Is onboarding broken?

Getting the onboarding process right is more important than ever before given all that has happened recently. It starts with a shift in how we think about onboarding.

Dive in
Is onboarding broken?

Getting the onboarding process right is more important than ever before given all that has happened recently. It starts with a shift in how we think about onboarding.

Picture a classroom-type environment with a whiteboard, a facilitator and a roomful of wide-eyed new hires forced to watch hours of cheesy videos or work their way through thick paper handbooks with way too much information. It’s a recipe for overwhelmed, confused and unengaged new employees.

This old school approach to onboarding is broken, according to Drew McGuire, the CEO and founder of Capability Group, and yet most organisations stick with the status quo.

“Organisations think of onboarding as a programme with a start point — which is day one — and an end point where people are good to go do the job they’re hired to do. There are all sorts of problems inherent with that approach to onboarding.”

In our latest whitepaper, Reimagine the Onboarding experience, we explore some of the biggest problems with onboarding experiences like disconnected, disengaged and overwhelmed employees, knowledge drop off, and increased staff turnover.

The new, improved approach to onboarding leverages digital tools to create a blended learning approach that helps new hires get up to speed quickly so they can deliver on the job from day one AND supports them on a continuous learning experience. This new approach doesn’t see onboarding as a programme, instead, it does as a phase, the beginning of the new employee journey.

“Your recruitment team might have done a great job of attracting new employees but if you don’t turn that initial learning experience into a continuous development journey, then your recruitment team is likely to be kept busy.” says McGuire

An unsatisfactory onboarding experience that ends too soon can leave new employees feeling frustrated, disillusioned and without enough information to do their job effectively. Research suggests up to 20% of new employees can leave a job within the first 45 days if onboarding fails to deliver on their expectations.

An effective onboarding programme sets your new employees up for long-term development as they become familiar with their new role ensuring they continue to build capability while on-the-job. As JD Dillon, Axonify’s Chief Learning Architect mentioned on our recent webinar Onboarding in a Hybrid World:

“It's a shift in mindset of how we think about onboarding from a programme that has a predictable start and end date…Instead, onboarding needs to be viewed as just the beginning of the process of learning what you need to know to work in an organisation.”

McGuire estimates that 80 percent or more of organisations still rely on the old school way of onboarding.

“It constantly surprises me that organisations don’t invest more in their onboarding because it is such a critical piece in the puzzle. With all the changes to how we work and the opportunities for remote and flexible working, connecting with your people from day one is crucial.”

Blended learning solutions empower organisations to create customised learning experiences that form the foundation of a continuous learning and development environment.  

“Young people entering the workforce are all digital natives so if they’re forced to sit through old-fashioned facilitated workshops with outdated learning materials it’s inevitable they are going to be unimpressed with the process,” says McGuire. “They’re used to an engaging digital experience in their personal lives and they expect the same from their workplace. If you want to retain them it better be a great experience and one that is aligned with the promise and commitments you made to hook that person into your organisation.”

Are you ready to create better onboarding experiences?

More Resources

See All

Let’s reimagine learning in your organisation!

Contact us