Can Perfectionism Hinder Onboarding?

The Evil HR Lady (Suzanne Lucas) has a great blog filled with advice for employees and employers alike. She has a knack for cutting directly to the heart of the matter and addressing the root causes of organizational conflict and inefficiency. Check out this recent post on why HR needs to stop aiming for perfection as an example. As Lucas notes, HR is sometimes paralyzed by the desire to have everything go exactly right. This makes it impossible to actually move forward since mistakes are viewed as catastrophes rather than an inevitable part of the learning process.

Of course, HR is keenly aware that an error can mean more than just inconvenience. A significant misstep can lead to a lawsuit or other serious consequences. However, failing to make needed changes can have the same negative results – so there is nothing to be gained from maintaining the status quo.

The Longest Journey Begins With a Single Step

Strategies developed to improve HR processes often need to be based around making incremental adjustments. Yes, it needs to include “big picture” thinking. But waiting until every detail of every phase of a project is worked out means that it will likely remain in the planning stages forever. This is especially true when you won’t really know the best course of action for future phases until you’ve successfully completed the first steps. It’s important to overcome inertia and start moving in the right direction. And, as the Evil HR Lady points out, don’t forget to plan for failure. It happens, but it’s not the end of the world if you are already prepared to pick up the pieces.

When is Onboarding Automation Good Enough?

True onboarding automation is not good enough until errors and omissions have been eliminated. This is why we focus on these basics first when we set up a new client with Universal Onboarding. HR needs to have tax/I9 forms and policy acknowledgements fully automated with software that enforces rules rather than simply collecting information. Data should also be forwarded into the organization’s payroll application for maximum efficiency.

Of course, there are a lot of other things clients can do with our onboarding program including interfacing with multiple internal and external applications. These are often what we like to call “Phase 2” items. They are important and can really boost the effectiveness of HR, but the biggest portion of the ROI is seen in the first, more basic phase of implementation. Some clients have an understandable desire to orchestrate a grand roll out of all possible aspects of onboarding integration in one fell swoop. However, they may miss out on the immediate benefits they could enjoy with a phased approach. So, we encourage our clients to put first things first and get a really good onboarding system in place before putting on the finishing touches to make it perfect.

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