Tuesday, 23 November 2021 13:21

Onboarding processes fall short of expectations: survey

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Most people start a new job feeling excited, but inadequate onboarding processes mean many of them have negative experiences, according to a new survey.

A survey commissioned by service management software provider TOPdesk found 75% of respondents felt excited and 69% felt focused about starting a new job, the onboarding experience resulted in 65% feeling stressed or overwhelmed, 50% feeling lost or isolated, 38% feeling disorganised, and 32% feeling frustrated.

But that could have been improved by providing more resources and guidance for starters so they could solve common onboarding problems for themselves.

More than two thirds (69%) of respondents said they could have fixed at least some of their onboarding problems if they had appropriate guidance and resources.

It's not just that they could fix the problems themselves, they would prefer to do so.

Three quarters (76%) said they would prefer to fix more issues by themselves if the necessary support was available, and 85% believed that fixing their problems through a self-service portal makes their lives easier.

"Australian employees clearly have high expectations of their new employer's onboarding process. They know that their working lives are made easier if they can fix issues or problems. They want and expect tools and systems that can make them more productive," said TOPdesk general manager for Australia and New Zealand Marian den Ouden.

This is particularly true for millennials, according to den Ouden. "They expect employers to adopt progressive, tech-driven approaches to workplace culture, communication and support services."

Consequently, organisations need to provide a one-stop-shop for all IT and other services, as well as the self-service resources to allow people to fix their own problems.

The timeliness of onboarding processes is also important.

More than 90% thought access, tools and equipment should be set up for them when they start, but 35% reported waiting a week or more for access to computer applications, folders, and email.

It's not just tech: 21% had to wait at least a week for their building access pass, and 35% of respondents who required a uniform had to wait a week or more to receive it.

"Australian businesses repeatedly spend time, money and effort to attract and retain new talent. But the way organisations onboard new starters is undermining this investment," said den Ouden.

"People want to get off to a good start and make a good first impression. You have to wonder about the reputation damage organisations are incurring by treating new starts in this way."

Casual dining restaurant chain Nando's adopted TOPdesk service management during the COVID pandemic.

Nando's IT operations manager Barney Rehfisch said lockdowns brought about a new sense of self-reliance among its restaurant managers.

"Our new knowledge management system unlock standard solutions to everyone, reducing the dependency on the IT team to help fix or answer common questions. The TOPdesk self-service portal delivers much-needed transparency allowing restaurants and central support staff to now easily see the status of their IT requests."

Other findings from the survey of 1000 people from organisations with between 250 and 5000 employees (conducted by NewFocus):

63% recommended changes to the onboarding process, with 72% of those responsible for onboarding calling for improved processes.

85% thought a new employee should have one go-to contact for any technical issues, and the same number thought fixing their problems through a self-service portal makes their lives easier.

22% thought their employer's onboarding process was disorganised and inefficient.

The overwhelming majority agreed on the appeal of one place to check their onboarding status and a single system used by everyone to onboard employees.

The survey report is available for download here.


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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