Mass Rush to Virtual Onboarding Requires Feedback Component

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, companies are scrambling to enact virtual onboarding strategies to ensure social distancing in this most crucial of HR processes.

From automated workflow applications to pre-recorded video content to live remote meeting capabilities, organizations are poring over each step of onboarding to close gaps between “high touch” and “high tech.”

As leaders look to envision and create new work environments that could speed their ability to safely reopen more quickly, onboarding is currently a big priority. And when business begins to ramp up after the shut down, the ability to bring on new employees in a post-pandemic/pre-vaccine world, the ability to hire and onboard safely and quickly will be a distinct competitive advantage, as well as a potential stock price savior.

It’s also a recipe for disaster without the right type of onboarding experience feedback mechanisms in place to be able to move quickly and adjust just as quickly.

The Importance Virtual Onboarding Feedback

Virtual onboarding requires feedbackLike any other talent facing program, the move to incorporate feedback into onboarding has been underway for some time. Survale client CDW expanded their automated feedback programs from talent acquisition to onboarding within their Canadian business operations in Q1 2020. This move is reflected in an upcoming Survale/CDW case study to be released in May.

But with so much riding on an employer’s ability to move quickly into the virtual world in order to re-open and recover as quickly and as effectively as possible, the stakes for NOT incorporating feedback into virtual onboarding just got exponentially higher. 

In good times, onboarding is pretty much universally viewed as one of a handful of defining moments in the talent lifecycle. So without a way to quickly assess and react to the first, second and third order consequences of virtualizing this key process, organizations could be exposing themselves to poor retention rates, lower productivity and more as they safely onboard employees.

Real-Time Talent Feedback Solutions Are Best

Onboarding feedback surveys can periodically let you know what may be working and what may not, but manually surveying new employees is slow, and it’s difficult to tie that feedback to actual interactions or onboarding transactions.

Real-time feedback platforms like Survale are triggered by changes in onboarding, recruiting and HRMS systems to gather feedback automatically, in real time. The advantage here is that organizations begin receiving feedback the moment they roll out new practices.

And because that feedback is triggered by transactions in other systems, the data collected is anchored to concrete steps in a process. For example, when an onboarding task like email account setup is marked as complete, the new employee, the IT admin who set up the email account and the hiring manager can all receive quick pulse surveys asking what happened and what could be done better.

This data is analyzed, prioritized and displayed with real-time analytics designed for process owners and HR/recruiting leaders to quickly diagnose bottlenecks and issues that can threaten to undermine the success of these transactions and the overall initiative.

At the same time, employee satisfaction data is gathered at each step and can be used to diagnose early fit/communication problems that can jeopardize retention during the most critical time for retaining new employees.

Which brings me to my next point, which is that this kind of approach is important for just about every talent-facing program for the foreseeable future as the nature of work becomes more virtual for many types of organizations and employees.

Tie Onboarding to Hiring and Employee Experience

Feedback will be hugely important as changes are instituted in all facets of employment to minimize contact using technology to virtualize many previously manual and face-to-face processes. 

In the same way that real time feedback is important to minimize problems associated with instituting new practices quickly, talent feedback in general is key to understanding how changes like remote workplaces and virtual meetings ripple through the employee population.

Understanding what’s working and what’s not with your strategies for adapting to a post-pandemic world, and being able to quickly diagnose and correct problems, will make the difference between a smooth transition and a costly one. And I’m not just talking about employee satisfaction or attitudinal consequences of change. I am talking about the machinations of new processes and tools within the organization.

Having a multi-pronged talent feedback system that brings all this experiential data together under one platform, allowing for quick and easy analysis across all talent facing programs, would be a key enabling technology, wouldn’t it?

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