How personalized onboarding will ignite your new staff

Scott Cooper

Starting a new job can be a traumatic experience, even for the most experienced campaigners. It's everything from a new office location, to new responsibilities, and not to mention stepping outside of your comfort zone and having to prove yourself to an entire new group of people. While these might sound like horrible things, they are actually some of the best things for people to experience.

A new job is a fresh start and a chance to develop your career in an exciting new way! So it always amazes me when companies don't seize the opportunity to harness this energy and put their new hires through dragged out and boring onboarding programs that can last weeks. This is a surefire way to slowly suck all of that positive energy out of new team members and you will notices a shift in their attitude within a matter of days.

We've all been there before. Day one of your new job, you arrive at the office where you are promptly introduced to a handful of your new teammates, a few whose names you manage to remember, then it's off to HR where you will spend the day reading through document after document to learn more about your role and the company. But it doesn't need to be like this.

The days of having weighty documents printed out to read through are over!

Onboarding new staff is one of the most critical aspects during the first few weeks of a new employee joining your team. During this period your new hires are exposed to everything from company history, structure, expectations, as well as being trained on how to use new programs that will let then work to the company standards. Ensuring that this step is done well is crucial to the the success of your team. If you can't engage your new team members during this process, you are setting yourself up for months, if not years of problems in the future. This is where personalized onboarding becomes so important.

We live in an age where technology rules everything around us. So why should on boarding be any different. With the use of a learning management system, a new employee can now work through their onboarding program from the comfort of their new desk, and at their own pace. Not only that, the content that they are working through can be completely personalized to suit that person’s role and avoid wasting time and energy absorbing information that is not a part of their responsibilities.
With the use of an online learning system, the employer also has a chance to make the experience more interactive. Courses are no longer only written material, the modern onboarding program contains a range of media including everything from video, photos, interactive exercises and workshops where the information is often presented in a a story format with a number of gamification elements included.

When do you think that you are you the most engaged? 

The average employee spends the majority of their day looking at a screen and reading, so do you really want to add more reading to their day? Video is a great way to give your team members a 'break' from their daily grind to learn some new information. While we say this is a 'break', this is more of a mindset. It allows them to sit back and absorb the information rather than having to read through documents. The use of a learning management system will also allow for the you to break up the video to include a number of interactive tests as the user is watching the video, creating an relaxed yet engaging environment.

The next advantage to an online system is being able to complete the program at your own pace while still meeting a deadline. This allows your new employees to break down the program into smaller parcels, letting them start to settle into their new role without being overwhelmed with training material. By allowing new employees to begin work in their role at an early stage, they are going to be able to harness their positive energy and excitement, and direct that into the business and in the process reinvigorating the team around them.

Some of the key takeaways that we have covered in how to improve your onboarding are:

  • Avoid text based documents and look for an learning management system.
  • Use a range of educational media (Video, Photos, Interactive Assessments)
  • Only specify information relevant to the new employees  role
  • Break the program into smaller segments that can be completed over a longer time frame
  • Allow the new hire to start taking charge of their role as soon as possible
  • Make it fun! It will keep the energy levels high, and happiness is contagious



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