Comprehensive New Employee Onboarding Checklist

Creating an employee onboarding program is no small task. Finding the right employee, to begin with, is only half the battle. Once a new hire joins the team, it’s all hands on deck. Onboarding sets the tone for new employees as they start their new careers at your company. To properly equip employees for various job functions, a comprehensive onboarding process needs to be in place prior to the hire.

The Onboarding Process

Effective onboarding is the key to long term employee retention. Those first few days and months on the job determine how engaged, educated, and confident new employees are in their new positions. Studies have shown that up to 20% of new employees quit within their first 45 days on the job. The real cost of employee turnover can be up to 150% of an annual salary, so investing in a comprehensive onboarding program is worth its weight in gold.

The onboarding process is more than administrative paperwork; it’s a personal handshake from the organization to a new hire. Onboarding is a useful tool to assimilate new employees into the organization by providing a big-picture overview, down to the small details of day-to-day expectations.

New employees need an introduction to the company culture, history, mission, values, strategic goals, while also getting role-specific training. All things considered, when new employee onboarding does its job, the result benefits both the employee experience and the organization overall.

Employee Onboarding Software

As noted in the ADP 2016 Employee Engagement Study, only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees. Streamline the onboarding process to ensure your employees are well-equipped for the work ahead with a robust, employee onboarding software.

At Unboxed Training & Technology, we customize onboarding programs to mirror your company culture and increase retention by using real-life scenarios for practical application. Effective onboarding uses the right blend of eLearning, interactive workbooks, classroom training, and reinforcement to turn new hires into high performers, no matter their learning style.

Employee onboarding programs directly affect employee experience being an initial touchpoint for new hires of the organization. Is your employee onboarding software getting the job done? A word to the wise: Health check your onboarding before a new hire tries to learn their job on a subpar program…

New Employee Onboarding Checklist

Does your onboarding start with the basics and keep building? Evaluate your current employee onboarding to see how it measures up. The Essential Employee Onboarding Checklist provides a comprehensive overview of 40+ topics to make sure your new employees are set up for success. We’ve listed five of the main sections below to give you a sneak peek of the content:

employee onboarding training checklist ipad

Organizational Basics

Being basic isn’t always bad. Some information will be standard across the board for all employees to learn; we call this the “Organizational Basics.” New employees usually have little to no context on the company history and need to be informed on the foundational pieces of the business (i.e., mission, vision, company structure, unique value proposition, etc.).

Are you laying a solid foundation for employees at the beginning of the onboarding process before they jump into the more technical aspects of their job?

Human Resources

Time for the company policies. Human resources (HR) help employees grow with the organization by managing expectations, offering career development opportunities, and relaying the company culture in an engaging, inclusive way. Set goals at the beginning with HR to track progress, overall performance, and future promotions.

Is your onboarding program set up to help your employees thrive within the organization?

Meet the Team

Your onboarding program should be personal and involve humans. Onboarding should encourage each employee as a vital, valued player on the company team. As a new player on the team, new hires need to know what position they are playing, what responsibilities they have, and how their role supports organizational goals.

Have you built in face-to-face time in your onboarding process for new hires to socialize cross-functionality?

Role Specific Training

You don’t know what you don’t know. Give new employees the tools and training they need to perform their jobs with excellence. Role-specific training is a mixture of on-the-job learning experience and company provided knowledge bases. Personalize onboarding training to prepare new employees for their specific position in an efficient manner to make them valuable contributors.

Are you providing new employees with everything they need to succeed in their new role?

Measure the Effectiveness of Onboarding

If you don’t measure your onboarding, how do you know it’s working? According to the SHRM 2017 Human Capital Benchmarking Report, the average employee turnover rate was 18% in 2016. When an employee’s job description and on-the-job duties are significantly different, a 2-week notice is likely ready to send in their drafts folder.

Assess employees’ experience with your onboarding process at regular intervals in the same way you would schedule an employee performance review (30, 60, 90 days, etc.). Stay proactive and continually refine your onboarding process with the insight you gain from employee feedback.

How effective is your new employee onboarding program?

Create The Best Employee Onboarding Experiences

Onboarding doesn’t stop once the employee sits at their desk and watches a few videos. New hires will only be “new” for a short period, but onboarding is an ongoing process. Some onboarding programs can take up to two years, depending on the position. The best employee onboarding keeps investing time and resources into new employees until they are productive, valuable assets to the organization.

