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Corporate Training Tips for Creating a Blended Learning Onboarding Training Program for New Employees

Written by Matthew Davis | Feb 15, 2013 8:58:00 PM

Creating a Blended Learning Onboarding TrainingProgram.

Blended learning corporate training programs are invaluable in assisting you when you have a new employee joining your team. As they begin, they seem like a great fit and you are excited about getting them up and running as soon as possible. How will they integrate into your work culture without disrupting the business or frustrating the rest of your team? How much time and energy do you spend with them, and how do you avoid the blind risk associated with throwing them right into the job?

Most organizations have a one-day blended learning orientation program that includes information about the organization.  Some managers tend to think this takes care of everything and the job is done!  "Orientation" is only the beginning of the onboarding process.  What happens after that is well within your control to make your new employee more successful.  Corporate traininginitiatives, when implemented properly, demonstrate that new employees have lots of potential, but often require more initial time, training and coaching that some people don't always have the patience to accommodate, nor have factored into their plans.  If organizations start to think of onboarding as a corporate training program rather than a liability, it becomes clearly evident that all new employees require more than just orientation.  Well implemented corporate training onboarding programs are quickly being regarded as a major catalyst to future success from managers in all industries.

The best way to get your new employee integrated is to think of the process just as you would any other training requirement and create an onboarding program.  Below, TrainingFolks provides seven key corporate training tips for implementing a viable blended learning onboarding program for new employees.

Seven Corporate Training Key Elements of a Great Onboarding Program

1. Strategic Onboarding - Strategically link organizational objectives, goals and cultural norms to the goals of the onboarding program through effective instructional designer techniques.  The more strategic the corporate training, the more invested both the employee and the organization will be in the employee's success, and the more quickly they can get up to speed.

2. Schedule Their Time - Taking them for lunch on the first day sends a great message.  This eliminates first day jitters of "Where do I go? What do I do?".  However, that is not all you need to schedule.  The best corporate training onboarding programs are typically 90 days, with short and long-term benchmarks built into the employee's role and work schedule.

3. Create Learning Objectives – Ensure your corporate training program outlines all relevant information.  Design all required onboarding knowledge, skills and abilities into formal learning objectives, with set conditions, timelines and performance standards.  Also determine "what" information is appropriate to be learned "when".  Overloading them with everything they need to know in one day or less will not only overwhelm them, but will take up more time when the learning needs to reoccur at the "right time" again anyway.  Inform the employee that their role is to learn, and set them on the right path to success. Get employees excited about their new role by setting SMART goals for them.

4. Use a Blended Learning Approach - Since adults learn best in small chunks, design a multi-faceted, modulated learning approach. Blended learning arrangements are the combination of elearning programs, scheduled face-to-face classroom training, coaching sessions or mentoring on a timely basis. Plan the learning when the learning needs to occur. For example, teach them about their benefits package once they are eligible for benefits, not on the first day. Otherwise, they will probably need refresher training again at the eligible time period.

5. Hook Them Up - Grab the attention of your new employee immediately and foster the unique tools and language that socializes them quickly into your corporate culture and makes them feel a part of your organization quickly.  What do they need to know to get integrated?  For example, are there terms and lingo that they need to learn to fit in? Providing them with a small token containing your organization's logo is also a nice touch.

6. Evaluate Performance - Design both informal and formal feedback channels into the program, with success as the primary goal.  Hold your employees accountable for their actions and measure employee reaction, learning, behavior and results.  Give feedback often.  Record and reward those who demonstrate desired behaviors and reach their targets.

7. Make Them Matter - Use feedback from new hires as a part of your program audit.  Implementing the suggestions of even the most unassuming feedback could be the difference between a good and a great program.

Corporate training involves planning and delivering customized training programs to employees at all levels and longevity points.  One-day orientation programs are gradually being recognized as not being sufficient enough to help propel new employees into self-sufficiency.  Well-conceived corporate training programs, taken with a blended learning approach, is to be regarded as an investment, with the return being the transformation that occurred as a result of the training.    As managers begin to understand that the success of their new employees is directly related to how they are onboarded, the more they are realizing the value of a gradual onboarding program