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How to get onboarding right in the new hybrid workplace

By Soffos Team
November 11, 2021

The winds of change have begun to blow. Given that the New Year is just around the corner, a period of job searching can safely be predicted for the first few months of next year.

How many employees are looking to jump ship in 2022, specifically with the intention of finding an employer who can meet their flexible working demands? Stay tuned for the answer to this question – Soffos’ latest research will be revealed soon!

Remote and hybrid working arrangements are becoming ever more lucrative for employees. Yet the prospect of starting a job with little or no opportunities to meet colleagues in person throws a spanner into the works when it comes to a smooth onboarding process.

Business leaders will already be well versed in the importance of ensuring that new starters feel welcome and can seamlessly integrate into the company culture. Now, organizations must turn their attention to other considerations that can make or break a successful induction, which often fall under the radar.

Here are some more unconventional ways that businesses can support new hires – and how Soffos can help.

Get your data house in order

Few businesses will be thinking about their internal data management systems when considering their onboarding strategy, but in reality, making sure that employees can get up to speed as quickly as possible when they join a new company starts with organizing enterprise knowledge.

Think about the amount of information that your business stores – and generates – daily. Seasoned employees will generally know where to look, or who to ask, when they have a question. Yet learning about a new business from scratch can be a mammoth task.

Having a centralized resource hub that new recruits can turn to when they need more information about a product, their day-to-day responsibilities, or general business practices, will be a massive help.

Maintaining a neat and tidy documentation system is famously difficult: information is trapped in countless files and disparate systems, exacerbated by errors and outdated documents. However, being able to find information on demand –particularly when there are limited opportunities to reach across a desk and ask colleagues for help – will be a lifesaver for those joining remotely.

That’s why our new range of apps is here to offer a helping hand. Simply give any Soffos-powered app access to files, systems and other sources of knowledge and they are auto-ingested into our proprietary knowledge base system. From here, the apps will be able to answer questions succinctly through the user’s device, at any time. Instead of spending hour upon hour trawling through documentation to find nuggets of information, a user can simply turn to their device and ask something like – “What clients do we currently have on our books?”

The traditional process of getting a new employee set up and ready to begin work is disjointed – but with Soffos, they will have all the information they need right from the start.

The importance of ongoing development

Any company’s onboarding process and enterprise learning initiatives must be revamped specifically if remote and hybrid workers are involved. From employees’ own perspectives (as uncovered by Soffos’ research earlier this year), professional development opportunities have taken a hit due to COVID-19 – a situation which businesses must work hard to rectify.

A formal induction period will generally not endure beyond a few weeks, even though onboarding should ideally be an iterative, ongoing process. Often, however, once the onboarding process ends, employees are expected to take matters into their own hands and seek help when they encounter difficulties.

If you’re working remotely, or even semi-remotely, it is difficult to take charge of your own professional development.There are only so many videoconferencing calls you can arrange or emails you can send before feeling like you are taking up too much of someone’s valuable time. That’s why it’s so important to arm new employees with the right technology.  

For example, solutions that can gamify the learning experience will empower learners to progress at their own pace. Our upcoming app – TestMe – is a reverse-engineered version of our core technology, which normally answers users’ questions – but TestMe turns this around and asks quiz-style questions of the user. This offers obvious benefits to staff training and personal development – for example, product training for a new sales employee, or brushing up on mandatory regulatory knowledge for HR professionals.

New staff members can develop their understanding on their own time, with our other apps, like DocHound for instance, allowing them to pose questions directly to their personal device and receive succinct answers. Modern tools powered by bleeding edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI)must sit at the heart of hybrid onboarding plans. Such solutions will give new hires exposure to a deeper level of professional expertise, while addressing potential isolation issues and helping them feel like they are an essential cog in the workplace machine. 

Accessing ‘The Soffos Experience’ via our various products aims to solve many of these onboarding and provide real-time support to employees. Each app has a different functionality and offers differing benefits to the workforce, and will be particularly useful for new starters who would benefit from their own personalized virtual tutor.

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