The Great Onboarding Elearning Courses

The Great Onboarding Elearning Courses
Summary: A great onboarding experience should be efficient and empathetic. Here we look at some elearning courses from agencies in the elearning sector, which either hit or come close to doing this.

Great Onboarding Elearning Courses

When it gets boiled down, there are only two stakeholders in any onboarding program:

  1. The employer, who wants an efficient up-skilling and information delivery system that gets the new starter up to speed and compliant as quickly as possible; and
  2. The new starter, who wants reassurance, support and empathy during what can be an overwhelming experience.

So, a great onboarding experience should be efficient and empathetic. Elearning can be adapted, enhanced and extended with relative ease, given the availability of rapid, easy to use development tools. Here we look at some onboarding elearning courses from agencies in the elearning sector, which either hit or come close to doing this.

First up, two bumper examples from award-winning UK based agency Brightwave.

1. Learning Transformation at Lloyds Banking Group. Late in 2011 Lloyds Banking Group in the UK embarked on a strategy to become the best bank for customers. As part of this transformation program, LBG partnered with Brightwave to improve its onboarding for Telephone Banking staff. Firstly, the bank set about consulting with staff who already worked in business to identify what would be most important to achieve their vision. A key driver that emerged from the consultation process was to increase the access to effective, quality learning opportunities. The brief was to convert a six-week onboarding program to reduce the volume of information about products and processes. In addition, to move to a shorter program with greater focus on essential learning required for the role so that the speed to competence could be accelerated.

What makes it significant?

  • The creative design of the program stands out with its generous dollop of full-screen high-quality video.
  • High-end video using a Road Trip concept to take new recruits through onboarding
  • The video has high production value, and it makes it feel like a quality product. This is a winner with new staff and sets the expectations high. The Call-a-colleague approach with pop-up videos of real people who work at the bank’s customer service centers providing tips and guidance on a range of new starter queries hits the empathy button.
  • The course went from being a fixed six-week program with everyone working on the same bit within the same timeframe, blink-and-you-miss-it to being highly flexible, self-paced and will loads of opportunity to repeat steps on an individual basis without the sense of being ahead or behind the rest of the cohort.
  • Clear progression. This is important where there’s flexibility built in. The learner needs to know where they are along their journey and where they are headed. This was done by designing a road trip analogy and threading it through the whole program. As learners travel to different locations on a virtual road trip (mapped to the locations of the contact centers up and down the country), so they travel along the Road to Success on the journey to becoming a fully operational member of staff.
  • Integrated Assima simulations of the bank’s actual systems provided a wall-garden for systems training and safely practising processes for new staff.
  • The strong scripting and storyboarding use real world scenarios to help learners build empathy with customers.

2. For our second example, Brightwave was engaged by Sky for their innovative Get up to Speed induction program. Here it’s clear that stakeholder engagement was part of the initial planning for this program with Sky's CEO visibly the principal e-learning champion - never underestimate the importance of having the top brass evangelizing about Learning & Development.  This example demonstrates a portal driven solution with some good multi-channel content, backed up by an LMS, providing plenty of variety of content to suit a broad and diverse audience. In many ways this is more than an onboarding program, this course is only part of a five-year strategic relationship for transformation that Sky put at the heart of its business.

What makes it significant? All of the above, plus:

  • By positioning itself as a strategic partner, Brightwave’s team demonstrated understanding of their client’s business drivers and delivering on that is what helps make this program a good example of corporate elearning.
  • Some excellent features that help engage the audience and keep them interested and going along are a leaderboard style scoring system offering an element of competition, social media networking tools, games, activities and quizzes.

Next up, two programs from the world leader in the elearning industry, Kineo, and these have a lot in common with my elearning onboarding top 20 checklist.

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3. Firstly, BP Operations Essentials saw Kineo working with oil giant BP on a globally scaled blended learning solution. Like LBG in our first example, a key area good programs stand out is where high stakeholder engagement has been sought and secured. In this case, they went a step closer and established a leader figure to champion the program in the client organization. What’s more – and again, this is indicative of programs that stand out from the crowd – the onboarding was designed so that it aligned closely with the goals of the business.

What makes it significant?

  • The content is designed with real examples of lessons learned and the examples or case scenarios are situated in real locations.
  • The program was designed using an iterative approach and was fully piloted which meant there were plenty of points at which it could be calibrated to the experience of new starters at the company.
  • The design approach drew on a full range of multi-channel collateral, which provided continuity and was strong on brand.

4. Designed to meet a global sustainability challenge as part of its onboarding and educate employees about the complexities of sustainability in an easy to understand way, brewing giant Heineken’s brief to Kineo was as broad as it was deep.

What makes it significant?

  • Bite-sized modules. This provides flexibility and is tailored to meet very specific learning goals.
  • Designed with practical application in mind – this is really important, as onboarding is all about getting your new starter competent in specific skills and processes.
  • Kineo appears to have been successful in engaging their client to procure content tailored for culturally diverse audience and which reflects the global nature of the company.
  • Uses strong visuals to tell a story - better than words when you have a global audience and makes the learning memorable.

5. And last, but by no means least, winner of 2014 Elearning Age award for ‘Best use of e-learning to ensure compliance with external regulations or internal policies’, UK based agency Make Sense Design worked with Connect Group to produce The Golden Rules e-learning course, famed for replacing 20,000 words of written material with engaging interactive content.

What makes it significant?

  • Immersive and engaging approach to the design has created a memorable learning experience.
  • Responsive design means that the audience can use the program on most devices including their BYOD (bring your own devices).
  • Good use of humor, games, leaderboards and strong visual design all work hard to grab attention and motivate learners to interact with the course.

Can’t get much better than that. What all of these examples have in common is that they respond to the needs of both their client and the end users. They don’t compromise on one or the other.  At the end of the day, in designing great onboarding, you don’t want to be distracted by tools at the expense of good, engaging design, and ease-of-use and simplicity are often hidden gems in any elearning toolbox. Head over to the full review of great elearning courses at Elearning Superstars.

Was this post useful? Do you have examples of great onboarding elearning? Let me know in the comments below. Meanwhile, take a look at the 20 point checklist for great onboarding elearning.