It’s no secret that the first few days of work for a new employee are crucial — both for that employee and for the company. To onboard new hires successfully, the organization should do everything in its power to smooth over the process. To do this, companies need to put thought and effort into what they want their induction training to look like.
Luckily, new technologies have made it possible to move away from PowerPoint presentations, which often rely a little too heavily on text, and towards online onboarding processes, which are generally more successful at engaging the learner.
During the induction course, employees, full of uncertainty, must get a feel for how the company operates while the company must get employees up to speed with what their tasks will be and what skills they need to do their job.
Regardless of what industry your company is in, it’s up to Human Resources to plan and implement a high-quality induction course. To help this process along, they should consider the following:
1. Know your employees
Each company has a certain type of person or professional profile that works there. Before starting a new induction course, it’s a good idea to ask certain questions:
- What are the interests of these employees in question?
- How can their training needs be met?
- How can we get them learning on day one?
- What skills should they focus on?
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to connect with your employees as well as understand what they need from their training and how to give it to them.
2. Choose the course that best fits your company
Employees can’t choose what onboarding course they do when starting a new job; it’s up to the company to pick a good one that covers what both sides are looking for?
HR should take all factors into account when sifting through the multitude of possibilities in order to settle on the solution that best delivers what the company needs.
There are traditional training solutions, simulators, collaborative learning, e-learning, and many more. But whichever one HR decides on, it should include some basic elements:
- Customization: being able to adapt to the course to fit company content is very useful, especially for onboarding.
- Attractiveness: the course must pique the students’ interest and make them want to learn.
- Accessibility: the course should be accessible at any time, regardless of if the student is in the office or not.
- Metrics: quantifiable results such as student feedback and raw data give you a good idea of how well an approach is working.
3. Use high-quality content
Theory-driven content based heavily on reading and memorization is a thing of the past. These days, professionals are looking for practical content that will actually help them in their day-to-day.
To keep them excited, use tools like gamification, which uses the features and mechanics of video games in order to keep students engaged.
If your employees enjoy the process, they’ll be motivated from day one on the job and more likely to put what they learn into practice.
4. Provide a safe training environment
Students must have faith in the company (and its processes) in order to really sink into the training and improve their results. Lean into collaborative techniques, simulators, and video games to foster a safe environment that’s conducive to learning.
Make sure the employees know the training tool is keeping their personal information safe, and that the training is going to be helpful to them in the long and short term.
5. Integrate the selected course into the company’s overall training plan
The onboarding course is the first impression you leave a new employee, so it should serve as a jumping-off point for any of the learning pathways you’ve set up.
Learning pathways are specialized course itineraries made of a series of complementary courses that serve to better an overarching soft skill (leadership, sales, customer service, etc). A quality onboarding course can start any of these off on the right foot. Remember, in order to ensure it goes off without a hitch, all the details need to be parsed through and confirmed before starting the course.
6. Set up a communication plan
Once you have the employees and the course picked out, it’s time to think about how you’re going to get people ready and excited about the training.
For the induction course to be a success, you have to make sure students know what’s going on and that they are actively involved. To do this:
- Lay out a clear communication plan.
- Educate participants on how to use the training tool correctly.
- Plan some information sessions.
- Start to drum up some excitement.
- Create a community throughout the whole process.
7. Encourage feedback
Because feedback is so important in the training process, the tool should offer it immediately (and, preferably, in a personalized way). This way, students can keep an eye on their progress and performance throughout.
At the end of the onboarding course, organize a feedback session where you can comment on their performance and they can share their thoughts on how it all went. This feedback will help you diagnose what went well with the training process as well as where you could improve moving forward.
8. Measure the results
Some training tools provide employee performance reports throughout the training process. These tools will allow you to analyze the information objectively and in detail in order to make comparisons and lay out future goals for the employee.
Training video games let you do just this, which is why they’re being used more and more in this day and age.
Gamelearn’s Mars brings all these together
Now that we’ve seen what makes an onboarding course successful, it’s a good time to look at an example of one that can deliver all the above. Mars is a customizable training video game that combines strategy with a question-and-answer system that the players themselves create.
The players come up with the game’s questions, which their opponents answer or challenge, in order to receive points they can use to build their colony on Mars. Because of the game’s flexibility and adaptability, it can be a great training tool for onboarding but also for any other communication efforts the company wants to embark on.
Mars lets you easily integrate the onboarding content you already have into a fun, graphic adventure that’s:
- Easy to manage
- Innovative and flexible
How does the course work?
Mars is a training tool that lets you easily communicate information and evaluate how well your employees are retaining it. It does this through collective learning, which is encouraged in all aspects –the competition, the creation of questions, and the debates that pop up throughout.
Gamification (leaderboards, storytelling, levels, points, etc.) is a big part of the course and why the games are so fun and engaging for the students.
Student performance is measured by adding or deducting points, which are reflected in the final score then used to give feedback and compare players.
Additionally, Mars is part of Gamelearn’s online subscription platform, which is:
- Cloud-based: no software or other installation required.
- Accessible: all you need is an internet connection.
- Multilingual: all courses have the option to be played in our core languages: English, Spanish, French, and German.
- Adaptable: games can be played on any device — mobile, tablet, computer, etc.
Used as an onboarding course, Mars helps new employees internalize important company information as well as interact with other new hires both online and offline since the game stirs up excitement and conversation that will carry over into the office as well.
In short, by tapping into the power of video games, Mars is a fun, engaging course that offers full flexibility for companies to relay the information they want their employees to learn. Try it today and the results will surprise you!