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5 Best Practices for Using Onboarding to Drive Performance

In general, it’s agreed that strong virtual onboarding is vital to company success. A workforce that’s well prepared in terms of work practices as well as compliance is going to be more durable in the long run, with higher retention rates and performance metrics overall. As SHRM’s analysts argue, onboarding is a moment when workers decide to engage or disengage with the company mission. The easier and faster onboarding is, the quicker the workforce can start being productive, and the better an estimation they have of the company.

Onboarding is a time for establishing first impressions. Yet it is also a time when onboarding best practices and product education can set up the workforce for long-term success. Let’s discuss a few ways of leaning into the use of onboarding as a productivity multiplier. 

Don’t be a company that treats onboarding as a time for repetitive, complicated paperwork. Treat onboarding as a time where a company lock down their workforce’s relationship with productivity. 

What Is Onboarding?

In discussing onboarding practices, a couple questions crop up. What is onboarding, anyway? Fully 58% of surveyed businesses think that onboarding extends no further than processes and paperwork. 

Source: SaplingHR

Once you’ve answered that question, another presents itself: how should onboarding be used to further performance? While we tend to think about onboarding as processes and paperwork, the reality is that it’s the total sum of a workforce’s process for reaching a state of productivity and empowerment

It’s not simply “learning the company basics,” but learning how to be successful as a member of this specific workforce. It’s about reaching the point where an individual is ready to be a productive high performer, with as little friction and as much engagement as possible.

But how do you reach that point? Read on for virtual onboarding best practices 2022-2023.  

Best Practices for Using Onboarding to Drive Productivity Long-Term

Emphasize Simplicity and Efficiency 

The simple fact is that new members of the workforce like simplicity.

The worst virtual onboarding experiences – the ones that truly dissuade folks from engaging with a company – are overly complex, diffuse, and long. No one likes having to spend time searching complicated platforms for dense information, or hunting in their emails for PDFs and compliance documents. The key is to pack a lot of information into a small amount of time, and in a very usable, readable format. 

Companies are digitally transforming, and along with this process, they’re simplifying. As CIO Magazine underlines, complexity is “the key barrier to digital transformation.” If you’re going to be successful in the near and far future, you should be paying attention to digital, remote onboarding. 

Dismantle Informational Siloes 

Try to contain all relevant documents, best practices, and other onboarding information in a single location. New recruits will disengage quickly if they’re having to flip between systems to find required materials. At Rallyware, we deliver the complete digital experience in a single, end-to-end platform. That’s part of what the best examples of the digital transformation can provide – a silo-less universe for the workforce. 

Wield Digital Handbooks and Multimedia Tutorials

Simply throwing an attachment in an email and saying, “Read this” – that isn’t “going digital.” Many companies do this, and there’s no better way to push away workforce members who expect a next-generation digital experience.

Instead, consider creating and curating handbooks that are downloadable from a central resource, like an app. Use engaging video tutorials and other multimedia content, such as interactive tests, to ensure that the workforce both wants to retain information and has the means of doing so. Going digital means using single-stop platforms to provide easily accessible resources for becoming productive.

Like Bill Gates famously said – content is king. In the age of digital expectations, yesterday’s content won’t work anymore.

Prioritize Onboarding Speed – Without Sacrificing Depth

The fact is that the sooner the workforce completes onboarding, the faster they can start being productive. As Webonboarding puts it, “[The] longer onboarding takes, the higher risk of new employees [or workers] dropping out.” 

However, if virtual onboarding itself is thin and too cursory, workers will end up performing in a subpar way. So you have to strike a balance between speed and depth.

To ensure that your onboarding material is in-depth and effective, solicit input from management and veterans of the workforce. See what they’d like to have included. Focus-test it on them. You’ll have to be active and thoughtful about it. 

Then make sure you’re deploying faster platforms for onboarding. For example, Rallyware’s research shows that our platform results in +25% faster onboarding. We allow you to fully customize and digitalize the workforce’s onboarding experience for your brand – and personalize it for each individual. Which leads us into our next point.

Personalize the Virtual Onboarding Process

There’s nothing worse, as a new recruit, than having to complete training that isn’t relevant to you. “Why am I wasting my time on this?” folks wonder, beginning to disengage.

Thankfully – technology exists to personalize not only the onboarding process but the entire performance enablement cycle. 

Without getting too technical, Rallyware’s platform can personalize onboarding content based on an individual’s progress so far and their goals. That way, they’ll receive content that’s tailored exactly to their needs at the present moment. The content will be relevant to them

So, not only will they be receiving the most relevant content, which increases the chance that they’ll review it closely – they’ll be excited that they’re associated with such a digital-forward company. 

The benefits of personalized content are hard to overstate. When the workforce feels like their onboarding experience is relevant to their specific lives, engagement goes up. Onboarding programs get finished faster. 

When it’s time to be productive and initial onboarding is done, the workforce performs higher than they would under other circumstances. They’re more engaged, and they know more about how to channel their skills into higher performance metrics – because of that engagement during onboarding.  

Onboarding 2022-2023 Checklist

With this onboarding best practices checklist, make sure your onboarding processes are moving in the right direction. Refer to these steps when thinking about new methods and practices.

Onboarding Best Practices Checklist

  • Emphasize simplicity for the user
  • Put information in one central place
  • Use digital multimedia content
  • Prioritize speed
  • Personalize onboarding

Conclusions

Onboarding best practices 2022-2023 are all about deploying the gains of the digital transformation – in the right way. Simplicity, efficiency, personalization: these and others are the watchwords for onboarding today. Having access to the right technology will help you stay ahead of competitors, who are already digitally transforming.

Rallyware helps you personalize onboarding content, create a simplified onboarding experience, speed up the onboarding process, and much more. Virtual onboarding best practices are easy to carry off with the right technology in place. Click here to learn more and request your free demonstration today.