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Human resources

A best practice onboarding process for Service Management

By Martijn Poll on January, 4 2018

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Martijn Poll

You have some new starters coming in and you want to improve your on-boarding process. But you don’t know where to start. Well, the first step is quite easy: go have a coffee with colleagues from other Service Departments.

The fact is that all various Service departments - HR, IT, FM and more - need to step into action to make sure new employees have everything to get started on their first workday.

The HR team needs to create a personnel file and make an inventory of everything that’s issued. IT needs to create logins and an Active Directory account, and Facilities needs to ensure there’s a workplace and an access pass available. Great. Just make sure it's not the case that every department runs through their own checklist, without there being a complete overview.

The reason behind an unorganized onboarding process

But this is what often happens - and why onboarding is never optimal. Because managers from the different supporting departments have little contact with each other.

As a Service Management consultant, I often visit organizations to discuss how we can improve the collaboration between these supporting departments, and it's surprisingly common that the IT, Facilities and HR managers shake hands for the first time during this meeting.

The first time I saw that, I had to blink twice. How is it even possible you guys don’t know each other? But as I’ve noticed these past few years, it happens regularly. And of course it’s not reluctance or a lack of interest in the other team. It’s because running your own department takes enough time already. That’s understandable, but the result is that processes that transcend departments are not set up correctly yet.

A process of dependencies

This lack of overview doesn’t have to be a problem. But in reality it often is, because different departments actually strongly depend on each other. For example - a smartphone is delivered too late:

The Facilities department was responsible for issuing the smartphone, but needed to wait for IT to configure it. The IT department in turn was dependent on the personnel details from HR. HR sent an email to IT with these details, but the email got lost. All parties were waiting on each other and the smartphone was issued too late.

Keep other departments in the loop

Even when everything is delivered on time, the process is still far from perfect. For example, an often-heard complaint voiced by IT and Facilities managers to their HR colleagues is that they don’t know in time that a new colleague is coming onboard.

They often hear on Thursday that everything needs to be ready by next Monday. The HR advisor knows it’s short notice, but the manager wants the employee to get started quickly. And he wants his entire workspace to be ready on Friday. The IT or Facilities manager isn’t happy about this, but he’ll do it, at the expense of other planned work. And his mood.

Supporting departments find each other more often

But there's a cure. Moving towards shared service management (SSM) means supporting departments collaborate more on delivering better services to their customers. 

So if you want to imrpove your onboarding, start with getting a cup of coffee with your IT and Facilities colleagues. Ask them how they experience onboarding on their side, what can be improved and if they want to do this together. When they’re enthusiastic, but have little time to invest -  take the lead. 

Make your onboarding a better experience

We have more about building a great onboarding journey, and optimising all other interactions with your Service Desk in our blog series on the Customer Journey. Check it out.

Read the 10 steps to map your customer journey

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