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SharePoint HR Workflows for Onboarding Processes: The Best Guide to Creating an Efficient SharePoint HR Workflow

SharePoint HR Workflows for Onboarding Processes: The Best Guide to Creating an Efficient SharePoint HR Workflow

Let me paint a picture for you. You are sitting at your work desk, surrounded by stacks of documents that need to be processed. Excel sheets are more tangled than a bowl of spaghetti and your inbox looks like it had too much to eat. Sounds nightmarish, doesn't it? 

This is where SharePoint Workflow swings in and saves the day! SharePoint Workflow is like your personal assistant. It automates and streamlines business processes. It ensures that every task moves seamlessly from inception to completion, revolutionizing how tasks are created, managed, and tracked.

SharePoint Workflow's Onboarding Role

Remember the jitters on your very first day of work? Undoubtedly, we all do. Employee onboarding is not just about paperwork and presentations, it's about alleviating those nervous jitters. 

When done right, employee onboarding can set the tone for new hires and determine their success in the organization. SharePoint Workflow can become your HR’s best friend by standardizing and automating the onboarding process. That’s why companies like Warner Bros and Lufthansa use Lanteria HR, an all-in-one HR management system based on SharePoint to manage the entire HR tasks of their organization. 

SharePoint Onboarding Benefits

You know how they say you can’t eat your cake and have it? Well, using SharePoint Workflow for onboarding is like having the best piece of your favorite cake and eating it too! It ensures that crucial tasks like paperwork, training, and welcome presentations are all planned, implemented and tracked flawlessly. 

More than that, it offers a personalized experience to each new hire. This helps in speeding up the process and leaves no room for error, making your onboarding process as seamless as it can be.

SharePoint Workflow Setup

Understand the Requirements: Tailoring SharePoint for Your HR Needs

To implement SharePoint Workflow in your onboarding process, it's quintessential to know what you want from it. It's like ordering at a restaurant, how will the waiter serve you if he doesn't know what you want? Conduct brainstorming sessions with your HR team, identify what tasks need automation and standardization, detail out the requirements, and customize SharePoint to meet these needs.

Ask your team questions like: 

  • Do you want it to automate processes like document management or task assignments?
  • Are you looking to track employee performance?
  • Or do you simply need a more organized workflow?

Once you have a firm grasp of your objectives, you're well on your way to a successful roll-out. Like my grandmother always said, "Know your needs before you seed!"

Choose your edition: SharePoint Online Vs SharePoint On-premise

Next, you’ll need to choose between SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-premise. Picking one that does not fit your company’s needs perfectly is enough to ruin a good sleep. Well, let me share everything you need to make the right decision in this next paragraph.

Consider SharePoint Online if you want typical cloud benefits—you know, things like the convenience of accessing data from any place, updates in a breeze and cost-effectiveness regarding hardware needs. On the other hand, SharePoint On-premise is the option for you if you prefer having full control over your data, superior customization options, and complex integrations.

Remember, there's no perfect choice—it’s like choosing between pancakes and waffles. It all depends on your taste.

Create an Efficient Onboarding Team: Roles and Responsibilities

Once you've decided on the edition, it's time to assemble an effective onboarding team. See the breakdown below:

  • HR personnel handle document and onboarding logistics,
  • IT folks ensure smooth execution of the technological aspects, and
  • Management provides oversight, sets the pace, and basically manages things.

Designing Your SharePoint HR Workflow: Mapping Onboarding Processes to Workflow

Once you’ve nailed down what you need SharePoint Workflow to do for you, it's time to design the Workflow itself. Picture an architect sketching out the blueprint of a building, but in a very easy way. 

Outline each step of the workflow, right from the welcome email to granting system access. And hey, don't forget to outline any approval processes too! It's like drawing a treasure map. Know where you start and where you want to end up.

Mapping out business processes, task sequences, timelines, and role assignments to fit the Workflow is essential. This way, the Workflow acts as a roadmap, guiding each task from start to finish without a hitch.

Customizing Your SharePoint HR Workflow

Customization: Designing your SharePoint lists

Here's where the real fun begins. You can customize your SharePoint lists according to your workflow. If that sounds a bit daunting, just pretend you're creating a to-do list for a weekend! SharePoint Lists are one of Microsoft 365 workplace’s most used features. 

They include rows and columns which are used to display and store information about different items, similar to a table or spreadsheet. These lists are better than an Excel spreadsheet and allow you to easily create and manage information in a better way within SharePoint.

Confirm the Workflow: Testing and Revising

It's testing time! If your workflow performs as expected—great! If not, it's time to revise and reiterate. Creating your SharePoint Workflow is kind of like baking—you might not get the perfect loaf in the first attempt, but that shouldn't stop you from trying again!

