When considering any organizational strategy adjustment, there are always more effective approaches than others, with the goal being to get it right for your organization. As it shapes the employee experience, contributes to your industry reputation, and prevents workflow disruption—choosing the best implementation is especially crucial when developing your onboarding and offboarding strategy.  

Having a set of procedures in place for the beginning and end of the user identity lifecycle will ensure new hires have the resource access they need to perform relevant tasks and that employees leaving have a seamless departure while maintaining organizational security. We outlined five best practices for company efficiency in both onboarding and offboarding processes for your IAM solutions.  

Structure Effective Onboarding Training Programs 

An effective onboarding process is not the average paperwork-laden first day. It should include the tools and procedures for supporting new employees. Your teams will need to build a training program to set expectations and ensure operational consistency for all employees. And with SaaS applications, cloud resources, and the new normalcy of remote work—consistency is key.  

Though training will look different for every organization, all programs will need to maintain a high engagement level early on to increase long-lasting retention. An effective training program could include department introductions, responsibilities review, video walkthroughs, and technology demonstrations that are each relevant and custom to a given position. Many companies organize this information with an employee portal, organizing content while improving the user experience. Whatever the approach, be sure to follow-up with employees on an incremental schedule throughout the first three months of employment to review progress, identify barriers, and discuss future needs.  

Utilize Automated Onboarding Workflows  

It’s best practice to establish an automated onboarding process for your IAM solution, easing the burden on your IT team and supporting efficient, cross-organization workflows. This automation might start with assigning proper permissions for every user in each department. Using implementations like role-based access, administrators can grant access to duty-relevant resources and applications on day one. 

You can also automatically disseminate relevant documentation. This process can begin before onboarding, in a period referred to as pre-boarding. In this phase, administrators can auto-send new hire paperwork (e.g., an NDA or W-4) for review and signature, allowing you to build an employee profile with approved accesses and payroll well before their start date. Doing so not only supports seamless transition for both company and new hire alike but sets your organization up to generate accurate employment reporting at any later date. 

Align Company Departments with Onboarding & Offboarding Procedures 

Though Human Resources and IT teams are often head of onboarding and offboarding efforts, total organizational alignment is essential for program success. A high level of alignment not only makes it easier for new hires to assimilate, but it also ensures that each department is in organizational compliance with your procedures.  

Hold regular training sessions to prepare team members with organization-wide and department-specific content to share with new employees and elaborate on offboarding processes should an employee elect to leave or be terminated. This company-wide communication also avoids redundancy and ensures every process stage is purposeful and efficient. You should also be clear about accountability, so teams know who to report to should they have questions or need to address process-related issues. Doing so ensures your existing team provides accurate information while assuring them with a set structure to support them in either onboarding or offboarding situation. 

Secure Offboarding Employee Credentials 

If you do not have automated deprovisioning standards in place, departing employees may retain their credentials leaving your organization vulnerable. And as insider threats are a common form of cyberattack, it’s crucial to safeguard against them by decommissioning employee credentials during offboarding. 

Establish an automated process to remove access approvals—from keycards to passwords—upon departure. Taking these actions mitigates risk and ensures that when employees leave your organization, they leave your data alone. 

Automate the Onboarding & Offboarding System 

Of course, the overarching concept for each of these measures is automation. Without it, your teams are left to their own (many) devices, inevitably creating a chaotic assortment of onboarding and offboarding approaches. Again, consistency is key.  

Your IAM solution, with centralized digital identities and applications integration, can help to limit system access for easier offboarding revocations (and overall security) while equipping new employees with the appropriate materials they need (and only what they need) to hit the ground running. Process automation allows you to accomplish all of this, and keep track of every employee’s onboarding and offboarding progress to completion.

Final Thoughts 

While onboarding and offboarding processes are imperative for operational health and performance, having complete identity lifecycle management allows you to maintain high efficiency for every employee at any stage. See how SailPoint IAM solutions can support and streamline your onboarding and offboarding efforts—and everything in between. 

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