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Employee Onboarding: So you hired them what now?

Do you remember your first week at your job? How did you feel? Excited or apprehensive? Confident that you had all the required job skills? Or overwhelmed by new software programs you would need to learn? How did you feel after three months? Or after six months?

Onboarding surveys show the following trends:

  • New employees who attended a well structured onboarding program were 69% more likely to remain at a company for up to three years1.
  • 70% of companies reported that technology, and keeping up with new technology is very important to the success of the company2.
  • It’s been estimated that nearly 25% of all employees leave their job because there simply aren’t enough training or learning opportunities3.
  • Companies who offer online learning and on-the-job training generate about 26% more revenue per employee3.

These eye-opening figures are enough to make any employer give serious thought to the merits of creating a positive start for new employees. However, it doesn’t stop there. A strong onboarding strategy extends past the first day/week/month to include an on-going approach that will accompany the employee throughout the employment lifetime and to support them to achieve better job performance.

Training and support play a large role in setting the tone of the new hire experience – inspiring confidence, motivation and a feeling of belonging to the company they are now a part of. But factoring in today’s ever-changing technologies, training has become a very involved, complex and intimidating task for employees and managers alike. So where do you begin?

Choosing the right form of training is a core part of creating a successful onboarding process. Here some key factors to consider when developing effective training programs:

Initial Training Program

While many training programs are still conducted in the classroom setting, an increasing number of organizations are seeing the benefits of blending traditional employee training methods with new, efficient ‘just in time’ training solutions. These systems enable organizations to significantly reduce the cost of training and educating their members. Knowledge Management, Learning Management Systems and eLearning – all fall into this category.

Hitting the ground running

Classroom training and blended learning programs play an excellent role in providing employees with access to relevant onboarding materials and resources. However, once employees leave the training environment they have to put all that knowledge to work. Even with the best training programs, knowledge retention is an issue as employees do not retain 100% of what they learn during the training sessions. With varied success, there is a realization that more effective training solutions need to delivered on-the-job, in real-time. Stepping up to the challenge, performance support systems offer ongoing support, training, and task automation when it is needed – on live applications and in real-time. This empowers employees to get their tasks done and complete business processes quickly, and error-free, without needing to be experts in every technology and process they use.

Company Accountability vs. Employee Accountability

Employee training is the responsibility of the organization. New hires rarely come to work the first day with every skill needed for their job. Management is responsible to assess and provide the right materials, resources, staff and technology to support and help employees meet their performance goals. However employee development is a shared responsibility of management and the individual employee. It is important to set clear goals and expectations for the new employees and hold them accountable.


  1. Center for Creative Leadership
  2. http://www.nsba.biz/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Technology-Survey-2013.pdf
  3. http://elearningindustry.com/top-10-e-learning-statistics-for-2014-you-need-to-know



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