Onboarding with Intention

Do you have a formal onboarding strategy for new employees? What portion can be accessed digitally? Putting a plan in place requires effort, but the return on investment is substantial.

A standardized process will get new hires up to speed faster and increase their productivity by 50 percent. Retention improves as well, to the tune of 69 percent of employees being more likely to stay with a company for three years if they had a great onboarding experience, according to research cited by Arlene S. Hirsch in an article for SHRM. On the flip side, an incomplete or nonexistent onboarding program that leaves new hires uncertain is likely to set them up to jump ship before getting established.

Increasingly, new employee orientation and onboarding programs are transitioning significant portions to digital e-learning platforms. Growing numbers of the workforce expect to be able to access training and information at their own pace. They consider flexibility essential to a great onboarding experience and want ongoing learning as well.

With a remote or distributed workforce, new employees often do not come onsite for onboarding, making an e-learning solution essential. Online orientation content remains consistent and reusable. It lowers training costs because it saves money on travel, classroom maintenance and set up, preparation of materials, and facilitators’ salaries.

The first step toward establishing an effective onboarding program is to get the right people involved. “When designing and implementing a cohesive onboarding program or process, HR professionals need to engage with key stakeholders throughout the organization to ensure that all new hires have an optimal onboarding experience,” says Hirsch. A survey of existing employees asking what helped them in the beginning and what they might suggest for improvement can provide helpful insights. And don’t forget to check in with new hires during the process to monitor their progress and learn where the program could be made smoother and richer.

Successful onboarding must cover two equally important domains: the basic policies and procedures for all new hires, and the culture, values, and vision of the organization. It is possible to address both domains even if remote workers aren’t physically in the office. For instance, the program can include short videos of existing leaders and team members in which they share why they choose to work there or stories of human or social impact that illustrate the lived reality of the corporate values. Learning modules can be interlaced with video-conferencing roundtables or coffee breaks so team members can begin to get to know each other and build the relationships that are important for job success.

STREETCAR8 customizes enterprise learning onboarding solutions that convey comprehensive and critical onboarding information in a convenient, compelling, and engaging way using scenario-based training. From our clients, we often hear how well the e-learning onboarding programs we develop streamline the process of bringing people on board. They point to new employees who are demonstrating high levels of engagement, enthusiasm, and motivation.

How might enterprise learning improve your onboarding strategy? Contact us and let’s explore the possibilities.

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