Getting new employees 'up to speed' is more important in today’s working environment than ever before. Companies no longer expect that their associates will commit to working for them for the duration of their career.
This isn’t just generational; there are specific fields, like media and entertainment, where employees move on to their next job fairly quickly.
Knowing that an employee may only stay with their organisation for a few years, coupled with the fact that most employees will decide how they feel about staying at the company within the first six months and one-third of them will choose to leave, employers are looking at ways to make their onboarding process more effective.
One reason companies need more efficiency in onboarding is to improve retention and hopefully make enough of a good impression that new hires won’t choose to leave.
But another important reason for improving onboarding is that it can save a considerable amount of time - something there is increasingly less of when we consider the short stint an average employee may stay with your company.
Because of the importance of a holistic onboarding process, organisations are now turning to software to help new hires integrate into their companies faster and with less hassle.
Here are five ways to accelerate onboarding by using something you might not expect: a learning management system (LMS).
1. Standardise the process
LMS software helps standardise your onboarding process. You can integrate your materials and clarify expectations from leaders in a formal way, and reproduce that process regularly so that it’s not being reinvented for each new hire.
Some of the onboarding process can even begin before a new hire’s first day, such as completing paperwork and watching short welcome videos from the CEO.
This also opens the door for their first day to be spent more hands-on with their new manager and their new team, rather than completing forms.
2. Run onboarding as a training programme
Believe it or not, your onboarding program can be run similarly to other LMS training programmes.
These programmes include tests and reports and give you the ability to track and monitor the programs progress and success. They can even include gamification, which provides incentives and rewards for successful completions.
If you can work with department leaders to create specific onboarding programmes for each team, even better.
Instead of sitting through dozens of different meetings and trying to assimilate all of the different instructions they receive during the first week, your new hires can sit down and work through an organised orientation programme.
3. Narrow your focus
Your LMS system will be able to evaluate new hires through the use of components like quizzes, tests, and games, and determine their aptitudes for different kinds of tasks.
You can uses these features to identify where new employees are strong and where they have room to grow - in other words, where you need to focus subsequent training efforts.
Since most companies don’t run any kind of performance or aptitude analysis until at least six months in, this approach will also give you a strategic head start against other companies in your industry.
4. Move seamlessly into new hire training
The same LMS system you are using for new-hire onboarding can be used for new hire training, meaning the web-based environment your new employee is now familiar with from onboarding will help transition them seamlessly into their training classes.
Again, this is assuming you have a learning management system in place and a set of programmes built for each department. If that’s not the case, now may be a good time to think about getting started.
5. Reduce one-on-one training from senior staff
Spending time with senior staff — whether it be a direct supervisor, or a senior level executive — is important for the success of a new employee. It helps them feel valued and gain a first-hand view into some of your organisation’s priorities and decision-making processes.
But when senior staff members are spending too much of their time training new employees, it detracts from productivity and adds to the stress and workload of an entire team.
Let’s be honest, a director or C-level has no business training new hires, unless those hires are their direct reports.
Using an LMS system to automate onboarding process and new hire training helps senior management spend time with new employees in ways that are more meaningful and valuable.
So, why an LMS for onboarding?
It’s critical that your onboarding program integrates new hires into your organisation swiftly and effectively. LMS software, with the right configuration, can cover the milestones of the onboarding process in a way that focuses on what’s important for each hire.
Just keep in mind, speed isn’t the only metric for onboarding success. Sometimes, it’s better to do things the right way, even if it takes longer. Ultimately, you’ll see this manifested in your employee retention rate.
This is a guest post from Jessica Barrett Halcom, a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specialisations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.