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How to personalize your onboarding training

Employee onboarding can be a daunting experience. Many of us know the exciting yet nervous feeling of a first day on the job. You’re eager to get started, but you’re also trying to keep up with new faces, a new workspace, and all the new rules and procedures. So, what can trainers do to make onboarding more welcoming and effective for new hires? Personalization.

Danielle Agass
personalized onboarding

A personalized approach to onboarding is the perfect way to overcome some common learning obstacles. By customizing onboarding content to your new hires’ needs, you help them make the most of their first few days and weeks on the job. Here are five top tips for creating a personalized onboarding training program at your company.

1. Embrace e-learning

For many new hires, one of the most stressful aspects of onboarding is the fear of failure. They’re new on the job and likely don’t want managers or colleagues to see them struggling to adjust. E-learning is a great way to create a non-threatening, low-pressure learning environment. It enables new hires to work at their own pace and acquire the knowledge they need without having someone looking over their shoulder.

If you’re not familiar with e-learning (or online learning), it is a training method that gives learners access to training modules online. The new hire completes courses via a secure website or online learning platform. This method lets you take advantage of the latest learning technologies to create a custom onboarding program that’s interactive, informal, and easily accessible.

Create your new hire onboarding program.

2. Find out what your new hires already know

Different employees bring in different levels of prior knowledge and experience. To ensure your onboarding is relevant to each new hire’s specific needs, start by asking them to complete a pre-onboarding test or assessment. This allows you to discover the exact level of knowledge your new hire already has, and which topics they still need to improve on.

Based on the results, you’ll be able to create a custom onboarding program that only covers the topics they need to learn more about but skips what they already know. Not only does this keep the course relevant, but it also facilitates a more inviting learning experience. With a personalized onboarding program, your new hires are less likely to get bored and more likely to stay engaged.

Create your onboarding program.

Alternatively, you can download our free onboarding template.

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Looking for an effective way to onboard and train your hybrid workforce? Watch our free webinar on how you can leverage blended learning.

3. Add milestones

Another way to keep your new employees engaged during onboarding is to introduce milestones. The onboarding process can be lengthy, likely lasting several months into the new employee’s time at the company. Breaking your onboarding tasks and activities down into milestones will make the program much simpler, reducing the amount of information they need to take in at a time. Adding milestones also accounts for the fact that every employee learns at their own pace.

Download our free onboarding checklist.

4. Use microlearning

In most companies, there will be some general topics (like house rules or company policies related to paid time off, sick leave, etc.) that all employees need to know about. If you present these topics in an overly broad way (such as a thick employee handbook or lengthy PowerPoint presentation), your new hires are likely to shut off and not really engage with the content.

Make these topics interactive and accessible by adopting the microlearning trend. This new method of training involves breaking up information into small, easily digestible bits, usually no more than the length of a few sentences. Because of their short length, microlearning “nuggets” are easier to memorize, and learners can repeat them multiple times, which also improves memory and eases the learning process.

Microlearning works great in combination with mobile learning too (giving employees access to training content on their mobile devices). That’s why it’s ideal to choose an e-learning platform like Easygenerator that is fully mobile-compatible (iOS and Android) and automatically configures the training content so that it displays optimally when viewed on a mobile device.

Learn our onboarding best practices.

5. Keep it interactive

Lastly, keep your custom onboarding fun and engaging with plenty of interactive elements. E-learning is a great way to do this because many e-learning platforms give you the option of including educational videos, interactive graphics, educational games, and a wide choice of different types of test questions. All of these elements make the learner feel personally engaged with the content, helping them to acquire knowledge in an informal, intuitive way.

Anyone who’s ever been to a long lecture or sat through a complicated PowerPoint presentation knows how difficult it can be to maintain focus. That’s because these traditional methods of teaching are one-sided and impersonal: the audience is expected to sit silently and just absorb the information. However, the best way to learn new skills is to practice them hands-on. This is why interactive learning features are so effective. Prepare your new hires for their new workplace reality by giving them a chance to go through the motions themselves during the onboarding process.

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About the author

Danielle Agass is the Content Marketing Manager at Easygenerator and has been writing ever since she could pick up a pencil. A Brit by birth, she moved to the Netherlands in 2018 with her husband and their cat, Ron.