On average, employers spend around $4,000 and 24 days to hire a new employee, but if employers don’t invest in a relevant and engaging onboarding process, 64% of those employees are more likely to quit within their first year on the job. Replacing an employee is also drastically more expensive and time-consuming than retaining experienced employees.
But how can you design an effective new-hire training program? Using a digital adoption platform (DAP) for the onboarding process can make new-hire training in a remote environment easier, less time-consuming, and more effective and will thus save you money in new hires in the long term.
The Importance of Remote Training
New-hire training is important for both companies and their new employees, yet over a third have subpar employee-onboarding experiences. Most companies mistakenly cast onboarding aside and let their new hires jump headfirst into their tasks. But handing over the reins on day one is confusing for the employee and sets them up for failure.
Here are three specific reasons why new-hire onboarding is so important:
1. It Familiarizes New Hires with Company Culture and Processes
With the large number of digital tools we have today, it’s important that new hires understand how they fit into the company and what tools they need to use—that’s where new-hire training comes in. Even if a new employee is a great cultural fit, it will still take them more than one week to fully assimilate to your specific culture and processes. On average, it takes new employees around two to three months to become comfortable in their new role.
2. It Encourages Inclusion in a Remote Work Environment
In an office, people are almost always forced into social situations. They have no choice but to interact with John at the front desk, Lisa in the next cubicle, and Brian and Jordin in human resources (HR). In a remote environment, though, it is especially easy for new hires to feel lonely and isolated.
Unlike during on-site training, Lisa can’t show your new hire how to use a certain spreadsheet. And John can’t ask how they’re doing on their first day. Those interactions need to be more intentional. A proper onboarding program can encourage new hires to join more company-wide conversations and make personal connections within their first week. Not to mention, seeing coworkers through walk-throughs and prerecorded webinars can reduce feelings of isolation.
3. It Reduces Turnover Rates and Increases Productivity
For companies, training new employees is especially important because hiring is both expensive and time-consuming. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 58% of employees who had effective onboarding experiences were more likely to stay with the company for at least three years. On top of that, it increased employee productivity by 54% and increased retention rate by 50%, while also cutting down time to competency by half.
6 Best Practices for Effective Remote Employee Training
Now that we’ve established the importance of training your new team members, we need to know how to get it right. Here are six things you need to keep in mind while designing your new-hire training program:
1. Start Before Day One
Before your new hire officially starts their first day at your company, they should already feel welcome and have an idea of what they should expect.
And since remote work communication usually happens asynchronously, it is entirely possible that your new employee will be online before anyone else is. Having an asynchronous training system, with videos and walk-throughs, will give them something to do and something to look forward to, even before they start.
2. Be Organized
If you can’t clearly tell your new employee what they need to do and know, they’re not going to know how they fit into your company. You can’t just give your new hire a list of values and five different tools and expect them to understand what’s going on and what is expected of them.
You need to give them a clear path forward to prevent confusion and information overload. Identify what processes are hard to grasp and produce content that will make it easier for your new hire to understand what’s going on. Give them an onboarding checklist and a clear path forward so that they know exactly what they need to do.
3. Make Them Feel Welcome
In a remote environment especially, human interaction is one of the most important things to make a new hire feel welcome. According to 72% of employees, one of the most important parts of the onboarding process was the one-on-one check-ins with their managers.
Apart from video chats, sending a company-wide welcome message and having channels where new hires can interact with their new colleagues encourages that feeling of belonging.
4. Standardize the Training Process
Standardize the onboarding process by role through task lists, courses, and a learning management system (LMS). Having a standard training process, with engaging, interactive material, will save you time and help your employees. Having a step-by-step guide will help new employees know exactly what they need to learn and do during their first few weeks.
5. Connect Them With an Onboarding Buddy
Connecting your new hire with a “point of contact,” so to speak, will give them someone to go to when they need a little mentoring or have questions about company policies. According to 56% of new hires, their onboarding buddies have helped them become more productive, more quickly. And it’s also just nice to have a friend in an unfamiliar environment.
6. Provide Engaging Learning Material
Providing engaging material means providing different ways people can learn about a specific process. With a DAP, you can create interactive walkthroughs for complex tools; video content about company values; and premade learning resources about processes your new hires might not be familiar with. Make sure that your new employees learn from the material you provide and that they have other resources if they get confused.
How to Measure Success of Your Remote Training Strategy
According to a survey by Talmundo, 47% of HR professionals said that they weren’t evaluating the training effectiveness of their onboarding process and L&D strategy. Making sure that your employees are actually learning from all the content you’ve built and developed is also a part of building your onboarding process. After all, your new-hire training process should be setting your new employees up for success.
How do you know whether you’re investing the right amount of time and effort into your onboarding process without reviewing the processing? Here’s how you can gauge the success and effectiveness of your training program:
1. Ask for Feedback Regularly
Asking for feedback will give you an idea of how your new employee is adapting to their new work environment. A manager, onboarding buddy, or HR manager should schedule a weekly one-on-one call for feedback. During that call, Manager John should ask his new team member how they are adjusting to the new job, what new skills they have learned, and how he can help.
It is also helpful to have a channel or platform where new employees can ask questions and provide feedback. That way, when they run into trouble with something and can’t find help in the training resources, they can turn to their colleagues for help, and you can see where the training resources are lacking.
2. Track Employee Engagement with the Learning Materials
Apart from asking for feedback directly from your new hires, with a DAP like Whatfix, you can also track how new team members are interacting with learning materials and premade learning resources. By tracking engagement data, you’ll have a clearer picture of which walk-throughs and lessons are more important and which ones need more work.
It’s easy for new employees to feel isolated and confused. After all, there are so many tools to learn about, values to adopt, and processes to memorize. But an effective new-hire training program gives new employees all that information in bite-sized, digestible bits so that they don’t get overwhelmed and end up quitting. By doing so, they also learn faster and perform better in the long run.
Onboarding is an essential part of your new employee’s journey, and a DAP can optimize and standardize the onboarding experience for all your new hires.
Learn how Whatfix can help you standardize new-hire training to increase retention and productivity while saving you both time and money.