How Chatbots Can Enhance Employee Onboarding Process

Employee Onboarding, Employee Training, Uncategorized

The famous American author and salesman Hilary Hinton ‘Zig Ziglar’ once quoted a research indicating that the employees have three prime needs: interesting work, recognition for doing good job and being let in on the things that are going on in the company. While the first two parameters are motivation for working hard, the last one can be recognised as the human need for being a part of something bigger. A new employee joining a company has expectations of being briefed about their roles and responsibilities while also being thoroughly guided about the company’s ways and its expectations from them.  

According to statistics listed by the Glassdoor, every new job opening attracts an average of 250 resumes and the overall average time taken to fill the given position comes out to be 42 days. The HR department undertakes the recruitment process with its expertise, however, the overall procedure is repetitive and time-consuming. Incorporation of AI-powered Chatbots for recruiting and employee onboarding will not only enhance the initial experience of the new hire but also liberate the HR personnel to focus on more pressing issues. 

While sorting of potential applicants based on their eligibility and skill is still done by the recruitment professionals as this feature is yet unexplored territory for Chatbots, however, the subsequent steps of the onboarding strategy are effectively streamlined with the help of the HR Chatbots. Notifying the applicants about the interview procedure and the significant dates, informing about the offer, completion of documentation and helping the employee get acquainted with the company is what Chatbots can do efficiently without any human error and intervention. 

Challenges Faced By HR Professionals During Employee Onboarding

Whether we like it or not, first impressions matter the most. HR is solely responsible for making sure that the first few interactions that a candidate has with a company are positive for them. Also, the first few days of an employee in the company are packed with onboarding sessions, team interactions, getting set-up in various IT systems and so on. It is hugely important as well as difficult to provide the employee a delightful and easy experience during their onboarding. Some of these factors lead to this challenge:

Ineffective Communication

The key to successful recruitment drive is effective communication. Once the qualifications and skills required for the position are sorted, the applicants are invited. Communicating with the potential aspirants and updating them about the interviews, joining dates and other important events of the procedure require continuous involvement of the HR professionals. Inability to keep a track may lead to errors and prolonging of the process. 

Exhaustive Documentation 

As the new hire accepts the offer letter, the next step is the submission of meticulous documents. The previous employment records, bank statements and tax forms are some of the requirements from the employee’s end while confidentiality documents and non-disclosure agreement are to be submitted according to the format provided by the company. Making sure the newly onboarded employees are aware of this paperwork and ensuring their timely submission becomes a time-consuming process. 

New-Joinee Orientation

Once the employee is onboard, comes the responsibility of briefing about the company policies, introducing to the team colleagues and making them comfortable with the working environment. The HR professional has to either guide the employee about the expectations and roles of their job or direct them towards the team lead who will do the same. While the orientation comes under job responsibility of the HR, it needs coordination with various departments for making sure onboarding is not just relevant but also personalized.  

Challenges Faced by New Employees

Inept Joining Information 

Due to the ineffective recruitment drives resulting from human ignorance or mismanagement, the new employee often receives incomplete information regarding the joining procedure. If there is a long gap before the joining and employee does not receive any communication in-between, it leaves them hanging in the middle and unsure about the employment. At times, the list of documents and amount of paperwork required is missed out hence making the joining process cumbersome.

Clueless Initial Days 

While HR and L&D teams organize detailed orientation and employee training sessions for new-joinees, there always remain some gaps from an employee’s point of view since these sessions are normally generalised. For instance the information that someone joining a sales team needs will be widely different from what someone joining the engineering team will need. Not to mention everyone learns differently and what works wonderfully well for one employee might not work for another one.

Non-familiar Company Policies

Every company follows certain policies that help them to manage the operations efficiently. While few rules are common for different companies, some guidelines may be new or divergent and hence the onboarding employee needs to be aware of them. The non-familiarity with the working environment, working shifts, lunch timings, breaks, gathering areas, leaves, code of conduct etc can leave the employee frustrated in a jiffy.

Personal Queries

While FAQs of the onboarding employee are obvious and can be answered even by the next-desk colleague, they might as well have some personal queries which are best be responded by HR professionals. However, reaching out to HR can sometimes be time-consuming and the employee may not feel comfortable talking about personal issues. Organizations like a successful Mobile App Development Company should take these issues into account. Not having an unbiased, non-judgemental channel to open-up about issues such as sexual harassment, maternal/paternal policy and likes can make the employee feel unheard and hence unproductive.

Chatbots – Revolutionizing Employee Onboarding 

Considering the number of challenges and resulting inefficiencies in the onboarding process, it only makes sense to have an inclination towards tools and technologies empowered by AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and NLP (Natural Language Programming). Incorporating HR Chatbots to offer the personalized yet streamlined onboarding process is what revolutionization sounds like. 

How Chatbots Revolutionize Employee Onboarding (2)

Pre-Joining Coordination

  • Chatbots help HR recruiting teams maintain regular contact with the onboarding employees to remind them of joining date, paperwork formats and documents to be submitted. This enhances the joining procedure by eliminating the chances of documentation error and time-lag.
  • Considering the longer gap before joining, the employee can be asked to regularly check the website. Or the Chatbot can send out emails to onboarding employees reminding them of company’s enthusiasm to work together and building confidence that the company cares for its new joiners. 

New Employee Onboarding

  • HR Onboarding: As soon as the employee joins, Chatbot welcomes them onboard and take care of the initial orientation briefing about the company policies, roles & responsibility, team introduction, project progress and all the necessary information. Once the information regarding the initial training, operational knowledge and other procedures is captured by the Chatbot using the structured data, neither the HR nor the onboarding employee has to depend on each other. The information can be extracted from Chatbot through easy conversation and without any delay. The onboarding employee can even feel comfortable seeking information regarding policies such as workplace harassment, pregnancy announcements and compensational leaves during the notice period. The conversational user interface of Chatbot enables the onboarding employee to ease up and get comfortable with the company environment faster, hence attaining their full potential and increasing overall productivity. 

 

  • Systems Onboarding: A typical employee today uses 16 different applications for their work. Becoming proficient with these application can become a cognitive overload for a new employee. However, companies are increasingly adopting digital adoption platforms (DAPs) such as Whatfix to transform how employees engage with software applications. With the help of in-app, interactive walkthroughs that provide real time digital guidance and self-service help, employees feel empowered to work on these applications much sooner. Also, since DAPs work on all cloud-based applications, your employees get to experience all the applications in a predictable and homogeneous manner, knowing where to go for help, no matter which application they are in. These digital adoption solutions also integrate with chatbots so that a query arising from the employee end can be solved using a conversational interface of a Chatbot. 

 

  • Ongoing Employee Feedback: Being powered with ML and NLP, Chatbots can grasp the sentiments of the onboarding employee through frequent and elaborate conversations. This helps the HR and company to understand their employees better. In the goal to improve onboarding experience, Chatbots can also indulge the employees into quizzes, survey and feedback loop to improve the future human-bot interactions. 

With the incorporation of the advance Chatbots to maintain active employee engagement and provide instant accurate responses to the queries of newly hired employees, companies can offer smooth onboarding process resulting into trust development and dedication among the employees hence working with maximum productivity. 

 

Harikrishna Kundariya

Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot & Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz Technologies, aMobile Application Development Company. His 8+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot.

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