In the current state of the world, it seems like everyone is trying to do more in less time. Multitasking is so commonplace now that research is saying it is actually not such a good thing for us.
Technology has made our lives more complicated in some ways, but more simplified in other ways. Most often, though, people and business are looking for ways to be more efficient. Days seem to be too short and we want to get as much accomplished as we can. The same is true for the onboarding process in many companies.
Leaders are trying to fit more onboarding information into less time, thinking that employees will be able to get to work sooner and start producing results. The opposite is actually true. A few days of onboarding is not enough for most new employees.
Many experts in the field recommend strategic onboarding. This type of onboarding requires that employers focus on building continuous, practical learning environments.
Companies looking to improve engagement and productivity in new employees need to look at incorporating long-term efficient learning practices into their onboarding programs.
Efficient Learning Practices
To improve the onboarding experience, HR managers should focus on providing efficient learning, through different practices, such as:
1. Going digital
Many companies are turning to digital platforms to engage new employees in the onboarding experience. They are turning to digital because learning is easily customizable and adaptable to various positions and learning styles.
A 2015 Intercall survey found that 47% of people want to have the ability to learn at their own pace, while 39% want to have the option to go back and review material whenever they want. Incorporating technology into onboarding can make those things a possibility.
2. Using data
Having access to learning data from a digital system can allow employers to make the process more effective and efficient. New employees can also use the system to offer continuous feedback throughout the onboarding process.
Leaders can adapt learning and training practices based on the data to improve learning for all employees.
3. Goal management tools
Technology tools can help employees create goals during their onboarding that can help direct them as they reach full productivity in their jobs. Goals and KPIs can help new employees work with mentors and managers on professional development plans.
Many employees feel more engaged when they see how their goals are aligned with the values and goals of the company.
In order to have access to effective data, companies need to have valid and reliable assessments. These assessments will help employers and employees reach goals and see where extra help is needed.
5. Video content
Videos are an excellent way to teach employees about a variety of topics: company culture, compliance, job skills, and other onboarding training aspects.
Videos are great for telling stories and getting messages across, a fact confirmed by the fact that 78% of people watch videos online every week, while 55% watch videos every day. They can provide a more engaging experience as they can be more interesting and provide a different way of learning information.
6. Social networks
Company social networks can connect with new employees from younger generations, provide opportunities for discussion and information sharing, create a feeling of belonging, and improve morale.
These processes can help new employees integrate into their teams and discuss training materials, to make sure that they’re learning effectively.
Some learning systems incorporate gamification into the learning process, meaning they have video game-like elements. These may include badges, levels, and competition.
In one of their studies, The Aberdeen Group found that gamification in onboarding programs increased engagement by 48%.
8. Content curation
According to the Bersin by Deloitte High-Impact Learning Organization study, the biggest challenge employees face when they’re trying to learn isn’t the lack of content—it’s finding the right content.
Companies need to create portals where new hires can easily find and share curated content. This will allow new employees to find information when they need it.
With or without technology, mentorship programs are a great way for new employees to learn about the company and learn new skills. More than 40% of new employees would like to have a mentor or coach when they join a new company.
Many Millennials are looking to their mentors to help guide them through this turning point in their professional lives and help them navigate their career paths.
10. Longer timeframe
Many people make the mistake of thinking that shorter is more efficient. In the case of onboarding, the more time you give new employees, the more efficient the process will be.
New employees will need at least 6 months to a year of onboarding to effectively learn and grow within the company.
11. Personal connections
According to Bersin people retain 10% of what they read, 50% of what they talk about, and 75% or more of what they do. Adding personalized and interactive learning where new employees can actually learn from people performing the job increases the chances that they will retain information.
As companies continue to face pressure to increase profits and retain top talent, efficient learning practices in a long term onboarding program have been shown to help engagement and productivity.
Evaluating current onboarding programs and starting to make changes can help companies produce the results that they want and need in today’s fast-paced world.