Christine Mclean November 04, 2022

How To Better Support New Hires Using Employee Onboarding

Employee Training

One in five employees either had a poor onboarding process or received no onboarding at all. But the same study revealed that 70% of employees who had exceptional onboarding experiences enjoyed their jobs and were also 2.6 times as likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace. These people are more likely to stay with their employers and even become brand advocates.

So, why is employee onboarding so hard for so many organisations? The answer to this question is complex. HR teams are small and overwhelmed, hiring managers have a lot on their plates, and new hires are expected to have the knowledge they need to hit the ground running. After all, they wouldn’t have been hired in the first place if they never had the qualifications or results to prove their worth.

Here’s the truth.

New hires need support. Your employee onboarding process has to strike all the right chords if you want your new hires to be happy, productive, and willing to stay at your company for more than a few months or a year.

In this article, we’re breaking down employee onboarding and explaining the critical role training plays in supporting new hires.

What is employee onboarding?  

Employee onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into an organisation’s culture and team dynamics while providing this new hire with the training, tools, and resources necessary to succeed in the role. It’s slightly different from cross-boarding which is the process of supporting existing employees who have been hired internally. Existing employees are new to a team but aren’t new to the organization and, therefore, typically have a shorter onboarding process than new hires.

Employee orientation vs. employee onboarding: What’s the difference? 

One of the biggest challenges with employee onboarding in many organisations is that it’s treated like an orientation process. Introduce the new employee to the team, ask the employee to fill out some paperwork, tell them how things are done at the company, and then leave them to figure things out on their own. Sure, employee orientation is part of the onboarding process, but it isn’t all of it.

While employee orientation can be done within a few hours, employee onboarding takes several months and can even last for an entire year. You see, employee onboarding has a lot to do with the social and performance elements of helping new hires succeed. A Gallup study revealed that employees believe the most valuable aspects of an onboarding process are the people, learning, and processes — elements that take time and patience to understand and master.

The learning aspect of employee onboarding is where many organisations struggle the most. It’s easier to help new hires get to know people within the team and in the company, and teaching the new hire the processes required to do their jobs is often the first area of focus.

So, let’s look more closely at the learning aspect of employee onboarding. 

How to build learning that supports new hires into the employee onboarding process 

There’s a workplace learning principle from the 1980s that’s still relevant today. It was based on a study of 200 managers who were asked how they learn. The results showed that these managers received 70% of their training informally on-the-job, 20% through coaching or mentorship, and 10% through formal learning via courses or training sessions.

That’s why training during employee onboarding should take on three forms:

  • Mentorship

  • Scenario-based learning
  • On-demand training

Here’s how this training should be structured to include these three elements.

Start by identifying skill gaps

It’s important to identify the skill gaps a new hire has during the pre-onboarding phase. Knowing where new hires fall short allows you to create personalised training programs that include the right mix of the three forms of employee onboarding training mentioned above.

Helping new hires improve their skills vastly increases their productivity and loyalty to the company. They will feel like you care about their growth and development — two critical factors that impact employee retention.

Some skill gaps are evident from an employee’s résumé, others are only identified through having an employee complete a training needs assessment. What you include on a training needs assessment form for new hires will depend on the role being filled. But here’s an example of what one looks like to give you a head start.

Also, have new hires complete an emotional intelligence assessment. Emotional intelligence accounts for 58% of job success, so you should determine where your new hires’ EQ stands and provide adequate training accordingly. Not sure how to approach emotional intelligence training? Check out our interview with Krystal Tomlinson, an experienced emotional intelligence trainer, to learn more.

Use an LMS to support on-demand training  

Now that you know the skill gaps that should be addressed during onboarding training, it’s time to give your new hires access to your learning management system (LMS). An LMS acts as a central hub for storing online courses, monitoring training progress, gamifying learning, and issuing certifications. Give your new hires access to courses via your LMS that they can complete at their own pace.

Some of these courses can focus on how to use the tools and resources your company provides. Other courses can focus on the skill gaps you identified during the pre-onboarding process, as well as any other skill gaps that may pop up as new hires become more immersed in their roles. The key here is to build this on-demand training into the learning process in a way that makes new hires want to learn.

One way to do this is by gamifying learning through points, badges, rewards, and recognition. Here’s an idea. You can group courses into three tiers. Tier one focuses on fundamental courses about the company’s culture, processes, and tools used for work. The second tier focuses on courses related to the soft skills that will make new hires better team players (emotional intelligence, communication, and so on). The final tier focuses on courses that improve the hard skills new hires need for their jobs.

Points can be assigned to course completion at each tier. You can then create a rewards system that allows new hires to win various prizes based on the number of points accumulated. This is one way to make on-demand training fun and help new hires enjoy the process.

One on One has an extensive library of ready-made courses that will help your new hires develop the soft and hard skills they need to perform at their best. Our LMS also makes it easier for you to track their progress, give them access to courses, test, gamify learning, and issue certificates. Schedule a demo to learn more.

Provide on-the-job training  

A lot of a new hire’s on-the-job training will occur informally as teachable moments arise throughout the workday. But it also helps when mentorship and scenario-based learning are built into the process. Pair new hires with more experienced team members who can mentor them and make their transition into your organisation’s culture and environment seamless. Also, use simulations, virtual reality, and real-life scenarios as ways to immerse new hires into what’s required for their new roles.

Make training a central part of your employee onboarding process 

Adding training to your employee onboarding process makes it easier for your workplace culture to support employee growth and development. Remember, employee onboarding and employee orientation are different — onboarding isn’t only about signing papers, introducing your new hire to a few people, and moving on with your day. Instead, it’s an ongoing process of support that helps new hires connect with their team, improve their knowledge and skills, and adapt to the company’s processes and culture.

Let One on One support the training needs of your employee onboarding process. Schedule a demo with us to learn more about how we can help you.