Top Three Tips to Improve Onboarding

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We’ve all been there. You start a new job, settle into your desk, meet a few people and then it’s time for corporate training. Hours – or maybe days – of company history, policies and paperwork. But how much of that information do you actually remember?

“People don’t retain that information. There’s a lot of waste there. You want a more structured approach that people can execute on their own,” explains Todd Hudson (@HeadMaverick), Head Maverick of the Maverick Institute to Sarah White (@imsosarah) of the HRTechBlog.

Using lean manufacturing principles, Hudson’s organization helps companies create new processes for training and development. For example, when creating a hyperefficient manufacturing process, he asks, “How can we get the waste out of training and development to create more learning value?”

“Onboarding is really knowledge transfer,” Hudson says. Most companies don’t have a good structure for transferring the company’s cultural, technical and social knowledge. They distribute company information through a “fire hose” – sitting new employees down for three days or a week in a classroom setting and telling them everything they need to know.

“Companies want to get it over with. But with training, it’s never over with,” he explains.

Take Hudson’s top three tips to improve your onboarding process:

1) Create a self-structured path: Make it clear what you want people to be able to do. Provide a path that they can learn on their own as well as resources where they can learn more.

2) Minimize delay between needing to know something and learning it: Find ways to get information to people immediately. Equip training and recruiting with a big list of resources that can answer common questions.

3) Let Millennials teach other Millennials: The best people who know how to get up to speed in the company are the ones who just did it a month or two ago. Use that resource over and over again. Don’t rely on your existing employees to do all the training.

Image Credit: Andrey_popov/Shutterstock

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