Improving the New Employee Onboarding Experience with SharePoint Online
Improving the new hire experience has long been a topic of conversation…and it IS an “experience” now isn’t it? Culture is so important, with the hiring market being so competitive for talented hires, the first few days with an organization can make or break a new employee’s opinion. The newest generation coming out of school has also grown up not just with computers, but with phones and iPads and all the electronics they could want. They have some pretty serious expectations when they set foot into your business – will you meet their needs for rapid communications? Will they feel connected with their new team through their collaboration tools? As they sit down their first day to do training and fill out their required forms, your SharePoint Intranet might be one of the first systems your new employee will engage with as they begin settling into their new role. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression – what kind of impression are new hires given at YOUR organization?
Don’t fear….Microsoft has your back with their latest New Employee Onboarding Hub for SharePoint Online.
What is the New Employee Onboarding (NEO) Hub?
Put simply, the NEO Hub is a set of pre-configured SharePoint sites (with branding!) that Microsoft provides that you can deploy into your Microsoft 365 tenant. Getting more specific for those of you IT Admins that have been supporting SharePoint for a while, this is a set of 3 Modern SharePoint site collection templates and 1 hub. Here are Microsoft’s descriptions for those templates.
1. Pre-Onboarding site : A site for new hires, who have yet to officially join the company, to learn more about the company they have joined and to get ready for their official start date. External guest access can be used for providing pre-start hires, with no corporate credentials, access to the Pre-onboarding site only.
2. Corporate onboarding site: A place for new hires to visit to get the information they need and make the connections they want to successfully onboard to the organization.
3. Departmental onboarding sites: A place for new hires to visit to learn more about the department they are joining, its people, culture, and priorities.
Each template is like a “starter kit” so even though you can do updates to each of these to make them your own, the templates present you with examples and ideas, in a modern and easy to use layout so you don’t have to start from scratch. Onboarding is something every organization does, why not take some of the best tried and true ideas and quickly deploy them into your own site?
First, you’ll want to review the New Employee Onboarding site details and layouts. Make sure to click through and expand each section, like Site Features, so you know what you are deploying into your environment.
Next, if you scroll down (or shrink all of the titles back up) you’ll notice the “Add to Tenant” button.
You may also notice it says you need to be a tenant administrator to deploy this. Clear as mud, right? What they mean is that you need to be a Global Admin, only having SharePoint Admin role will not be enough to deploy these sites.
Before you get excited and click that Add button, scroll just a little bit further down…I advise that you read through the resources to be absolutely sure you are comfortable with what you are doing! There’s a great video that will walk you all the way through the process!
Since we have that video, I’m not going to walk you through the provisioning steps here.
Please take special note, once you start the provisioning process, it says if you go to the site before it has completed, you might cause issues with provisioning. Don’t do it! You will receive an email notification when provisioning has completed. (I ran everything in the evening and received my email within 10 minutes.)
I was grateful for the email I received that linked me to the root hub since I didn’t think to write down those lengthy URLs during the provisioning process. Go ahead and click that link out to your Corporate Onboarding hub site and check things out!