At last, your new hire starts her first day at your company. Unfortunately, she sits around with nothing to do for the first few hours. Why? Managers and IT neglected user provisioning, so your enthusiastic new hire could not do anything. This short-term discomfort is just part of the problem.
The Power of Moments: Why First Days Matter at Work
In their best-selling book, “The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, the authors show that certain critical moments make a major impression. For young people, graduation ceremonies are a classic example of a crucial moment. Graduation signals achievement, social approval, and even a significant step into adulthood. Transitional moments are just as important in the workplace.
When a new hire’s first day or week is poorly organized, there are subtle impacts. The new hire may feel the company is disorganized and doesn’t care about their staff. As a result, the organization loses the energy of a highly motivated new person. Reversing the damage of a bad first hire experience is possible, but it is difficult. Let’s explore further how poor user provisioning hurts the company.
User Provisioning: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
User provisioning is an important step in bringing new hires up to speed. So why do managers and employees struggle with it? Access systems often have complex requirements and terminology. If the new hire has access to multiple systems — and most people will — setting up each new access correctly is a chore. If a manager approves the wrong access, you could end up with an audit finding or worse — actual fraud.
What is the typical response to a weak management response? Providing feedback to those who have failed on what they can do better. That approach may not be enough in this case.
With rare exceptions, hiring is a relatively rare event. Managers may do it a few times each year. As a result, they are likely to forget the steps involved in setting up new hires on all of your systems.
Merely reminding managers to “get organized” with user provisioning administration is not going to cut it. IT needs to equip them with better tools and systems. Just imagine what the new hire could achieve if user provisioning were smooth and easy. It might look something like this:
The Day Before the New Hire Starts: User Provisioning for the Manager
It is 4 pm on Friday and Alice, the manager, realizes she needs to set up access and systems for her new hire starting on Monday. A few weeks ago, the company implemented a new user provisioning process. To equip her new financial analyst hire, the process is simple. Alice chooses a pre-configured profile for “financial analyst I” and grants those provisions to her new hire. A few minutes later, the confirmation email arrives.
How HR and IT Support User Provisioning
To make the above scenario work requires coordination and planning from your support functions. Let’s unpack how human resources and IT come together to support the new hire experience.
The HR Role In User Provisioning
Human resources departments typically own or influence the hiring process. That means they understand the timelines, forms, and procedures involved in hiring. Importantly, they can play a role in coordinating all other stakeholders in making day one for a new hire successful. If you are installing or upgrading your user provisioning system, HR can make several contributions:
- Identify job roles with high information needs. Some employees, like software developers, need special access rights to carry out their work. Others, like customer service, need the capacity to change customer accounts. Segmenting out these needs is an important step.
- Advise on selection of tools. User provisioning solutions impact the employee experience, so seek out HR input on the selection process.
- Harmonize HR policies and procedures with other divisions. If HR requires paper sign off in the hiring process, it will slow down other parts of new employee onboarding. That is why aligning policies and procedures around common goals — like employee productivity — matter.
The IT Role in User Provisioning
As the owner of enterprise systems, IT plays a central role in user provisioning. In collaboration with HR, managers, and other groups, your approach to user provisioning will:
- Identify Relevant Systems and Applications. Without this list, your user provisioning process will have gaps. This activity cannot be skipped.
- Use an Automated User Provisioning Solution. Unless you want to bury the help desk in tickets, you need a user provisioning system.
- Develop a Process to Add New Applications. Even if you have an excellent implementation today, your IT environment will change over time. To keep your process working well for new hires, stay on top of new applications.
- Ask End Users About Their Experiences. Yes, a customer service mindset makes a difference in IT. Make time to visit other departments, use surveys, and invite comments on how you run user provisioning. Many people will not mention problems unless you encourage them to do so.
Don’t Stop Here: 3 Other Ways to Improve New Hire Productivity
Making user provisioning seamless for managers and new hires is part of the new hire experience. To take your new hire experience to the next level, use these ideas:
- Kick Start the New Hire’s Network. It is tough to get work done unless you know the right people. To help your new hire make progress, introduce them to 5 new people a week for a month. That will help them become more productive.
- Offer Training. Each company has their way of working. For example, if you have a defined process for software testing or accounting reports, walk your new hire through those resources.
- Provide Easy Wins. In the first few weeks, give the new hire a way to win. Choose a small project that leverages the new hire’s skills and offers a chance to earn praise. It makes a difference.
If you are in IT, improving user provisioning is one of the best ways you make life better for new hires. Find out more about our automated user provisioning solution.