Employee On-Boarding: Making it Stick

Reconfigure New Hire Orientation Programs to Reduce Turnover

By Mohana Radhakrishnan, VP Client Services, Expertus

Mohana Radhakrishnan, VP Client Services, Expertus

Mohana Radhakrishnan,
VP Client Services,

Even in today’s tight job market, many top companies are struggling with new hire retention. One example is Kelly Services – a leader in temporary staffing, recruiting and workforce outsourcing.

In recent years, the company was losing 40% of new employees within only 6 months of their start date.

Do you face a similar dilemma? If so, do you know what to evaluate, or where to start in strengthening a weak on-boarding program?

It’s not as difficult – or as expensive – as you may think! At Kelly Services, it was possible to make significant progress within only a few short months. Here’s how key metrics shifted:

  • New hire turnover rate decreased from 40% to only 6%
  • New hire time-to-competency accelerated by two months
  • Program and retention costs decreased by more than $1 million

Tip #1 – Focus on the Fit: Why It’s Great to Work at your Company!
This is where Kelly Services experienced tremendous results – retooling its training content to reinforce the fact that joining the company is a good career decision.

“The new content includes career success stories and reminders about the importance of their jobs and how they will be helping to put people to work,” said Allison Kerska, Sr. Director of Global Learning at Kelly Services. “We also got executives involved in the deliveries, and used the forum to get folks excited about how they can contribute to the organization.”

Here’s how 2 other Expertus clients successfully engaged new hires through reconfigured training content:

  • One focuses on building a solid understanding of company methods, systems, policies, and resources.
  • Another thoroughly immerses new hires into the company culture.

Enter door for new hire trainingTip #2 – Foster Team Connections and Support with Social Learning
A commonly overlooked problem with traditional new hire bootcamps is that the personal connections made with peers and leaders are fleeting. Unless they’re working in the same office, there’s no real structure to help geographically dispersed teams stay connected in a purposeful, focused manner – which can negatively impact morale, loyalty and retention.

This is where social learning tools can make a huge impact. New enterprise learning systems, like ExpertusONE, build-in these tools – enabling online workshops, real-time web conferencing, chats, wikis, blogs, expert lists and more. They provide a virtual venue where bootcamp teammates and SMEs can reconnect to continue conversations, share tips, learn best practices, and other knowledge and guidance long after their “official” training ends.

“We gave employees access to information that keeps them from having to figure things out on their own,” Kerska explains. This, of course, results in faster time-to-competency and enhanced job satisfaction.

Tip #3 – Use Virtual Classrooms for Low Cost, High Impact Programs
Some companies are still leery of providing new hire training virtually. Will the impact be the same? Will attendees be just as engaged? In short – yes!

Kelly Services piloted a program in 6 markets – 3 based on virtual classroom delivery and 3 based on traditional ILT delivery. The outcomes were exactly the same.

Another leading company – Microsoft – turned to the ExpertusONE cloud LMS for new-hire orientation programs. Microsoft simultaneously delivered top-notch technical courses and labs to trainees across 46 countries. One attendee echoed the sentiments of many, “Both the service provided and user experience reached a professional level higher than I’ve ever seen.”

So, if carefully planned and implemented, virtual on-boarding can be just as effective at engaging employees – while offering a much more attractive solution for those on tight training budgets. Here are just a few of the benefits learning organizations can expect:

  • Eliminate travel and/or venue costs of in-person events.
  • Significantly reduce downtime for participants and presenters who would otherwise need to travel.
  • Potential to increase the frequency and reach of orientation programs.

New hire training is probably one of your company’s biggest and most critical investments. So why not take the time to ensure you’re getting the biggest return possible? Innovative cloud-based technologies can make a dramatic difference, much more quickly an easily than you might expect.

For more about new-hire learning strategies, read: “Onboarding: It Takes a Learning Village” elsewhere on this blog.

Note from Mohana: To learn more about how your organization can apply any of the new-hire retention solutions featured in this article — or to see a personalized demo of ExpertusONE cloud LMS solutions — contact me anytime at mohanark@expertus.com.

Image Credit: Pixabay

One thought on “Employee On-Boarding: Making it Stick

  1. Pingback: Onboarding: It Takes a Learning Village | Learning In The Cloud

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