As soon as someone says ‘yes’ to a job, employers need to be thinking of them as one of their own. So why wait until their first day to get them on their induction or onboarding journey? And why stop there? Let staff access all your great onboarding resources whatever their role and regardless of how long they’ve been with you. Elearning makes it possible to get all your onboarding resources together in one easy to find place and make them available anytime and to anyone.
In this article we’ll take a dive into what resources make up great onboarding eLearning courses. So, without further delay, straight up are my top 30. And let’s start at the very beginning.
1. Starter packs
More and more employers are beginning to put these online, recognizing that managers may not have the time they’d like to spend with the new starter. By giving new starters access to information such as forms they’ll need to complete, staff profiles of team members and outlines of processes before they start, they can get a head start and be prepared with directed questions for their manager at the start.
Dollops of the stuff. More about that here in the top 20 checklist for onboarding.
These constitute the unique knowledge, tacit and formal, that exists in your organization. By capturing them for your new starters, you give them access to wisdom. These stories can be codified in text materials or captured as podcasts and video interviews.
Believe it or not, your brand is a valuable resource because it communicates core values consistently.
5. Responsive eLearning modules for optimal cross platform deployment
There are some really good rapid eLearning tools out there for this and enabling on-demand mobile learning with seamless access to training content from any laptop, tablet or smartphone can help accelerate skill growth in your new starters, increase product knowledge and acclimatization in their new role.
These can help enhance your content with interactive quiz questions to reinforce knowledge retention, then track the results to ensure new hires are onboarded effectively every time.
Use polls to gauge starters’ response to onboarding eLearning process. Nice thing too is that your new starters can see how other new recruits are doing.
Use these to measure effectiveness of your onboarding eLearning program, and new starter satisfaction and track their portal time.
Connect with peers, provide empathy, support and guide new starters. With online tools, such as conferencing and messaging, buddies can even be remote. The key is to provide a buddy who knows the role the new starter is in.
10. Checklist (link to Anatomy post)
Give your new starter a ‘to do’ list, an easy checklist they can refer to to guide them through the onboarding eLearning journey.
11. Manager tools
Engagement tools and resources
12. Other learning materials
Integrate your onboarding eLearning with your other learning programs – leading organizations link learning and onboarding eLearning for optimal productivity, reusing content, cross pollinating courses and so on.
These can be short directed messages or news broadcasts that can be captured very quickly using free audio tools such as Audacity and uploaded quickly to your portal.
14. Videos and vodcasts
Like podcasts, they can be brief, up-to-date and immediate and can be recorded on a mobile phone and uploaded straight to the portal. These provide access to news and information from people all over the organization.
Online articles again, these provide a great sources of up-to-date news and analysis which helps new starters get up to speed in a flexible way.
Google hangouts (other conferencing tools are available) are a great way to get dispersed teams together even before your new starter comes on board.
17. PDF’s (Interactive and static)
These offer great portability and if you don’t need to track scores, these are a flexible format for onboarding eLearning course materials for all platforms and devices.
18. Interactive timelines for organization history and story
You can make these quickly and easily with rapid authoring tools. Great for providing background information about the company and the people who work there.
19. Crib sheets
Checklists, to do lists
20. Site maps
These can be done in loads of different formats (PDF, Word, image files), interactive hotspot screens – whatever you choose, the site map helps new starters get orientated in the office and quickly find what’s located where.
21. Certificates and badges
These are great ways to provide verification of your new starter at key points along their onboarding eLearning journey. These can be in PDF format or you can incorporate badges for learners to collect virtually on their way.
Google (other forms are probably available!). If there’s anything your new starter needs to fill in, make the forms available online and even better, let them submit them online (you’ll need to be aware of security especially if you are collecting personal data such as bank account information). Check with your IT people, there’s probably forms in your organization’s ERM (Resource Management System) you can integrate into your onboarding eLearning program.
A great way to brand and quickly deploy learning materials and ensure a consistent look and feel. Templates can be set up in Word, Powerpoint and rapid eLearning authoring tools.
Elucidat has ready-to-go themes to help you get started quickly.
Like message boards, online forums are a place for new starters to meet and message others in the onboarding eLearning program, follow threats, ask and respond to questions and search FAQ’s
25. Social networks
Yammer provide support, FAQ’s sharing questions and answers – O2 uses Yammer in their onboarding so co-workers can collaborate on ideas, share feedback and ask questions.
These are secure sites within your organization’s ecosystem which can be set up for specific users and cohorts. A good example is Lloyds Banking Group. The bank has pre-joiner internet sites, organizes networking events for new recruits and sends out good luck text messages.
Of course, you’ll need somewhere to put all this lovely material, which may be an intranet, or a course management system or learning management system. A portal is really just a gateway to where your materials are kept. The important thing is to make content easily findable.
28. Learning Management System (LMS) and/or Learning Record Store (LRS)
Whether you are tracking your new starters’ onboading via SCORM or xAPI, one or both of these is a must-have, especially if you need to verify their competencies in areas of compliance.
29. Content Management System (CMS)
Get all your policies and forms in one easy to find portal (this can be your intranet which is usually built on CMS architecture).
With the explosion in consumer IT, and especially hardware, you can take advantage of BYOD and ensure your new starters can hit the ground running with mobile apps relating to onboarding eLearning. Product knowledge and work aids, small bite sized news clips with up to the minute information can easily be pushed out to devices running apps. You can also gauge progress and satisfaction with mobile polls pushed to devices and synchronize results to your LMS or LRS when the device is next in the office.
Have you used any of these resources in your onboarding eLearning programs? Have you got a story to tell about how they were used and if they were effective? It would be good to share with you your experiences, so use the comments below to get in touch.
A version of this article first appeared at eLearningIndustry.com
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