Sometimes a really useful word enters our industry’s vocabulary to describe a common process. A recent such word in cleaning is ‘onboarding’. The dictionary definition is “the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organisation”, although in cleaning it is mainly associated with the administrative process of creating a new employee record from the many pieces of information needed to confirm him or her as a fully vetted and ‘good-to-go’ operative.
Onboarding used to go under the name of ‘new starter checklist’, a simple form filling process. Lately, however, a combination of security and welfare concerns, combined with an increasingly strict Right To Work environment, has turned that process into a more complex affair, where copies of supporting documentation and photographs are obtained and collated in what can become a lengthy, ‘live’ process that needs to be controlled and managed. Like London buses, new staff don’t normally arrive at steady intervals, but all together as part of new contract mobilisations, with the area manager usually playing a big part in gathering the different elements of information. Quite often these may appear in dribs and drabs, and as they do so the individual documents or pieces of data must then be scanned or rekeyed by other departments into their own systems - HR, Payroll, Admin, Training. Certain stages will require sign-off. Then at the end of it all, the employee needs to receive a contract of employment with the details of their hours, pay rates, holiday entitlement, etc. Sounds a bit of a nightmare? Well in a company where staff turnover is relatively low, it would be difficult, but as we know cleaning isn’t like that. So, what can be done to make this process more straightforward?
It won’t surprise you to hear that there is a software-related solution to the drawn-out paper trail of onboarding. That solution is the ‘intelligent’ form, or Advanced Form as we call it at Templa. Advanced Forms, when used in conjunction with an integrated workflow solution, can not only speed up your onboarding process, but also manage subsequent changes to employee details, as well as take care of that great bugbear in cleaning admin, the holiday request.
Advanced Forms have five very important and timesaving features:
Intelligent forms are well-suited to any chain-like process where a significant volume of information needs to be gathered out in the field, added to and reviewed by different staff, authorised and finally stored as a new or amended record.
That’s why they are so useful in the process of creating new staff records (onboarding), changing the detail of an employee’s record (e.g. when their hours are amended) and submitting holiday requests that will update their holiday planner. Other areas where they could just as easily be used are for Health and Safety purposes to create and update risk assessments or in the creation of a new client contract record itself.
By 2018, Regular Cleaning Services of Lewisham had already been running their key business processes with TemplaCMS for six years, but were keen to digitalise the staff onboarding process. Unable to find a solution on the market that would allow them either to design their own forms or integrate with TemplaCMS, Templa worked with Julian Lingham, FD at Regular, to design the Advanced Forms module that is now available to all Templa clients.
Keen to eliminate unnecessary paperwork, DOC Cleaning of Bishops Stortford now also mobilise new contracts using the Advanced Forms and Workflow modules of TemplaCMS. For DOC, a new contract can typically bring with it 30 new staff working across several sites – for example a portfolio of multi-tenanted offices. Taking advantage of user-defined fields, the company designed its own forms to capture the data needed for each stage of the start-up process. As Jamie Bull of DOC Cleaning says, “The benefits of the system can be summed up in two words – speed and accuracy. We don’t have to wait days for forms to arrive and the data is entered only once. In one fell swoop, and with the minimum of processing, we can create a new employee or a new client record.”