New vs. Old: Why Digital Onboarding is Better

New vs. Old: Why Digital Onboarding is Better

Are you beginning to tire of the constant cycle created by having to train newly hired employees?  Lets face it, almost every company has a bit of a “revolving door” when it comes to staff. People relocate geographically and professionally.  People retire or decide that they are not a good fit for their present position.  There are also promotions and lateral movement within the company.  Whatever the reason, positions are vacated and need to be filled by new people. This can be something of an ordeal when faced with having to put new employees through traditional “lecture-style” training year round.  It is not only expensive, it can be rather time consuming.

What many organizations resort to in order to save time and money, is a scheduled quarterly or semi annual onboard-training workshop where all the new hires from the last block of time are put through training together.  Financially, this method of onboarding makes sense. It eliminates the need for perpetual training sessions while minimizing the costs associated with repeated gatherings.

The drawbacks however are twofold.  To begin with, classroom-style training is inherently inconsistent. Instruction can and will vary from instructor to instructor and can even fluctuate within the workshop itself.  Presenters are only human and will never offer the same information in the same way.  Whether something is involuntarily omitted or someone is just having “one of those days,” you are faced with the prospect of having numerous employees trained in a very different manner.

This of course can become a difficult situation because your staff is simply not all on the same page.  One of the most important aspects of a successful company is to make sure all of its people are working together in order to achieve a common goal.  When you have individuals who are instructed differently during their onboarding process, business goals can become obscured and confusion common amongst employee interactions.

The second drawback is also employee related, and has everything to do with time.  Pre-planning periodic training sessions may at first seem like a good idea.  However, only hosting onboarding as little as twice a year means that you will have staff working for the company for months without being guided and coached about company goals, guidelines and work culture.  That’s a long time to be working at a job without a proper introduction.

Many companies attempt to combat this problem by tossing a training manual at the new hire and telling them to “have at it.”  This is also not a recommended solution.  Even text-heavy manuals that employ colorful pictures and graphics tend to lose most readers somewhere along the way.  And on the rare occasion that the manuals are actually completed, knowledge retention is so poor that most of the information will be lost within a few days.

So just what can you do to solve these challenges that is not going to cost an arm and a leg?  The answer is delightfully simple and can be summed up in two words: Digital Onboarding.

We are basically talking about online training that is hosted on a Learning Management System, or LMS.  It offers a level of flexibility unmatched by traditional training.

With this tool in your corner, you can offer training of any kind (not just onboarding) to your staff.  One of the main benefits is that new hires don’t need to wait weeks or months for the next training session to cycle around.  They can take their training before they ever start their job.

Another strength of online training has just become evident in the last year or so.  Due to the proliferation of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones eLearning has now gone mobile.  Now organizations can offer their people training however and whenever it is most convenient.

Unlike traditional training, digital onboarding allows for informational consistency across the board. Regardless of when the training is recieved, an employee hired a year ago will experience the same onboarding process that someone hired yesterday will. This uniformity offers your company a great advantage when it comes to employee synergy.  Everyone is pulling in the same direction because they fully understand what is expected of them and their co-workers.

Besides schedule flexibility and knowledge consistency, online training offers another benefit that may not be as visible.  That is the LMS itself.  This neat piece of technology actually allows for the recording and tracking of  employee results over the course of their training.  Tests, certifications and progress can all be monitored by the LMS, keeping you fully apprised of how effective your online training actually is.  It also helps learners stay aware of how they are proceeding through their courses.

When the list of digital onboarding benefits are directly compared with a tally of traditional training drawbacks, the evidence in favor of the most contemporary method to onboard your employees is overwhelming.  Why pay more and receive less when you can have it all and more; all in a digital package that is an overall boon to you and your company.

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