Onboarding employees is an all-around exciting time! Organizations are happy to welcome a new team member and the new employee is eager to start their job, get the lay of the land, and settle in quickly.
So why does the first 90 days of employment - the time when new employees should be the most excited - have the highest turnover rates?
The Cost of Not Training Employees
One of the most frequently cited reasons is a lack of training. Conversely, 69% of individuals surveyed reported that they would consider staying with an organization for at least 3 years if they had a smooth onboarding process.
Indeed, there’s always going to be a learning curve at a new job, even if someone has spent decades in the field. But if they aren’t given the resources and information they need to feel as if they have a chance at being successful right off the bat, they’re going to be tempted to leave.
Onboarding isn’t only important from a retention perspective. According to a recent study from BCG, “firms that execute it [onboarding] well can expect to nearly double their corporate revenue growth and profit margins, compared to firms with only average onboarding.”
That’s a pretty big opportunity to pass up!
So, if your organization has suffered from low employee retention or you simply want to update your onboarding process, look no further than eLearning. eLearning helps you provide the information your employees need to get acclimated quickly, offers the ability to assess or track their progress, and allows them to learn at their preferred pace.
Move Away from the One-size-fits-all Approach
At its most basic levels, eLearning can end up being a digital take on the same old stuff - video training rather than in-person meetings or slideshows and click-through modules instead of hardcopy pamphlets.
But there's more to eLearning that just its delivery methods. With the content digitalized, it's easier to curate it in such a way that it resonates with individuals in addition to larger groups.
Want to start creating more effective onboarding? Follow these tips:
1. Embrace Flexibility
An employee's first few days and weeks can be hectic. From completing HR paperwork to meeting their new co-workers to getting up to speed on company information and digging into their first assignments - there's a lot to manage. On top of all that, they have to complete training on various processes, procedures, and products. Or, worse yet, they're sent right into the deep end of their jobs without a full understanding of those processes, procedures, and products which can make them feel like they aren’t even being given a fighting chance.
eLearning can provide your employees with more flexibility. Rather than sitting in pre-scheduled meetings to have information poured on them, they can complete courses and modules where they're able to fit them in. Perhaps they’re speedy learners and will go through their modules quickly or maybe there’s a complex topic that they’d like to review multiple times.
Either way, eLearning will afford them the opportunity to learn at their own pace. But that doesn't mean you just assign modules and hope your new employees complete them - it just means that deadlines should adapt to the new employee scenario by way of more lead time to get them done.
2. Go Mobile
In addition to allowing your new employees the flexibility to learn at a convenient pace, you can also work to ensure they are learning at convenient times.
eLearning allows your employees’ learning to go mobile - whether they’re making the most of their commute or brushing up in the lobby before a meeting. Being able to access their training content anywhere and from any device will help them feel empowered in the onboarding process.
3. Make It Social
We are, by nature, social creatures. During onboarding, it’s important to foster an environment that allows your new hires to get to know their colleagues. For example, you and other department members might take them out to lunch or a morning coffee as part of the onboarding process.
eLearning is a great way to reinforce that social environment. Within many eLearning systems, you can integrate chat features or message boards so that your new employees can ask their colleagues questions, get responses and ultimately feel more connected to the overall company from the very beginning.
You can also use tools like Slack to encourage this productive and in fact cultural environment. For example, a new employee cohort or "starting class" may have their own cross-departmental channel where they have the opportunity to ask questions they likely all have and then benefit from sharing the answers in the same collective setting. It basically creates a safe space where they can feel comfortable being "the newbies" while also better leveraging each other to get beyond that initial phase of newness.
In summary, creating a fantastic, enjoyable start for your new employees is critically important. The best part? There are a number of creative and effective ways to do it. Even better? We're here to help if you get stuck.