Why Onboarding is one of the Most Essential Parts of Employee Training


Share on LinkedIn

When you think of “employee job train­ing,” what comes to mind? Teach­ing your employ­ees how to use a new tech­nol­ogy? A class to help them improve their cus­tomer ser­vice skills? Or how about man­age­r­ial train­ing for your super­vi­sors? While all of these are impor­tant train­ing pro­grams to imple­ment, one of the most essen­tial train­ing pieces, onboard­ing, may actu­ally be the most impor­tant part of employee train­ing, yet it is often over­looked or not given the atten­tion it deserves.

Onboard­ing, as defined by Wikipedia is, “the mech­a­nism through which new employ­ees acquire the nec­es­sary knowl­edge, skills, and behav­iors to become effec­tive orga­ni­za­tional mem­bers and insid­ers. Tac­tics used in this process include for­mal meet­ings, lec­tures, videos, printed mate­ri­als, or computer-based ori­en­ta­tions to intro­duce new­com­ers to their new jobs and orga­ni­za­tions.” In other words, onboard­ing is much more than just “employee ori­en­ta­tion” – it is the whole process by which you wel­come new employ­ees to your com­pany, ori­ent them to your cul­ture, and train them for suc­cess. Com­pa­nies who have struc­tured onboard­ing pro­grams have employ­ees who will stay longer – one study found that 69% of employ­ees will stay longer than three years if there is a ded­i­cated onboard­ing pro­gram in place.

Does your com­pany have a strate­gic onboard­ing train­ing pro­gram? Do you have a pro­to­col in place for both your in-house employ­ees and those who work remotely? A shock­ingly high 90% of new hires decide in the first six months on the job whether or not they will stay with a com­pany. Employ­ees who don’t feel pre­pared or com­pe­tent enough in their jobs tend to have higher turnover, have lower morale, and are not as pro­fi­cient at serv­ing cus­tomers. A suc­cess­ful onboard­ing pro­gram requires a ded­i­cated plan, train­ing, and team to engage your new employ­ees, from day one. Below are some essen­tial points to keep in mind when design­ing an onboard­ing pro­gram that will train your new hires for a suc­cess­ful career with your company.

Engage new employ­ees imme­di­ately with a large wel­come mat

Join­ing a new com­pany is a bit like being the new kid in school. Every­thing feels awk­ward and new hires feel unsure. Do you remem­ber that feel­ing of wan­der­ing around the lunch room look­ing for a place to sit? That feel­ing cap­tures what it’s like to come into a new com­pany where you don’t know the cul­ture, job duties, or what is expected of you to be suc­cess­ful at your job. Com­pa­nies often throw new employ­ees into the mix, assum­ing that the estab­lished staff will make them feel wel­come, but this is not always the case.

To ensure that your new hires feel com­fort­able, intro­duce them to the team – in per­son. (Don’t just send out an email, in other words.) If the new employ­ees work vir­tu­ally, set up video con­fer­enc­ing so that they can place a name with faces for the peo­ple on your team. Assign a per­son or a few peo­ple to be on the “wel­come team”; mean­ing, the per­son or team who takes the new hire around the office, ori­ents them to the pro­ce­dures and cul­ture, and is avail­able to answer ques­tions and act as a men­tor. Min­i­mize the feel­ings of uncer­tainty and of feel­ing lost for your new hires as much as you can.

Stream­line your process and have a con­sis­tent onboard­ing program

If your onboard­ing process is hap­haz­ard, chances are, your new staff mem­bers will each get dif­fer­ent pieces of essen­tial infor­ma­tion, but not nec­es­sar­ily the whole, com­plete pack­age. Design a strate­gic onboard­ing process for each new hire so that you are guar­an­tee­ing that there are no redun­dan­cies, that all new employ­ees receive the same treat­ment, and that noth­ing falls through the cracks when train­ing your new team.

Don’t over­whelm your employ­ees in the onboard­ing process

Tak­ing on a new job is a stress­ful endeavor, and all too often, new employ­ees feel like they are drink­ing out of a fire hose. Make the process more pleas­ant by break­ing down your onboard­ing train­ing into sec­tions or phases so that the employ­ees have enough time to assim­i­late the new infor­ma­tion before they move onto the next phase in their ori­en­ta­tion and train­ing process. Plan to spread out your onboard­ing train­ing over a period of a few weeks, or even a few months, so that you can have a cul­ture that allows your new hires to adapt and feel com­pe­tent at each task before they move onto the next. Though it may cost more upfront to not have your new employ­ees be 100% pro­duc­tive from the begin­ning, the long-term cost of retain­ing tal­ent is far worth it.

Onboard­ing doesn’t end after the first few weeks

Onboard­ing doesn’t just end after your employ­ees have filled out their new-hire paper­work, met the team, and started work­ing. A suc­cess­ful onboard­ing pro­gram requires follow-up on a fre­quent basis to make sure that your new employ­ees are under­stand­ing their jobs, get­ting any ques­tions answered, and are inte­grat­ing with the team. It takes a long time to become a part of a new cul­ture and for one to hit his or her stride, so be patient with your new hires, and give them ample sup­port over the first few months on the job.

How can you improve your onboard­ing train­ing process?

Read this onboard­ing case study, and learn more about how you can use onboard­ing train­ing to improve turnover rates and increase cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joanna Jones
Joanna Jones is a professional copywriter and marketing strategist who has partnered with Impact Learning Systems for two years. As a marketing professional, Joanna works closely with customer service teams and helps companies improve their B2B and B2C communications and strategy.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here