5+1 practical tips for digital onboarding

If your company is about to undergo a digital transformation and you could use some professional tips on how to start transforming your onboarding and what to expect after the new system is in place, our article is just for you. Through practical examples, some of our partners are now sharing their experiences and tips with you first-hand: Lídia Blaskovics, Communication Specialist from Güntner-Tata Kft, Andrea Sápi, Training and Development Specialist from Trenkwalder Group and Beáta Heiling-Koltai, Training and Communication Specialist from RUAG Hungarian Ammotec Inc. What were their reasons for beginning? What is worth paying attention to? What impact has the introduction of digital onboarding had on the company? And of course: what do the employees think?

 

1. Take your time and it will pay off many times over!

One of the great advantages of digital onboarding is that you only have to actually create the process once in the company application, and then it can be automated. There is no need to spend time on lengthy training sessions, and new entrants can work through the available material on their own schedule - in a way that can be easily assessed.

All this in practice

  • At Güntner-Tata Ltd., onboarding used to be done through in-person presentations. Regional presentations were given by the employees of those regions, who thus took 30-60 minutes off work every Monday. With digital onboarding, the onboarding process went from taking 2 days to just 1 day. This freed up 7 hours per week for staff who used to give newcomers important information about their area in person. 
  • Since the Trenkwalder Group now offers video content for new recruits, they can spend less time being shown how to use the databases and more time concentrating on knowledge transfer for projects. As a result, some personal orientations could be combined and adapted.

Tip: Preparing for digital onboarding takes a lot of work to get the digital materials ready, but it's worth it because it saves the company time once it's up and running. (Güntner-Tata Kft.)

2. Focus on the content and "the miracle happens"!

In addition to their job duties, the new colleague will also have to familiarize themselves with a range of other things. The company interface itself will be new, they will have to get to know the company and the team, attend training courses such as fire and safety training, etc. Successful digital onboarding requires well-prepared content and purposefully designed tests.

All this in practice

  • Trenwalder's entire onboarding process has been innovated. Existing professional resources have been modified to have a new branded appearance and feel. New materials have enhanced cooperation and knowledge sharing inside the company by creating a single digital onboarding curriculum across multiple professional areas.
  • All of RUAG Hungarian Ammotec Inc. was involved in the compilation of the onboarding content. All elements, even those where a personal presence is essential (factory visit, visit the ballistics station), have been digitized and can be viewed at home by both white collar and blue collar employees. All entrants are thus given a consistent picture and level of knowledge so that they don't just "build walls" but know that they are "building a church".

Tip: Before the implementation, we should already examine which content, processes, and systems are likely to change in the near future, and it is worth starting digitization in those areas where such changes are not expected. It is also worthwhile to define the overall topic in advance, for this purpose it is recommended to carry out a job survey from the HR side before the project starts so that we get a complete picture of which task groups are worth focusing on when developing the curriculum. The biggest help in designing such a digital curriculum system is to draw up a project plan and a timetable. It is worthwhile to define the format in which you want to present the processes (video, presentation...), to think in advance about the content you want to digitize, and where it is important to pair in-person presentations with the digital content. (Trenkwalder Group)

3. One app + one tool + one access, and boom, the process starts!

Onboarding new colleagues can be automated through digital onboarding, with just a smartphone, tablet, or computer, and they can complete and review materials at their own pace, whenever they want. Whether your new recruits are viewing materials from kiosks, laptops, or their own devices in a plant or office building, they won't miss a thing. 

All this in practice

  • At Güntner-Tata Kft., they initially feared that few people would want to do the lessons on their own devices, but they were proven wrong. New entrants were eager to download the app and start the onboarding process. 
  • New colleagues in the Trenkwalder Group will have access to the digital e-learning system within the first few days, where they can learn the basics of the organizational structure. They can get a comprehensive overview of their job responsibilities and how to use the databases, and separate onboarding groups have been set up to control who can access the current training material. They have also started to use the administrator function for e-learning materials so that managers can keep track of where new entrants are in the process. 
  • At RUAG Hungarian Ammotec Inc., on the day of entry, after signing the necessary paperwork, the very first onboarding presentation is about corporate communication, where all employees immediately install the app on their phones and start using the digitalized onboarding interface and Recognition function, as well as learning about the most important current news. This way they immediately become active users.

