Executive Summary: Effective employee onboarding ensures harmonious integration of new hires. This blog explores employee onboarding and highlights its significance in integrating new hires effectively. It delves into the common challenges faced during the process, and how automation can alleviate them. Furthermore, it emphasizes the role of microlearning in streamlining onboarding. By embracing automated onboarding and microlearning, companies can enhance engagement, efficiency, and success of employee onboarding initiatives.
Onboarding employees is like orchestrating a symphony of potential. It’s the pivotal moment when a new team member steps onto the stage. Their talents are poised to harmonize with the existing ensemble. From day one, the conductor (in this case, the organization) sets the tempo, guiding the employee’s journey to success.
Employee onboarding involves more than just paperwork and orientation. It’s about creating an immersive experience that nurtures growth, builds connections, and cultivates a sense of belonging. Effective employee onboarding can transform a new hire’s uncertainty into confidence. It transforms their hesitation into collaboration. Employee onboarding is a dance of integration and innovation. Every step forward amplifies the collective brilliance of the team.
Automating employee onboarding is like introducing a dance routine to the symphony of employee integration. It streamlines the process and ensures a smooth, efficient, and effective experience. Automating employee onboarding has shown an 18% improvement in employees’ initial performance (eLearning, 2018). By choreographing the steps, repetitive tasks are executed effortlessly. This allows HR teams to focus on nurturing connections and fostering growth. Automated systems harmonize data, documentation, and training. This orchestrates a seamless transition. Automated employee onboarding works like a conductor’s baton. It enables new team members to smoothly blend their talents into the organization’s rhythm.
However, there can be challenges in employee onboarding. Navigating them is like conducting a symphony with unpredictable melodies. Each new member brings unique notes. This requires careful orchestration to blend easily. Ensuring alignment, managing expectations, and fostering connections can be tricky. An organization’s expertise is essential to create a harmonious employee onboarding experience.
Let’s take a deeper look at the challenges in employee onboarding.
People forget nearly 90% of what they have learnt within just 7 days, unless the concepts are reinforced. That’s why employees swamped with documents, presentations, and classroom sessions are not likely to learn much.
However, time constraints make it difficult to reinforce vast concepts.
What can you do instead? Arm your employees with one concept at a time. Studies show the human attention span is only 8.25 seconds, so keep your training concise.
RapL is your software for that.
Challenges in employee onboarding
- High employee turnover: As of 2021, average annual employee turnover in the U.S. was 47.2% (Zippia, 2023). High turnover disrupts workflow, increases costs, and hampers team cohesion. It requires constant repetition of employee onboarding processes. Constantly having to train new employees can be expensive, time-consuming, and hinder productivity. It also makes it challenging to build a cohesive team environment. High turnover means repeating the employee onboarding process frequently. This can be frustrating for both managers and existing employees. The organization must balance efficient training with personal connection to retain talent and maintain harmony.
- Diverse workforce: A diverse workforce has several cultural nuances and perspectives. Tailoring employee onboarding processes is crucial to address these differences effectively. Providing clear instructions and comprehensive information that resonates with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds can be challenging. The organization must embrace inclusivity and harmonize different backgrounds and values.
- Complex product or process knowledge: This adds intricate melodies to the employee onboarding symphony. New hires may struggle to grasp important details and technical aspects. This can hinder their ability to effectively represent and contribute to the product. Explaining complex features in a clear and straightforward manner is crucial. However, this can be time-consuming. It can also require specialized training during the employee onboarding process.
- Evolving technology and innovation: In today’s disruptive environment, there are always new developments and innovations. New hires need to stay updated with the latest tools and advancements. This can be overwhelming. Understanding and adapting to new technologies requires additional training and time. It can be challenging to keep the employee onboarding process aligned with rapidly evolving tech landscapes.
- Safety and compliance: Compliance training during employee onboarding is essential. It reduces risk of non-compliance, promotes a safe work environment, defines policies, ensures ethics, and boosts reputation (Eloomi). Ensuring new hires understand and adhere to safety protocols and regulatory requirements can be complex. It requires thorough training, orientation, and reinforcement to mitigate risks and maintain a safe work environment.
Now, let’s look at the core elements of automating employee onboarding.
