How seamless onboarding and offboarding can enhance performance, security and agility
By Andy Baldin, VP EMEA at Ivanti
The month of September has become a key period for recruitment, job hunting and promotions. Not just because university students have finally completed their studies and are eager to enter the job market; but also because everyone – from managers to junior workers – has returned from their summer holidays, relaxed and refreshed, with more time on their hands to interview, job hunt and apply for new positions having had the time on holiday to reflect on their careers. Even those who aren’t employed, come September, tend to want to get back into work. In 2018, for example, the number of people working in the UK increased from June-August to September-November by 75%.
It’s therefore inevitably a busy time for all HR teams, who will be working to effectively onboard and offboard new employees, as well as guide newly promoted individuals through role transitions. While these procedures are usually seen as strictly related to employee experience, they also have benefits to the organisation. As employees join, move around and leave the company, their responsibilities evolve and, to effectively carry them out, workers require access to different kinds of resources – from devices to software and folders containing useful data. The administration of these changes is known as identity or access management. Here’s why it’s important to businesses and why HR teams need to be clued up about it.
The role of employee experience
Recently, the focus on employee experience has increased exponentially, because businesses appreciate that satisfied employees perform better and are more loyal. The onboarding process plays a key part in ensuring workers are engaged and motivated from day one and it generally involves introducing new hires to the team, showing them around the facilities and making sure they’re comfortable with their responsibilities. However, there is another side to onboarding which is equally significant. HR must work alongside IT to ensure the new starters’ information is correctly uploaded to the database and that they are granted access to the files, devices and software they need to do their job. The reason why these actions are so crucial is twofold. Firstly, if HR and IT don’t liaise effectively to enable employees to utilise the necessary documents or applications, they stand in the way of that employee’s performance, leading to the business wasting precious time. Secondly, it’s important to bear in mind that workers seek a sense of accomplishment, they value success and growth opportunities. If they are unable to do their job because they can’t access the right resources at the right time, their productivity and professional development are seriously hindered – making them feel frustrated and unsatisfied.
This logic isn’t only valid when new employees join the company, but also when they are promoted or change teams. Starting a new role within the same organisation can be nerve-wracking – people obviously want to prove that they are worthy of their new position and strive to do their best work. However, this may be difficult for example, if the HR and IT teams fail to update job titles in the system, preventing individuals from visualising the resources they should now have access to due to their promotion. That’s why it is fundamental for these processes to be as streamlined as possible.
Offboarding and security
It’s true – visibility of company servers and software should be enabled quickly and consistently so as to maximise staff efficiency. Yet, access shouldn’t always be granted, but also monitored, regulated and sometimes prohibited. Think of all the sensitive information – on both customers and employees – a company’s network holds, which would be catastrophic if it fell into the wrong hands. That’s why a fool-proof offboarding process is as crucial as effective onboarding. When employees leave the business, it’s HR’s responsibility to conduct a final interview to safeguard the relationship and potentially gather useful insights on their experience with the company. But that’s not all. HR should coordinate the offboarding process with IT so that the system is immediately updated and all access to company resources is revoked. Imagine a resentful former employee retaining access to confidential information about their colleagues or the company itself – this could likely lead to data theft. The same can be said about employees departing from one team and joining another within the same company – think of a finance executive who decides to pursue a more creative career path in marketing. It’s not just about coaching them about their new responsibilities and performance objectives, it’s also critical that their digital rights are revised so as to not allow them to continue to view, for example, other employees’ payroll details.
A little help
When administrative processes such as these are completed manually, human error can lead to serious problems. That’s why businesses can’t afford to let HR and IT handle them without a little help. Companies in industries with high turnover rates or that encourage internal mobility should turn to automation to simplify onboarding, offboarding and identity management. An ‘identity warehouse’ should be updated by the HR team with every employee’s information on role, team and seniority and must be in sync with the automated solution. This tool can then automatically match workers to access rights, making life infinitely easier for HR professionals – who no longer have to worry about whether each staff member is equipped with the necessary resources.
Identity management has a huge impact on employee satisfaction, productivity and security – things businesses simply cannot afford to compromise on. That’s why it’s time for them to support HR and IT teams with the right technology.