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    Social Onboarding Today, Happy Employees for Years to Come

    Last week, PeopleFluent and Socialtext joined forces to present a webinar, From Warm-up to Winner’s Podium: Social Onboarding Goes for the Gold, revealing the evolution of onboarding and its journey from administrative necessity to a strategic tool for long-term talent acquisition and retention.

    As social software has become more commonly adopted throughout enterprises, companies are beginning to leverage these technologies to help new employees in ways that provide learning, mentorship, and peer engagement. As prospective hires become employees, its the first 45 days of employment that are the most critical – when almost a quarter of staff turnover happens.

    That’s why the evolution of Onboarding to Social Onboarding is so key.  Social tools can be used to streamline the processes associated with bringing on a new hire and provide a better overall experience. It’s an experience that promises very tangible business benefits in the form of reduced training time, quicker time to productivity, lower employee churn and higher levels of engagement all of which  significantly contribute to strengthening the company culture.

    Social onboarding is the process in which new employees acquire the knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members. Historically, this has included the necessary administrative steps such as filling out forms, selecting benefits and getting access to new hire information, as well as getting an introduction to the company and its unique culture.  Having new hires adapt to their new role and engage with co-workers quicker provides companies’ with a greater chance to hold onto their new employees. Not to mention, there is also is a direct correlation to higher levels of innovation and creativity with clearly communicated business objectives and an engaged workforce.

    “Now, new hires can come to one place to easily find information to help them be successful in their days on the job,” says Kate Rash, manager of learning and development with Getty Images. Additionally, a formal onboarding process increases the likelihood of a new hire staying with the company after three years by 58%.

    Socializing your onboarding process with a flexible, dynamic platform that helps to guide new employees through the process is key.  What we’ve learned from our clients such as Getty Images, Acumen Fund, Accolo and many others is that it must be:

    • Visually appealing: Leverage traditional marketing methods such as advertising to call attention to areas that you want to get noticed, or even provide a “call to action” that steers employees in the right direction
    • Engage early: Ask for feedback, institute a new employee survey to gauge effectiveness, ensure you have a team available to engage in conversations and use a tool like Socialtext 360 which makes it easy for new hires to connect with like-minded employees or internal thought-leaders sharing interests in or outside of work.
    • Findable: Provide quick access to necessary documentation, benefits and other work related needs.   Incorporating a search function as well as tagging capabilities will also improve information findability greatly.
    • Interactive:  Activity streams such as Signals are a great way to introduce new hires to the company culture.  By seeing the conversations taking place, they will learn trending topics, most active people, and learn through social interactions and collaborate with ease and comfort, regardless of location.

    To see the webinar slides, check them out here.

    Implementing an effective social onboarding process that maps against a new hire’s first 30, 60, 90 days and integrates into the flow of their work has great benefits for new hires, productivity, and the company as a whole. With major shifts on the horizon to US workforce demographics and the ubiquity of Social interactions, it is more critical than ever to apply Social Onboarding techniques to take your enterprise into the future.

    To view the recorded webinar and learn how your enterprise can benefit from Gold Medal Social Onboarding, register here.

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    About This Blog

    Weblog on gaining business results from social software.

    On this blog, Socialtext staffers and customers explore how companies can gain the most business value from their use of enterprise social software, including microblogging, social networking, filtered activity streams, widget-based dashboards, blogs and wikis.

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