Part 1 – Looks at how onboarding frameworks form essential foundations for our organisations. In the second section we look at how Opquast’s framework and resources can augment the effectiveness of onboarding programs.
Part 1 Effective onboarding for digital and purpose-driven cultures
Part 1.1 – Onboarding frameworks
Amidst the revolution of home-working it is essential to be able to build reciprocal trust between employer and employee. Organisations have to establish cultures which support, motivate, and empower their teams. The onboarding of staff is the crucial first step to set in motion those objectives and to inspire and set the tone for future employee expectations.
The 2021 owl labs study on remote working found “55% of employees think employers tend to have more trust in full-time office workers than hybrid or remote workers”7.
Onboarding systems example
A lot of advice on onboarding calls for robust solutions to be implemented over the long term to increase the success and length of an employee’s tenure (see Figure 1 ‘the SHRM approach’ below). We will detail below some essential considerations for effective onboarding.
As part of most successful strategies for onboarding, training invariably plays a part. Opquast has been working with a number of customers to find flexible solutions to aid onboarding which are complementary to organisations with digital and purpose-driven cultures. Below we outline the Opquast solution and how it fits with commonly accepted onboarding framework objectives and how it meets current organisational objectives.
The huge challenges and costs of onboarding
Onboarding is one of the commonly neglected areas of management which represents some of the most significant costs to an organisation in terms of straight financial costs and the opportunity costs associated with lost time to market.
A 2019 poll1 by Gallup found that only 12% of employees believed their organizations did a great job with onboarding and that this resulted in half of all hourly workers leaving new jobs in the first four months, and half of senior outside hires failing within 18 months.
Employees cited that programs are often too short or that they don’t convey or achieve buyin of the organization’s culture. This sees the increase in employment costs skyrocketing;
SHRM estimates3 that it will cost a company six to nine months of an employee’s salary to identify and onboard a replacement.
Such costs are vast compared to structuring an effective onboarding solution and the costs which can be saved, let alone considering the value that having well-informed and motivated employees will bring, as a result of great onboarding progams.
Onboarding Frameworks – The 4Cs
SHRM recommends in the first year of employment to carry out very proactive management of recruits including trainings that bring clarity to the role, utilising a blend of ‘soft and hard skills’ and also trainings which touch on an organisations culture. Studies found this is particularly necessary for individuals that have a lower level of self-efficacy (Self-efficacy2 being the ability for employees to become productive and confident members of staff).
Without a robust framework, employee retention will dramatically decrease; a number of simple and adaptable frameworks exist. One example is the HR foundation SHRM’s 4 C’s model, which is globally accepted as a base onboarding framework. SHRM presents four levels: Compliance, moving through Clarification, to Culture and Connection (shown below). For digital facing roles all of these are part of Opquast’s training.
Part 1.2 – Enriching onboarding with Opquast
Culture and Connection with Opquast
Opquasts certification is a cross-disciplinary approach focused on creating a collaborative and customer-centric culture which produces higher-quality web and digital products. The full certification program is a 14-hour online training that benefits all employees that touch digital and web aspects. It is not always possible for all employees to carry out a 14-hour course when they arrive so there is a shorter onboarding version available which gives a basic digital literacy and vocabulary in 2.5 hours. Digital roles will likely benefit from the full course but to seed the important cultural norms of the training the onboarding solution can be used as cultural training for most roles.
In a research paper on inspiring organisational cultures5 I briefly touched on how Opquast training was an example of blending key approaches which are commonly found in highly effective cultures. The illustration below shows the main organisational goals which Opquast certification embraces.
Those goals being: Empowering Staff and continuous improvement, Collaboration via cross-disciplinarity, Customer-orientation (this includes employee experience) and finally Purpose via compliance and inclusion. All four of these connected objectives support the Culture and Connection upper levels of the SHRM model.
Empowering staff with cross-disciplinary knowledge is one of the best ways to create a sense of belonging, confidence and meaning to employees. The training demonstrates how the broad array of digital facing roles can work together using a multidisciplinary knowledge and vocabulary to build understanding and to avoid any pending silo mentality with new employees. This breadth of knowledge creates touch points and empathy across the web disciplines and the t-shaped skills focus, see paper 2, empowers each trainee with broad knowledge and vocabulary for improved collaboration for digital project work.
The broad base subjects are all related and also provide a great foundation which frequently inspires participants to go deeper in subjects they find interesting; strengthening the individual but also the teams at the same time.
A Capgemini study6 found 63% of people who are in a digital transformation process say that culture is the number one barrier to success and 56% stated cross-department collaboration as their 3rd largest challenge.
