Onboarding new employees can be a major headache, especially for growing companies that are hiring at a brisk pace. If the process doesn’t go well, employees take longer to reach full capacity. If they get frustrated, they might even quit. Yet Kronos, a provider of workforce management and human capital management solutions, says onboarding is a “critical weakness.”
In a new survey, Kronos found that more than three-fourths of HR leaders believe their organizations don’t use onboarding practices to their full potential. Too much emphasis is placed on orientation – with its focus on paperwork and basic systems training – and not enough on the larger onboarding process, which integrates employees into the work environment and immerses them in company culture.
Growing businesses can change those dynamics by deploying the right communications technology. Unified communications plays a key role in engaging new hires and providing easy access to the internal resources they need to perform well from day one.
Here’s how unified communications can help growing business face three specific onboarding challenges.
Challenge 1: Maximize new employee potential
Communication is the heart of every growing small business. As you hire additional staff, you need to equip employees with the technology they need to easily communicate with each other and with clients.
For example, as click-to-call functionality on smartphones increases the number of voice calls that consumers make to businesses, employees must be able to answer no matter where they are. After all, a missed call is a missed opportunity, as 85 percent of new prospects won’t try again if their first call goes to voicemail.
The answer: a mobile communications application, built on top of UC, that’s specifically designed for growing small to medium businesses. Using a complete business phone system in one app, new hires have at their fingertips everything necessary to meet the customer’s needs and the ability to see all their work colleagues on a single screen within the app. Because the app is intuitive, they can quickly master its features with little effort.
Other features maximize the productivity of new hires, including:
A user-friendly interface with custom layout options, which requires minimal training.
A voice-centric focus that supports the growing number of calls coming from smartphones, while providing business-class voice quality.
Call park functionality that allows all users to see if a customer is on hold at any given moment. Any employee can retrieve the call, allowing new hires to jump in and reduce customer hold times.
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Challenge 2: Increase retention by easing uncertainty
The cost of losing an employee runs around 30 percent of their annual salary, according to the Work Institute, to say nothing of the impact their departure has on productivity and other “soft” factors. A proper onboarding process that takes advantage of unified communications can increase retention in two ways:
New hires have easy and immediate access to more seasoned employees, who can answer questions as soon as they arise.
Employees get up to speed more quickly and gain confidence in their abilities.
Be sure to look for these important features:
Real-time presence of colleagues to enable new hires to instantly see which colleagues are available for a call
Immediate, real-time collaboration with group calling and chat so new hires can get their questions answered in real-time.
Single-touch transfer so issues can quickly be directed to the right person. That way, if a new hire receives a customer call they can’t handle, help is just a click away.
Challenge 3: Meet the needs of a mobile workforce
New hires who are likely to spend most of their time on the move between clients or working remotely have increased onboarding’s complexity.
Again, a mobile business application comes to the rescue. Some of the features previously discussed, like real-time collaboration, keep mobile employees connected regardless of location. Additional features that help to integrate new employees into the work environment faster are:
The ability to answer calls from multiple incoming lines, including your general 800 number, from mobile devices means new hires can answer from any location, keeping them constantly connected and available.
Seamless integration with iOS and Android keeps employees connected across multiple platforms.
For growing businesses, the key to successful onboarding is making it possible for new employees to jump in quickly. For that to happen, you must equip them with robust but intuitive tools. Unified communications provides growing businesses with seamless, easy-to-use apps and collaboration solutions, so new hires come up to speed fast, increasing their confidence and job satisfaction.