E-Learning and Employee Onboarding - Designing the Right Blend from Start to Finish

Published in Companies
Monday, 29 July 2013 17:59
Even in the current climate, savvy organizations know you still need - more than ever, really – to attract and retain great people. Your approach to onboarding is in the front line in the war for talent. What kind of first impression are you creating? Are you exploring the potential of e-learning and a portal approach within your onboarding to extend your reach? 

The nature of the modern workforce means more remote and geographically dispersed workers. There’s an increase in the distribution of full time, part time, and contractor employees – all of whom need some form of onboarding. Onboard training plays a critical role in forming the perceptions your new employees will have about your organization and its culture so creating a good first impression and experience is a key component to the overall learning.

At Kineo we work with companies and integrate blended e-learning to help deliver an appealing first experience for new employees that is scalable, cost-effective, and easy to maintain. It enables organizations to provide an experience that engages new employees, helps them reach full productivity, provides what they need-when they need it, and ensures a consistent approach and message.

8 Effective Blended Learning Design Approaches


Here are some effective blended design approaches for your consideration:

  1. Make it flexible and modular
    The flexibility of an onboarding program is critical. People have varying needs and learning styles which need to be accommodated. Creating your onboarding training using a modular format enables new employees to navigate to the specific material they want and allows you to develop unique programs for groups of staff by creating the perfect blend of modules, gleaned from a ‘library’ of your organization’s learning curriculum. In other words…”have it your way” by picking, choosing and combining different learning modules- giving you, the content designer, maximum flexibility.


  2. Make it look and sound great 
    Make sure that you’re selling your brand, values, and culture at every moment during the onboarding. Not sure where to start?  Here’s two tips:
    • Get the tone right- it should be a reflection of everything your organization stands for.  
    • Get the look and feel right- make it an exemplary execution of your brand. Onboarding usually has a longer shelf-life, so getting it right the first time can save you time and money in the long run.


  3. Win hearts and minds 
    It is important that new employees are made to feel that they are part of the organization right from the start. Your onboarding should include the three B’s
    • Belonging- promote a sense of belonging and welcoming
    • Believing- create a positive attitude that makes them proud to work for you
    • Behaving- be clear on expected behaviors 


  4. Provide Confirmation & Clarity 
    It is important that the new employee feels their decision to join has been confirmed very quickly. To do so, combine strategies such as positive messages about the organization, stories of personal growth and progression, and tips and best practices on how new employees can understand ‘how things work,’ ultimately establishing a clear path to success. 


  5. Make it real 
    Using people-based examples to bring your organization’s messages to life is as real as it gets. Essential pieces of information in the onboarding program can be conveyed through personal examples and stories of the jobs, responsibilities, and procedures for their specific job. 

    Something to think about: Incorporate stories from both senior management and recent hires that can provide relevant and relatable stories that will resonate with your new employees.


  6. Tell your best stories – even if they’re horror stories  
    Tell the real story of the organization. Opening up to your learners builds up a sense of belonging, allowing them to develop trust and a sense of inclusion. Use real-life answers to illustrate how things get done, how decisions are made, and what the culture is like.  

    Something to think about: Does your organization have a social platform in-place?  On-boarding programs are a great time to connect new joiners with existing employees.  Consider:
    • Chat Sessions with recognized experts and leaders.  
    • Discussion boards that include both new joiners and experienced employees.
    • Posting candid videos sharing a “day-in-the-life” of key employee segments.


  7. Include compliance and culture
    You could argue that the best time to get new employees engaged with key compliance and culture topics is before they even start the job. That’s why we recommend including it in your onboarding learning early on. Want to design it right? Consider applying these principles: 
    • Engage and motivate- get people’s attention and hold it.  
    • Provide opportunities to practice- use realistic scenarios to present the information in an engaging way that allows the learner to relate to the characters 
    • Provide coaching and support- reinforce correct actions in question feedback and explain the correct procedures in more detail on intervening screens. 


  8. Don’t forget the basic stuff
    New employees don’t know what you know. They’ll want answers to simple questions.  
    • “Where’s the cafeteria?”  
    • “What’s the policy on flexible working?”  
    • “When do I get paid?” 

 

The only way to have a successful workforce, one that is highly engaged and productive, is to have a top-of-the-line onboarding strategy in place.  It starts with anticipating the questions, gaining trust from your new employees, and designing your eLearning course with the perfect blend of eLearning concepts.


Did we wet your whistle? View our full guide, Blended Learning for Induction and Orientation here or join our community LinkedIn group, E-Learning Professionals. 

Read 3338 times Last modified on Saturday, 10 August 2013 00:14
Meghan Young

Highly skilled professional with over 20 years as a corporate consultant and service provider. Meghan has a broad range of client solutions for leadership development including corporate and academic institutions, addressing leadership and talent development and blended learning environments. She has been recognized for creativity, teamwork and unique approaches to situations highlighting leadership, analysis and communication skills.

Website: www.kineo.com/
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