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May 2015

Navigating the onboarding journey at eLearnz

Blog posts



Shaping the future of learning

Navigating the unchartered waters of a new workplace can seem daunting. But there are ways to get your onboarding programme into shipshape condition and ensure plain sailing for new recruits. 

For most organisations, the aim is to recruit and retain (good) staff, but on a practical level, organisations also need to get new employees up to speed with processes and procedures quickly. But unfortunately the tale of the new sailor seems like they've hit the Bermuda Triangle; new recruits disappearing (or in this case, leaving organisations) in the first 90 days. So what blunders are we causing to make these new hires walk the plank into the abyss?

On July 22 -23 I will be attending the eLearnz Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, where I will be presenting on this topic in length, and sharing tips on breaking down the journey into ports, and what kinds of activities you need to include to make the onboarding journey a successful one. 

But, first, let's explore some of the key reasons why your onboarding may not be working:

You're Not Designing for New Sailors

It's the tale as old as time: the organisation's goals are to meet the minimum time to competence and compliance, whilst complying with any regulatory or legal aspects that may be involved with their role. On the other hand, you have the new recruit who wants to belong and feel good about this big choice they've made, with feelings of belonging and potential are top priority as oppose to performance and compliance.

Typical onboarding programmes tend to focus on the organisational needs: 

  • Bombard new recruits with facts, and information without context
  • Compliance and regulations scare people when it's too soon
  • There's an overall look at the organisation -history, strategy, size, with zero focus on what joining the organisation means for new recruits, and their own professional journey. 
  • They don't listen or connect with new learners, which shows an overall lack of empathy. 

Conflicting goals between the organisation that wants minimum time to competence and compliance versus the needs and wants of new recruits belonging and feeling good on their new team, will always be a challenge.

You're Overloading the Boat

There is a huge amount of information that any new hire needs to understand and learn. Not to mention relationships to build, processes and systems to master, organisational values to embed and of course, technical skills ot perform their job. It's unrealistic to think new recruits will 'get' everything from the outset. But yet again, the programmes front-load the learning in the first few weeks, leaving new recruits to 'work it out on the job' over the next 90 days. New recruits are overwhelmed with too much, too soon, and they're not getting the benefit of just-in-time learning

You Expect the Captain to Do It All 

We've heard managers utter "It's just another thing I need to do," and "I don't have time to train up new staff" far too many times. Managers are pivotal to the success of the onboarding process, but organisations often demand a lot from them as well. They are expected to have the skills, know the process, have the time, tailor the experience and of course, consistently do a great job  Indeed, managers need some life-saving of their own. 

So before your new hires decide to walk the plank within the first 90 days - think about charting your onboarding journey to avoid losing key people from your team.

Download our guide to blended learning that works for compliance.



Shaping the future of learning

Kineo helps the world’s leading businesses improve performance through learning and technology. We’re proud of our reputation for being flexible and innovative, and of our award-winning work with clients across the world.