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Fifty eight percent of organizations say their onboarding program is focused on processes and paperwork, and most organizations don’t give much thought to offboarding employees. The truth is, it’s more work to create delightful onboarding and offboarding programs.

But the extra effort can make a big difference. Strong employee onboarding is known to increase productivity, retention, and proficiency. Closing the loop with delightful employee offboarding can preserve your employer brand, generate candidate referrals, and help your departing employee consider your organization for future opportunities.

While delightful, yet complex, onboarding and offboarding programs can become increasingly challenging to manage as you grow, you don’t have to sacrifice a standout experience to make it work.

Standardize your employee onboarding and offboarding process

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time you make a hire. Create a standardized employee onboarding and offboarding process that you can use for each new employee. It’s ok to start with a simple process and add steps as you gather feedback from new hires, managers, buddies, and departing employees.

The most delightful programs go beyond compliance to make each employee feel special, no matter their lifecycle stage, which calls for a more complex process. For instance, new hires should receive a warm welcome, early team introductions, and regular manager check ins. Departing employees should be thanked for their service, asked for feedback, and invited to keep in touch with the organization. As you consider how each element can improve your employee experience, add it to your process. [Learn how employee onboarding software can help you manage all of this!]

You may find that you need to modify your process for a different office, department, job level, or for remote workers. It’s worth saving that process as a new template for future use if those changes are significant.

Companies may start off using a spreadsheet or project management software to build their onboarding and offboarding checklists. These work well for a couple hires each month, but organizations quickly learn that they can benefit from a dedicated employee onboarding solution as they scale.

Use email templates throughout your onboarding and offboarding process

Again, don’t reinvent the wheel for onboarding and offboarding communications that could easily be accomplished via repeatable templates. Create the message once, and save it for future use. For instance, a request to complete employee preboarding, a pre-start email with the first week’s schedule, or an invitation to complete an exit survey. Each of these communications should be carefully worded, and sent in a timely manner to make a positive impact on your new hire or departing employee.

You can get scrappy by saving your templates in a Word document or utilizing Gmail’s Canned Responses feature—but even using those can be tedious if you’re scaling. A good employee onboarding solution should have this feature to help you effectively communicate with new hires and departing employees, while saving you time.

Automate what you can

Adding extra steps to your onboarding and offboarding programs can create a better employee experience, but may also require more of your time. Automate what you can so you can spend your time where it’s needed.

An onboarding solution that integrates with your ATS can send candidate data directly into your HRIS to get the process rolling without manual data entry. A good solution can also create rules that delegate key tasks and send reminders when tasks haven’t been completed in a timely fashion. It can even provision and deprovision employee accounts for important business solutions like G-Suite, Slack, and Okta.

In order to create a great employee experience, you don’t want to overlook these important steps.

Final thoughts on building scalable, delightful programs

Standardized onboarding and offboarding programs that utilize templates and automation can free up your time to spend on more important things. Use this extra time to build a more strategic People Ops function, or to improve your onboarding and offboarding processes for better outcomes. Welcome each new hire on their first day, reinforcing their decision to join your organization. Send each departing employee off with a strong last impression of your organization so they speak highly of your company and consider returning in the future.

When you leave the more administrative functions to be handled by technology, you can focus on creating a strong employee lifecycle experience.

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