Killer onboarding is like saying nice to meet you and actually meaning it! It’s how you make a newbie feel welcome, give them the tools to get them up to speed faster and connect them with the right people.
But you’ve got to give it that personal touch and make sure you’re not overwhelming them!
Still not convinced? Having any form of onboarding can boost staff retention by up to 25%. Watch this session and you’ll be creating something much more special than just ‘any old onboarding’…
Here’s what you’ll learn, but if you’re not in the mood to watch it right now, scroll down to our written summary that’s full of all the same tips and tricks!
- How to structure your onboarding course successfully.
- Tapping into internal experts and social learning.
- Sharing the right amount of content through microlearning.
- Lessons learnt from Netflix, Twitter and Quora.
- The 30-60-90 day onboarding approach.
- Using HowNow to ramp up faster and make people feel at home.
Why you need a killer onboarding course?
Well, it’ll help you retain those new starters for a start! Companies that leave onboarding to chance struggle to keep hold of new talent, experiencing failure of rates of up to 50%. Flipping that on its head, those with any form of structured onboarding program can expect retention to increase by up to 25%. It’s the difference between a smooth journey at your company and taking a wrong turn onto a rocky path.
Plus, onboarding can cost between 25% to 200% of an employee’s annual salary, so getting it right is crucial and getting it wrong is costly.
What to include in your onboarding course
It’s ironic that with the amount of checklists that feature in onboarding courses, hiring managers rarely sit down and write one for themselves. Not stopping to consider what to include is like jumping in the car and setting off without looking at a map. The good news is that we’ve created a mini checklist for you!
The 30-60-90 day approach
A lot of companies use this process to create a three-month onboarding course, one that scales with the newbie and gives them just the right amount of information, tasks and interaction. By making progress manageable and preventing an overload of pressure or knowledge, it gets the onboarding up to speed faster, smoother and with a better impression of their new surroundings.
The Do’s and Dont’s of onboarding
Here’s a quick rundown of what you definitely do want to do: Involve other departments to give them a well-rounded and social experience, as they’ll learn how other aspects of the business relate to their own. Highlight the opportunities to learn and develop further in the future, career progression is crucial to whether people stick around, so it’s wise to show how and when it can be done at your company.
Creating a dialogue is a hugely important step in forming fruitful relationships! You’ll want newbies to have a platform to flag any concerns or struggle because you can resolve them before go too far. Regular check-ins and open-ended questions should be a go-to here. Make sure you actually assess their feedback and use it to refine the approach for the next joiner.
Lastly, think about tapping into the power of microlearning, using bite-sized content to prevent the dreaded ‘too much, too soon’ and information overload. We’ll come back to that after the dont’s.
What not to do! Don’t make shadowing employees the norm, focus on mentoring them instead. They need to feel like they’re being encouraged and not like they’re simply being watched. Make sure you’re not overlooking the soft skills, especially for customer-facing employees or those that will rely on forming strong relationships. And finally, really do stop to think when the information levels have reached too much, you don’t want to overwhelm or overload.
Microlearning – an onboarder’s best friend
We’ve already mentioned it, but microlearning is the idea of creating short and specific resources that make an employee’s learning life easier. They’re easily found, easily digested and easy to revisit when you need a refresher. And that makes them ideal for the onboarding journey.
For example, summaries that break up long-form compliance courses, repeatable mini-quizzes that help self-test knowledge, and quick podcasts or videos that talk them through company policies.
In the world of the onboarder, microlearning’s like a shortcut that gets them up to speed without cutting corners. All the information’s there, they just don’t have to work as hard to get to it. And that’s because they get the right amount of content, at the right times.
Learning from the big guns: Netflix, Twitter and Quora case studies
Netflix: For their new software developers, Netflix created a tech stack to teach them about all the right tools (and none of the wrong ones). Something supplemented by assigning them mentors for the first few days. To help them understand the company ethos and direction, new employees meet the CEO, CFO and CPO in Q1. And the “Netflix Culture” manifesto really hammers it home, giving them an on-demand resource.
Twitter: When you’ve got 5,000 employees across 35 global offices, you need a consistent approach. At Twitter, it’s the 75-step ‘Yes to Desk’ model, with touchpoints with different departments from when they say yes to arriving at their desk. Welcome gifts like wine and a t-shirt waiting for them helps too, as does having their email address ready and waiting. They meet all the relevant people along the onboarding journey, from CEO breakfasts to New Hire Happy Hours.
Quora: Keeping it quick and interesting, Quora make sure first-day tasks are manageable and with mentors in place to guide them, onboarders can feel accomplished not overwhelmed. There’s also 10 onboarding talks to help them get to grips with different concepts, departments and tools at the company.
Structuring a killer onboarding course.
We’ve got a detailed onboarding checklist if you’re looking for the ins and out, but the below images are designed to give you the top-level advice that gets you going.
Got any questions?
We crammed a lot into that session and, to deliver on our promise of keeping it short and sweet, we didn’t take any questions! So, why not leave them as a comment below?
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