Employee onboarding is the process of imparting information and skills to new staff, with the aim of preparing them for their roles in the organization. A proper onboarding strategy will boost morale, reduce micromanaging, increase productivity and lower the turnover rate. The two main techniques used for onboarding are classroom (instructor-led) training and online learning.
There are several reasons why you should choose online learning over classroom training:
- Eliminate barriers of time and space – With classroom training, participants have to be at the same place at the same time. E-learning programs are flexible and can be accessed from different time zones
- Cut costs – Traditional training methods involve numerous costs such as travel, accommodation, hiring venues and reproducing training materials. You can eliminate most of these overheads by adopting e-learning
- Offer a consistent learning experience – In classroom training, different instructors are used to conduct onboarding in different locations. This means that there is a high possibility of having inconsistency in training. E-learning allows you to deliver a consistent learning experience across different locations
- Customize your training – E-learning programs make it easier for you to align the onboarding training content with the learner’s goals and roles in the organization
Here is how you can use e-learning for employee onboarding:
Assemble Your Onboarding Team
In some companies, the HR or Learning and Development department is tasked with the responsibility of handling employee onboarding training. For other organizations, the HR works in conjunction with other workers and managers. When choosing your onboarding team, consider the structure of your organization and the resources available. For maximum efficiency, it would be advisable to assign specific tasks to individuals. You can do this using a simple spreadsheet or project management tools such as Trello or Asana. Write down each task, the person responsible and the expected delivery period.
Establish Your Onboarding Goal
Before you begin creating content, it is vital to establish your objective for onboarding employees. What exactly do you want them to accomplish after training? If you are training a salesperson, the goal could be to have them make at least 10 sales within 60 days after onboarding training. However, some goals might be more qualitative than quantitative.
Map Out Your Onboarding Steps
The best way of conducting employee onboarding is by breaking it down into ‘mini goals’. Your onboarding steps could look something like this:
- Step 1 – Initial set up
- Step 2 – Company structure
- Step 3 – Company culture
- Step 4 – Role assignment
- Step 5 – Tool training
- Step 6 – Current practices
These steps could be a combination of classroom training and online learning. While some may just last a few hours, others could end up running for several days or weeks. Whatever the duration, these steps will chart your path to your ultimate goal for onboarding training.
Prepare Your E-Learning Content
Once the onboarding steps are determined, take time to develop your course content. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do the employees need to know?
- What is their current level of knowledge?
- What do I think they should learn?
If you don’t have an internal team with the necessary skills and expertise, it would be advisable to hire a professional e-learning content developer.
Assess Your Learners
There are different ways you can assess learners during the onboarding process. You could create exams and quizzes to help employees recall what was covered in training. Assignments delivered in written form or uploaded via video allow new hires to show their comprehension of the training program. To boost trainees’ morale, you could reward them with certificates of completion or virtual badges.
Evaluate Your Training
Once the process is over, take time to assess the effectiveness of your employee onboarding program. Collect feedback using online surveys or questionnaires to establish if the online course met your objectives. This will help you identify gaps that need to be filled for more effective employee onboarding in future.