Onboarding for new hires: where to start?

Managers are often so busy trying to recruit talented workers that they neglect to think about what should happen once the new hire arrives ready to work.

Without an onboarding program, the first days, weeks, and even months of the highly coveted new employee can be very chaotic. Research has shown that in 4% of cases a bad first working day is the main reason for leaving the organisation. Your first week at a company has a big impact on how you feel about the organisation. It’s the foundation of your experience, capacity and emotional connection at work.

If organisations have a structured onboarding approach, new employees feel connected with the company and are less likely to look for work elsewhere. They will make the difference in the coming years: they perform better, their job satisfaction increases and their retention rates are higher, which in turn positively impacts your customer satisfaction. But how can you ensure a successful onboarding approach within your organisation?

Totara Learn LMS

Practical example: onboarding at a non-profit organisation

One of our Totara Learn customers is a non-governmental environmental organisation with offices in over 40 countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam. Every year, this customer hires hundreds of new volunteers and employees. People are at the heart of everything they do. That’s why successful onboarding approach is important to this organisation.

The onboarding challenge

The customer approached Totara Partner Atrivision with the following request:

  • Design an attractive way to train new employees worldwide
  • Develop an e-learning module to get new employees up and running in no time
  • Enthuse new employees to get started within our non-profit organisation

The solution: a learning management system

Personal growth of employees is very important to our customer. This begins with a good introduction and onboarding. In the summer of 2012, this non-profit organisation began training new employees on Totara Learn. Totara Learn is an all-in-one learning management system for the administration, documentation, reporting and delivery of e-learning courses.

Totara Partner Atrivision took care of the e-learning courses, implemented the LMS system and offered training. Powered by Totara’s learning management system, the organisation can track employees progress in their learning environment. It’s also used for face-to-face training around the world.

Initially, the learning platform was used to create simple face-to-face bookings. Nowadays, employees can also prepare homework and assignments through the system. After the training, they have the opportunity to provide online feedback. This proves that the Totara Learn digital learning environment has many applications: from a platform to support complete courses up to scheduling. It is also a valuable addition to traditional learning environments, also called blended learning.

Accessibility of Totara Learn

People around the world can access the learning environment of the non-profit organisation using only their email address. In addition to the onboarding module, the overarching branch of the organisation offers a number of general and job-orientated training courses such as Project Management, Leadership & Management and Campaign Training. Meanwhile, a number of national organisations also use it.

For instance, in Germany, the non-profit organisation offers courses to inform and educate volunteers. Because many volunteers do not have an e-mail address from the organisation, the system is arranged to copy data to the learning platform through a simple HR synchronisation. This prevents anyone in the world from accessing potentially sensitive information.

Each new user will receive a link to verify the synchronised email address and activate their account. Volunteers get access to specific courses. In order to support the organisation in maintaining their system, Atrivision has also created dashboards with videos, webinars, e-learning, manuals, courses and reports. Administrators, Country Administrators and leadership management have access to the reports. These can also be mailed directly to their inbox, if they wish.

Saving costs with onboarding

In the past onboarding only took place in person. In each continent people were flown to a common location. Digitising the onboarding has thus resulted in huge cost savings.

The administration of face-to-face meetings was also very complicated and time consuming at the time. By booking the remaining face-to-face meetings in their new learning management system, this has become much simpler. With the right reports it is now a lot more insightful. Atrivision created a template for courses so that there’s consistency across the organisation and new content can be easily added worldwide.

The results of the new learning platform

In 2012, the new Totara Learn learning environment was launched at this organisation. In 2016 we have made the LMS even more attractive, modern and user-friendly. Hundreds of employees have already successfully completed their onboarding programme in Totara Learn.

Currently there are about 400 users active in the learning platform. This will expand further in the next few years. The goal is for all employees and interested volunteers to use the learning environment. Learning now has a modern design in this non-profit organisation. The responsibility for learning is laid down by the employee and facilitated with blended learning resources.

The future

The umbrella organisation would like to offer more learning resources in their learning platform and attract more users in different countries. In each country, the organisation must comply with different rules and laws. That's why Totara Learn’s structure and task package is very interesting to them. They will also continue to work with Atrivision to further improve the user-friendliness.

The next steps on the agenda include:

  • Implementing single sign-on
  • Converting communication training into a blended process
  • Entering proficiency profiles in the LMS and link to training
  • Providing more courses for country administrators and country course creators
  • Creating dashboards for registered course creators

Want to know more about onboarding?

Despite good intentions, some managers are missing the mark when onboarding new hires. Contact Totara today to help you develop an onboarding strategy and ensure immediate success.

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