Giving Your Employees A Welcome That Will Make Them Want to Stick Around: How to Improve an Onboarding Program

You’ve instructed everyone in the office to give the newest employee a warm welcome and you’ve presented them with an employee handbook. That’s where the onboarding process ends, right?

Not quite.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 11.06.28 AMIn today’s marketplace businesses are focusing on working smarter to remain competitive, and a great deal of working smarter means you’re able to invest in your employees in a way that’s going to keep them happy, productive and also pave the way for them to enjoy a long and loyal career within an organization.

This starts from the moment an employee begins in a new position, often through a process called onboarding. It all goes back to the idea of creating a good first impression—your onboarding program is really your company’s first impression in terms of your human capital strategy so it’s important to make it a good one.

Onboarding should be a combination of several factors including skills and knowledge training, an overall introduction to your corporate culture and environment, and a time for new employees to get to know co-workers and see how they’ll fit into the puzzle that is their new employer.

Unfortunately, despite the importance, onboarding programs are often either nonexistent or fail to live up to expectations which can lead to a negative employer brand, a lack of loyalty on the part of employees and a high rate of turnover. To avoid these pitfalls, consider the following:

Begin Onboarding Before an Employee is Officially Hired

Onboarding is something that should start during the hiring process because not only does it allow you to get a jumpstart on the overall training process but it also gives both you and potential new employees the opportunity to get to know the corporate culture and see how they’ll fit with it. Companies that focus a great deal on finding employees that are not just a skills but also a cultural match include Amazon and Google, where the hiring process is the first step of onboarding.

Make Training Programs Accessible and Brief

When a new employee begins it can be overwhelming and burdensome to immediately hit them with loads of training information. For the initial onboarding process introduce training materials that are brief and concise and only gives them information on a need-to-know basis.

Let your employees spend their initial weeks getting to know their new position not only through training but also through hands-on experience and they’re more likely to enjoy their time in a new company and what they learn is more likely to be retained over the long term.

Combine Training Technology with Coaching

A learning management system is a valuable tool to provide accessible, convenient and on-demand training during the onboarding process, but you can also combine this with some type of coaching from a more senior employee, whether that coaching is in-person or takes place in a virtual environment.

When coaching is included as part of onboarding it will help a new employee feel as if there’s someone guiding them through the process, and it will give them a single point of reference if they have questions during those initial weeks.

Individualize Onboarding and Training

Employees want to feel as if their employer is willing to invest in them in terms of time and money and one way to immediately evoke this feeling is by individualizing their onboarding training program.

For many businesses there’s apprehension when it comes to individualizing onboarding and training because of the cost or the time resources they feel will be required to do this, but online training presents a unique alternative in which it’s efficient in terms of both time and cost to create personalized training paths for new employees.

Outline Objectives

You want your new employees to feel welcome and like they’re part of the team, but this should also include immediately outlining objectives. Use your online training and onboarding as a time to outline the objectives and goals that the company has for a new employee. When new hires feel like expectations and directions are clear they tend to be more satisfied with the onboarding process.

If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to implement new hire training and onboarding contact eLeaP to learn more about our advanced learning management system options.

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