Onboarding and Offboarding Employees

Situation and Challenge

All companies have employee turnover. An excessively high rate is negative, but an excessively low rate is not positive either. Employee turnover is generally defined as the percentage of employees who are replaced at the company during a certain period of time in relation to the average number of employees.

At a company with 1,500 employees, 20% turnover means that 300 people leave and the same number start during the course of a year. Line organization managers are responsible for new employees getting acclimated to the job quickly so that training costs and productivity losses are as low as possible. In the same way, line managers are responsible for employees who leave the company being taken care of appropriately and for ensuring that the related administration is as efficient as possible.

Productivity losses in conjunction with new employees arise when they do not have access to a workspace, computer, systems, telephone and the appropriate permissions. Furthermore, a complicated process can lead to the manager spending an excessive amount of time resolving issues. From the company’s perspective, it is also uncertain whether new employees and employees who have left the company receive equal treatment and if there is adherence to the company’s policies.

Required skills – problems with implementation

Often the onboarding/offboarding process and permissions management end up somewhere between the HR system and the ticket tracking system – unsupervised and unstructured. The service department enters tickets in its ticket tracking system for everything that needs to be done. Each issue is handled as a ticket, and is pushed forward linearly by employees step by step. The line manager is responsible for ensuring there is progress and for monitoring the process as well as possible. Problems are frequently encountered and effective working hours are often lost due to the lack of a coherent process.

The problem often encountered with a strict ticket-oriented system is that different elements are not managed in parallel, which leads to longer lead times. Furthermore, traditional ticket tracking systems are problem-oriented versus solution-oriented, which means that a ticket typically has one solution and is then complete. An onboarding/offboarding process is more like an administrative flow, in which several elements make up the delivery of the overall order. Delivering a flow is delivering a process of activities.

Another problem is that different types of things are managed in different ways. Access to systems is handled one way, the workspace in another, mobile and other technology in a third way, security and ID badges in a fourth way, etc. Certain aspects are often outsourced to external suppliers, which leads to reduced transparency since overview of the process is lost – and ultimately confusion and frustration.

What is the structurally right way to go?

Start by reviewing the processes involved in onboarding and offboarding employees, and pinpoint currently existing problems. Identify activities, lead times and system support, and measure the lead times in the processes before changes are introduced. Identify improvements using methods such as value chain analysis and calculate the potential gains to be had from implementing changes. When the desired “should state” has been identified, a cost estimate is produced and decisions on priority are made. Modified IT support is typically implemented using a portal, BPM, and integration is most often implemented in an integration platform.

We have done this before

We have had the privilege of working for a telecom operator that wanted to update its support for the process of onboarding and offboarding employees. Our work included everything from reviewing the existing solution, process mapping, information models for onboarding and offboarding employees, to changes and implementation of these in a BPM platform with new processes and graphical user interfaces.

The new solution helped:

  • Free up time for line managers by facilitating administration of new employees and employees who leave.
  • Reduce lead times for new hires to become productive by automating orders and facilitating approval for workspace, computer, telephone and access rights.
  • Reduce lead times after employees leave by automatically monitoring the return of access rights and other assets.
  • Ensure that onboarding and offboarding of employees in the line is conducted in accordance with the company’s policies and in a uniform manner throughout the entire organization.