Enrollment and administration; active or passive onboarding experience?

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Welcome to the second blog in a series of articles exploring the ingredients of effective onboarding; enrollment and administration, cultural fit, sense of belonging and role effectiveness.

Firstly, we’ll cover enrollment and administration, a key element that involves broadly two components:

  1. Enrollment documentation that needs to be completed in the first few days
  2. Understanding HR and security processes and how to navigate them

Imagine being recruited into a highly successful, world renowned consultancy firm, your role involves engaging with multi-national corporations on exciting and challenging assignments. You have been with the company three months and are returning home from an arduous week of on-site work. Sat at the airport awaiting your homeward flight you need to submit your expenses claim which is due in the next few hours, except you have no idea where to find it or what the claim rates are!

This was the situation recently conveyed to us by a client who was lamenting how such a prestigious and attractive organization adopts such a laissez faire attitude to the simple aspects of onboarding and orientation. Provoking frustration in the valuable people in whom you invested time and money luring to your business is very common, however with some simple remedies these valuable people could feel so much more positive about their new employer.

79% of those who quit their jobs cite lack of appreciation as the main reason (SHRM, 2011), we are not suggesting that the frustration of missing an expenses deadline through an inability to find the relevant form or misunderstanding the process will make such a binary difference but details matter and it can contribute to an impression that the new organization does not care enough.

Our observations:


If organizations treat new hires in a maternal manner the sense of feeling dependent upon others can be very de-motivating.


Firstly, we advocate empowering your new hires by providing a brilliant onboarding checklist of all the enrollment documentation required and who it is required by, thus providing visibility on all requirements and empowering new hires to be proactive and engendering a sense of control over the process.

Secondly, start the process before the new hire joins, but instead of sending multiple emails from multiple sources, why not establish a web portal where new hires can find all relevant documentation to complete. This enables the provision of welcome videos, help files and information about the organization, making for a more welcoming, easier to administer and positive experience for your new colleagues.

Regarding HR processes, consider for a moment that learning is essentially needs driven, so explaining HR processes and documentation requirements in the first few days is unlikely to meet with a reciprocal hunger to understand, except possibly when it relates to remuneration.

Again, provide the new hire with a convenient list of the most commonly used HR procedures and where they can be found and have a local leader accountable for verifying that each new hire has demonstrated their understanding of the documents and their location.

Alternatively, go one step further and encourage new hires to engage in a scavenger hunt to locate documentation and understand processes. Confirm their understanding by inviting them to complete a quiz with some fun recognition. People learn and remember best, by ‘doing’.

Finally ensure there is clear accountability for checking in on the new hire, someone with a coaching mindset who has set check-in points to review progress with the new hire as well as being available when help is required, even if that is a Friday evening when the call enquiring about expenses policy comes in from the airport!

In summary whilst enrolment and engagement with administrative requirements can appear simple, provide an experience which simultaneously:

Through these approaches, you encourage new hires to take personal responsibility for their actions and solve problems for themselves, all within the context of a supportive environment. Surely these are among the greatest assets our onboarding experience can deliver for our organization?

Take a look at this short demo which explores an example of how On.Board can support the ‘enrollment and administration’ process in your organization:

Stay tuned for our next blog to follow in the series, wherein we will be talking about the importance of cultural orientation in the onboarding process.

Want to improve your onboarding experience?

If you would like to discuss your onboarding requirements and how our onboarding Web App can highlight accountabilities, track completion of all onboarding components and provide a cohesive onboarding journey for your new hires, please do get in touch.

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