Are you ready to health check your employee onboarding program? For each checklist item, ask yourself, “How does my current onboarding training stack up?” Then, let us know how you scored so we can help your employees reach their A-game faster!

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How to Track Employee Training

Human capital is by far the most valuable asset to most any business. Although an intangible asset, people are a critical component to a business functioning at optimum capacity. People are part of the profit equation, and to make money, you have to spend money. Employees impact customer satisfaction, sales goals, ongoing innovation, company culture, etc. But, in most cases, employees are only as good as they are trained to be. Employee training is an opportunity for businesses to increase the value of their human capital. An employee training tracker is a key component to the training equation because it helps you identify if your employee training is directly increasing employee performance.

Furthermore, investing in employee training is important for the long term growth and success of a healthy business. So you’re probably thinking, “I agree, but how do I know if what I’m investing in is paying off?” We see where you’re coming from. Implementing an employee training plan usually starts with a learning management system (LMS).

Let’s talk about how an LMS transforms and tracks employee training today…

Employee Training Tracking Software

Training employees and tracking their progress is essential to properly evaluate what’s working, what information is not being retained, and what may need to change. To put things in perspective, up to 40% of employees who don’t receive adequate job training quit within the first year. Onboarding is no cheap investment, so when a new hire is made, that employee needs to be set up for success with well-defined job training.

Spoke® LMS

 

Spoke logo

Time for practical advice: The best way to track employee training is with an LMS.  Employee training tracking software, provided by an LMS, helps you collect, deliver, and track your company’s training content. Spoke® LMS is an award-winning, social LMS for the mobile workforce utilizing gamification to engage employees in training.

 

Assessment Builder

To understand the ROI of training, it needs to be accurately tracked. Tests, quizzes, and assessments are all ways for administrators and employees to identify areas for improvement. Spoke’s Assessment Builder is a useful, employee training tracker for both learners and admins to evaluate knowledge retention. 

Easily create assessments, track progress, and note trends to refine your training over time. Additionally, employees have the ability to test out of courses they have mastered to spend more time training on topics they don’t know as well. Gain insights on how effective your training is by retrieving granular data on specific questions or administer surveys for a broader view.

spoke assessment example questions

Assessments are fully customizable and can be required before or after a training. A pre-assessment is a good way to draw a baseline for comparing employees’ results, post-training. Using a tool like Assessment Builder as an employee training tracker is a great way to start evaluating your internal training efforts. The more you measure, the more you know.

Spoke® Reports

Keep track of your team’s overall results or review individual learner data with Spoke® Reports. Robust reporting helps you identify coaching opportunities for learners who have skill gaps and empower teams that need additional training resources. Filter reports by team, region, job code, and organizational hierarchy.

Spoke LMS reporting features

Dial in on course completions, user activity, and course activities. Practical, performance evaluations have never been so easy. Measure ROI with visual, interactive reports and go beyond the basics to discover metrics like social participation and learner engagement.

To grow your business you have to know your business. Access real-time, interactive dashboards, stunning user transcripts, and optional, business intelligence reports. Spoke is completely customizable to fit your business’ branding too, so you get all the credit for employee training satisfaction (don’t worry, we won’t Unbox your secret).

 

The Kirkpatrick Model

Dig a bit deeper into tracking employee training with the Kirkpatrick Model, which identifies four levels of learning evaluation:

kirkpatrick model four levels learning

At Unboxed Training & Technology, we use the Kirkpatrick Model to evaluate the effectiveness of employee training. Tracking employee training can be an elusive topic, but the four levels of learning can be used as guidelines to evaluate employees with some help from Spoke® LMS.

Reaction: Spoke® Surveys

The first level, “Reaction,” is meant to measure the learner’s experience with the training after they have completed a course. Practically speaking, this would look like administering a survey at the end of a training to gauge the employee’s experience. Some example questions could be:

  • How did you like the training? 
  • What did you like about it?
  • Did you enjoy the learning experience?
  • How do you feel post-training?
  • Were you satisfied with the virtual instructor?

Learning: Spoke® Assessments

The second level, “Learning,” tests the employee’s new knowledge to determine the retention of what was learned. A pre-assessment and post-assessment should be administered to properly gauge the level of comprehension.

  • Pre-assessment: ask questions related to the training topic.
  • Post-assessment: ask topical or scenario-based questions directly after the training to test knowledge retention.
    • What new topics did they learn?
    • How well did they acquire this new knowledge?
    • Are they confident in their abilities to execute the job’s task.
  • Compare results.

