March 29, 2018

6 Ways to Improve New Employee Onboarding


Whether your company is trading on the New York Stock Exchange or a startup working out of a garage, training new employees is absolutely crucial to your business’s success.

And yet, companies often fail to realize this. Many organizations devote months and months to the hiring process, pouring over applications and sitting in interviews. When a new hire comes on board, however, they are thrown immediately into the deep end. This is not only an incredibly easy way to frustrate a new employee and damage retention rates, but also very inefficient in the long run.

By skipping over the onboarding process, you fail to bring each employee to a uniform understanding of company procedures and duties. This allows employees to develop bad habits that will be difficult to break. These habits may even cause organization-wide problems.

Many companies underinvest in onboarding because they believe a proper system is too costly. However, the arguably best feature of modern training and onboarding systems is that virtually any company can afford great software. Gone are the days of hiring outside firms to implement training systems. Amazing things can now be done with user-friendly, highly customizable software.

Here are six key factors to consider when exploring systems to help improve your new employee onboarding process:

1. A Cloud-Based System is a Must-Have

You don’t need a massive network to house your software anymore. Cloud-based online software makes hosting an onboarding system easier than ever.

One of the most effective cost-saving measures of modern onboarding software is that it does away with the need for an IT professional to administer the software network. A cloud-based system can be accessed from any computer at any time, and it is often highly customizable. Many cloud-based onboarding systems support custom user permissions, automation, open application programming interface (API) capabilities, and social media integration, all of which serve to greatly enhance the onboarding experience.

2. Stick With What’s Simple

You need software that your employees can intuitively use, regardless of technological expertise. You don’t want people wasting time just trying to figure out how the training software functions. Complexity is a one-way ticket to obsolescence; the more difficult the onboarding software is to use, the less likely employees are to engage with it in meaningful ways.

A user-friendly software means your HR department can administer the software without calling in an IT professional. It also means you can easily repurpose existing training materials. Seek out a solution that allows you to easily upload training materials in a variety of formats (Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, video files, etc.). The best software will allow you to assemble these materials into proper online training courses in very little time.

3. Mobile Is the Move

Mobile devices are impossible to overlook today, as more and more people use them as their primary means of access to the internet. Take advantage of this fact by using a software with mobile conversion capabilities. This way, your employees can train anywhere on the fly, whether they’re on break or killing time waiting in line for their morning coffee.

4. Foster Community and Communication

Find an onboarding software that allows users to easily communicate, provide feedback, and interact with one another. The best training tools enable users to share information and answer each other’s questions. This leads to a more engaging training program that promotes greater team cohesion.

5.  Don’t Overlook Video Capabilities

Let’s face it: Video has taken over our lives. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as studies have shown people retain information better when taught through video rather than text.

Sifting through training packets gets old all too quickly, and it’s unlikely that most employees will even read the majority of the material. Look for software that allows you to create, edit, archive, and share videos for a more effective training program.

6.  Adaptive Learning Features

“Adaptive learning” refers to a software’s ability to adapt to users’ specific learning needs. Through complex algorithms, a training software with adaptive learning can customize material based on how an employee interacts with and performs on the software. This helps the employee improve in the areas that need the greatest work. Adaptive learning allows employees to spend their time more efficiently on the training materials that really matter to them.

Sean Gordon is CEO of HIRENAMI.

Read more in Onboarding

Sean's experience recruiting, hiring, training, and building teams inspired him to found HIRENAMI to take these challenges from painful, inefficient, and time-consuming to quick and effective.