Compliance and Clarification
The Opquast web quality assurance approach addresses the key risks and concerns that affect website and digital application users, focusing on universal design and the key web and I.T. compliance challenges. For all employees with digital activities compliance is an increasingly common responsibility. Not only do employees need to be aware they can also become part of the solution for catching I.T. compliance breaches.
Implementing the Opquast QA rules will make a significant contribution to sustainability and compliance strategies covering accessibility, ecodesign, privacy and security:
- Accessibility – Opquasts’ 126 accessibility rules cover the main accessibility errors which ‘WebAIMs’ yearly analysis identified as affecting 98.1% of the top 1,000,000 home pages. Accenture research showed that companies identified as ‘Disability Inclusion champions’ achieved 28 percent higher
revenue and double the net income.
- Privacy – Since 2018, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) applies to every company that deals with EU citizens. Opquast provides 23 privacy rules rules to prevent the most abundant risks and infringements to users’ personal data.
- Security– In 2020, according to govtech.com, there was a 141% increase in compromised records from data breaches compared to 2019, with the average cost of a data breach sitting at $3.86 million as of 2020. (Source: IBM). Opquast covers 19 security rules to help avoid these risks.
- Eco-design and digital sobriety – Digital energy consumption is now accounting for 1.8-3.7% of all carbon emissions (according to the measurement/study approach). Opquast covers 35 eco-design rules to make the web more energy efficient and to increase the usability and sobriety of the user experience.
While this has a massive financial impact, as outlined above and in the quality assurance ‘Business Case’8,it will also enrich the employee experience by empowering employees with implementable knowledge around compliance of these subjects. As we highlight in parts 2 and 3 of this series accessibility and quality assurance overall, need a concerted and continual team effort across organisations for successful implementation and maintenance. In cultures where customer-centricity and digital transformation is important giving the clarity that all roles that touch digital content have some compliance responsibility means that less compliance errors will arise.
In the increasing trust economy9 organisations need to increase the awareness of compliance issues to ensure that trust is central to the customer experience and the employee experience. With 20% of the global population having some disability; increasing inclusion also extends our customer bases besides meeting major Corportate Social Responsibility objectives.
Part 1.2 – Enriching onboarding with Opquast
Opquast’s Onboarding Solution
Opquasts certification is a cross-disciplinary approach focused on creating a collaborative and customer-centric culture which produces higher-quality web and digital products. The full certification program is a 14-hour online training that benefits all employees that touch digital and web aspects of an organisation. It is not always possible for all employees to carry out a 14 hour course when they arrive so there is a shorter onboarding version available which gives a basic digital literacy and vocabularly.
The Opquast Accelerated Onboarding solution is a 2.5hrs training (including a Learn-as-you-go assessment exam) which plays to strengthening digital corporate cultures which focus on customer quality. It is also being used for basic digital literacy as part of the onboarding experience or the reboarding of existing employees into more digital-facing roles and teams
Customers are given complete autonomy on who they enroll on the course as part of a basic package and then vouchers are purchased for the full training which managers can allocate to those roles they deem beneficial to take the full training. There is also an unlimited license package available for organisations that want to use it as an organisation wide tool for harmonising and strengthening digital culture.
Increasing purpose and meaning
The energy project11 found that meaning has deeper rooted positive effects than happiness and employees who derive meaning from their work are more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations.
All organisations can increase the meaning of employees roles by increasing their focus on purpose-driven missions throughout their digital activities. We identified above the compliance missions that have purpose such as ecodesign, inclusion and accessibility. We also discuss in part 2 and 3 how that these challenges can only be met with the buy-in and contributions of all staff with digital facing roles.
The suitability of the Opquast training for onboarding will of course depend upon the individuals role, the companies objectives and operational scope but most onboarding programs in organisations with a digital or purpose driven culture will no doubt be a good fit.
In Part 2 and Part 3 we will explore how to build upon a solid onboarding foundation to really inspire and support teams towards ‘T-shaped Agility’; An approach to balance skills and the learning and support ecosystems which maximise team effectiveness and collaboration.
1. Gallup’s Perspective on Creating an Exceptional Onboarding Journey for New Employees 2019
2. Saks, A. M. (1995). Longitudinal field investigation of the moderating and mediating effects of self-efficacy on the relationship between training and newcomer adjustment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80, 211-225
3.SHRM Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success https://www.shrm.org/foundation/ourwork/initiatives/resources-from-past-initiatives/Documents/Onboarding%20New%20Employees.pdf
4.The effectiveness of an organizational level orientation training program in the socialization of new hires. Personnel Psychology Klein, H.J., & Weaver, N.A. (2000).
12. “Why Finding Meaning At Work Is More Important Than Feeling Happy” https://www.fastcompany.com/3032126/how-to-find-meaning-during-your-pursuit-of-happiness-at-work