Automating employee onboarding
1. Digital employee onboarding platforms: Digital employee onboarding platforms synchronize the different elements of onboarding. They streamline paperwork, reduce manual tasks, and improve efficiency. New hires can complete forms, access training materials, and submit documents digitally. These platforms simplify the administrative aspects of employee onboarding. This saves time and resources. Additionally, they provide a centralized hub for information. This enables easy access to resources. By utilizing digital employee onboarding platforms, companies can reduce manual errors and accelerate the integration of new employees.
Digital onboarding – Image Source: Docbyte
2. Pre-built employee onboarding workflows: Like a well-composed score, pre-built employee onboarding workflows ensure each step in the process is carefully orchestrated. They provide pre-defined templates and checklists, guiding the process step-by-step. These workflows eliminate the need to reinvent the employee onboarding process for each new hire. This saves time and effort. Managers can easily assign tasks, track progress, and ensure consistency. With pre-built workflows, companies can establish a structured and smooth employee onboarding experience that covers all necessary aspects.
Pre-built employee onboarding workflows – Image Source: Fluix
3. Automated task reminders: Automated task reminders act as rhythmic cues, ensuring no note is missed. The reminders notify new hires and managers about pending assignments. They ensure that all necessary tasks are completed in a timely manner. By eliminating the need for manual follow-ups, automated task reminders improve efficiency and accountability. They keep everyone informed and on track.
Automated task reminders – Image Source: Greenhouse Support
4. Integration with HR systems: Integration with HR systems allows seamless transfer of data between employee onboarding platforms and HR databases. This integration eliminates the need for duplicate data entry. It also ensures accuracy and consistency. It enables HR teams to efficiently manage employee records, track progress, and access relevant information. By integrating with HR systems, companies can streamline their employee onboarding process and enhance data management. They can maintain a synchronized rhythm of employee experience from the start of their journey with the organization.
Integration with HR systems – Image Source: EmployeeConnect
In addition to automated processes, there are a few key aspects of employee onboarding that are critical for companies to grasp. These 6 Cs of strategic employee onboarding are compliance, clarity, confidence, connection, culture, and check-back.
Each progressive “C” indicates an increasing level of effectiveness as the employee onboarding process progresses from Compliance to Check-back. Organizations that focus on the 6 C’s demonstrate more successful employee onboarding and business outcomes than those that do not (Bauer, 2022). Let’s understand them in more detail.
6 Cs of strategic employee onboarding
- Compliance: Compliance involves teaching employees legal requirements, safety protocols, and ethical standards (Bauer, 2010). It ensures employees understand and adhere to regulations and policies. By prioritizing compliance, companies minimize risks, maintain a secure work environment, and build trust with employees. This instills a sense of responsibility, while ensuring companies operate within legal boundaries.
- Clarity: Clarity ensures employees understand their new jobs and all related expectations (Bauer, 2010). It focuses on providing clear communication of expectations to new employees. It involves sharing job responsibilities, goals, and performance expectations in a straightforward manner. By offering a transparent employee onboarding process, companies ensure employees have a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and available resources. This sets them up for success from the start.
- Confidence: Confidence refers to instilling self-assurance in new employees. It involves providing the necessary training, resources, and support to help them feel competent and capable in their roles. Organizations can create positive employee onboarding experiences to empower and support new hires (Bauer, 2022). By nurturing employee confidence, companies boost morale, productivity, and job satisfaction. This fosters a positive work environment, where employees feel empowered to take on challenges and contribute effectively to the organization’s success.
- Connection: Connection emphasizes building relationships and fostering a sense of belonging. Gallup studies show that having a close friend at work is related to a 50% boost in job satisfaction. Employees with a best friend at work were 7x more likely to engage fully with their work. Connection involves facilitating interactions with colleagues, mentors, and key stakeholders. By encouraging social integration and providing opportunities for collaboration, companies create a supportive work environment. Establishing connections helps new hires feel valued, engaged, and motivated. This leads to stronger teamwork and a higher likelihood of long-term retention.
- Culture: Culture is the company’s soul, composed of shared values, traditions, and beliefs. Cultural employee onboarding is one of the key ways company culture is formed, maintained, and changed (Bauer, 2022). It is important to introduce new employees to the values, beliefs, and behaviors that define the organization. By immersing employees in the organizational culture, companies promote alignment, foster a sense of identity, and create a positive work environment. Emphasizing cultural integration helps new hires feel connected and engaged. This leads to increased job satisfaction and productivity.
