the relevant laws and regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA.
- Integrate and synchronize the onboarding system with other cloud-based systems and tools, such as Google Workspace, Dropbox, or Salesforce, and enable the user and the employee to use them seamlessly and efficiently.
Element 11: Intuitive User Interface
A good onboarding tool should have an easy-to-use interface for the worker and employer without requiring extensive training. No one wants to spend too much time getting familiar with a system.
An intuitive user interface feature should include the following components:
- A simple, clear, and consistent layout, using colors, fonts, icons, or images that are appealing and appropriate for the target audience and the organizational brand.
- A logical, coherent, and user-friendly structure, using menus, tabs, buttons, or links that are visible and accessible for the user and the employee.
- A helpful, interactive, and personalized assistance, using tooltips, tutorials, or chatbots that are available and responsive for the user and the employee.
We hope that you have a comprehensive overview of what a great onboarding system looks like and why those features can enhance employee experience. A system including all 10+ mentioned features will be perfect, but it might cost you a lot.
Then, because each business differs from others, make sure to list out your needs and budget before choosing an onboarding system.