How to automate & streamline onboarding email signatures for new employees
Attracting and acquiring the best talent is hard in a competitive jobs market. Organizations must also get the best out of their hires, helping them develop new skills and retaining them long term.
As a consequence, a lot of focus is now placed on the employee onboarding process, a critical part of any HR and talent management strategy. In this post, we’ll explore the role of IT in employee onboarding and how email signature software can support this process.
Why new employee onboarding can be challenging for IT
Even though employee onboarding processes are highly repeatable and predictable, they add significant workload onto already overstretched IT departments. Ultimately, IT professionals need employee onboarding to be as automated as possible to alleviate this pressure .
The 80/20 rule of IT operations vs. IT innovations
A good framework for the impact of employee onboarding on IT departments is a variation of the Pareto principle (or ‘80/20 rule’). Most IT departments consume 75-80% of their resources on operational duties that ensure users are supported and IT systems function as expected. This leaves less than 20-25% to be spent on unlocking new IT innovations to boost business efficiencies and automate manual workflows.
Why email signatures are important to the onboarding process
A key part of the employee onboarding process is when new starters are given an employee identity. The IT department plays a leading role in making this happen, creating a new email account to use as their ID for access to applications and services, and to communicate both internally and externally with stakeholders.
Employee onboarding email signatures matter because they extend this identity beyond the domain and IP address of the individual. At a basic level, email signatures communicate accurate personal information in the form of:
Job title and team
But these are the basics. Email signatures can go far beyond personal information to include:
Assigning email signatures to each new starter is an important technical process that IT must undertake as part of a standard onboarding process.
Managing new employee onboarding email signatures
Personal information is unique to each employee, and when it’s put on an email signature, it shapes how that person is perceived. Getting this right in the onboarding process is important, but so is ensuring consistency in how employees appear over email. Chaotic and inconsistent email signatures can reflect an organization as such.
And missing out certain elements means missed opportunities to share information, engage audiences, reinforce the brand, and promote marketing messages.
Here are six points to consider when managing email signatures for new employees:
1. Data accuracy
Email signatures must contain accurate information. Contact details should be a carbon copy of the records held in HR systems and user directories like Active Directory and Google Directory.
2. Format and design
There’s more than one way to design email signatures. You can opt for a plain text template that’s simple to build, or use a more advanced design with HTML images. You’ll also need to ensure an appropriate legal disclaimer is used.
Email signatures typically sit with the IT team as part of the onboarding process. But the marketing department should be involved as email signatures extend the brand experience and can carry important marketing messages. This needs to be planned in advance, especially in the event that email signatures updates are required.
4. Various templates
A single template for all employees limits what you can do with email signatures. Implementing a variety of email signature templates across the organization can open up new possibilities for different departments.
5. User involvement
Leaving users to manage their own email signatures is risky, especially for new starters who aren’t familiar with your company brand. But you need to ensure the correct contact data is used and can be updated when required.
Some companies opt to give each employee a signature template with instructions on how to implement it. But what if they fail to include an important legal disclaimer or mess up the design so it looks inconsistent and broken?
6. Time and effort
The more you dive into email signature management, the greater the burden on IT resources. IT personnel may need to manually configure email signatures on each employee’s machine. They may choose to write HTML code and update all signatures at once, but it’s hard to deal with lots of changes and updates. But the best option is to use email signature software that centralizes and automates everything.
These are all important when setting up email signatures for any employee, but particularly new ones being onboarded. This is because onboarding needs to happen within a defined period, putting pressure on IT to get the work done quickly and accurately.
Therefore, it makes sense to make email signature management an easily repeatable process that works as part of new employee onboarding.
Using email signature software to automate part of the onboarding process
Managing email signatures as part of new employee onboarding can be frustrating and time-consuming. Scale that up across tens or hundreds of new starters per year and it’s a recipe for IT workplace stress, inefficiency, and a poor use of resources.
Exclaimer makes email signature management simple, meaning digital onboarding goes faster and smoother. Specialist email signature software like this helps you:
Automatically launch email signatures to all employees. Once setup and integrated with your email systems, all changes are managed centrally.
Access a full range of email signature elements from social media icons and marketing banners to legal disclaimers and feedback buttons.
Simplify your design process, so you can easily drag and drop colors, images and data elements that you can resize and preview instantly.
Deliver consistent email signatures on all messages, including those sent from mobile devices.
Define rules used to group employees into different departments and using your user directory to autocomplete contact details.
The final word
IT is always involved when it comes to employee onboarding. This is primarily because each new employee becomes a new IT user with their own set of associated software and hardware requirements. And a key part of this process is assigning them a company email signature.
However, email signature management at the best of times is time-consuming and prone to error. With email signature software from Exclaimer, this task can be automated and managed in a much smoother way. This reduces the strain on IT teams, speeding up the process of securely onboarding new employees.