Here’s a scene right out of movie. “A relatively angry looking lady, wearing half-moon spectacles rushes through the office corridors, followed by a scared meek looking employee who nods at all the hand gesture the woman in front makes. The two then enter a maze of cubicles all occupied by either sneering employees or entirely disinterested ones. The woman in charge then points towards an empty cubicle, hands off a stack of files/folders, points at random people sitting at different directions and breezes out, leaving a perplexed newbie behind.” Well, this grim scene of onboarding works, if it is for an entry level position and if the job function includes just stacking or arranging files (even that would require a better briefing). The training needs of employees at different roles are different. eLearning as discussed previously, helps in stepping up the onboarding game , and reduces the cost too.
Onboarding is essentially the first interaction between the organization and the employees, if anything it sets the first impression which definitely would leave a lasting impact. Onboarding hence, should be capable of ‘WOWing’ the new hires, showcase the organization in a positive light and give them a sense of belonging. How then can eLearning be leveraged to give a WOW onboarding experience?
A Customized Environment
Games, online portals, almost everything that the modern learner uses has usernames, avatars etc. Doing something similar with eLearning for onboarding would be a start. That would definitely get their attention. Not just that, the profile details can be utilized as basic information about the learners too. In addition to this, giving the onboarding experience a mobile twist would not only make training more flexible, but allow the new hires to access learning on a device they might be more accustomed to using, not to forget the benefit of accessing anywhere and at any time. Use of Microlearning is a good way of engagement too.
Concise Information and Interesting Representation
What does the company do, the organizational hierarchy, the do’s and don’ts etc. should all be a part of onboarding, but elaborating on each may put off the learners. In such cases, graphical representation, videos etc. should be put to use to relay the concise information. Give the learners a complete map of the onboarding process and allow them to view their individual progress as well as that of others (in comes leaderboards and dashboards).
Innovative Inclusions in Learning Strategy
Microlearning is one way of innovation, adding mini games, or even physical activities for team building, formal introductions helps in keeping the human element alive. In addition, fun quizzes, trivia and gamification of the whole onboarding process can keep it the fun-factor in. Social learning too is great way of engaging new-hires, after all they can learn more from their peers than from any long content filled learning module. Moreover, it gives the new hires a ‘safe’ space to discuss, clarify their doubts etc. within closed forums, hence decreasing the embarrassment they would feel otherwise. And in case of group onboarding it allows all the new recruits to bond, collaborate in problem solving and adapt to the new environment.
And if all this doesn’t WOW them enough, it is always good to add some tangible gifts (of course, not the boring notepads and pens), something like a coffee mug or a coaster, probably with the organization’s motto or Logo or even a calendar or maybe a digital device if the budget allows it. It is good to think out of the box and understand the audience to pick something that can really strike a chord, give them a sense of warmth. Just like small gestures can leave a long-term impact, the impression set during onboarding can help in long-term retention, motivation, and good performance.
So, what would you do to WOW the newly hired? Have you utilized the power of eLearning yet? If not, are you looking for a new onboarding strategy? Need assistance? We are just a mouse click away.