Behavior: Practical Application

The third level, “Behavior,” is where the post-training application is played out. Interviews and scenario-based assessments are helpful tools when analyzing the effectiveness of training 3-6 months later. Tests and quizzes are not as effective at this level because behavior changes don’t play out on paper. Changes in behavior occur at different times for everyone and typically require a personal follow up at a later date. 

Results: Key Performance Indicators

Positive results are the goal of any employee training initiative. The success of training is seen over time by measuring company sales goals, team efficiency, individual task completion, customer satisfaction, product quality, faster turnaround times, etc. Identify specific, key performance indicators (KPI) to track, measure, and evaluate. Use those KPI’s to determine how successful the training proved to be over a particular time frame. Review the results at an appointed time or during the employee’s end-of-year evaluation.

 

Tell Me More About Spoke® LMS

Every business is unique, but so is every employee. Training should be custom fit to meet the needs of your business and the learning needs of employees. Do you have an employee training tracker to measure results? Is your training doing the job? Are you ready to start making employee training trackable and more impactful? Request a demo of Spoke® or attend an upcoming Spoke® webinar. Our Spokes-people are on standby to show you how Spoke® can help you train better teams today.

Sources: Kurt, S. “Kirkpatrick Model: Four Levels of Learning Evaluation,” in Educational Technology, October 24, 2016. Retrieved from https://educationaltechnology.net/kirkpatrick-model-four-levels-learning-evaluation/

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5 Ways to Utilize E-Learning Games in Employee Training

In the ever-changing world of technology, the race to stay up to date is an exhausting feat. Modern learners are bombarded with texts, emails, phone calls, push notifications, and all kinds of digital distractions throughout the day. Simplifying the training experience is pinnacle to both effective learning and knowledge retention. Integrating eLearning games into your training increases training interactions by 3x, improves knowledge from beginning to end by 64%, and boosts employee engagement (who doesn’t love a good competition?).

Gamification in Business

Gamification is a buzzword these days as one of the most popular learning styles for both learners and educators. Gamification is the application of game mechanics in non-gaming contexts, such as employee training, to increase engagement. Examples of game mechanics include badges, points, levels, and leaderboards. 

corporate university meister learning retention triangle data

Statistically speaking, people only retain about 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear/see. Corporate Universities author, Jeanne Meister, notes compelling evidence for incorporating gamification in business today:

“Interactive learning games can increase long-term retention rates by up to 10 times.”

5 eLearning Games

In a previous blog, we talked about some questions to consider before introducing games in training. The question isn’t if your organization should introduce games, but how. To understand how you can start utilizing eLearning games in employee training, consider the following.

1. Jeopardy!®

Documenting all of the ins and outs of company products, policies, and best practices could quickly fill a 50-page manual; thankfully, those are long gone! Use the traditional Jeopardy!® format to train employees and reinforce specific topics, relevant to various job descriptions. Assess both hard skills and soft skills with customizable categories to fit your company’s needs.

Jeopardy!® for training includes all of the same rules as the top-rated quiz show on TV with wagers, Double Jeopardy!®, Final Jeopardy!®, and “Daily Doubles.” For cybersecurity training, the categories might be “Passwords,” “Don’t Do This,” and “Crack The Code.” The possibilities are endless and employees will most likely be familiar with the game rules making adoption easy.

2. Recall

Everyone learns differently, so using a mix of training games supports a range of employee learning styles. Recall uses visual learning to test employees’ ability to memorize using videos and images. 

For instance, the game will display a picture, such as a work environment, without giving the player any hint as to what they need to remember. The player is then challenged to recall specific details about what they just saw during a series of questions testing memorization and retention.

3. Trivia

Not a good test taker? No problem. Trivia transforms the negative sentiments around assessments into an exciting, competitive game using points, timers, and leaderboards. Employees are more engaged when tests are gamified into trivia questions. 

Trivia helps learners make the right decisions, faster. Use Trivia to test product knowledge, terminology, encourage asymmetrical thinking (i.e. Think Outside™ the box) and improve retention.

4. Scenarios

Product knowledge and negotiations can be difficult to practice when there is no application for on-the-job instances. Virtual scenarios provide employees the opportunity to learn in a fail-safe setting before being in the “real world.” 

