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How to Create the Perfect Onboarding Training

Matthew Brew
Matthew Brew

Think back to your first week in your current role - what did you like about the onboarding process? What could be improved? Was there even an onboarding process? And what do you wish you had known when you started?

A fair few of our clients use eduMe’s microlearning platform for onboarding new joiners - check out the business impact achieved by Uber, Tigo and Rappi if you’re looking for inspiration. For many gig economy companies such as Uber, contractors or freelancers may not come into the office at all. This means that the onboarding information needs to be delivered to them in a concise, easily accessible manner, and it needs to not only cover ‘the essentials’ of how to get started, but also motivate people and create engagement. If not, these companies run the risk of low productivity and high churn.  More about the importance of learning in the rapidly growing gig economy here.

Back to the matter in hand - how to create the perfect onboarding training! Drawing on our experience with clients across 5 continents, we’ve compiled a handy list of what good onboarding should achieve, as well as practical tips on how to go about it.Employee Onboarding Checklist Template

1. Give new starters an excellent grounding in your company and its story

You can start by answering the following questions:

  • what does your organisation do?

  • how is it different from the competition?

  • who are your founders or C-Suite, and what are their stories?

  • what are your growth plans, and how will you achieve them?

This is a nice place to add a personal touch, and replicate a face-to-face connection by including short welcome videos from the CEO and/or Head of HR, for example. You can also add video testimonials from your clients. How are they using your product/service and why do they love it? Here’s a good example from InVision.

2. Convey the values and culture of your company

This is really important to create excitement and a sense of belonging, but often gets lost in the rest of the more technical or compliance-related onboarding materials.

A great way to achieve this is through short videos of employees talking about their experiences. What do they like about working at your company? What does a typical day look like? What differentiates it from other places they’ve worked at?

It’s very encouraging for new starters to hear from their colleagues and peers. Check out how Uber share their drivers’ personal stories. You can add liveliness and fun by showing clips of footage taken from team dinners, offsites / away days, or when you surprised a colleague with a birthday card and cake.

3. Provide the basics for a new employee to hit the ground running

We all know it can feel a bit overwhelming at the start of a new job. So keep this part short and focused on what people really need to know at the beginning of their journey. Then, follow up with regular training so that learning becomes a continuous habit that fits into busy schedules.

We’ve mentioned videos a couple of times - this is because we’ve seen how powerful they are in delivering information in an engaging and memorable way. They also provide authentic context and scenarios to boost learning and retention.

Think about your own online behaviour - how much time do you spend watching videos? You’re not alone: last year, video content represented 74% of all Internet traffic.

You don’t need previous experience and a large production budget to create your own videos. Start with something quick and easy, get feedback from your colleagues and iterate. Our clients have filmed excellent, effective live action videos using just their phones and a simple tripod - check out the ‘Filming tips’ section in our blog series on how to make microlearning videos.

Live action allows you to add a personal, authentic flavour by showing role plays between a sales rep and a client, for example. But it's just one of many options available to you. Your onboarding training can include different types of videos depending on what you’re looking to convey. For example, screen capture is ideal for showing people how to get started with software. You can also export slideshows as a video and add an audio narration. These videos are are quick and easy to make (you can do it all in PowerPoint or Keynote), and can be used to train people on the company, health and safety, compliance, and plenty more.

In summary:

  • Keep your onboarding training as concise and focused as possible

  • Make sure it does the following:

- Provides a good introduction to your company

- Makes people feel motivated and excited

- Ticks the regulatory boxes such as health and safety or compliance training

- Delivers the necessary technical knowledge, for example how to use the software, and understanding how your company's product/service works

  • Follow up regularly with bite-sized courses allowing employees to refresh - and build on - their knowledge and skills: this is what microlearning is all about

Want to see how you could use eduMe's award winning platform to deliver the perfect onboarding training to your employees, freelancers, clients or partners?