Fresh hires make an addition to a company’s value; however, the responsibility of the employer is not all disposed of once the hiring is done. To make the best use of the skills and expertise of your newly recruited employees, it is important to help them familiarize themselves with the core values and culture of your organization and their role towards it!
Unfortunately, the employee onboarding processes adopted by most of the companies out there still lookout for a set of refinements – a recent study by Gallup reveals the discontentment of 88% of employees with their company’s onboarding program. Most of these programs focus on long-winded processes and paperwork
As they say, the more you invest, the more you earn. The performance of a company is indisputably driven by its workforce. Investing in the learning of your employees is henceforth, always worth it. Well-designed onboarding sessions and regular training sessions enhance the connection between employees and the employer.
To learn more about why onboarding, learning, and training sessions hold importance, stick to the blog below!
1) Why are onboarding programs important?
“The only way to engage and retain talent is to help them onboard well.”
First impressions are the last. Since onboarding programs serve as the fresh hires’ first formal orientation to your company, it highly contributes to their productivity level, spirits towards the organization’s growth, and most importantly, their decision to stay and thrive. However, surveys reveal that only less than 50% of employees enjoy introductory training sessions! A big reason to worry. A bigger reason to worry comes unleashed as 65% of these employees find these onboarding sessions ineffective and devoid of any learning experience.
No wonder why 40% of staff turnover takes place in the first month.
While this poses a big question mark on the validity of presently adopted onboarding programs, what should be added to make them capable of aligning with the challenges ahead? To sketch the answer to this, let’s dig into what kind of onboarding and training programs are commonly used and what do employees have to say about them.
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2) More about Employee Onboarding Programs:
The three main ways how onboarding programs are mostly conducted involve exclusive online onboarding, traditional offline methods, and a blend of both; the blended learning training programs.
Online methods generally involve video training paired with online assessments shared, whereas offline training involves live sessions with instructors or self-explanatory paper manuals. Whether those are online, offline or the blended online training – all of them focus on practical yet generic and on-the-job skills. Some of the areas targeted by these trainings include Compliance training, Technical skills development, core business practices, tools and technologies etc. The cultural and product training however still suffer the most neglect.
How long the onboarding and training sessions go? Trainings can have a varied length and several recurring sessions as they might aim for the continuous professional growth of employees. Onboarding sessions on the contrary, mostly take up to a week. There is no conclusive stance about how long onboarding sessions should help the new hires to feel familiarized and productive.
To ensure fresh hires become fully acclimated to their employers, onboarding programs should extend out for a minimum of 90 days and may last as long as a year.
The onboarding sessions conducted by most of the companies last up to a week – sometimes a single day even. In short, smaller companies prefer short offline onboarding sessions whereas bigger companies are more inclined towards comprehensive online sessions.
3) What do new hires think of onboarding programs?
Employee onboarding and training process is all about embedding a new employee into an organization’s culture and helping him acquaint the skills, tools, and attitude to become productive. As the entire process entails the productivity, learning, and obviously, the contentment of employees, it is important to know the value onboarding adds to them.
Do you really think employees would love fast-forwarding through 10s of videos or reading up on a heap of dry manuals to merely win training completion certificates?
While at first, when asked about the onboarding programs being effective, most employees would nod their heads in agreement. However, in reality, employees generally take onboarding processes as a task assigned by the senior authorities to which they obviously can’t say no on their very first day at the job. Whether those are paper manuals to be filled or online training programs necessitating watching a pile of boring videos – the success of onboarding programs depends upon the involvement of employees.
Employees’ favorite onboarding method:
Training programs commonly come as a tie between skill-oriented and culture-oriented concerns. Surveys reveal employees to be more under cultural stress i.e. they are more concerned about understanding the expectations of their immediate seniors rather than their performance and skills.
Multiple studies, surveys, and researches favor the conduct of blended onboarding programs.
Most employees come off with a mutually shared view of being more focused, alert, and participative during blended online onboarding sessions which helps them explore new learning opportunities. Onboarding sessions that are delivered as a combination of live interactions (offline delivery channel) and self-learning (online delivery channels) continue to be employees’ all-time favorite.
4) Are Onboarding and Training programs performing well?
No matter how much effort goes into designing information-concentrated training content and sessions, it’s of no use till it adequately addresses the concerns of all the employees.
“Statistics by Gallup reveal that 88% of organizations do not onboard their employees well.”
This clearly demonstrates that the onboarding processes employed by companies are not very well aligned with the challenges faced by employees. There can be a number of reasons contributing to ineffective onboarding and training programs.
An offline training is sometimes too dry and boring to keep the interest of employees intact. On the contrary, the online training programs with no live interactions make it hard for employees to feel connected soon. Many times, employees are more inclined towards fast-forwarding the videos, slides instructions without really paying attention to the content. Some more problems include:
- Lack of involvement in the training programs – by employees & the company both.
- Onboarding and training sessions are often too outdated, generic, or far from reality.
- No performance evaluation or assessment programs.
- A ‘Do-it-yourself’ approach, assuming employees learn everything by themselves.
- Employees feel a lack of sense of belonging to the company.
- Lack of guidance by managers and supervisors.
And the list continues. Shocked? Ratios indicate the following.
More than 20% of employees side by the stance that they were not satisfactorily onboarded even after three months at work!
5) Five ways to revamp Onboarding and Training Programs:
The importance of the onboarding process and on-going employee training is no more a debatable topic. We know it’s crucial to motivate your employees to put their best foot forward towards work. Whether you are curating your training programs from a scratch or look forward to refining them, we have pulled together five fool-proof tips to get you through!
1. Manage the training duration:
Imagine having to screen for hours getting your trainings and onboarding sessions done? Anyone would lose motivation before getting halfway even. Trainings that are short and interactive help retain the attention span of employees, thus making them more productive.
2. Go for a Blended Approach:
As demonstrated by several studies and surveys, employees feel more connected and involved when faced with a Blended Approach of learning i.e. Online & Offline training. Help your fresh hires meet their supervisors and reporting authorities on day one. In addition to face-to-face interactions, make sure to use online tools and technologies to keep your employees updated at all times.
3. Cultural Education:
Can you survive in a whole new country without knowing the language spoken there? Don’t consider your fresh hires any different. Help your employees learn the culture and core values of your business. However, make sure not to go for weeks-long training on culture. Keep them short and crisp, but mandatory!
4. Exclusive Trainings:
Onboarding and training processes can just not settle for the ‘One size fit all’. These processes must be tailored for each specific age group and hierarchy level. For instance, junior staff needs more training in basic working mechanisms, whereas it’s stupid to teach a manager how to operate basic excel.
5. Effective Assessments:
Lastly, but most importantly, don’t leave everything to fresh hires. Each training, whether online or offline, should be paired with a short interactive assessment session that helps gauge the employee interest and participation.
Research found that great onboarding processes can enhance Employee Retention by more than 80%, and we just can’t agree more.