Scenarios are a great training type for customer service representatives, salespeople, and management. Gamified scenarios allow employees to step into the shoes of a virtual character and engage in different conversation paths to test soft skills. Realistic, contextual simulations also help to assess cause and effect decision making.

5. Scramble

New job, new everything. A new employee can feel like they just walked into a foreign country as they begin integrating into the workplace. Colleagues may seem to be speaking another language if new hires are not well prepared with training. Onboarding is an important process to effectively equip new hires, but it doesn’t have to be all mundane.

Scramble is a great resource for terminology and can be played in two ways: Word Scramble and Sentence Scramble. Sentences are either written with a word missing or laid out in a word bank where players are challenged to correctly reorganize them. Learners are tested on knowledge retention whether they are new or seasoned employees.

Game On

Gamified learning management systems (LMS) motivate learners to excel, progress, and achieve final outcomes with anticipation. Each game is easily tracked for robust reporting on an individual or team data. Identify knowledge gaps, improve retention, and empower employees with more effective training experiences. 

When gamification is implemented into eLearning, companies increase employee engagement by 60% and improve productivity by 50% (eLearning Learning). Who’s ready for a performance review now? At Unboxed Training & Technology, we offer a full list of customizable employee training games. Learn more about how to level up your training with eLearning games by watching our Beyond Gamification webinar!

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Training Delivery Methods: Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

Content is a huge focus in the training world, though it’s really only one part of the learning equation. The magic happens, though, when strong content is shared through the most effective training delivery methods, enabling the message to be absorbed, retained, and implemented by learners.

Whether your aim is to impart knowledge, sharpen skills, or adjust behaviors, there are a lot of different methods of training delivery to choose from. But there’s no silver bullet. In fact, data continues to prove a blended approach, incorporating more than one modality to deliver your content, increases retention by up to 60%.

So, how do you determine the most effective training delivery methods for your needs? Start by considering the options available and how they align with your goals, audience, and content.

Below is a list of our recommendations.

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    Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

    Training Delivery Methods for Building Knowledge

    When we speak about training for knowledge, we’re referring to helping learners understand the what and the why of a concept. To tackle these topics, the training delivery methods we recommend hinge greatly on well-organized information and storytelling. These include:

    •  Podcasts
    Borrowing from the popular media format, Podcasts are an excellent way to educate team members, allowing them to absorb information at their own pace in a familiar style.

    •  Infographics
    Visual tools help to reinforce concepts, and the Infographic remains a popular delivery method as it clearly outlines vital data and information in a memorable and engaging way.

    •   Animations
    Another popular visual option, Animations are a great way to educate learners. By imparting critical information in an entertaining way, you can increase both retention and engagement.

    •   Group Discussions
    Part team-building, part training, Guided Group Discussions are a great way to build relationships among team members while educating them on key concepts.

    •   Interactive Training Tools (Pitch)
    These interactive modules from Unboxed’s Training Technology team organize key concepts in an interactive, data-based tool, making it effective for knowledge acquisition and knowledge sustainment (refresher training).

    Training Delivery Methods for Improving Knowledge & Skills

    Building on those, there are several modalities that bridge both knowledge and skills, helping learners to understand the how behind the what and the why. This category of modalities includes:

    •   Instructor-Led Trainings (in-person or virtual)
    Instructor Led Training (ILT) or Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT) allows you to build upon learned knowledge by giving learners a chance to put knowledge and skills into practice through classroom activities.The bonus of vILT is it allows you to reach learners near and far with training that’s as equally engaging, interactive, and effective as in-person training — without the pricey travel costs.

    •   Interactive Learning Guides
    Self-paced and fully interactive, our Interactive Learning Guides (ILG) keep learners engaged at every step. With a modern, web-like interface, video, animation, gamification, and interactive exercises, ILGs create an engaging experience for learners, making them effective for both knowledge and skills training.

    •   Videos
    Taking cues from what many learners engage in on their own time, training videos are an incredibly popular choice to help learners improve their skills in addition to reinforcing their knowledge.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Sharpening Skills & Behaviors

    Moving further into training for skills, the delivery methods below allow you to focus more deeply on the tactical responsibilities of your team. These modalities also lend themselves to training for behaviors, educating learners on the action taken, and include:

    •   Group Participation, Hands-On Activities, Role Plays, On-the-Floor Training, Mentor Shadowing
    Each of these training delivery methods differs in their approach but share the same goal: to allow team members to improve their skills in settings and situations where they actually use them.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Shaping Behaviors

    Behavior-specific training goes one step further, allowing you to work with team members to help them make changes in their interactions, approaches, and performance with direct feedback. There are two modalities that are ideal for this type of training, these are:

    •   Huddles
    Combining the benefits of group participation, hands-on activities, and role play along with direct coaching, Huddles are an excellent training method to help shape and improve behaviors.

