Another great solution was added to the SharePoint Lookbook in late July, the New Employee Onboarding (NEO) Hub. It’s exciting because it represents the future of the digital experience for organizations and a tipping point for SharePoint online from “Modern” to “Classic.” In this context, I mean “Classic” to be a positive statement of the features we expect from a solution. I now expect to be able to make external website experiences for communications, and I expect to be able to weave them together seamlessly.
The New Employee Onboarding Hub achieves this by using the latest site templating, hub structure, news and navigational technologies available in Microsoft 365. This is a solution that we at Withum have helped many organizations create on their own, and while having a Microsoft designed solution may seem to compete with ourselves and other partners, it’s very freeing. We typically demonstrate samples or screenshots of other people’s environments; this is now a live solution that organizations can play with and come to better understand how technology can support their business needs.
While onboarding is not the first impression that an individual has of an organization, it reinforces the choice that s/he has made in transferring careers. This is a moment in time that can enhance, or unfortunately hurt, the long-term experience of an employee. Microsoft has taken the time to review this solution with many customers to vet the importance of the process, and the typical steps that are taken. This is how the combination of sites, pages and list of activities was created. Onboarding represents both change management for the individual and also within the organization. Many different departments within an organization own different key steps of an individual’s experience and a successful solution ensures that no steps are skipped.
Just recently made available, the OneWindow Reminders webpart, in Withum’s intranet-as-a-service solution, extends the New Employee Onboarding hub’s checklist capabilities by allowing organizations to individually assign tasks for new employees and display them on SharePoint, in Microsoft Teams and natively inside Microsoft Planner. Each department, who is in charge of a piece of the onboarding puzzle, can copy previous check-list items and individually assign them to the newest cohort of employees. Depending on the organization’s exact process, reminders for the tasks can be sent, and an activity report can be created for the individual’s manager, and as a review of the overall onboarding process.
With all these features available, the New Employee Onboarding Hub represents the future of SharePoint online and how it is becoming a “Classic” feature that we expect to be rich with value and capabilities. Thank you, Matt Wolodarsky and team, for your great work on this solution.