Onboarding is arguably the most important thing a human resources department manages. It marks the first touchpoint an employee has with their new company, and consequently shapes their work habits, relationships and long-term experience. It’s similar to the way that the first interaction a consumer has with a company informs their opinion of a brand.

Research by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and see over 70% higher productivity. The key to successful and seamless onboarding is to immediately provide new employees with the tools and flexibility they need to work efficiently and securely, and to minimize bad habits.

Here are three best practices to supercharge your onboarding strategy and enable employees to work smarter.

Leverage Digital Workspaces

Gallup found that 88% of employees feel that their organizations should improve the onboarding process. In some cases these issues can be blamed on a lack of resources, but technology is a great equalizer and can help companies of all sizes establish digital-first processes for new employees from their first day.

Leading enterprises will bring order to the chaos of onboarding by leveraging digital workspaces that give employees single-sign-on access to all the apps (SaaS, web, mobile, virtual) and content they need to be productive in a unified experience. Such a capability is especially important during the first few days of an employee’s tenure as they familiarize themselves with new systems and processes. HR and IT teams have a responsibility at this juncture to collaborate and enable new teammates to work efficiently and create good habits.

This is exactly what we enable at Citrix. Digital workspace solutions leverage machine learning to automate tasks and enable individuals to be more productive.

Embrace ‘Time as a Benefit’

Your employees’ time is valuable, and it shouldn’t be spent trying to navigate multiple screens and enterprise apps to execute a tactical activity like approving an expense report or completing a performance review. And yet today’s employees spend nearly 20% of their time searching for the information they need to get work done. In fact, research suggests that we waste 32 days per year toggling between different workplace applications!

As such, enterprises that prioritize a digital shift to increase productivity and efficiency should apply smart solutions right away, setting the tone for efficiency from the employee’s first day and empowering them to meet that expectation. At Citrix, we leverage emerging micro-apps that extract personalized actions and information from enterprise systems and surface them in a simplified format within the onboarding process. This method empowers our customers to improve the employee experience. This is key for new employees, who can capture insights and execute tasks without ever needing to log in or interrupt the training process.

Secure Systems to Safeguard Flexible Working Habits

In the age of “work from wherever,” employees sign on from a variety of devices — and new employees are often onboarded by remote team members or managers in other offices. While many people were drawn to big cities in the past, more than half of professionals living in U.S. cities are ready to leave. According to a new study commissioned by Citrix, 70% of knowledge workers living in urban locales say they would move to outlying areas if they could perform their jobs at the same level. As the battle for talent heats up around the globe, companies need to follow them and enable remote work.

Companies need to rethink what the workplace means and create a more flexible way to work that enables them to get the right people in the right places to unlock innovation, engage customers and move their business forward. While this workplace flexibility has become a necessity for many enterprises, the regular sharing of company data from different locations, networks and devices also poses a threat to company networks and security.

At Citrix, we take a people-first approach to contextual security, and we safeguard our enterprise customers by employing AI and machine learning to apply appropriate security, depending on typical behaviors and access patterns of their employees. For successful next-generation onboarding, HR teams should ensure that new employees can seamlessly communicate and share company information without any worry about security issues. Enabling employees to work securely without abandoning their personal styles starts with understanding their unique work habits from day one — which allows the organization to establish a baseline for future reference.

Making it Count

Ultimately, integrating these three best practices into the onboarding process will communicate to new team members that productivity doesn’t have to mean a lot of extra work on their part. Enterprises that embrace this approach from the moment an employee joins the company will see more engaged individuals and create a workforce that is happier and better equipped to work efficiently.

For example, Citrix Workspace fully aggregates all apps and data across all applications — both on-premises and cloud — to deliver the right experience to the right user at the right time. Organizations can push key information and tasks to new employees — from registering for a new smartphone or benefits to becoming familiar with the company’s mission and internal experts — improving their onboarding experience, enhancing their institutional knowledge and internal network connections, and accelerating their time to productivity.

This mutual exchange of value right from the start will set the motivated tone your organization needs to succeed in a competitive market.

This post is sponsored by Citrix.

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