If job interviews are employees’ first impressions about your company from the outside, then onboarding is like an on-ramp that leads inside. When it’s broad and flat, with clear markings, the chances are better that the newbies will reach their destination: successful adaptation and high performance in their new position.

You can turn the onboarding journey into a more fun and efficient process with the help of e-learning and a corporate learning management system (LMS).

Step 1: Provide a Starter Pack

On their first day, new employees often feel like they’re in the middle of a deep forest, where their GPS doesn’t work. Your task is to make them feel welcomed and provide them with a comprehensive map.

For this purpose, welcome kits are a great tool. Your kit might they contain corporate perks like a hoodie or a backpack, but it should also include an essential guide for new employees so they can easily get started.

Put yourself into a new employee’s shoes to determine what information you should include. Usually, new hires have basic questions such as when to have lunch, where to get an ID card, who will help them with their account settings, and how on earth they can remember all the names of the colleagues you’ve just introduced them to.

In many companies that are serious about onboarding, every new employee has a more experienced mentor. It’s a great practice to have someone friendly and helpful meeting a newcomer in the entrance hall on the first day; it’s even better to have a mentor who can share his or her experience with the new hire.

How an LMS Can Help

An LMS can help you convert processes into a digital format and automate routines. For instance, you can upload a presentation about your company to the system instead of printing and distributing it by hand. If you have a large office building, you can create an interactive guide so that new employees won’t get lost in the corridors and can easily find where they need to go to sign documents, find office supplies or have a cup of coffee.

The main advantage of LMSs is that they make it much easier to keep the information up to date. It will only take a couple of clicks to update content, so you don’t have to monitor your supply of printed copies or throw away outdated materials.

Most importantly, you can give newcomers access to these resources even before they cross the threshold. It’ll help them feel more confident and prepared.

Step 2: Get on Track

Now that your new hire and your organization are acquainted, it’s time to cover more serious topics: work standards, corporate ethics, policies and compliance courses. In other words, employees should have all the organization-wide content mastered before they can start working in their own function.

How an LMS Can Help

At this step, having a digital learning platform can benefit you in two ways. First of all, you can save a considerable amount of time and money by using online training instead of conducting live sessions.

Secondly, it’s crucial to be able to track performance, especially for compliance courses such as workplace safety. An LMS gathers training metrics in real time and processes assessment results so you can evaluate learning and remain compliant.

Step 3: Level Up Their Class

At this stage of the onboarding process, you introduce new employees to the approaches and techniques that their department uses. For example, if your sales teams use the SPIN technique, you’ll need to train new reps to use it as well.

How an LMS Can Help

Use your LMS to combine courses into learning paths. For example, Google uses a “Whisper Course,” a series of micro-lessons sent by email, to train its managers at Google.

For employees who communicate with customers, it can be helpful to use conversation simulations, where each response is followed by a certain reaction: If the learner is being rude or is unprepared, he or she won’t close a deal with a virtual customer. This type of training is a great opportunity to hone negotiation skills and scripts without the risk of making a serious mistake with a real client.

Another benefit is that by using an LMS, there’s no need to manually keep track of each unit of a learning path, as the system can automatically assign courses.

Step 4: Run a Readiness Drill

No matter how long onboarding lasts at your company, you’ll need evaluation criteria so you can know when an employee is ready to face the world.

How an LMS Can Help

Forget about printing assessments and then manually processing the results. With an LMS, you can create a test of any length with different types of questions, from “yes or no” questions to sorting tasks.

The system will automatically calculate the score and save the data, enabling you to see not only if an employee passes or fails but also what tasks and topics cause the greatest difficulties.

To Sum up

No one likes reading manuals for appliances, which is the same reason few people enjoy onboarding. Don’t waste all that new employee enthusiasm on studying thick binders; turn onboarding into an exciting process that will entice new employees to future success.