In this blog post, we’re going to go over what makes an ideal onboarding program, and how you can make this a reality in your organization by using technology-enhanced learning programs, or eLearning.
Is Onboarding Really That Important?
New hires are among the most valuable employees your company can have. Why? Because they are enthusiastic, willing to do their very best, and are generally aching to achieve. Unfortunately, so much of this potential is lost because most companies out there don’t know how to effectively onboard these new hires into their organization. When your onboarding program is inefficient, disconnected from your audience or maybe even non-existent, you can bet that your new employee is going to start visiting Glassdoor.com and LinkedIn Jobs by the end of the week. In fact, Tanya Bauer, PhD at the SHRM Foundation postulated that, 69% of all new employees are more likely to stay with the company if they had a great onboarding experience (source).
Let’s see how you can use eLearning to avoid anything like this ever happens in your company.
Many people have onboarding confused with orientation. Orientation is usually a one-day affair that orients the new employee as to where they will work, important things they need to know, and stuff they shouldn’t ever do.
On the other hand, onboarding is a lengthier process (sometimes even lasting 6 months), that gets the employee up to speed on the following, at the minimum:
- Their role and how their work impacts the bigger picture of what your company does
- Your company’s vision, mission and culture – and what those actually translate to, in reality
- Who they can reach out at work to if they need help or advice – a mentor or buddy system
- An understanding of how the organization is structured and how the business works
- Equipping new hires with the required access to the tools, training and resources to go about doing their job efficiently
Doing all of the above through classroom (ILT) training can quickly get overwhelming. In general, onboarding via classroom training is unscalable, location dependent, inconsistent in delivery and hard to track.
The Role of eLearning in Delivering a Holistic Onboarding Experience
If you’re searching for a way to take your onboarding to the next level, eLearning is your savior. As a medium, eLearning is highly effective in conveying the kind of information that is usually prevalent in any onboarding program.
Whether you want to convey your organization’s vision, mission and culture while juxtaposing the content with a message from your CEO, or if you want to show new hires how to use a certain software that will be a part of their daily job, eLearning would be the perfect, most scalable, consistent and trackable way to do it.
Bear with me for a second here as I quickly outline the questions that a new hire looks for in the first 1-6 months of their tenure:
- Why does my organization do (what it does)?
- What is my role?
- How do I do my job well?
- Who should I reach out to if I need anything?
For each of the above, eLearning can be the most effective medium to convey the required information. This also solves one of the most commonly heard ‘complaints’ from new hires about ILT onboarding – that the ILT training programs are too few and far apart to have any sustained impact. In contrast, eLearning is available on the day they join the company, and the information is accessible whenever they may need it later. The more immersive you make your eLearning program, the better it will resonate with your new hires.
The best part of using an eLearning onboarding program is that you can control all of it from a central location, and understand how the onboarding program is doing with just a couple of well-placed button clicks in your LMS.
Steps You Can Take Today
1. Take stock of what’s happening in your present onboarding program
Reach out to your new hires through a short, honest survey to find out where your onboarding program is lacking, from their perspective. Simultaneously, ask your managers who work with new hires where they would like to see their new hire capabilities improved (or what they think is really lacking). This will provide the baseline of what gaps need to be filled.
2. Create a solid, comprehensive onboarding outline
Based on your learning from your organization, write down everything that you need to bring your onboarding program to the level befitting your organization’s goals. This provides the backbone on which content can be built, no matter the training medium – this works especially well for eLearning!
3. With your outline in hand, reach out to trusted vendors to kick off the development phase
Unfortunately, not everyone in the eLearning development market is as capable as they’d like to think. Some vendors focus too much on the technical aspect while losing out on the actual learning effectiveness of the program. Others may focus too much on the day-to-day details to actually provide a program within your budget.
Your best bet is to reach out to eLearning partners, like CommLab India, who have a track record of customer satisfaction, leading eLearning solutions, strong tech backbone and an attractive cost quality proposition.
If you’d like to learn more, please feel free to reach out to anyone here at CommLab.
Let’s get your onboarding program in shape!