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Traditional onboarding has a definite beginning and end, in most companies approximately 21 days. Unfortunately, during this initial period, the new employees who are excited to get started feel overwhelmed with a firehose of content and are left vulnerable to the forgetting curve. By the second day after training, they’ve likely already lost a staggering 70% of the information they learned.
One-size-fits-all training doesn't make sense when onboarding employees with different levels of knowledge, but often they are forced to sit in front of a computer for hours on end to consume compulsory online training.
When the firehose of information is turned off, new employees are often left to fend for themselves with little or no continued support. In many cases, they fall off the capability cliff as they face unexpected challenges and forget the firehose of information they were supposed to have learned, which can affect their confidence.
This leads to high staff turnover in the initial weeks and months of employment, which is referred to as the “Red Zone”. Those that do stay, settle into their new role and start to build their capability through on-the-job experience. However, this can often lead to questionable decision-making and bad habits that limit potential in the long term.
Onboarding should not be about how much information you can cram into someone’s head as quickly as possible. That’s counterproductive. Instead, the goal should be to give employees what they need to do the job. The Axonified onboarding includes 3 stages: Foundation, Fill & Support, and Sustain.
Focus on critical topics and keep new hires on track with guided progression. What onboarding content do you need to have’ and what’s ‘nice to have’? Take out the ‘nice to haves’ and prioritise the information that matters most. This allows employees to focus on critical content during the formal onboarding process which reduces the firehose of information they are typically subjected to and allow new hires to solve problems immediately.
Personalise the learning experience to fill knowledge gaps. Establish a knowledge baseline for new employees and work to close knowledge gaps as soon as possible after they start.
Continuously reinforce learning over time to sustain and grow knowledge. By providing access to new topics as the employee progresses learning continues to transfer to long-term memory and the right on-the-job behaviours. As the employee continues to develop through work experience, you can adapt the learning experience to build long-term capability.
Apply learning in real time with relevant on-the-job practice to ingrain knowledge. Introduce a behaviour observation to connect everyday performance to continued learning.
Build up your employees’ knowledge over time. Front loading all of the information creates a lack of confidence and a lack of knowledge that causes bad decisions. Introducing it at the right time and reinforcing it is much more effective.
Capability development is an ongoing process through continued reinforcement, behaviour assessment, targeted coaching and refresher training.
The image below highlights the impact on revenue of an Axonify designed onboarding programme - or the Axonify Advantage:
The solution implemented with this specific client included the launch of two modules, one focused on Selling Skills and the other on Product Knowledge. Group one (green) had access to these two modules on the Axonify platform and the other group (grey) was not given access to the platform. The increased revenue achieved by Axonify users can be attributed to faster speed-to-capability and sustained capability growth.
Capability Group has been working with Axonify for ten years and since the first project using the Axonify platform it was clear the platform could have a transformational effect on the way organisations deliver onboarding ensuring new knowledge sticks. It has also become clear that the digital learning experience Axonify offers enhances an organisation’s EVP to incoming employees supporting both the attraction and retention of new employees.
Do you want to hear more about our client case studies? Are you ready to create better onboarding experiences? Download our Reimagine the Onboarding Experience whitepaper, or try our Onboarding Self-Assessment Tool for more insights, tips & tricks to address your onboarding challenges.