Tiina Raekallio

It’s time to digitalize your new employee onboarding process – here’s how



The traditional way to go about employee onboarding is to organize briefings about everything, from the company strategy to time-tracking practices to benefits. If they have questions, they are encouraged to study the onboarding folder, browse the intranet and ask their colleagues.

In a large workplace community, onboarding training is provided by the immediate supervisor, representatives of the HR department and many other people. Sometimes mentors are tasked with onboarding, and colleagues are also expected to provide practical onboarding training.

Only a few organizations have yet digitized their onboarding process. This doesn’t mean that new employees are left to their own devices or that responsibility for their well-being is delegated to computers and other devices. In fact, digital onboarding means that onboarding training is taken very seriously. It requires active involvement from managers, the HR department and colleagues, as well as continuous monitoring and participation. The level of commitment is even higher than with traditional methods.

Personal and shared workspaces

During onboarding, newcomers are familiarized with the corporate culture and practical workplace details. I have had the opportunity to observe how this process has been transferred to the digital Howspace platform (formerly REAL) in several workplace communities. The platform provides a common workspace for teams and their leaders and members, as well as new employees, to engage in discussions and receive topical information that concerns everyone. In addition, each employee has a customized workspace that also includes information that is good for newcomers to know.

On the platform, new employees familiarize themselves with the workplace and its practices at their own pace. They can also read questions and answers presented by others, in addition to asking questions themselves. The answers are compiled for all to see, so that the same questions do not need to be answered repeatedly. New employees can also post their ideas and comments. 

If a new employee’s job includes working with several clients, each company’s ways of working can be uploaded to the digital platform as videos and written summaries, for example. In addition, Howspace can be used to administer tests for newcomers to ensure that they have studied and understood the onboarding material.

Howspace is particularly useful in jobs that involve multiple digital systems. Links to systems, password management and IT support are easy to centralize in Howspace. On the digital platform, they are easy to find, with no need to wonder who to contact when the invoicing program is acting up or you’ve lost your password for the time-tracking system.

Smooth, deep and cost-efficient

In Howspace, you can also collect all of your important images, videos, contacts, discussion and networking opportunities and feedback discussions. Supervisors can spontaneously provide feedback on a new employee’s first day if the employee is not physically present at the time.

In addition, customized onboarding kits can be created for various jobs. For example, Howspace can feature specific sections for coders and sales professionals. Common discussion rooms and information sections are also needed, in addition to a common space for the new employees of all units. As these employees are all equally new to the workplace practices, they can share information and support one another on the digital platform.

In sum, digital onboarding does not mean reading vast collections of texts and links on your own. Quite the contrary: it strongly encourages participation. Supervisors and even the busiest colleagues are easy to reach through the platform. This allows for a smooth-running and more multidimensional onboarding that saves time for many people.

The future of onboarding is here

Good training integrates new employees into the workplace community and corporate culture. Traditional methods—lectures, folders and the intranet—are too clumsy for this purpose, and the information they contain quickly becomes outdated.

Howspace is a digital platform that does not exclude face-to-face meetings and communication. It adds a new level to interaction between people, an openness that makes it easier for newcomers to quickly feel part of the workplace community and seamlessly learn their new tasks.

If you’d like to see how Howspace would fit into your onboarding program, open your free workspace today. No strings attached, no credit card needed.

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