The first stage of the employee learning journey: Onboarding!
As the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." This principle applies equally to both employers and employees. With the right process, relevant content, and a Learning Management System (LMS), the onboarding process can be streamlined and effective, leaving a lasting positive impression on new hires.
The beginning of an employment relationship is a critical period. According to a 2022 study by SHRM new employees have about 90 days to prove themselves in a new job. The research also found that the faster new hires feel welcome and prepared for their roles, the faster they will be able to contribute to the company's mission, emphasizing the importance of effective onboarding facilitated seamlessly through a comprehensive LMS. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the new hire is set up for success in their first 90 days.
The impact of onboarding
Research by the Aberdeen Group (2022) indicates that effective onboarding can improve employee retention by 82% and increase the productivity of new hires by over 70%. Onboarding is the phase that determines the "time to value" for the company by ensuring the right knowledge transfer, a process that an LMS can greatly expedite.
A good onboarding experience, supported by a robust LMS, makes employees feel more welcome, secure in their jobs, and capable of thriving. It introduces the company's culture, integrates new hires into a cohesive group, and provides an opportunity to build lasting relationships.
Moreover, the onboarding process also tackles risk and compliance by training employees on policies, procedures, and legal requirements, tasks that can be automated and tracked in an LMS. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), an effective onboarding experience, often facilitated by a user-friendly LMS, ensures that 69% of employees stick with a company for three years.
Employee expectations during onboarding
A 2023 study by Gallup found that employees entering a new organization often have clear expectations. They seek clarity about their role and responsibilities, aim to start contributing soon, and strive to understand the company, its people, its processes, and its dos and don’ts.
Business expectations during onboarding
From a business perspective, onboarding is a strategic process that aims to provide new hires with a positive impression, welcome them, integrate them, and equip them with all the information they need to work independently and confidently. An LMS plays a significant role in achieving these objectives.
Overcoming onboarding challenges with LMS solutions
However, challenges often emerge during the onboarding process, such as information overload, lack of direction, and inconsistent experiences across teams.
Information overload or underload: Balancing the amount of information to be delivered is crucial. Too much can lead to overload and poor retention, while too little can leave employees feeling lost. An LMS can provide solutions to these challenges by facilitating microlearning, offering on-demand courses, and providing a user-friendly platform with clear navigation.
Lack of direction: An intuitive LMS empowers learners to communicate and collaborate with each other, providing tailored recommendations of what courses to take next. It guides employees to where they need to go next and helps them discover where they left off.
Different experiences across teams: An LMS can ensure consistency in the onboarding process across different teams and locations by creating a standardized program with consistent messaging, training materials, and delivery methods. Personalized, role-specific training can be delivered while maintaining the overall quality of the onboarding experience.
The strategic importance of streamlined effective, and engaging onboarding is well-documented. With research indicating that well-executed onboarding can significantly enhance employee retention, productivity, and time to value, the spotlight falls on HR-Human Resource leaders to ensure this critical phase is managed proficiently. And it is here that a Learning Management System (LMS) can prove to be an invaluable tool.
As HR leaders, the onus is on us to create an environment that sets new hires up for success right from their first interaction with the organization. By harnessing the power of LMS, we can create a winning onboarding experience that not only benefits the employee but also significantly contributes to the organization's success.
A comprehensive LMS can help balance the amount of information delivered, provide clear direction, and ensure consistency in the onboarding process across different teams and locations.
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