Onboarding a new employee costs money, which is one of the key reasons to make the investment worthwhile. The time your HR specialists spend equipping newcomers for success is the time taken from profitable tasks; all those dollars, hours, and energy you put into compliance training would go terribly wasted if the employee didn’t stick around for good.
Still, the time you use for creating an effective training roadmap is time well spent. We’ve compiled five basic tips for doing so, along with some useful information on what makes a successful on boarding in today’s digital era.
Read on and remember: the better the training program, the higher the ROI rate.
#1. Define Goals, Objectives, Methods, and Outcomes
Employee training is all about imparting functional knowledge, which puts you into a teaching role. Consequently, it’s up to you to dive deeper into both your company’s current know-how and its future plans and needs and determine the expected outcome accordingly.
Just like in class, a training program is defined by a goal, learning objectives and learning methods. So, what are the overall results you expect the employees will achieve? What practical knowledge or skills should they acquire in order to become a valuable company asset? Finally, what teaching technique and style should you employ in order to successfully pass on that knowledge?
Whatever your answers are, making sure to create a training roadmap with SMART goals in mind – the defined objective should be Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic, and Time-bound with a deadline. Take into account everything from future employee responsibilities and learners’ individual preferences to industry requirements and your business plan, and start writing the framework.
#2. Choose the Right Training Platform and Environment
We’ll feel free to assume that your teaching technique will be at least blended, if not entirely web-based. Regardless of what the specific objectives are, corporate training heavily relies on eLearning because of the several benefits it offers.
If you still haven’t chosen the actual learning environment for your program, we urge you to consider online training tools – with 24/7 accessibility, improved engagement and retention, and enhanced collaboration and reach, web-based courses are simply way more effective.
Of course, your choice of a teaching platform will depend on the specific goal you need to achieve, and the method you decide to employ. Be that personalized or collaborative learning, you’ll need a comprehensive internal wiki to create and distribute the training material, and a reliable learning management system (LMS) to design a course.
#3. Establish a Consistent Schedule
In terms of a schedule, creating web-based training doesn’t differ much from traditional road maps. Consistency is the key, but don’t forget that your employees are busy adults in search of a work-life balance. In order to increase learning engagement, you need to be smart with scheduling.
Instead of cramming the entire course into a five-day period (which is pretty ineffective, if even possible), establish a time frame that gives them some room to commit to the training, one module at a time. Since successful onboarding asks for continual learning, a couple of hours per week will be just enough.
Stretch that to a three-month period, and your trainees’ retention rates will improve proportionally. High retention is the entire point, after all, so why not allow the employees to choose their own tempo, and decide when, where, and how to learn?
Companies that don’t employ personalized learning as their primary training method can hardly ever be as successful at onboarding as those that give their employees a say in at least one aspect of the course.
If not the topic itself, the learning environment, style, and tempo should be a trainee’s choice.
Personalized learning roadmaps make a powerful incentive, especially when the learner is an employee with an already developed skill set. This is the person who knows exactly what kind of a learning style delivers the best results, what type of material and platform engages them the most, and whether or not they need supervision to successfully complete the course.
The more you allow them to customize the official training roadmap, the faster and more efficient they’ll be.
#5. Insist on Scenario-Based Learning
Like any other teaching venture, a corporate training program is only as successful as the acquired knowledge can be applied to work. This is something educators often forget about, though functional knowledge and skills are the end-goal of every learning path, corporate or otherwise.
To bridge the gap between theory and practice, many learner-centric companies choose scenario-based learning. Just like the name suggests, this method teaches functional knowledge and skills by immersing trainees in real life scenarios or situational simulations and letting them solve a problem.
Not only will this make the training process more interactive and engaging, but it will also help trainees learn more and with greater understanding. Whether you choose to employ it or not, make sure that the evaluation part of the course includes at least some aspect of scenario-based learning.
Effective on boarding requires plenty of time, patience, and energy, so make sure to build a roadmap that’s suitable for everyone’s preferred learning style and schedule. Make training an ongoing process, and there’ll be no limits to how much your employees will be able to learn and retain.
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & elearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.