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The Elements of an Effective Employee Onboarding Program

As the proverb goes, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

The elements and philosophy of an effective employee onboarding program work similarly. What you invest in your employees goes farther than what you deliver to them. An onboarding program that creates productive employees is the key to building a productive company, with the skill retention that leads to longevity for your business. 

It’s true that even the initial questions can be overwhelming: How can I ensure my employees have access to all of the resources they need? How can I streamline information for a variety of positions? How can we communicate our vision and values effectively? How can I provide the most up to date training materials after changes to our policies and procedures? 

But the fish proverb is a great reminder that it goes deeper than this. It echoes what teachers have known for decades. It’s not just content transmission; it’s content reception.

When designing a new onboarding program or revamping an existing program, employers need to consider not only the informative elements, but the complex application elements that respond to employee learning needs: How can I ensure my employees know how to respond to X scenario? How can I teach them when to apply X policy?  What would be the most effective way for employees to remember the mission statement? 

At Allarium, we’ll work with you to address these layers of complexity. While the elements of an effective onboarding program are complex, they don’t have to be complicated. Designing an employee onboarding program doesn’t require you to reinvent the wheel when it comes to curriculum, and you’re not required to be the training expert. 

It’s much easier than you might think.  

On the informational side, your company already has extensive drive folders, manuals, models, slide decks, email “how-tos” and meeting recordings.  Your company already has a wealth of knowledge to pass on because your skilled employees create professional content every day as you run your business. It may not seem like it, but these raw, practical materials can be shaped into the prime elements of your onboarding program. The trick is organizing this content and making it work for you and your employees. 

Allarium’s team will organize what you already have to produce high-quality professional development for your unique business model. We serve a diverse group of clients with diverse needs. Whether you need self-study courses for professional credit, or a program that easily adapts to changing circumstances and new information, we’ll help you distribute the information that each trainee needs for their job description from your existing arsenal of materials. 

More importantly, we go beyond the distribution layer with our training expertise. 

Allarium’s educational design experts can create interactive, scenario-based training to help employees use distributed knowledge productively. We apply tested educational principles to provide the right balance of synchronous and asynchronous training so that you can engage new employees and encourage long term retention. 

A key principle of our model is feedback. This element of teaching and training is so important that educational experts have studied and written volumes on providing meaningful feedback to students. The most sleek, organized presentation means nothing without a response. 

We use this teaching expertise to invest in employees. With measurement tools integrated into training, we’ll assess employee comprehension and application so that you can see the results and improve. We will also collect feedback from your current employees and new hires to pinpoint your training needs and fill in any gaps. 

Building an effective onboarding program that doesn’t just deliver, but teach, is difficult, but necessary to maximize your productivity and support employee retention. The proverb is simple, but the process is not. 

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