The what, why and how of blended learning for Employee On-Boarding

Forbes found that an employee’s average tenure in an organization is only a year and a half. In addition, SHRM found that nearly one-third of new employees quit in the first six months. One possible way to integrate the new hire immediately and effectively into the organization is through a comprehensive and engaging on-boarding process.

Your on-boarding and orientation process introduces the company’s strategy, culture, brand, vision, and mission. It makes new employees feel welcome, encourages collaboration and team building, and increases employee engagement, while also providing important brand inputs and job-related information.

What is Blended Learning, and why is it useful during On-Boarding?

Blended learning is a combination of e-learning and traditional learning. It is typically more engaging, as it offers more media options – in-person games, seminars, videos, online games, gamification, and more – and can therefore be adapted to suit all kinds of learners (visual, auditory, kinesthetic).

Unlike instructor-led learning, it is easy to schedule asynchronous formats like e-learning and blended learning based on availability. It is also easier to measure results of e-learning. On the other hand, traditional learning does provide more of a personal touch. Blended learning can be easier to implement than a pure e-learning approach, and more flexible than pure in-person training. 

Specifically when it comes to on-boarding and orientation, the advantages of blended learning are amplified. Face-to-face training and icebreakers are necessary to personalize the experience and to make new team members more comfortable. At the same time, online training needs to be implemented to save time and offer flexibility – for mentors and new employees alike.

How do you use blended learning for On-Boarding and Orientation?

  1. Use a judicious mix of digital and traditional learning media – in-person seminars, webinars, game-based learning, icebreaker games, video and audio, branching scenarios, immersive activities, etc.
  2. Start orientation before the joining date. Using your learning management system (or with a simple email), you can send out a set of FAQs and pre-reads about the brand, mentor, major responsibilities, etc, even before the employee joins your team.
  3. Organizations usually focus on training in the early days of the employee’s time in the company, but ignore it thereafter. This means that if they need to refer back to some information shared – HR policies, brand values, etc – at a later date, they do not have recourse. Make it available on an ongoing basis by making the e-learning content available on your LMS indefinitely.
  4. Part-time employees / interns / contract workers may not need to refer to all the induction materials. With a modular approach to blended learning, where multiple modules are hosted on the LMS, each new employee can be easily specific modules based on their requirement.
  5. Microlearning is a great way to share information such as organization structure, the purpose of the various teams, roles/responsibilities, org structure etc. It’s also suitable for training new hires on company policies, as they may find it hard to study large documents in one go.
  6. Use both offline and online games to help new employees relax, fit into the team and understand the culture better.
  7. Your LMS has a number of tools that can be used to deploy the blended learning approach. Schedule the learners’ time digitally and keep track of whether or not they have completed various modules on time. You can also use your digital calendar to schedule the user’s time for in-person sessions. Ask, via your LMS, for feedback – and incorporate this into your on-boarding training on a regular basis.

When done right, blended learning brings together the best of both worlds – the flexibility of e-learning and the personal touch of in-person training. Reach out to our team of experts to discuss how to create instructional design for your blended learning program for on-boarding.