Optimising the onboarding of new employees - 3-phase process

Optimise your company's success with efficient onboarding of new employees. Discover how project time tracking software like ZEP can support this process and increase productivity and employee loyalty.
Optimise the onboarding process for new employees

The smooth onboarding of new employees is a decisive factor for the success of your company. In this blog post, we will not only show you how a successful onboarding process is structured in three phases, but also how you can optimise and support this process with our project time recording software. Effective onboarding not only increases the productivity and motivation of your new employees, but also helps to strengthen their loyalty to your company. This in turn has a positive effect on your image as an employer and can reduce the number of resignations during the probationary period.

What does onboarding mean?

Good onboarding enables the targeted integration of new employees into your company. Measures are taken to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible for new team members. This is crucial in order to create a positive experience for new employees and quickly introduce them to the work processes and your corporate culture.

The goals for successful onboarding are always the same, regardless of the position. This is because, regardless of whether they are an assistant or a project manager, onboarding is primarily about quickly and confidently introducing new employees to their new tasks and familiarising them with your corporate culture and internal processes. However, the integration of the new employee into the existing team is also of great importance at this point. The overarching goal of a successful induction process should be to quickly familiarise the new employee with their tasks and thus achieve prompt productivity. Another advantage: Loyalty to you as an employer is encouraged from the outset. Keyword: Employer branding!

Onboarding process - The 3 phases

In any onboarding process, there are certain key stages that are crucial to ensuring that new employees are successfully integrated into your organisation. These stages should be carefully structured and designed to make the onboarding process as smooth and efficient as possible. Create a clear roadmap for new employees to ensure they are not only technically competent, but also able to integrate into the company culture and processes and quickly become productive. This will ensure a positive start for everyone involved. Let's now look in detail at the three phases of the onboarding process:

Phase 1: Before the first working day

First impressions count! That's why you should make a few preparations before the new employee starts to make the start as smooth as possible. Have all the formalities, such as the employment contract, access rights or the provision of the necessary uniforms, been clarified? Great! Then you should make sure you provide your new employee with all the relevant information before they start. This includes details about the start of work, workplace and a task overview. Don't just involve the new employee, but also communicate the start with all future team members - secretariat, IT department and any mentors who will support the new employee in the first few days and weeks. The workplace should also be fully set up and ready for use. It is also best to coordinate various appointments before the first day of work, including introductions and meetings with key contacts and colleagues - this will encourage social interaction right from the start. If your new employee requires specific training or training on company IT programmes - such as the Project time recording with ZEP - These should also be organised before the new employee starts work. Have you created a completely new position for the new team member that did not previously exist in your company? Then you should make sure to clearly communicate responsibilities within the team in order to avoid misunderstandings and promote smooth collaboration. Last but not least, you can organise a small welcome gift for your new team member. This can help to convey a feeling of appreciation and welcome.

Phase 2a: The first working day

Your new employee's first day at work is coming up - create a positive atmosphere to ensure a smooth start. The small gift that you have already organised beforehand will now be used to help convey a sense of belonging. These small gestures have a big impact and characterise the start of your new team member. To integrate a new employee into the existing workforce, a short round of introductions is recommended. In large teams, it is not necessary for everyone to be present, but at least the direct colleagues in the same department or the previously selected mentor should introduce themselves and their areas of responsibility on the first day. A list with name and position/activity can be very helpful for the new employee so that they know who to speak to directly if they have questions about specific topics. This facilitates contact and encourages the new employee to approach their colleagues with questions or concerns. Having lunch together with colleagues on the first day of work also promotes team spirit and lays the foundation for a trusting working relationship in the future.

Phase 2b: The first week of work

In the first week of work, there are various tasks to ensure that your new employee has a smooth start. Therefore, provide an overview of the onboarding process. This will allow the new team member to prepare for what is to come. You should ensure that clear expectations and goals for the new position and the coming weeks are discussed. This not only promotes a pleasant working atmosphere, but also prevents misunderstandings and false expectations. Integrate the new colleague into projects right from the start and assign them exciting tasks in order to arouse their enthusiasm for your company. In the first week of work, you can also offer your new team member a tour of all departments in your company. Give a detailed introduction to your company's products and services, but also to the products that the new team member will come into contact with on a daily basis - such as the (project) time recording software that you use in your company.

Phase 3: After the first week of work

After the first week at the company, there are still important aspects to consider in order to continue the onboarding process successfully. Take the time to ask about the new employee's impressions and experiences during their first week. This will enable you to recognise any problems or concerns at an early stage and respond accordingly. Avoid information overload by providing important information and training in stages. This will allow your new team member to process and apply what they have learnt without being overwhelmed.

