At the end of a long, warm and hopefully relaxing summer, many of us Canadians have taken the time to enjoy a few sunny days or more away from work. Fall is arriving and it’s time to get down to business.
A recent article in Workopolis.com, referenced that two of the months with the most jobs posted are October and November. That means it is likely that a lot of you are revving up the hiring process or getting ready to welcome new colleagues. On the upside, now there are new employees, fresh energy, ideas, skillsets, and brain power focused on your success! If this is the case, then it is a good time to think about your onboarding training.
Many estimates have been done on the cost of hiring – the internet has several handy calculators and formulas to help you out. Most estimates start at about the 50% mark of an annual salary and spike up after that for managers or specialized employees. The more sophisticated calculations realize that much of that cost is getting your new hire up to speed. So let's make every dollar count!
As a rule, structured training is essential for any organization with more than 50 employees or learners. With so much information to “train” while integrating and inspiring new members, creating an onboarding program requires expertise to separate out your content and help you determine what is suitable for self-study, online learning, classroom instruction and learning on-the-job.
It may be amazing to hear, but even instructional designers know that some things don’t need to be trained per se. The trick is figuring out all the how’s of information transfer.
Continue reading to find out about three unusual tips from experienced instructional designers, on putting together your onboarding training as part of a broader retention strategy.
So how can you make the onboarding process more rewarding for new hires? You need to find that elusive balance between overwhelming them with information and connecting them with your organization, so you can make the transition easier, more productive and more long-term.
Some Things You Don't Need to Train
Don’t overestimate the importance of a simple information supply. Some things really can and should be provided as reading material such as: basic workplace rules and regulations, codes of conduct and simple policy and procedural updates. For reference material such as this it is critical that it is accessible and always timely and updated. And yes, you can just require people to read about it! Despite the importance of having access to this information, it won’t necessarily create a bond with the work. Your people and your organizational culture will create the bond.
Some Things You Do
"You don't have to be crazy to work here, we'll train you"
Generally, you will develop training because you want specific knowledge, ability and/or behavioural outcomes. Training for new employees is not just about the information provided, it is also about conveying your culture, company philosophy and priorities, with an expectation that selected behaviours will be demonstrated in the workplace.
Dividing up your content into various delivery methods is a delicate balance of meeting objectives, using development/ delivery/ travel dollars wisely, and ultimately, creating successful new hires ready to integrate into your workplace. Your end result is a well-planned onboarding product, that may consist of a combination of online learning, classroom sessions, and formal and informal on-the-job training (meet-the-boss lunch and learn anyone?).
You can demonstrate exactly what you consider to be the areas of most importance to your company and put the focus on what needs to be done right to be successful in your organization.
Let the Culture Take Over
Some things are clearly NSFW (not safe for work) and will be obvious to a qualified hire. OTOH, (on the other hand), there is some knowledge gained simply by being part of the culture. Do you commonly use certain TLAs (three-letter acronyms)?
If you spend your time with FOMO (fear of missing out), it might just be easier to demonstrate rather than prohibit. If the rules are strictly NIMBY (not in my backyard), they may need to be stated more clearly.
Developing training material is not just for new employees. Some of your training materials may be useful as part of the intake process to help prospective employees understand your environment as part of their decision to join and apply.
The process of determining what information should be simply provided and what information is conveyed through formal training is usually very eye-opening for an organization as it helps you to focus on what critical behaviours and demonstrated values are needed for a successful team.
Regardless of the methodology used, experience and knowledge take time to develop and learning on the job is an essential component for any new employee success process. If you're not sure where to start ... we are! Let us sit down with you, take your piles of content, your knowledge of your business, and we can help you outline a marvelous onboarding package...including a top-notch e-learning component to get your new hires started. They will thank you for giving them everything they need to be successful!