Best tips & tricks to shorten employee onboarding time: A Complete Guide 📚

Strong employee onboarding is essential for retaining talent and increasing productivity in the business. Here's our guide to how to shorten employee onboarding time!

Best tips & tricks to shorten employee onboarding time: A Complete Guide 📚
Photo by Andrew Neel / Unsplash

Strong employee onboarding is essential for retaining talent and increasing productivity in the business. In fact, research by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding program improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Further research has found that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.

Research by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding program improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

However, traditional onboarding can be a lengthy process and it’s estimated that it typically takes a new employee 8 months to reach full productivity. Here are some tips and tricks to help you shorten employee onboarding time for your team and help get new hires reaching their full potential quicker!

Photo by Christina @ / Unsplash

1) Standardized and role specific onboarding

Create a standardized onboarding programme for all employees that can then be tailored for different job roles. Although different departments and roles will require different training it’s likely that many of the onboarding tasks will be the same for all new employees. Your typical onboarding project may be built around 4 key objectives:

  • Alignment with company mission, values and culture
  • End-to-end understanding of the product
  • Understanding the customer and their needs
  • Learning the department and role specific processes and practices

By creating a standard onboarding program you’ll ensure that all new employees go through the same onboarding process and so have the same opportunities to learn. Creating project templates will also reduce onboarding preparation time and will ensure that the new employee has a clear understanding of what tasks they need to be completing. Collecting feedback from all new employees will then allow you to continually improve the onboarding process.

I work in a software company designed and structured an app for field staff. That day we made a tour of our flow and could not miss a shot of our work :)
Photo by Alvaro Reyes / Unsplash

2) Segment the onboarding into small, focused chunks

Break  the onboarding down into smaller increments that each focus on a different onboarding objective. By incorporating early wins into each increment it can give the new hire a sense of achievement, increasing morale and engagement. At Virti, the first three weeks of onboarding roughly align to each of the objectives outlined earlier and small challenges or early wins will be set around these - such as meeting all of the team or completing the product onboarding as a customer would.

It can also be beneficial to break the onboarding program into 30 day increments with a 30/60/90 day review. This will provide an opportunity for the employee to understand how they are progressing and will help identify any obstacles early on.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

3) Set clear goals and establish expectations

If new employees don’t understand what they need to do to succeed, how can we expect them to achieve it?! Onboarding will be shorter and smoother if clear goals and expectations are set out early. This involves working with new employees to set KPIs, targets, goals, or whichever metric your business uses to measure performance - at Virti we developed our own VOS2 which helps all employees understand their vision, values, objectives, obstacles, strategies, and specific metrics and how these fit into the overall company mission. Doing this will help new employees understand what good looks and support them in getting to full productivity quicker!

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4) Experiment with different training methods

Different people learn best in different ways so you may find it beneficial to incorporate multiple training methods into your onboarding program.

Immersive training has been shown to have higher knowledge retention rates than traditional training methods. This means that by including immersive training in your onboarding you can not only create something more engaging than reading through a training manual or watching a video, but you can also ensure that your new hires retain the information shared with them.

At Virti, we use our own platform to onboard all employees. New hires will use a mobile phone, laptop, tablet or headset to access bespoke learning content, grouped into modules or courses, that can be accessed at any time and from any location.  This ability for employees to take control of their own learning and complete their onboarding on-demand is absolutely essential for us as a remote-first company with employees across multiple time zones.

In app assessments makes onboarding interactive for employees and real-time analytics also give insight into how the new hire is performing and enable Line Managers to quickly identify areas that individuals are exceeding expectations or where someone may require additional support.

Photo by Jason Goodman / Unsplash

5) Encourage networking across teams

Facilitate opportunities for new employees to build social and professional relationships not just within their direct team but also across the key departments they will need to interact with during the course of their role. This may be as simple as encouraging heads of departments to reach out to the new employee in their first week to introduce themself and grab a coffee and a chat. This will reduce onboarding time as new employees will gain insight into communication styles, company culture, and will help them understand everyone else’s roles and responsibilities within the business.  Assigning all new employees an ‘onboarding buddy’ will also help them know who to turn to with any questions and will further facilitate relationship building within the department.

The onboarding process is an important part of a company’s culture and it can be the difference between a new hire reaching their full potential or not. By following the tips and tricks in this guide, you’ll be able to reduce the onboarding process for your new hires and get them productive faster. At Virti, we’ve been able to reduce our Sales team onboarding from 3 months to just 4 weeks, and all other new hires reaching full productivity within 8 weeks, by using a combination of the above tips.

If you would like more information on how Virti can help revolutionise your onboarding process, please book a demo with us. Our team of training and onboarding experts would be happy to discuss our products and services further with you.

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