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Scale team onboarding with Confluence

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Bad employee onboarding can sour an employee’s entire experience with a company. And the bad news? Ineffective employee onboarding happens more often than you’d think. According to SHRM, one out of every six new hires (17%) quit within the first month. But all those countless HR hours and paychecks could have been saved with an onboarding process designed to help employees feel up-to-speed.

The solution: structure your onboarding process in Confluence. With Confluence, you can build information hubs to help your teams scale. With effective collaboration features and easy knowledge sharing, onboarding new team members is as simple as logging in. Let’s explore how to use Confluence to avoid hiccups in the onboarding process.

Essential habits for a rock-solid employee onboarding process

A Paychex survey found that over 50% of new hires feel undertrained after onboarding. That number skyrockets to 63% for remote workers. On the other hand, 51% of employees say if they had a good onboarding experience, they’d be willing to go “above and beyond” in their new role.

That “good onboarding experience,” can completely change how employees feel about their jobs. But what does that mean, exactly—and how does Confluence factor in?

Set clear (and specific) onboarding expectations with Confluence features

In that SHRM survey, 23% reported that clear guidelines—including their specific duties and responsibilities—could have prevented a swift exit. While a universal onboarding document is helpful for learning the basics, a role-specific resource is much more beneficial for getting down to the nitty gritty of each job function. Each employee has to know their unique responsibilities in the organization.

You can achieve this by setting up different page elements in Confluence to suit different employee roles. For example:

  • Create “action items” that employees can check off as they finish them, giving them a to-do list. You might help an employee set up their benefits by certain dates, for example.
  • Within Confluence, create individual tables. These tables can include expectations for employee onboarding achievements within 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or some combination of each.
  • Within your chief onboarding documents, create links to specific project documents so employees are immediately in the loop for projects they’re supposed to join.

Simultaneously, you can create individual team pages to help specify unique roles within the context of your company. Want HR to drop in some specific duties, responsibilities, and expectations for each team member? Use page restrictions to limit editing to that individual. This way, every new employee has the context they need from the teams and people who know their role best.

Scale your onboarding process with templates

If you read the section above, your eyes might already be rolling into the back of your head:

A new page for every employee? That work’s going to add up. My department includes many roles, friend. For example, a marketing department can include as many as 20 different roles, and creating onboarding materials for each one would be time-consuming. But with the use of Confluence templates that work is reduced. Use Confluence templates to build consistent onboarding plans and training resources for your new team members. Populate these templates with all the essential information they’ll need, such as:

  • Project details
  • Marketing/branding guidelines
  • Contact information so they can reach out to key employees for assistance
  • Employee handbooks automatically built-in

With Confluence, you can build a new page from a prebuilt HR template. Setting up a new, employee-specific page for a new hire? Confluence can automatically populate employee handbook information and a company introduction without added work.

Use in-line comments to keep new employees up to speed

At some point, you’ll encounter a bump in the road. No matter how much information an employee takes in, no matter how much they try to reference your existing documentation, there’s going to be some adjustment before they’re fully onboarded into your team’s projects.

But it’s no sweat. Confluence offers in-line collaboration features, like “@” tagging for user-specific comments and page commenting, that helps keep everyone aligned as you address these issues. New employees can comment on pages to ask questions. Or you can loop in an HR representative to help get an employee up to speed. 

For example, if a new employee is joining a Team Space for the first time, they can use in-line comments to address specific questions to the employees who might have the answers. This helps avoid clutter and comments that everyone can see, which keeps the Team Space humming along even as a new employee is getting acclimated.

Separate your employee onboarding data from the rest of your projects

Confluence allows topic tagging features to help delineate different types of content. This also makes employee documents and communication much easier to search through. For example, suppose a new team member needs to reference their onboarding documentation. In that case, they can search through an onboarding tag first—separating this information from any information pertaining to existing projects.

In fact, you can use tags for all sorts of reasons. For example, you can designate benefits, holiday information, and employee requirements under a “company policies” tag, which makes it easier for new employees to navigate.

You can also use labels to make project goals more clear for new team members. Tag your team and project goals—as well as the relevant pages that support them—and make sure to distinguish overarching project briefs from supporting documentation. You’ll give new employees a clearer roadmap for hitting the ground running.

Get your employee feeling like a part of the team

Not-so-fun fact: disengaged employees outnumber engaged employees nearly two-to-one. And engagement is often the result of teamwork. The more quickly employees feel like valued team members, making consistent contributions, the more likely they’ll feel engaged at work. 

As the Harvard Business Review notes: “Research has shown that employees with close connections at work are more productive, creative, and collaborative.”

How do you use software like Confluence to foster that teamwork? Simple: use your communications features to their fullest extent. You can use Confluence and Trello together for onboarding, for example. Team members can blog together or use emoji reactions to express their personality—this helps foster a spirit of collaboration rather than the feeling of ticking items off a checkbox. (Ideally, with Confluence and Trello, you’ll do both simultaneously.)

Team space

A Confluence knowledge base can be built into one or more spaces—you’ll create pages within a team or project space. Over time, you can turn this into a team or organizational knowledge base that serves many employees. It’s up to you to match the type of spaces for its uses. A Knowledge Base for onboarding can be like a new employee handbook, filling in new employees on every detail of what they need to know and what tasks they need to complete as they onboard. A Team Space can be the shared space this employee joins as they get caught up with the goals and projects of their team.

Using Confluence to scale your onboarding operations

When McKinsey looked at start-up organizations that were beginning to scale and mature, they found an alarming statistic. Even among startups that had developed a product successfully, about 80% failed to see the product through its full scale-up stage.

The reason? People. Investors reported that about 65% of their company failures were due to people and organizational failures.

That’s why employee onboarding is such a critical element in scaling what you do. But how can you keep adding employees without having them get lost in the shuffle? 

  • Develop an FAQ page that contains answers to the common questions from new employees. Keep track of these questions as you scale your operations so new employees can turn to this knowledge base within Confluence.
  • Invite new employees to begin contributing through comments, @ tags, and file uploads into Confluence projects. Ultimately, Confluence’s collaborative features should help them more as they use it.
  • Build from HR templates to ensure each employee has a unique set of details explaining their specific job expectations…while simultaneously giving them access to critical employee information like handbooks, knowledge bases, and company guidelines.

With Confluence, everyone gets on the same page—even if someone’s just joining up for the first time and needs a solid onboarding experience to feel great about their new position.

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