Whether your organization is big or small, for-profit or not-for-profit, it is critical to invest in an employee onboarding training program that is engaging and effective. But what is onboarding?

Based on a study featured in TalentLMS, onboarding is important to new hires and “has a positive impact both on the culture of the organization and productivity.”

Employee Onboarding


Finding new team members is an intense and costly process. Once you have found the perfect person, you want to do what it takes to keep them!

According to Josh Bersin of Deloitte, the cost of losing an employee is estimated to be at least two times their salary. Scarier than that? A different study by Equinox (and reported by Fast Company) found that more than 40% of staff turnover occurs in the first month of employment. At the same time, Brandon Hall’s Evolution of Onboarding Study found that the highest rate of turnover occurred within the first six months.

An effective onboarding experience helps your new hires feel welcomed, valued and less anxious.

Let’s face it when you start a new job you want to know if these are your people and if you can trust them!

Training on the organization’s culture, mission and values can have a big impact on making new hires feel comfortable and excited about their new role and how they fit in.

Yet according to the research, shockingly…

61% of the respondents’ employee onboarding experience did not include any training on company culture, mission, or value.

Your onboarding goals should include new team member engagement, immediate success into the integration of the company, and clear expectations for the new person in their role in relation to the entire team.

Basically, the onboarding process ensures that we share the vital information, procedures, and expectations important to their immediate success. It is a matter of effective communication.

This is also when we get the best chance to inspire and motivate our new hire and show them that they are important, valued, and a respected part of the team.

An inspired and purpose-driven new hire is a team member that will be engaged and committed to the success of their role and the success of the organization.

Another key finding from the research is that employees who meet their supervisor on day one are far more satisfied with their onboarding.

For example, the overall onboarding experience of employees who did not meet their supervisors on the first day scored a satisfaction rate of 20%. For those welcomed by their supervisors, the number doubled to 41%.

Meeting the supervisor and the team should be included on day one of your onboarding plan! This is critical.

Effective onboarding also helps team members feel prepared to do their jobs and allows them to become productive at an accelerated rate. Access to training on processes, tools, systems, products, and services allows new hires to learn “how” to do their job.

What’s the Best Approach?

The research is clear. Employees LOVE a blended onboarding approach!

A blended learning approach includes both offline and online methods of delivery.

Examples of offline methods include face-to-face classroom instruction, expert coaching, one on one mentoring and paper-based manuals (blech- more on this it a bit).

Examples of online methods include video, interactive eLearning, scenario-based/simulation eLearning, Augmented Reality (AR) orientations and even Virtual Reality (VR) simulations!

In terms of company size, there was a clear difference in delivery methods. It appears that smaller companies are more likely to use offline methods. As company size grows, it’s more likely for employers to start using online methods.

But paper based training is so old and tired. We believe that you should start using online methods from day one, no matter the size of your organization! The video tech is easy to use and can even be free. It’s way faster to talk than to type and video can satisfy all the learning preferences (visual, auditory and kinesthetic). See our article on using LOOM video and pick up our 10 Tips for Creating Great Demos! 

Even if you are hiring your very first employee, you CAN be using these methods!

Key Areas of Onboarding Training

An onboarding program can include:

  • Mandatory compliance training such as Health and Safety, and Security
  • Company culture, mission, and values
  • Processes and procedures
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Operation of tools, machinery, and systems
  • Products and services
  • Soft skills
  • How to get to the closest ice cream shop (Seriously! How is your new hire going to know where to eat? Have fun and be creative with your onboarding program.)

Our Top Tips

1- Meet the boss

One of the simplest ways to reduce staff turnover is to let them meet the boss on day one. It also helps if this introduction is warm and welcoming! Maybe at the ice cream shop? Just sayin!

2- Use a blended approach

A blended learning approach is best! Online training that the new hire can do anytime, anywhere and allows them to get up to speed rapidly without drawing on the resources of your current team members.

Face to face interactions by meeting the supervisor, the team, classroom training and one on one coaching satisfies your new hires need for connectedness.

3- Spread it out and use Just in Time (JIT) experiences

The onboarding experience should start on day one but should also be spread out. Having Just In Time learning available enables the team members to get the training that they need at the time that they need to do the task.

What has been the best onboarding experience of your career? How can you use the pros and cons that you experienced as a new hire when creating an onboarding program of your own?

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