- Check-back: Check-back refers to the practice of regularly assessing and following up with new employees to ensure their needs are met. By checking back, companies can identify any gaps or issues and address them promptly. It involves staying connected to provide ongoing support. The only way to know if your employee onboarding programs are working is to ask new hires. Use check-back to adjust your employee onboarding program on the go as you learn more about what is and isn’t working (Bauer, 2022). This enhances employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
We have seen that onboarding is integral to the success of new employees. It is essential to strike the right training chord during the employee onboarding process. Microlearning remixes traditional onboarding. It transforms training into a dynamic, personalized playlist of learning experiences for employees.
Microlearning is a training approach that delivers content in small, bite-sized units. It focuses on short, targeted lessons. Microlearning uses multimedia elements to provide quick and easily digestible information. This promotes engagement and knowledge retention.
Microlearning automates and streamlines employee onboarding with bite-sized content, mobile-friendly delivery, personalization, and interactive elements. Let’s take a detailed look at the different ways microlearning streamlines employee onboarding.
How microlearning streamlines employee onboarding
- Bite-sized lessons: Bite-sized lessons are like musical phrases, breaking complex concepts into manageable melodies. According to Microlearning – A “Bite-Sized” Approach to Education, a report of the Journal of Applied Psychology (2017) says learning in bite-sized pieces is 17% more effective than traditional classroom studies. New employees can learn at their own pace, absorb information better, and avoid overwhelm. With short lessons, employee onboarding becomes more efficient and effective. It simplifies employee onboarding and helps new employees grasp the essentials quickly and easily.
- Mobile-friendly delivery: Mobile-friendly delivery harmonizes convenience with continuous development. By using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, employees can access onboarding content anytime, anywhere. It’s like having the training program in their pocket. Mobile-friendly delivery allows quick, convenient learning during breaks or commutes. Employees can complete modules at their own pace, enhancing flexibility. This ensures new employees receive essential information and training conveniently.
- Just-in-time learning: Just-in-time learning is like responsive tuning. Instead of overwhelming new hires with excessive information upfront, just-in-time learning allows them to access the information when they need it. It functions like an instant guidebook for their new role. By accessing relevant modules at the right moment, new employees can quickly grasp key concepts and apply them immediately. This streamlines onboarding and makes it more efficient and practical.
- Interactive multimedia elements: Microlearning is composed of interactive multimedia elements. These include videos, quizzes, interactive exercises, etc. This creates immersive learning experiences that engage the visual and auditory senses. Learning becomes fun and enjoyable. These elements promote active participation and improve information retention. New employees can easily visualize concepts, practice skills, and receive immediate feedback. This interactive approach enhances engagement and understanding. It ensures that employees grasp important information effectively.
- Personalization and flexibility: Just like each melody has a unique score, each employee has unique learning needs. Microlearning uses data analytics and progress tracking. This personalizes the training to each employee’s learning requirements. Learning paths can be customized to focus on what new hires need most. They can easily learn at their own pace. This provides a more engaging and relevant experience. It ensures that new employees acquire the knowledge and skills required for their new roles. This results in increased job readiness.
- Reinforcement and spaced repetition: Repeated musical motifs create memorable melodies. Similarly, microlearning uses spaced repetition to create lasting learning impressions. Reinforcement and spaced repetition in microlearning simplify and improve employee onboarding. It allows new employees to review and practice important information regularly. By revisiting key concepts in short, spaced-out intervals, new employees can reinforce their knowledge. This approach helps them remember information better and prevents forgetting. It streamlines employee onboarding by enhancing retention and ensuring employees are well-prepared for their new roles.
These benefits of microlearning can synthesize an effective employee onboarding process. Let’s understand the different ways microlearning can be leveraged for employee onboarding.
How to leverage microlearning for effective employee onboarding
- Company overview and culture: Training new hires in company culture is essential to develop a sense of belonging and connection. Microlearning is ideal for this. Short, focused lessons can train new employees on company history, mission, and values. Interactive quizzes, videos, etc. provide an engaging way to familiarize new employees about the company and its culture.
- Policies and procedures: Short modules help new employees familiarize themselves with company policies, guidelines and regulations. These modules can incorporate interactive quizzes and scenario-based activities to reinforce understanding. Spaced repetition and just-in-time learning increase knowledge absorption and retention. New employees can easily access and refer to these modules as needed.
