Industries from food processing to finance rely on new technology-enabled processes to drive performance in a competitive market. That being said, significant process changes tend to go poorly without employee onboarding and performance support. As digital transformation initiatives continue to replace old business processes, staying ahead of the market requires a continuous effort. That means continuous learning will need to become an integral part of any successful corporate strategy. Deloitte found that 86% of respondents rated learning and development as “important” or “very important,” which means our learners are in agreement.
At Learning 2019, an employee training and development conference, AllenComm CLO Anna Sargsyan and AllenComm CEO Ron Zamir discussed the role of rapid employee onboarding in a corporate climate driven by digital transformation. They explained that employees must be invested and excited for the program to succeed. To that end, their three-part model emphasized the importance of connection, confidence, and contribution—factors to support employee onboarding and a culture of continuous education. Let’s take a closer look at their model.
Essentially, preboarding is anything that happens before day one. According to the three-part model, the goal of pre-boarding is to create connections. Creating and fostering human connection in your workplace is essential to employee satisfaction, engagement, and effort. Gallup found that only two out of ten US employees have a best friend at work, but increasing that number to six in ten would raise profits by 12%, increase customer engagement by 7%, and result in 36% fewer safety incidents. When employees are connected with their team members, they’re less stressed and also less likely to be looking for other jobs. Employees who have a friend in their workplace are also more likely to take innovative risks.
The pre-boarding stage the best time to begin fostering human connections with and among your new employees. Sargsyan and Zamir suggested warm first impressions, inclusive networking, informational interviews, lunch invitations, and greetings from the entire team to help your employees feel like they belong. Though these practices might be outside of the realm of formal training, the best tactics for employee onboarding experience consider social integration and cultural immersion. Clear role descriptions are helpful as well. Show your employees how they fit into the company structure and how their skills will contribute to company goals.
As your employees begin onboarding in earnest, the right training technology can help them feel confident in their new roles. Sargsyan and Zamir recommend using a diagnostic tool to gather the data needed to create personalized learning paths, as well as using an “onboarding hub” with visual representations of progress to track what they’ve learned. Making content easily accessible with searchable toolkits can also help employees feel confident in their ability to succeed. They need to feel as though they can find additional information or review critical concepts as they progress through the employee onboarding experience.
The human connections your employees made during pre-boarding are helpful in this stage, too. Feeling connected at work decreases stress and increases confidence. You can also make use of training technology like simulations to provide real-to-work experiences. Giving employees the chance to apply their skills in realistic situations will further build up their confidence. On the other hand, chat rooms and internal blogs help to connect your employees to each other, providing valuable peer support. With the right tools to support connection and confidence, your employees should feel like they are set up for success.
Continuous Learning: Contribution
Confidence and connection aren’t just for new hires. LinkedIn found that employees who continue to learn at work are happier—less stressed, more productive, and more confident. As corporate technology adoption drives the need for new skills, your employees will want to add to their skill sets. A culture of continuous learning will also help your company keep up with market demands.
To support a culture of continuous learning, Sargsyan and Zamir recommend a few tactics to help your employees reskill. For example, performance support platforms, mentors, virtual peer coaching, cohorts, and collaboration channels all enable human connection and individual confidence. With an effective continuous learning plan in place, your employees will recognize that their company is investing in their professional growth.
When your company is facing a digital transformation, your employees have to be invested in the changes you’re making. You can support your employees by fostering human connection during pre-boarding and onboarding and inspire confidence with continuous learning.