Successful onboarding: Engage new employees with new technologies

Manuel Yasli · eLearning Trends · Last updated on June 1st, 2021

The time before the first day at work


Finding good employees is one thing. Keeping these good employees is yet another matter. Onboarding already plays a decisive role here. It is the process of taking new employees “on board”, i.e. integrating them into the company. According to the Aberdeen Group, 90% of new employees opt for or against working in the company during the first six months.

Sustainable employee onboarding can be divided into three phases:

  1. The time before the first day at work
  2. The presentation of internal processes, new tasks, and the team
  3. The assurance phase, in which it will be verified whether everything works as intended and in the interest of the company

In this article we will take a closer look at the first phase – the time before the first day at work. You could send your new employees all important information via mail or email – which would leave you with a lot of work and many disadvantages. We want to show you how to design the onboarding process by means of online training and which benefits this includes.

Identification with the new company

Onboarding already starts before the first day at work. Do not leave your new employees alone at this point and actively involve them instead. New employees should be able to identify with the company as quickly as possible and also feel welcome. It is important that you or one of your employees take on responsibility for looking after new colleagues and stay their permanent contact. This makes the process even more personal, which is of special importance when online activities are involved as we will see in the following steps.

Upload materials online and enable interaction

An online onboarding can provide the new employees with a welcome package, e.g. a digital introductory booklet, company profile, the company’s basic principle, etc. A cloud-based training platform can be accessed at any time and from anywhere, which is necessary when the new employee accesses training at home. Besides informational material, obligatory PDF documents like forms and letters can also be provided. If necessary, they can then be filled out by new employees before they start working. If questions arise, they can be posed and answered in the very same place and will be visible for future participants (unless deleted).

Often newly hired employees are still in other employments and can hardly call at usual office hours. The possibility of posing their questions online in an online training makes them more independent of time and place and can be seen as a valuable means of interaction. Completed forms can be uploaded directly and then be processed by the HR department. There are usually no limitations regarding the file formats, but make sure that files can still be edited, so employees can upload their own version of it.

This does not only save time, but also paper, which, by the way, brings you closer to a paperless office.

Time new information

In order not to let new employees lose track of things, it is recommended to provide materials and forms gradually, so one step after another. Online training platforms offer this step-by-step procedure by default.

Time onboarding materials and avoid excessive demand

A good procedure might be the following: Start onboarding 1 month prior to the first day of work. Give access to general information about the company during the first few days of onboarding. In the next few days, release some forms needed to be filled in. It is a good way of having new employees receive more and more information before they start working. The new colleagues will slowly be introduced to your company and the accompanying corporate culture and are able to memorize the information as it comes in step by step.

A big advantage of online training: once an onboarding training has been set up in the platform, you can use it as often as needed without additional effort. This guarantees a similar welcome phase for all new employees and passes on a uniform picture of your company.

Promote social exchange online

The social collaboration possibilities available on online training platforms allow future colleagues to leave comments or send direct messages and get to know each other in advance. This way, they can also communicate with the employee responsible for onboarding. It can also make sense to support exchange between “old” and new employees this way. For this specific purpose, online rooms can be provided. This creates a network in which new employees do not feel left alone. Creating a “buddy”-system can also be useful. Experienced and well-integrated employees take care of training for new colleagues. The buddy also plays an important role in the second phase of the onboarding process. You will find more tips concerning this topic here.

Benefits of an online platform for onboarding

So what are the benefits of an online training platform? After setting the process up once, everything is mostly automated. Adjustments can easily be made. Online training platforms allow tracking of activities so that you know whether the new employee has taken a look at the materials you provided. Posing (simple) questions to check the knowledge, evaluating the answers will help you to determine the effectiveness of your onboarding. By means of the platform, it is also easy to send notifications: whether these are automated reminders or invitations to on-site appointments. It is not necessary that everyone has access to everything: you can use individual roles and rights to manage each participant. There might be specific information only relevant to employees of a certain department. An online training platform with a clear role division should help you with that.


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