- Compliance training: Just like policies and procedures, compliance training is crucial for new hires. Bite-sized, targeted modules can deliver essential information about regulations, ethical practices, and legal requirements. This ensures adherence to rules and regulations. This minimizes non-compliance risks within the organization.
- Health and safety training: It is imperative to train new hires in safety protocols, emergency procedures, hazard identification, etc. Short and engaging videos, PDFs, interactive quizzes, and simulations make it easy to learn complex concepts. Scenario-based learning and spaced repetition reinforce understanding of such concepts.
- Job-specific skills training: Microlearning allows new employees to quickly acquire job-specific skills, boosting their confidence and productivity. By breaking down training into digestible modules, microlearning ensures efficient and focused onboarding. This enables new hires to contribute effectively to their roles.
- Product knowledge: Microlearning can provide modules about the organization’s products or services. New employees can quickly learn about the features, benefits, and use cases of the offerings. Microlearning avoids overwhelming new employees with too much information at once. It allows them to learn at their own pace and revisit topics as needed. This makes employee onboarding more efficient and effective.
- Customer service training: Through brief modules, new hires can learn crucial skills like active listening, problem-solving, and empathy. Scenario-based learning, videos, etc. can also reinforce these soft skills. This ensures new employees quickly absorb and apply the knowledge gained during onboarding. It promotes continuous learning by allowing employees to access the training materials whenever they need a refresher. This improves their customer service abilities over time.
- Performance expectations: Through short modules, new hires can quickly grasp the key performance indicators, goals, and standards they need to meet. This ensures new employees understand what is expected of them. Microlearning modules outline performance expectations and goals for employees. This helps new hires align their actions with expectations.
- Onboarding surveys and assessments: Microlearning can streamline the process of gathering feedback and assessing employee knowledge. This can be done through automated surveys and assessments. This allows companies to track progress, identify areas for improvement in the onboarding process, and customize learning paths to make the process more effective.
- Employee support resources: Microlearning can provide resources such as job aids, reference materials, and FAQs to provide ongoing support for employees during onboarding. This allows them to access information quickly and independently. This reduces the need for constant assistance.
By leveraging microlearning to automate these aspects of employee onboarding, companies can streamline the process, ensure consistency, and provide employees with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their roles.
Now, let’s see some examples where microlearning has had an impact on employee onboarding.
Examples of microlearning in employee onboarding
Asurint is a background screening tech company. They have many millennial employees. Most lack management experience. Asurint successfully implemented microlearning throughout their employee onboarding process. This includes training on compliance, data security, HR, and industry-specific regulations.
The results have been impressive:
- Training time reduced from 6-8 weeks to 4 weeks
- 90%+ increase in employee retention among new hires
- 25% of microlearning units are consumed voluntarily (showcasing employee investment in the training initiative)
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) used microlearning to manage service requests and onboarding in its 5,000+ hotels worldwide.
The results are great:
- 5500+ lessons accessed by staff within 2 days of launch
- Employee onboarding time reduced from 5 weeks to 2 weeks
In his book “Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live”, Google’s former VP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, talks about ‘Nudges’.
Bock defines these as “the gentlest of reminders” that “can make a difference”. Nudges don’t “have to be expensive or elaborate”. The only criteria is that they need to be “timely, relevant, and simple to put into action”. In other words, they need to be delivered at the recipients’ point of need.
There is an automated checklist of five actionable items for managers of new hires to follow. Google also experimented sending Nudges to new hires directly after 2 weeks, in the spirit of spaced repetition. This led to:
- 25% increase in productivity of new hires
- 2% improvement in productivity for the entire workforce
In conclusion, employee onboarding is crucial for seamless integration, fostering engagement, and establishing a strong foundation for the success of new hires. However, employee onboarding presents its fair share of challenges. By implementing automated employee onboarding processes, companies can enhance the experience. This makes it smoother, more efficient, and effective. Automation reduces manual tasks, allowing HR teams to focus on nurturing connections and fostering growth.
Additionally, incorporating microlearning into the employee onboarding process further enhances its impact. Microlearning strings together onboarding experiences like a melodic ensemble, guiding employees towards competence and confidence. Through bite-sized, personalized learning modules, new employees can gain confidence, establish connections, and align with the organization’s culture easily. Together, automated employee onboarding and microlearning pave the way for a successful and harmonious integration of new team members. RapL is a leading provider of microlearning solutions. To know more about how the RapL platform can streamline your employee onboarding process, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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