Implement the Workflow

Here comes the nitty-gritty part – the technical implementation. Create task sequences, assign tasks to roles like managers and admins, set up alerts and reminders, customize forms and libraries, and validate the Workflow. These are all part of your workflow and each piece needs to be put in the right place for it to work perfectly.

Training: Preparing Staff for the New System

So, the testing phase gave you two thumbs up? Then, it's time to prepare your staff to use this new workflow. Consider using interactive sessions, hands-on training, and documentation to arm each staff with the tools they need to navigate this new territory.

Roll Out: The Launching Process

Congrats, you’re ready to roll out your workflow to the rest of your team and it's just a few clicks away. Ensure you are ready to address any immediate questions or minor hiccups your team might experience. 

Fine-Tuning: Gathering Feedback and Making Revisions

No system is perfect. Gathering feedback allows you to make those last-minute tweaks for a smoother onboarding experience. 

SharePoint Workflow Best Practices

Streamlining Information Collection With Forms and Libraries

At times, the process of collecting information from new hires can be messy. SharePoint Workflow comes with customizable forms and libraries that can clean up this mess. Create forms for collecting paperwork and tailor libraries to store and churn out necessary documents, ensuring an organized and quick information collection.

Automating Tasks and Reminders With Workflows and Alerts

The beauty of SharePoint Workflow lies in automation. Automate paperwork submission and processing, schedule training sessions, set up timelines for tasks, and establish a flawless onboarding program for your new hires.

Facilitating Seamless Collaboration With Shared Workspaces and Permissions

Collaboration is what brings the onboarding process together. SharePoint Workflow's shared workspaces and permissions allow HR teams to collaborate smoothly. Shared workspaces feature allows real-time updates and collaboration, while permissions ensure sensitive information remains confidential. It's like a well-oiled machine that’ll continue to run smoothly without any obstruction.

Advanced SharePoint Features

Harness Advanced Features Like Performance Tracking and Employee Integration

Look for the bells and whistles on the platform - like Performance Tracking and Employee Integration. They can turn a good workflow into a great one by streamlining data and alleviating common pain points. Leveraging these can give you the advantage.

Have an Improvement Strategy for Continuous Revision and Improvement

Now, you may think that once you set up the SharePoint HR Workflow, you can put your feet up and relax. That’s not how it works. Your workflow needs continuous improvement so that it stays relevant and useful to all your team members.

Success Stories with SharePoint

There are true stories of real companies benefiting from SharePoint Onboarding Workflow. Not to mention the myriad of companies who have reported great success and improved performance by using Lanteria HR, an all-in-one HR management system based on SharePoint to manage the entire HR tasks of their organization. Let’s look at 2 of those companies and how they used SharePoint to successfully tackle challenges in their human resource department.


Background: If you love chocolate, chances are that you’ve heard of Hershey’s. The Hershey Company is one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world. It has a rich history and a broad employee base. But despite its history, it had a niggling painpoint.

The Challenge: Hershey's found that their onboarding was inconsistent across departments. They discovered that this was leading to gaps in new employees' experiences and orientations. After a great deal of research, they turned to SharePoint for a solution.

SharePoint Solution: By using SharePoint, Hershey's established a standardized onboarding workflow. This not only ensured that every of their new hire received consistent information and training but also allowed managers to track the onboarding process efficiently.


Background: Fujitsu is a multinational IT equipment and services company which boasts over 150,000 employees worldwide. But it had a challenge.

The Challenge: With a sprawling global presence and frequent hires, Fujitsu's onboarding process was a confusing maze of manual processes and paperwork.

SharePoint Solution: Fujitsu implemented a SharePoint onboarding solution that incorporated workflows to handle everything from initial offer acceptance and document submissions to setting up IT systems for the new hire. The automated system reduced onboarding time, errors, and the manual labor previously needed.

Something to remember from these success stories is the importance of tailoring SharePoint Onboarding workflows to your specific needs. Just like you need to tailor a suit to fit you perfectly, you also need to customize SharePoint Workflows to perfectly fit your business requirements.

Addressing SharePoint Challenges

Common SharePoint Workflow Problems in Onboarding

Despite its effectiveness, SharePoint Workflow might present a few roadblocks. You may come across challenges like a lack of technical expertise, employees’ resistance to new technology, and integration with existing systems. But it’s okay! By troubleshooting these issues, you’ll equip your team to effectively use the new system.

SharePoint Workflow Troubleshooting

Troubleshoot these issues by training your HR squad, reinforcing the benefits of SharePoint to your employees, and integrating SharePoint Workflow with your existing HRMS and payroll systems. It's not about being flawless, it's about fixing the flaws!

Avoid falling into the same pothole twice with meticulous preparation, rigorous training, and continuous improvement. Using SharePoint workflows for employee onboarding streamlines activities, automates tasks, reduces errors, and saves time. 


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