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A guide to using service management capabilities to enhance employee experience
Have you ever started work at a new organization as an eager new employee, only to find that you don't have everything needed to "hit the ground running"? It might be that your laptop isn't ready. Or you have a laptop, but you're missing a critical piece of software (or access to an essential online service). Of course, it's not only the IT department that can fail to provide new employees with what they need to be productive. Human resources (HR) might have missed a new employee from the mandatory onboarding training course. Or the facilities team might have failed to arrange building access or provide them with a suitably equipped place to work.
Alternatively, the issue might not be that these things are repeatedly missing on new employee arrival. Instead, it might be the necessary lead time has an unwanted business impact – that employees can't start in their new role for two months while the manually-intensive employee onboarding process slowly grinds out. Or it might be that recruiting managers need to waste their precious time "keeping on top of" all the various departments responsible for ensuring that their new employees can work productively from day one.
Read on to find out how Service Management can improve employee onboarding operations and outcomes.
None of the above scenarios are ideal – for the new employee, the recruiting manager, and business operations – yet they still happen too frequently when the onboarding process and its many "splinter" sub-processes are manually intensive. It might be that the sheer complexity of all the moving parts, with multiple business functions needing to do "their bit," causes the issue in terms of the logistics. Or it might be that the immediate lack of urgency for the individual tasks means that they're a low priority in each business function's work pipeline. Unfortunately, some tasks "slip through the cracks" when people are bombarded with a continuous flow of higher priorities. Or it might be that the high level of manual effort is the cause of organizational and provisioning mistakes being made.
As to how common onboarding issues are, a commonly-quoted employee onboarding statistic on the Internet – which is sadly from 2017 but still worth pointing to with an age caveat – is that:
Only "12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees."
Source: Gallup, State of the American Workplace Report (2017)
Thankfully, Service Management – the use of IT service management (ITSM) principles, best practice capabilities, and technology to improve business function operations, services, experiences, and outcomes – offers a digital-workflow-based onboarding solution that's commonly one of the first adopted use cases of Service Management within an organization.
While onboarding has traditionally been problematic for organizations, the operational impact of the global pandemic has made the potential issues worse. First, because new employees might be remote workers, meaning that any failure to fully enable them on day one is now harder for them to work around. For example, using a spare office "capability" isn't viable when you aren't in an office. Second, some of the various business function employees charged with setting up new employees might be home working, which makes it harder for the manually intensive process flows to work across what are now both functional and locational divides.
The ITSM principles, best practice capabilities, and technology employed within Service Management offer a platform for business-wide digital workflows and optimized operations and outcomes. The technology, in particular, helps in terms of making employee onboarding all three of "better, faster, cheaper" through:
More importantly, Service Management helps internal business unit operations and the intra-business-function operations that are a big part of employee onboarding – with the need processed by both HR and the invocation of services from other business functions.
The digital workflows required to get an employee road-ready and productive from their first day of work can be taken back to the initial need for a new employee to fill an existing or new role. The initial workflows can therefore cover all of the following:
You might argue that this is recruitment rather than onboarding but, in a truly digital environment, this can be an end-to-end workflow such that the successful candidate's acceptance of the offer, perhaps after personal negotiations, triggers the next set of onboarding steps. These can include:
This list isn't exhaustive, but it's indicative of how starting the employee onboarding workflow(s) – perhaps via a self-service portal – can trigger the prioritized execution of a wide range of required processes and tasks across multiple business functions using automation and logic. Where the enabling technology not only monitors and manages task progression, but it also integrates with other systems (for record updating, ordering, and provisioning), seeks task-related approvals when needed, provides reminder notifications, and flags up delays and other onboarding issues for appropriate human intervention.
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