From implementing a preboarding process to employee retention, your end-to-end employee development resource from the leaders in simulation training.

Welcome back to Troubleshooting Thursdays! If you’ve tuned in lately, you’ll know that over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about employee preboarding and the preboarding process—what it is, and why it’s absolutely essential for the manufacturing industry during a labor shortage, what the benefits of preboarding are, how it can help you retain your staff and manufacturing recruitment. Today we’re going to look more closely at how to incorporate a preboarding process into your organization’s recruiting. Just before we get going, though, we have a few statistics that might surprise you!

The new hire dropout problem

Consider the following:

If you’re a manufacturing executive or HR manager, you can see the problem. You’re probably wondering right about now how much this is costing you, and what you can do about it. We’ve been making the case that thoughtful employee preboarding process is one powerful weapon in your arsenal.

Most managers (62%) say their company has some sort of plan to engage new hires during the preboarding phase. They may offer new hire checklists, job shadowing, online learning modules, mentoring, educational videos, or use automated marketing tools. One important trend is preboarding apps.

Engaging new hires with preboarding apps

Braun Melsungen AG, an international manufacturer of medical and pharmaceutical products based in Germany, has been using a preboarding app called “Join B. Braun” since January 2018. The company says, “We often lost applicants within the first six months, between signing the contract and the first day. We want to take action against this now and show our new employees that they have made the right decision.” 

The Join B. Braun app is available on the App Store, and is used for both public and internal sharing. In the public portion, the app displays information for potential job applicants such as a brand video, career advertisements, and company information, and is intended to make the company brand shine for prospective employees. Once an employee is hired, they are given a login and can access the internal portion of the app, which boasts an interactive mentoring chat feature, and other relevant information such nearby leisure activities and addresses of elementary schools. A FAQs section includes important information to help take the stress out of the Day 1, such as “What do I wear and where do I go on my first day?” Every two weeks, the company sends out push messages on company culture or major news.

According to Staffbase, a tech company that specializes in creating employee relationship platforms that help bring together staff in large or decentralized organizations, preboarding apps are great ads for your company because they demonstrate the importance you place on creating a superior experience for your employees. They also help with retention because younger workers love the tech, and Millennials and Gen Z “place great value on being able to communicate anywhere and anytime.”

Appical, a Dutch tech start-up that helps employers welcome support, train, and retain employees, offers its clients (including PepsiCo and Heineken) preboarding and onboarding apps. These apps feature innovative content such as 360-degree office tours, company-jargon dictionaries, and interactive game content. Appical’s data shows that their clients’ new hires spend an average of 9.25 hours on preboarding activities. They calculate this has reduced time-to-productivity from three months to one month. Of course, they also get a lot of the paperwork out of the way by offloading it onto the new hires before work begins. One large client found that using the app reduced their HR workload by over 55%.

Gamified preboarding training

In addition to preboarding apps, a gamified simulation training program can signal to new hires that your organization is technologically advanced, something Millennials and Gen Z love but don’t associate with the manufacturing industry.

Online simulation-based skills training can be done from home, before work actually begins, and helps to engage younger workers, especially if it incorporates elements of gamification. It also demonstrates that your enterprise is interested in their professional development and cares about their success.

And that’s it for today, Troubleshooters! We hope you are now full of bright ideas for reaching out to and engaging your new staff. Tune in again next week when we debunk manufacturing’s new perception problem—that advanced automation is a career killer.

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