After four to eight weeks, it is time to review the onboarding process again and ensure that your new team member has arrived well at the company. Regular feedback meetings can be very helpful here.

Structured onboarding with software for project time recording

A structured induction process helps new team members to familiarise themselves more quickly with their tasks and the existing team at your company. Project time recording software such as ZEP can be integrated into the onboarding process as a support. Another advantage: as soon as your new employee has gone through their own onboarding with ZEP, they will know the tool so well that it will be easy for them to work with the programme for customer projects in their day-to-day work. Which additional modules are particularly suitable for successful onboarding?

Module: Tickets, tasks & to dos

Structured onboarding is the key to a successful start for new employees. Our ZEP add-on module tickets, tasks & to dos offers a comprehensive solution to organise this process efficiently and ensure that no important steps are overlooked. With this module, you can create an overarching onboarding project that contains all the relevant information and tasks for the onboarding of your new employee. Each step is then stored as a ticket or subtask to ensure a clear structure and organisation. You can use the subtasks to subdivide specific aspects of the induction process. The direct recording of times on tickets and subtasks allows you to precisely analyse the time required for each step of the onboarding process. This is not only interesting for your new employee (how long do I need for which tasks?), but also for you. Why? Well, you can use the analysis data to plan future onboardings for similar positions more efficiently and optimise the use of resources. Another plus point of this module is the function to manually enter additional information for each ticket. This gives you direct feedback from the new team member for each onboarding step, which you can use for future familiarisation. Planning the time required to process each ticket also ensures that realistic time targets are set and that the onboarding process runs as smoothly as possible. The assignment of ticket categories enables the implementation of professional workflows, which not only facilitates the organisation but also the evaluation of the onboarding process. For efficient teamwork, the module offers configurable notifications, i.e. onboarding managers are informed about the processing progress of the new employee, which optimises collaboration and ensures that no step of the onboarding process is overlooked.

Module: Planned hours

However, smooth onboarding not only requires clear steps, but also precise planning of the required resources. The ZEP additional module planned hours offers you the opportunity to plan and control the effort involved in onboarding new employees in detail. The function to store dynamic or fixed target figures gives you the flexibility to meet your individual requirements. The use of fixed target figures enables top-down planning by allocating a predefined number of hours to activities or sub-activities of the onboarding process. On the other hand, dynamic target figures lead to bottom-up planning, in which the sum of the target figures determines the total effort for onboarding. The evaluation options are diverse and offer a comprehensive target/actual comparison of the total time spent. This means that you, as the person responsible for onboarding, and your new employees can always keep an eye on the progress of the familiarisation process. With the Planned hours module, you can not only manage customer projects, but also schedule the onboarding process for new employees. Enter the planned effort in hours for each onboarding station and maintain an overview to manage the induction process as smoothly as possible. The various display options for target figures - i.e. different onboarding stations - ensure that everyone involved always has an overview of the entire induction plan.

Interface to Personio

Are you already managing your personnel matters and employee master data with Personio software? Great! ZEP and Personio are connected by an interfacewhich enables you to manage and synchronise without additional effort. The automatic data transfer between ZEP and Personio makes a decisive contribution to a smooth onboarding process for new employees. Thanks to the integration, all relevant information that you enter in Personio is seamlessly transferred to ZEP. This means that new employees are automatically created in ZEP as soon as they have been entered in Personio. This not only saves time, but also minimises potential errors during manual data entry. This allows you to integrate new employees into your workflows faster, more efficiently and more securely, which can significantly reduce the overall duration of the induction process.

Onboarding 4.0: Structured, efficient & innovative - with ZEP

Well thought-out onboarding is the foundation for the long-term success of your company. The implementation of modern Software for project time recording - like ZEP - not only takes the process itself to a new level, but also brings considerable benefits for you as a company. From thorough preparation before the first working day to careful planning of the first weeks of work, ZEP enables structured integration of new team members. The tickets, tasks & to dos and planned hours modules not only provide clear planning tools, but also allow you to analyse the time required in detail. The interface to Personio makes data management and synchronisation even easier.

But beyond the use of software, successful onboarding is also characterised by a positive corporate culture, clear communication and social team building. Structured onboarding not only contributes to the rapid integration of new employees, but also strengthens employer branding and minimises resignations during the probationary period. Investing in a smooth induction process is not just a necessity, but a strategic measure to increase productivity, motivation and employee loyalty, which is particularly relevant for companies of all types and sizes in times of a shortage of skilled labour. Don't want to miss out on any other topics relating to current trends and methods in (project) time recording? Here you can subscribe to our monthly newsletterso that you are always up-to-date.

Tanja Hartmann CEP

Tanja Hartmann

Content Marketing Manager at provantis IT Solutions

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