How to get new hires up-to-speed quickly and painlessly by mastering staff onboarding with standardization

When you think about refining and standardizing your processes, it’s understandable if you immediately imagine your client-facing processes. But they aren’t the only ones you should be considering.

Too many firms make the mistake of neglecting their internal business functions. And the one you should focus on first is your staff onboarding process.

By standardizing and documenting your staff onboarding process, you’re finding the most efficient, streamlined, clear and simple way to turn your new hires into value-adding team members.

Why standardize your staff onboarding process?

The benefits of turning your staff onboarding process into a well-executed and standardized procedure is three-fold:

1. Start on the right foot with a sleek process

Just like your client onboarding process, your staff onboarding process sets the tone for your entire relationship with new staff members.

Setting positive early experiences with them means they’ll more likely want to remain an employee long-term, and as a result of that, you’re less likely to need the resources (advertising, interviewing, etc.) to rehire for that position any time soon.

2. Provide value to clients quicker with a streamlined process

When your processes are standardized, you create a best practice roadmap with efficiency at the core. For your new hires, this means preparing them to provide value to clients quicker.

3. Get back to running your business without needing to ‘hand-hold’

When you have a well-refined and standardized staff onboarding process, you simply don’t need to hold your new hires’ hand the whole way. You can get them set up, and let the process take the lead.

This means you can refocus your energy back on running your accounting firm and growing your business.

How to make the most out of your standardized staff onboarding process

If you’re serious about nailing your staff onboarding process and turning it into a seamless procedure, consider the following tips.

Take the time to find the best way forward

You can create a standardized staff onboarding process that will work well. But why do that when you can create a process that works perfectly?

Take the time to assess your current staff onboarding processes. Find their gaps and weaknesses, and either fix them or remove them from the equation completely.

Recommended reading: The steps to standardize your processes (plus increase efficiency and grow your accounting firm)  

On top of that, use automation where possible. By doing so, you’re fast-tracking the manual tasks that, more often than not, are the most time consuming.

These efforts should make your new staff onboarding process less complex, more efficient, and ultimately, the smoothest path to growth.

Keep the process simple and consistent

Ideally, as you’ve worked out the best possible way of onboarding your new staff members, you’ve documented the process

This means that you and/ or each of your management team who are responsible for onboarding staff are performing this process consistently. This ensures that:

  1. They’re offering each new team member the same, efficient experience

  2. They’re not wasting time trying to remember next steps in a slower and convoluted process

Document and communicate your staff onboarding process

To make this process truly successful, it’s important that it’s documented. There’s no use in creating standardized processes if no one can actually remember how to perform them.

And it’s even worse if you’ve taken the time to document the process, but either haven’t made the documentation easily accessible to the relevant staff members, or haven’t clearly communicated the new process and where to find its documentation.

Don’t start from scratch

There’s no hiding the fact that standardizing and documenting your processes—even just one—is time-consuming. And this is the number one barrier to having proper processes documented and standardized in accounting firms.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Karbon Template Library has hundreds of pre-existing templates compiled for you to use and customize to suit your firm.

You can use this Staff Onboarding Guide template to standardize and customize your own staff onboarding program.

If you’re a Karbon customer, you can add these templates to your Karbon account with a single click. Or if you’re not ready to use Karbon yet, or even want to use a different system, you can still download your chosen staff onboarding template/s as an .XLS spreadsheet.

Give your staff onboarding process the attention it deserves

When you own your own accounting firm, it can be easy to get caught up in perfecting every single client-facing aspect of your business.

While this is important, it shouldn’t overshadow your internal processes.

If you can only standardize one process for the rest of this year, make it your staff onboarding procedure. Because, ultimately, you and your new hires won’t be the only ones who benefit—your clients will too.