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eLearning for Onboarding: Benefits of a Strong Start

Did you know that a large percentage of employees leave an organization during the first 12 months on the job? Some sources say one-third, while others cite 25%. Regardless, organizations are facing a high first-year turnover rate. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), 69% of employees are likely to stay with an organization for three years if they have a positive onboarding experience. That should send a powerful signal to L&D and HR leads.

So why, exactly, does onboarding have such a huge impact on the overall employment experience? And how can your organization use eLearning to its advantage to help facilitate a strong onboarding process?

Take a look at what we’ve found.

Why Does Strong Onboarding Matter?

The onboarding period is a tricky one for both the employee and the employer. During this time, everyone is trying to get a good read on the other, and new employees are trying to put their best foot forward. Oftentimes, the onboarding period is the employee’s first glimpse at what life at the company will be like - and as they say, first impressions are important.

A new hire doesn’t necessarily need to be completely blown away during their onboarding. However, they should be able to use this time to begin settling into their role and feeling as if they’ve made the right decision about, well… coming on board.

If during this time, they begin to feel that they’ve made the wrong decision for whatever reason, it’s likely that they’ll “cut their losses” sooner rather than later. And cutting those losses could be expensive for the company, with SHRM estimating in 2016 that it takes roughly 42 days to fill a role and costs about $4,100. Surely, those figures may have grown a bit in the last 3 years.

How Can eLearning Help?

When you’re trying to combat the potentially high turnover rate of the initial few months of employment, you need to first ask yourself why a strong eLearning program can help.

Consider what the onboarding period for a new hire typically looks like:

  1. Being ushered to an empty desk with a copy of the Employee Handbook for them to review and sign;
  2. An hour or so with HR completing paperwork;
  3. A super public, generally overwhelming introduction to everyone all at the same time when there’s no chance they could possibly remember who everyone is and what they do;
  4. A crash course in their job responsibilities;
  5. Being left to their own devices to figure the rest out by either trial and error or awkwardly asking one of the people they just met, but don’t know, for assistance.

Does that sound fun, engaging, or positive? Probably not.

Unfortunately, that’s the experience that most new hires have on their first day or two of work. It can be really draining and overwhelming while also leaving someone feeling quite underwhelmed with their new job.

Here’s how a strong eLearning onboarding process can help:

1. Create Structure

While new employees might still experience the awkward introductions and lengthy paperwork we mentioned earlier, eLearning can digitalize their onboarding without giving them the feeling like they’re left to their own devices.

Rather than having to rely on a new colleague to show them the ropes or just clicking around until they figure out what they need, eLearning modules create meaningful structure. You can set up your modules to show your employees exactly what they need to do their jobs properly.

And, as an added bonus, it’s created content, so you won’t have to rely on a team member providing the same information over and over again each time someone new starts, hoping that they don’t forget something crucial. Every new employee will learn the exact same information. If there are modules that don’t apply to their jobs, simply don’t assign them. It’s that easy!

2. Get Them Engaged

Bringing eLearning into the onboarding process will help your employees to feel engaged over a longer period of time. They won’t be thrown into a 2-day crash course on everything to do with their job, but rather can take modules over a period of time and then apply them to their everyday tasks. They also won’t be tasked with simply sitting and listening to someone talk at them or reading through a manual. Instead, they’ll be able to watch videos, take quizzes, read content and maybe play a game or two to help them become active learners.

3. Facilitate Mentorship

Having a set eLearning course schedule will also allow the new employees’ boss or mentor to complete periodic check-ins. They’ll know what the employee is learning, or on track to learn, and can provide feedback based on any performance that was tracked. They can also provide real-world examples and advice on how to apply what they’re learning to a business scenario, and - of course - answer any questions the employee may have.

Are you ready to jump in and start creating fantastic onboarding content for your employees? Contact us today to learn more.

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