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Design the Employee Onboarding Experience to Outperform Business Expectations

Part 1: In this first of four-part series, we’re sharing important information from our most recent eBook you can use to explore innovative new ways to design and develop a customized, successful employee onboarding training program that scales.

Employee Onboarding Elevated: A Delta Air Lines Case Story

So, you want to design an employee onboarding solution that goes above and beyond basic business objectives. Sound too ambitious? When revolutionizing employee onboarding—en masse—was a necessary business milestone for Delta Air Lines, ambition was in order.

The Ask: Design and implement a comprehensive hybrid employee onboarding program…in four weeks.

What if the only way to achieve your business needs was to design a hybrid ecosystem of onboarding for over one thousand new employees to be hired and trained in just a few weeks? The Delta Air Lines-AllenComm team rose to meet that challenge, brought on in the wake of the dramatic COVID downsizing and then rapid restaffing of Delta’s Reservations workforce. The urgency included more than scalability: The project required a new hybrid design (WBT, ILT, on-the-job sessions, coaching, goal setting, self-study, practice games, self-evaluations, manager evaluations, toolkit builders, etc.) with a new structure and approach that reflected the new needs of forever-changed Delta customers and employees. 

The Need: Grow the business with new performance expectations…and metrics.

An onboarding program that can flex to major changes in policies, people, and performance needs is one that can outlast even a global tidal wave. Post-COVID, the travel industry, its methods, and almost everyone who touched it needed to be redefined and re-strategized. Just as the re-emerging Delta customers (and indeed those in most industries) now required faster, more comprehensive, omni-channel support, the newly-hired Delta Reservation Specialists expected an onboarding experience that included formal, informal, social, experiential, and personalized elements. The Delta business expected all of it to be measured, with scrutiny on the newly-defined metrics. 

Fast-forward to the happy ending: The business impact was staggeringly successful. Almost all of the KPIs improved in positive directions, the team could see positive results in even Kirkpatrick measurement Levels 3 and indicators of 4, and only after five weeks post-rollout.

Employees going through onboarding training

The solution? AllenComm had a plan to accomplish all of these goals.

The Plan: Design for measurement… in every detail.

  1. Define your organization’s KPIs.
  2. List how the business metrics need to change.
  3. Define the performance metrics per role that feed those KPIs.
  4. List how the performance metrics need to change (the gaps) and the corresponding performance objectives.
  5. Outline why those performance objectives are hard.
  6. Designate your measurement methods.

In short, use the strategy, then tactics, then the measurement benchmarks that make sense for your organization. Adjust before the next measurement benchmark.

In our next part in the series, we’ll cover how to PERSONALIZE THE LEARNING AND EMPOWER THE PERFORMER.