By Kohi Easwarachandran, Director of Product Management, GuideSpark
A great onboarding experience, even in the best of times, involves a great deal of moving, complex components; you want your program to provide resources and information about your organization, it needs to be engaging and informative in order to drive productivity and overall retention, and it also needs to help you earnestly convey your company culture – all at the same time. With 69% of employees being more likely to stay at a new role if their onboarding experience was great – and if the experience was poor, the cost of turnover being as high as it is – there’s no question that engaging with new employees early and often is a critical task for your bottom line. The connective tissue between all of these goals is the use of strong communication experiences.
Right now, our employees are more dispersed and digital than ever before, which means it’s harder than it’s ever been to make a meaningful first connection with a new hire – and your communications efforts can make all the difference. An investment in internal communication software like GuideSpark Communicate Cloud® (GSCC) will not only orchestrate the messaging and resources you need to send out, it can also help you deliver the strongest onboarding program possible, with targeted messaging, feedback, and the ability to make changes and iterate on the fly. Here’s how to make the most of communication engagement data to drive your organization’s onboarding program.
Reach & Engage New Hires with the Power of Data
Understanding how your audience is engaging with your onboarding experience is a crucial step for optimization and iteration. Communication engagement data, such as what your new hires are clicking and how often, or which emails they are more likely to open, will support your decisions to change and iterate your program as you go, ultimately ensuring an improved onboarding experience. GSCC offers a comprehensive data and analytics dashboard, complete with clear results on users reached, engaged views, and more, so you can easily identify what is or isn’t working.
Keeping an eye on the data and adjusting in real time enables you to tweak and optimize a variety of factors, including:
- Cadence and timing of messages, so that new employees stay informed and in the loop without feeling overwhelmed by the amount of communication – and have the room to absorb information as they settle into their new role.
- Consistency of look and feel, so that your onboarding experience is clearly one cohesive program that is easily recognizable by new employees with every message.
- Engagement and quality of content, with higher email open rates, click-through rates, and more – so you know each and every message is reaching the intended audience.
As you evolve your program, think about how you can leverage communication to directly connect to external actions taken by your audience – think benefits enrollment, submitting forms like an I-9, or scheduling a check-in with their manager. Using communications software enables you to directly make this connection with the use of CTA, or Call To Action buttons. These clickable links enable users to easily visit different external programs or websites, which means you can collect rich analytics around which employee groups are actually taking action, and which may need an engagement boost.
And, GSCC takes data one step further, with qualitative feedback in addition to these quantitative statistics. Using polls and ratings to gauge sentiment about the content you’re sharing is an invaluable resource, as it allows you to drive true improvement when it comes to the subject matter you’re sharing. Through this survey data, you’ll be able to identify which messages or content your new employees are most interested in, or where any gaps in understanding might lie.
Combine Engagement Data and Employee Data to Iterate & Optimize
With the functionality that GSCC provides, you can easily tap into both the engagement data of your onboarding experience as well as your organization’s own internal data; including employee information, organizational structure, locations, and other demographic information. Cross-referencing these sets of information, you’ll be able to answer questions like, “how does engagement with my onboarding program vary across different employee groups?” or, “are certain departments taking more external actions than others?” These questions enable you to make strategic communication decisions, rather than hypothesize about what might work for your company.
Recently, a large Fortune 500 customer had a corporate goal of increasing engagement with women leaders as part of an overall goal of increasing retention of women leadership. As part of this initiative, the company was never asked to share gender data with GuideSpark. We worked with them to create a unique anonymized identifier across the campaign, which the customer can now use to map both engagement data and internal data, ultimately ensuring that they can engage their intended employee segments. This combination of GuideSpark engagement data and internal demographic data not only preserves their data privacy but also allows them to get powerful insights that wouldn’t have been accessible otherwise.
By connecting the engagement data set on GSCC with your internal employee data, you’ll be able to easily see how onboarding engagement varies among the most critical groups in your organization, and give you a much deeper insight into how to specifically optimize your content, your messaging, or your onboarding experience, to drive the program success you’re looking for.