My wife and I have triplets: three daughters, all grown up and doing well.
As you can imagine (and believe me, whatever you are imagining, you have no idea), life with triplets, especially when they were young, was quite hectic.
Everything was three times as complicated, from giving baths, to packing school lunches, to coordinating which one of us went to which classroom on parents night, and much more.
And so, we had no choice but to become very organized, very quickly.
For example, we had a “family packing list” — a Word doc that spelled out everything we would need to bring or do if leaving the house overnight. We knew that left to chance or memory, there was no way we would not forget something.
Your Onboarding Needs a System
The process of onboarding a new employee can also be quite hectic. And, as with raising triplets, it likewise requires a systematic approach to ensure that it is done well.
Absent this, you are forcing yourself to reinvent the wheel each time a new hire walks through the door. That type of ad hoc approach is an invitation to errors, omissions, and wasted effort, as you try and think through all the things that need to occur.
The increased use of technology in modern business has made having a set approach more important than ever. There can be dozens of systems and processes that a new employee needs access to, including email, calendar, messaging, HR, payroll, phone systems and physical access to the office, to name just a few.
Toss in the need to provide training in a timely manner on many of these systems and it’s easy to see that at the very least, you’ll want to create a checklist of some sort that specifies what, precisely, should occur when a new hire comes on board.
Automation is an Opportunity
Knowing what needs to occur and when it needs to happen is step one. But the real leverage occurs by automating as many of these necessary steps as possible.
Consider the example of creating a new email account. While not especially complicated, it does involve having a human with appropriate access input data and set permissions in several different systems.
Done manually, each step along the way takes time and introduces the possibility of error. A better approach (and one we use at SMR), is to have whoever is responsible for the hiring process fill out a predeveloped form with their information. Once approved, a process is kicked off that automatically creates the new email account with the desired settings.
The same logic applies in giving access to needed work tools. At SMR (and on behalf of many of our clients), we have created automations that eliminate the need to set up new employees on the various applications required one by one (Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Teams, etc.).
Rather, using “Single Sign-On,” we provide access to a range of third-party tools via a single username and password. Once authorized, the employee has immediate access to all relevant tools. (Added bonus: Should an employee leave the company, single sign-on allows us to shut them out of all systems — easily, completely, and quickly.)
Onboarding is just one example of a regular, repeating process within an organization that can benefit from a systematic, automated approach.
Does it take a bit more up-front time to set these things up? Absolutely. But you will benefit in the near and long term from reduced errors and human cost, as well as the ability to give your new hires quick access to the tools they need to get their jobs done.