Ensuring Prepared, Engaged, and Equipped Client Resources via Virtual Onboarding

When shelter-at-home happened in Pittsburgh in March, 2020, SDLC Partners’ service delivery, recruitment, and IT teams transformed their best practices to go 100% virtual. Today, no matter which engagement model our clients choose, all resources receive efficient and effective onboarding to ensure that each employee is prepared and equipped to delivery client value on Day One. Learn more about how we do it and can for your organization.

SDLC Partners engagement model
Figure 1: SDLC Partners’ four client engagement models.
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Abstract:
Ensuring Prepared, Engaged, and Equipped Client Resources via Virtual Onboarding

Despite the pandemic in 2020, our organization hired 75 new employees between March and December. Many were hired as part of service delivery and specific client projects related to the four types of engagement models we offer (Figure 1). Local shelter-in-place and CDC guidelines required or recommended remote work as the safest environment, and our organization pivoted quickly to adapt our best practices for a 100% virtual environment to onboard new employees, particularly those assigned to client work.

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The Challenge:
Adapting Onboarding Best Practices to Go 100% Virtual

Unlike most organizations that hire and onboard solely their own employees, SDLC Partners is a business and technology consultancy that provides four engagement models (Figure 1) to deliver value to clients. This includes recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training new hires for specific client roles and projects.

We faced the added challenge of taking these functions virtual, as well as ensuring those new employees, now working remotely, were fit-for-duty to deliver value to clients on Day One.

This included pre-orientation, orientation, acclimation, providing required technology, ramping up project work and manager interfacing, as well as knowledge transfer. And, all of this was within the context of clients going virtual at the same time.

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The Solution:
Leveraging Virtual to Engage, Connect, and Acclimate Efficiently

SDLC Partners is built on a foundation of collaboration and execution. When all recruiting and onboarding efforts had to go 100% virtual, leaders across human resources, recruiting, service delivery, and IT created processes and structures that not only preserved what has proven to work for our clients, but they created new virtually-minded approaches to ensure that every employee and client resource is engaged, trained, prepared, and equipped to deliver value quickly.

Connection & Communication

  • The onboarding team within human resources acted as a connector to facilitate communication between each new hire’s manager and their volunteer “buddy”
  • Instituted virtual “meet-and-greet” sessions before new hire start dates
  • Provided diligent tracking to ensure quick engagement and one-on-one cadence
  • The path to achieving the client’s vision required a clear view of their future-state goals through needed technical capabilities towards a plan that would align people and technology to support business growth

Just-in-Time Technology Tools

  • Tight collaboration and planning with IT ensured that every employee received all necessary technology and equipment prior to start date
  • Streamlined processes and reporting was achieved through competent use of Office 365, particularly Teams and Workday
  • Service delivery and client teams worked with IT to ensure all required client artifacts were available

Integrated & Flexible Onboarding Across the Organization

  • Again, the onboarding team engaged and connected new hires with appropriate team members to ensure seamless acclimation and transition into client service delivery
  • We provided easily-accessible and updated information via online resources or virtual meetings to guarantee each employee understood the basics, like benefits and training, as well as unique cultural programs like community service and internal recognition and appreciation
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The Results:
Client Project Success Amid Pandemic

SDLC Partners’ approach to collaboration across our organization and alongside our clients made going 100% virtual with onboarding a matter of quickly shifting processes, people, and technology rather than missing client deliverables and losing their business.

Major Release During Shelter-in-Place

One client project included reimagining their 4,000-page legacy website into a modern, streamlined web world for patients, physicians, employees, and the public. The 10-month project was go-live right as the pandemic was peeking regionally. Our virtual onboarding and tight enterprise coordination and collaboration ensured the client could achieve launch ahead of schedule and provide increased virtual care via a more engaged and savvier digital channel.

Can’t Miss a Beat

Another client project required quickly implementing virtual training to ensure all resources could meet the client need in the new work-from-home environment. New hires were able to hit the ground running on their first day in the role, ensuring the client could meet their deadlines and we could deliver a “Wow” client experience.

Employee Engagement Success Amid Pandemic 

Not only did this pivot enable our service teams to deliver client results timely, but we created an onboarding experience that engages our employees:

“This was probably the most thorough orientation I have encountered.” 

“Well organized,  presenters were friendly and they answered our questions.” 

“I liked being on a call with other new hires; made me feel like part of the team.” 

Experience Engagement Value Faster via Virtual

No matter your business, operational, or technical objectives, you can realize value, faster, from each of our engagement models because our virtual approach to onboarding ensures prepared and equipped resources are at the ready.

We can help you Achieve Real Results

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