Workplace training

7 minute read

8 Training Tips to Reduce Employee Onboarding Time

Emma Gallimore

Emma Gallimore

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We all strive to keep employee onboarding time as short as possible, so that your new hires can quickly get focused on the work at hand.

However, you’ll soon find that skimping on your onboarding procedures can be a costly mistake. Devoting time and resources to employee onboarding is essential for the ongoing success of your growing business, and if done right, both the company and your new hires can reap the rewards.

In this article, we will look at eight key onboarding tips for managers to help you make your onboarding process as smooth and effective as possible, every time.

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Why is onboarding important?

Did you know that new hires actually consume value for the first 3 months of their employment rather than adding to profitability, according to professor Michael Watkins? Knowing this, you might be tempted to skip training entirely and to ask employees to learn their new jobs on the fly.

However, studies show that training employees early and thoughtfully is essential to business success. In the United States and the United Kingdom, employees are costing businesses $37 billion every year because they do not fully understand their jobs.

Clearly successful onboarding and training of new employees (and their longer-tenured colleagues) is good for the bottom line. It’s also good for employee retention:

  • 1 in 4 new hires quit within the first 90 days. The number one reason according to Inc: poor onboarding processes.
  • Employee retention rates jump 50% in companies that implement a new employee orientation program, according to an Aberdeen Survey based on analysis of 282 organizations.
  • A survey by BambooHR found that 76% of employees named on-the-job training as the most important part of the new hire experience.
  • At an average cost of nearly $4,000 to fill an open position, according to a 2014 Bersin by Deloitte survey, helping employees feel prepared so they’ll be happy in their jobs is a smart move for your business.   

Properly training employees is clearly important, but it doesn't have to be all-consuming. The training employees get during onboarding should be part of your overall employee development strategy. You don’t have to teach them everything they’ll ever need to know. You just have to get them started on their development plan. There is always room for additional training as needed over the course of their role with the company.

8 essential onboarding tips

You can simplify and shorten your onboarding time with these tips:

1. Test new hires

Find out what your new hire already knows so you can determine what you still need to teach them. Use evaluation tests to assess a new hire’s prior knowledge and identify areas of strength and weakness. Once you identify the holes in their knowledge, you can skip the parts they already understand and tailor the rest of their training to meet their learning needs as efficiently as possible.

GoSkills courses give learners the option of taking a placement test before commencing a course. This sorts the course lessons into areas of strength, weakness, and refresher so that you can easily see exactly how much an employee already knows about a given topic.

2. Have a customized plan

A customized plan for every employee may seem time-consuming, but it will save time in the long run because it will result in training that works for the employee. Decide what’s essential for them to know upfront, like Excel, customer service or team leadership, and let the rest be part of their ongoing employee development.  

The GoSkills Training Platform makes it easy to customize learning for every employee. You can easily create groups and assign specific courses to them. For example, you could create a new group named “Office Administration onboarding”, and assign Excel and Microsoft Word courses only to learners in that group.

3. Partner with new employees

Employees should know that the end of the formal onboarding period is not the end of their training and development. Communicate your development plans for them and allow them to be active participants in the planning process. They’ll be more engaged and more likely to take the training seriously.  

4. Deploy self-paced learning

Training employees one-on-one is time-consuming, and training them in a group can mean that everyone is stuck learning at the same pace. E-learning can help make training more efficient by allowing new employees to access classes when and where they choose. They can do this individually or in a group setting, but still, have the advantage of going at their own pace. This also takes the burden of training off of staff members and puts it in the hands of experts.

With the GoSkills LMS, you can create your own custom onboarding course that every new employee takes when they get hired. As part of the course, you can even test their knowledge with quizzes and exercises if you choose. This really helps to simplify your onboarding flow and quickly get everyone up to speed.

5. Establish fundamentals

Sometimes you need to provide training particularly for talented young people who are new to the professional workplace — interns, apprentices, and new graduates. Engaging online courses in foundational skills can help these emerging professionals set the groundwork for more job-specific training down the line. Placement tests and quizzes mean your new employees all get the basics that they need but don’t waste time learning things they already know.

6. Assign a mentor

During training and onboarding, new hires often think of questions they feel are too small or silly to bring to their manager. However, these gaps in knowledge make it harder for employees to get up to speed. A same-level mentor will more efficiently help the employee get the lay of the land and answer any questions that arise.

7. Include job shadowing

Employees can job-shadow that same mentor to get a first-hand look at what day-to-day work entails. Instead of jumping into the deep end, the new employee gets a gradual transition into the new work and can ask questions as they arise.

8. Give and get feedback

Monitor employee progress throughout their training and provide a mechanism for them to provide feedback every step of the way. It’s more efficient to catch training gaps as they arise than to wait until the sixth month or yearly review. Knowing what worked for your employee and what didn’t means you can continuously improve training.

The GoSkills LMS gives you access to easy to understand reporting and analytics for your employees, so you can monitor their progress at a glance.

Take the pain out of onboarding

Are you ready to start reducing your employee onboarding time?

The GoSkills LMS makes it easy to onboard new employees. You can easily create groups, assign GoSkills courses or create your own, and monitor progress at a glance with easy to understand reporting and analytics.

Try the GoSkills Training Platform for free today and help your new hires get up in running in record time.

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Emma Gallimore

Emma Gallimore

Emma Gallimore is a content strategist and freelance writer on education. Emma loves reading, traveling the world, and resides in Maine with her dog Teddy.

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