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Streamline and Improve Employee Onboarding Using Your Mobile App

Create Personalized Mobile-First Experiences for Your Campus - Modolabs

Successful employee onboarding paves the way for productive employees who feel part of their new organization and stay for the long haul. Unfortunately, too few onboarding programs are resulting in that outcome. The forced work-from-home shift hasn’t helped matters. According to Jamie Kohn, a director in Gartner’s HR practice, “traditional onboarding methods have not been delivering for new hires. Pre-pandemic, only 44% of recruiting staff said their organization’s onboarding process integrates new hires with the company culture. Further, only 33% of employees are satisfied with their organization’s culture and education training.”

The reason for disappointing onboarding experiences

So, what is the reason for these dismal stats? In many cases, it’s the fact that time-strapped hiring managers handle onboarding on an ad hoc basis. While anxious to get new employees productive, managers often rush through the onboarding process – after all, they have many other responsibilities, deliverables, and deadlines, and are eager to get the new hire focused on their responsibilities. After an initial introduction to the organization, role, and next steps, managers often leave new hires to fend for themselves. 

Ideally, new hires are immediately embraced by the organization and moved into an ongoing engagement plan with continued support from leadership until they’re fully immersed in the company culture. However, far too often, it’s more like they are thrown into the deep end and expected to succeed immediately.

Employees are then left to navigate the process on their own, while interacting with unfamiliar people scattered across departments. This is further exacerbated when their manager is also new to the company and doesn’t know the onboarding process and how to track down key resources. 

Unless the company has established a coordinated, end-to-end onboarding approach, new employees often feel confused and frustrated by the time it takes to get up and running. The experience doesn’t reflect well on the organization. It certainly doesn’t pave the way for employees to feel excited and confident about their choice in an employer. 

Enable onboarding via your employee mobile app

I’ve seen many Modo customers dramatically improve the onboarding process by calling upon their mobile apps to ease access information, allow users to discover (and rediscover) information at their own pace, and answer the ever-present question: “What do I do next?”. In fact, we have seen hundreds of our higher education customers set the standard by regularly onboarding hundreds or thousands of new students in a single weekend via their mobile campus apps. Their apps help new students take care of pressing items on their to-do lists and quickly acclimate to their new environment. They also connect them to the resources they’ll need throughout their time as students. 

Schools have even used their campus mobile apps to successfully adapt their onboarding experience for a remote world. When used as a hub for virtual new student orientation (NSO), in-app notifications serve up reminders and schedule changes, and students are empowered to share thoughts or ideas with each other as a way of introduction. In fact, many schools use NSO as a way to introduce students to their campus app and discover everything else available to them, which they may not have seen otherwise.

Knowing that so many of your younger new hires have likely experienced a mobile app-enabled orientation at their schools, it’s in your best interest to satisfy their expectations for a similar experience with your company. In fact, onboarding via your mobile workplace app will be a natural transition for them. Even employees who never experienced this at a higher education institution will appreciate the ability to smoothly onboard with your company, regardless if they’re in the office or joining remotely. 

Get started with the first 30 days

Knowing the first 30 days of a new employee’s time with your company are the most critical, I’ve developed a plan that any organization can map to their mobile app to onboard new hires. A good way to think about what an employee needs to accomplish first can be split into those that need to be completed on the first day, within the first week, and within the first month. Note that, like Modo’s various starter kits, this is designed as a guide; you can use it as is, borrow from it, or use it as inspiration for your own onboarding experience.

By using this as your guide, you make it easy for new employees to know each step of the onboarding process, be most productive as quickly as possible, and find answers to questions as they arise. Many of these questions will arise from new employees not conveniently during the meeting with their manager but at 10pm on a random Thursday. Empowering employees to discover answers in the manner and timing that fits their needs greatly eliminates the reliance on the hiring manager to serve as the sole resource throughout the process. It also puts necessary information and resources at their fingertips – especially important when employees are working remotely. As a result, your organization can more easily scale by eliminating the need to hand-hold throughout and repeatedly answer the same questions. Plus, it’s much easier to provide essential resources on an ongoing basis through a mobile app, empowering employees throughout their time with your company.  The inevitable question a new employee has 2 weeks or 2 months after onboarding can be answered day or night with a tool such as this.

In fact, delivering your onboarding via your mobile app not only simplifies and improves the experience for your new hires, it empowers hiring managers to easily track their onboarding progress.  

30-Day Action Plan On One Screen


First day

  • Add your company app to your phone, and the portal as your desktop browser’s home screen
  • Complete your I-9 form
  • Get your physical and/or digital ID card and mobile access credentials
  • Get parking permit
  • Explore communication channels and employee communities available in the app
  • Learn about building safety and procedures
  • Learn about the dress code

First week

  • Complete required paperwork
  • Tax withholding
  • Payroll/direct deposit (link to pay calendars)
  • Emergency contact information
  • Get connected
    • Get email set up
    • Connect to Slack, Teams, or your company’s social network(s) and introduce yourself
    • Add your mobile access credential to your app
    • Ensure you’re set up to receive notifications for your employee app
    • Phone/voicemail
    • Directory
    • IT help information
  • Learn about corporate policies
    • Vacation policy and time off
    • Vacation calendar

First month

  • Attend a new employee meet & greet event
  • Learn about/complete:
  • Benefit enrollment (Medical, dental, vision, supplemental life, long term, FSA/HSA)
  • Investment account elections
  • Tuition assistance
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Review company policies

Any Modo customer can easily incorporate all this into their employee app, making new hires feel comfortable about the new environment and how to navigate it, and helping them get accustomed to your company culture. You can take it a step further and provide easy access to additional resources such as essential contacts, company perks, and opportunities to get involved throughout the company. You can even map the new hire’s persona to relevant app channels and help them discover employees with similar interests. 

Improve the employee onboarding flow

An employee’s onboarding process is one of the earliest opportunities for the company to distinguish itself from other employers and set the stage for a vibrant, healthy, and mutually beneficial relationship with a new employee. It’s easy to empower your new employees to move steadily forward with app-enabled onboarding and be productive right away while feeling like part of the team, especially if they’re not on-site. 

Enabling the process via the employee mobile app paves the way for new employees to feel excited about their new job, part of your company culture from the start, and excited by how your company uses technology.

If you’d like to see a Modo-enabled employee app in action, get in touch.

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