    •   Video Simulations
    Offering the same advantages of a Huddle, Video Simulations allow geographically dispersed teams the opportunity to observe team member behavior and coach them to be more effective in their approach.

     

    Need Help?

    We recognize there are a lot of options out there, but choosing a training method doesn’t need to be a chore. We can help you analyze and understand both your goals and content to select the best option for your needs. Reach out to schedule some time with our Training Content Strategists to learn more.

    Want to know more about choosing a training method? Download our free guide!

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    Leadership Training Topics: The Essential Checklist

    Whether we’ve been one of the parties in an awkward supervisor/supervisee relationship, or we’ve watched poor leadership practices impact our organization, we all know managing people requires a specific skill set. Just because we give an individual contributor a new title doesn’t mean they have the skills they need to lead teams effectively—much less enjoy it.

    A CareerBuilder survey reports more than 26% of managers said they weren’t ready to become a leader when they started managing others, and 58% said they didn’t receive any management training at all. According to the ATD whitepaper Experiential Learning for Leaders, only 28% of business executives say they’re effective at developing leaders.

    Wow.

    Leadership training is critically important. In this post, we hope to help you get started on the program your managers need. We’ll make it easy to identify the leadership training topics you need to consider, and we’ll explore different ways you can implement your program.

     

    Leadership Training Topics

    Even though the manager onboarding statistics are concerning, the good news is this—leadership training is a wonderful place to build a strong, sustainable culture of learning.

    We’ve compiled a checklist of leadership training topics to help you answer this question: Where do my managers need to build their skills?

    Leadership Learning Experiences

    Okay, keep that strategy hat on and answer this next question: What type of training experience would be ideal for your managers?

    Ultimately, you want to identify the must-haves that will unleash the most benefits for your company and culture. Here are some considerations to help you brainstorm. In order to meet business, manager, and team needs, many programs choose to blend two or three of these approaches.

     

    IN-PERSON FACILITATED
    PROS
    CONS
    More opportunities to bond, build a support network, and share best practices If facilitated as a full-day or multi-day event, follow-up activities should be developed and implemented to encourage application and defeat the “forgetting curve”
    High learner accountability If facilitated as a full-day or multi-day event, may involve extra costs such as hotel, travel, and food
    Limited distractions Managers are not as accessible to their team members
    Can be developed in bite-sized formats and facilitated in-house to provide continuous learning

     

     VIRTUAL INSTRUCTOR-LED
     PROS
    CONS
    No travel required Fewer opportunities to bond, build a support network, and share best practices
    Can be developed in bite-sized formats and facilitated in-house to provide continuous learning Difficult to measure engagement beyond course participation

    Managers are susceptible to more distractions during the training

    Technology challenges with video, Internet connectivity, and sound can negatively impact the learning experience

     

    SELF-PACED ON DEMAND/JUST-IN-TIME
    PROS
    CONS
    No travel required Fewer opportunities to bond, build a support network, and share best practices
    Simple course completion tracking Difficult to measure engagement beyond course completion
    Typically organized in bite-sized courses, so managers can balance training with supporting their teams Managers are susceptible to more distractions during the training
    Consistent information and experience
    Easy to administer

     

    Leadership Training Timing

    Based on our experience, the best time to enroll managers in training is right when they’ve been promoted, or “just in time.” Relevant leadership training is the antidote to sink-or-swim, a practice that hurts confidence, morale, and your company’s net promoter score.

    Waiting for managers to ask for help is risky. You’ll lose productivity, and some of your managers with the potential to be great leaders might realize another company offers more support and professional development.

    When it comes to leadership training, strike while the iron is hot, when managers are eager to learn. Proactively equip them with the skills they need to confidently excel in their new role.

     

    Next Steps

    Hopefully, you’re starting to get a vision for the type of leadership training topics your managers need, and the type of learning experiences that will support your goals. Keep in mind learning experiences can be combined in order to create a blended approach, and you can always hire a partner to help you develop your strategy.

    Managers want to feel equipped for their roles so they can make a positive impact on your company and the lives of their direct reports. When you build their skills and confidence, you create a more sustainable organization and a better place to work.

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