Using the Intranet to Onboard New Hires

By Simpplr Marketing
Onboard new hires - yellow background with yellow circle and square juxtaposed with black circle and square
Intranets can be extremely helpful to onboard new hires. We understand that it can be overwhelming when you join a new organization. There’s a huge list of things to learn about the company, your role and the way things are done.

You’re meeting all your new colleagues, and there are courses and orientations to attend. There’s an avalanche of small administrative tasks that need to be completed to get you signed up for all those systems. And you keep having to ask somebody how the coffee machine works — that’s a lot to take in all at once!

Intranets can really help make the experience of joining a company much more welcoming, and ensure that a new employee completes all the necessary administrative tasks. By providing access to the right content and the right people, employee onboarding can become much smoother.

Not only is a successful onboarding process a lot more pleasant for new joiners, it can also have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. Research has suggested that as much of twenty-two percent (22%), and having an effective onboarding process in place can increase employee retention.

Here are some tips on how to use the intranet to onboard new hires:

Create a dedicated section for new hires

Having a section of your intranet especially designed around the needs of your newest recruits can help make their long list of tasks considerably less bewildering. Make sure there are checklists and basic process information that cover fundamentals such as ordering hardware, completing all their paperwork and adding information to their employee profile on the intranet. You could also cover any e-learning and training that’s required as part of the onboarding process or for the individual’s role.

Because your intranet will also include information about other tasks, departments, leadership and organizational strategy, it’s also the ideal place for a new hire to familiarize themselves with other essential information.

You can make this easy for them by establishing links to salient areas of the intranet, creating an effective ‘walk-through’ of the company and filling any key gaps. You could create different timed walk-throughs; for example a one-hour vs. three-hour orientation of the company, or walk-throughs targeted for different roles, such as frontline workers or those in support functions.

Those responsible for the onboarding process within HR should have some input into the design and content, so the site complements (or is actually part of) the overall onboarding process. You could also ask for feedback from new hires about how useful they found the site, and make improvements accordingly.

Make your new hires feel more welcome

Your new hire intranet section should not be about process improvement only. It should also be about helping new recruits settle in and feel at home. A welcome video from the CEO or other senior managers can be a good introduction to an organization.

A social intranet can also help a new starter make connections quickly, to ensure that they feel supported rather than isolated. Forming close relationships with coworkers is a key ingredient of a successful workplace.

Establishing an online community where new hires can interact with each other and swap experiences and stories is an excellent way to support connections. This could also be a place for buddies, mentors or HR people to interact and answer questions.

Ideally your new hire community should be in the same area as your new hire resources, so that users only need to come to one place to find everything.

Consider pre-boarding access

Taking the welcome committee spirit one step further, consider providing access to new hire information before the recruit even starts work. This can be done securely over the web.

Establishing pre-boarding access to a new hire site means employees not only get up to speed more quickly, but can complete all those boring (but necessary) tasks before they actually join.

It also means new hires are more likely to feel excited and motivated about their new position. This may be important in encouraging employees who are offered employment but have to wait for a long period to start (such as graduate trainees) to follow through with their commitment to join.

Intranets deliver for new hires

Intranets make a real difference to the onboarding experience, impact the bottom line for organizations and turn new joiners into intranet advocates!

It’s a great use-case for your intranet to deliver value, so if you don’t have a ‘new starters’ area, then make sure you follow some of the tips in this post, and stay tuned for more employee and intranet pointers and best practices!

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