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How New-Age Onboarding And Induction Is Changing With The Current Mode Of Working?
When it comes to virtual onboarding, organizations can easily make the process efficient and smooth by maintaining professionalism while extending a warm welcome, clearly defining goals and expectations, setting up a virtual buddy to help the new hires, using explainer videos, and frequently checking up with new hires and taking stock of their progress.
Virtual onboarding is a more challenging process despite the same objectives at the center of it: assisting new workers to get off to a fast start, understanding the culture and expectations and building meaningful relationships. Thus, companies are turning to online portals/onboarding apps that serve as a centralized information hub for all employees.
Let's see how Sapna Sukumar, Vice President - HR, Cashfree Payments is bringing about a change in onboarding process at Cashfree.
1. How is the virtual onboarding process done and what steps should be taken to make the process effective and efficient?
Over the last two years, our recruiting and onboarding process has gone entirely digital. Across the glove, there has been a transformation in how employers go about the hiring process. This includes using video conferencing tools, online resources, and webinars.
When it comes to virtual onboarding, organizations can easily make the process efficient and smooth by maintaining professionalism while extending a warm welcome, clearly defining goals and expectations, setting up a virtual buddy to help the new hires, using explainer videos, and frequently checking up with new hires and taking stock of their progress. As a part of the onboarding process at Cashfree Payments, there are virtual orientation sessions set up for our new hires with different teams so that they can understand their functions. This definitely helps in cross team collaboration.
At Cashfree Payments, we also ensure that an onboarding kit is sent to each new comer ahead of their joining date so that they have everything that they need from day one. Apart from their calibrated workstations, notebooks, pens etc., we also include other items that would help adjust to our hybrid work model such as headphones for virtual meetings and a water bottle so that they remember to stay hydrated. The welcome note from our co-founders and our CEO also adds a personal touch, especially in these times of remote working.
2. What role will hybrid work models play in bringing greater employee growth and satisfaction?
One of the key benefits of a hybrid approach is that it provides flexibility while also empowering employees to work to their strengths, in turn directly enhancing productivity. A hybrid work model offers other advantages as well for both employees and their employers. Greater opportunities for continuous learning, improved collaboration and work relationships, and better outcomes for employees’ mental health are some of the advantages that come with hybrid work models.
We believe that employee growth and satisfaction depends on autonomy and our hybrid work culture goes a long way towards ensuring this vision. When you allow your team members autonomy and independence in decision-making as to how, from where, and when they wish to work, employee satisfaction is bound to rise. Also, with autonomy comes ownership of one’s individual growth and greater investment in organizational growth. Hence, it only makes perfect sense for us to follow a hybrid work model.
3. Is there any connection between an employee’s onboarding, experience, employee engagement, and retention?
Yes, there certainly is a connection between an employee’s onboarding experience, engagement, as well as retention. Several organizations approach onboarding as something that stops when all paperwork is done and an employee’s first week is complete. However, this should not be the case because a new hire’s decision about whether or not to stay with a company for the long-term is often made within the first few months of their hiring. And it isn’t just the time period of the onboarding process that matters.
In order to ensure high employee retention and a positive employee experience, the onboarding process should be strategically designed. A well-designed, engaging, and interactive onboarding process has a substantially better effect on employee engagement, as it is often the very first time an employee interacts with the organization and is a golden opportunity to make employees feel like they belong at their workplace. An organization that fails to engage an employee during the onboarding process, might never be able to re-engage them. Hence, organizations must understand that onboarding is intrinsically related to employee engagement and retention.
4. What are the new technologies being used to make the virtual onboarding process easier and possible?
Virtual onboarding is a more challenging process despite the same objectives at the center of it: assisting new workers to get off to a fast start, understanding the culture and expectations and building meaningful relationships. Thus, companies are turning to online portals/onboarding apps that serve as a centralized information hub for all employees. These digital portals and onboarding apps include scheduled training sessions, one-on-one meetings, team presentations, and virtual happy hours for co-workers to bond in a less formal environment.
Another crucial tech that is making the virtual onboarding process easier is chatbots. They can be used to welcome new employees and walk them through an introductory orientation regarding corporate policies, their duties and responsibilities, team introductions, and everything else a new employee needs to know on their first day. The tool can also assist new hires in completing forms in an effective manner.
Furthermore, technologies such as videoconferencing, collaboration tools, and online surveys are also ensuring that the new hire has a good first experience with the company.
5. What are the ways to keep the teams involved, engaged, and motivated while working remotely?
A few things such as hosting virtual meetings and casual hangouts, incorporating gamification in HR processes, and recognizing employee contributions through virtual ceremonies, can go a long way in helping the team feel connected while everyone works remotely. In general, ensuring that employees feel heard and valued, being flexible in terms of working hours, and fostering personal connections, are some of the little things that can help keep a team happy, healthy, and productive all year long.
6. What learning strategies can create effective online induction and onboarding programs?
Training strategies should always be tailored to the employees. To understand what employees need, organizations must prioritize an open discussion about how they learn best. Whether it is through step-by-step directions in training documents, or on their own while the leadership guides them, is something an organization needs to be thorough with before they create induction and onboarding programs. Once a manager obtains this information and can personalize and customize training and onboarding sessions accordingly, each of these sessions can be a lot more effective.
Furthermore, having a dependable spot where employees can get training and answers to their questions is essential. Thus, organizations should invest in their intranet and post on it everything that a new hire would need and ideally write it all in a clear and easy-to-understand format. This will help save time and also allow the new employee to learn faster, in turn ensuring they are up-to-speed in no time.
7. What are your hiring plans for the year 2022, and what skills and departments are you planning to hire in?
We are in an exciting phase of growth and are looking forward to growing our teams at an accelerated pace. Last year i.e., in 2021, we strengthened our workforce to over 475 employees, out of which we virtually onboarded over 300+ new hires. The hiring in 2021 included leadership roles across engineering, product management, strategy, and growth teams.
By the end of this year, i.e, 2022, we plan to further double our workforce, filling up any critical positions that are vacant, in order to prepare for the next wave of transformation and growth in the organization. The growth of e-commerce and widespread use of digital payments has enabled us to scale rapidly and invest in skilled and talented employees who will drive innovation and create a seamless payments ecosystem.
8. How has the pandemic changed the importance of employee retention?
The emergence of the pandemic has put the focus on employee retention, with organizations prioritizing it now more than ever. On average, replacing an employee usually costs any organization one-half to two times the employee's annual remuneration. Thus, organizations have realized that failing to prioritize employee retention comes at a cost. With the great resignation predicted to continue, businesses now know that investment in boosting employee retention rates and reducing turnover can reap significant benefits, such as increased sales growth, improved productivity, better work quality, as well as higher employee morale. Also, modern employees are highly aware of what they want from their job and employers need to live up to those expectations.