Tip: If you are using video content in your digital onboarding, you may want to provide your company with tablets and headsets to support the process. Tablets allow colleagues to view videos and presentations in higher resolution. (Güntner-Tata Kft.)

4. Check the knowledge you have acquired!

It is important to know where the new entrant is in the process of learning, but do not forget to assess the acquired knowledge. It is useful feedback for the newcomer to be sure, through tests, that they understand and know all the necessary information, and, of course, the company can be reassured as well that the training was effective without personal training.

All this in practice

  • At the end of the onboarding process, RUAG Hungarian Ammotec Inc.'s new colleagues entering production have to pass an online basic exam. This will show whether they have been aware of the kind of factory they are coming to, the kind of work they will be starting, and the essential rules they must follow to protect themselves and the entire factory.
  • At the Trenkwalder Group, the use of the video function allowed new colleagues to arrive at the face-to-face orientations with prior knowledge and questions after processing the material. This greatly increased the efficiency of the learning process.

Tips:

-    Always measure the impact of the onboarding, and towards the end of the training period, it is worth asking for feedback to see how the information about the company is implemented in the factory's daily life. (RUAG Hungarian Ammotec Inc.)

-    To ensure that the knowledge acquired is measurable, it is worth defining in advance the material to be tested and the threshold level for successful completion of the lesson (Trenkwalder Group)

5. Think individual, think team!

Digital onboarding is not about altogether abandoning personalization, in fact! It's a channel that can make newcomers more comfortable, and give them the opportunity to get a thorough orientation, practice, repeat, and get to know the company at their own pace.

All this in practice

  • Thanks to the digital onboarding at RUAG Ammotec Hungary, employee feedback indicates that integration into the team has become easier, mutual appreciation has increased and tensions between different departments have decreased. Feedback at the end of the probationary period showed that most departments felt that the knowledge gained during onboarding was useful.
  • The employees of Güntner-Tata Kft. also gave positive feedback about the digital onboarding, e.g.: it is interactive, easy and simple to complete on a smartphone, simple, clear, and modern.
  • After processing the e-learning materials, the new colleagues of the Trenkwalder Group already have a general idea of the system, have specific questions about it, and can start the in-person learning with some preliminary knowledge. Managers are more satisfied, and more and more managers are indicating a need for digital knowledge materials to be developed in their areas.

Tip: Quizzes and prizes can be used to encourage new employees to learn. In a production plant, it is essential to involve the physical staff: if everyone receives the same onboarding, team spirit and mutual appreciation are strengthened. (RUAG Hungarian Ammotec Inc. )

+1. The big question: why at all?

Every company is different, but there are certainly many similar challenges. Digitizing onboarding processes can reduce the burden on the company in many ways, and also open up new opportunities for employees.

Our partners' motivations

  • Staff retention: the main motivation of RUAG Hungarian Ammotec Inc. was employee retention through making the entry and integration of new colleagues as smooth as possible. At their company, digitalization now complements in-person training sessions, so that colleagues can review all information again. Strengthening compliance was also important.
  • A coherent knowledge base: Trenkwalder Group wanted to create a single training plan for their more than 20 sites so that a single body of knowledge could be passed on to new colleagues. They also wanted to ensure that new employees could move into a production position as quickly as possible.
  • Reducing the workload: Güntner-Tata Kft. wanted to reduce the workload of their trainees. At the beginning of the coronavirus, they also wanted to reduce the number of contacts, which was another argument in favor of digitalization.

If you want to find out more about digital onboarding, there's lots more content on our website.