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Best Practices for Streamlined Employee Onboarding

Have you ever been shopping and asked two employees the same question – whether an item qualifies for an advertised sale, say – but received two different answers? Most of us have.

And though sometimes this is simply the result of one lazy or indifferent employee being disinterested in following the proper protocols, such conflicts usually result from poor – and inconsistent – employee on-boarding practices. The retail environment may be where insufficient employee onboarding makes itself most felt in our day-to-day lives, but the reality is that reliable employee onboarding is critically important to the success of just about any business.

At Continu, we believe that the best on-boarding practices are streamlined and consistent, and we’ve grounded our platform in these principles from day one. With that in mind – and in order to help your company avoid the sort of he said she said fiascos that make the businessperson in all of us cringe – we’ve compiled a list of key factors to consider when crafting a lean, efficient, and consistent employee onboarding procedure.

Show the Employee-side Value of Onboarding

Many new employees view training and on-boarding as little more than an obstacle, albeit a necessary one, that they must overcome before they can get down to real work. On-boarding as eating your vegetables, so to speak. As such, companies should make sure that their employee onboarding process explicitly spells out the benefits that it has to offer. Employees need to understand that onboarding is not only a mechanical HR necessity, but the best way for them to find their bearings in a new environment and set themselves up for success.

Resist the Urge to Information Dump

Of course, the most surefire way to get your employees to buy into the on-boarding process is to keep it concise and based on fundamentals. Initial training is unquestionably important, but anyone who’s held the same position for any extended period of time knows that the majority of workplace skills are picked up on the job. Tempting as it may be, you can’t teach your new employees everything they need to know in their first week, and trying to do so will only overwhelm and frustrate them.Always try to find a LMS that goes beyond introductory employee onboarding. Our Workflows feature automates delivery of new learning modules, facilitating what we like to call Just-in-Time Learning. On the Continu platform, employees only receive additional materials once they’ve completed their current assignments, guaranteeing that they won’t feel overwhelmed on their first day on the job.

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Keep Things Interesting

As in any learning situation, the most effective on-boarding processes are highly interactive and engaging. After all, no one likes being lectured at for hours on end! Gamification is on the tip of everyone’s tongues for a reason – it works. People are more likely to retain and really understand information when they’ve learned it by doing. We've taken this to heart and incorporated customizable, flexible quizzes into our platform that other users can interact (like, share, etc.) with once an employee has completed them. Building knowledge community at the same time? Can’t beat that.

Automate the Simple Things

Perhaps most importantly, if you oversee more than a handful of employees, your on-boarding processes must be at least partially automated. Without an automated platform, it’s impossible for leadership to juggle dozens or hundreds (or thousands!) of employees’ progress, especially if your company is dedicated to providing the kind of customized on-boarding defined by the previous tips.

Strong Learning Management Systems allow managers to see exactly what learning materials their teams are working through and can assign additional modules or quizzes as appropriate, all without having to worry about actually distributing these materials to the right employee at the right time. We created our own take on this approach with My Reports. When combined, Workflows and My Reports give managers a comprehensive bird’s-eye view of the employee onboarding process without requiring them to micromanage the menial details that keep the process running smoothly.

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