When new employees join your company, you’ve got to bring them on board in a way that encourages them to integrate into the company culture, clears up any questions and helps them work as efficiently as possible. New hire training programs are the key to this.

What’s Adaptive Onboarding?

In the simplest terms, adaptive onboarding is a process for inducting new employees into your company that relies on using adaptive learning. It means the process itself changes (or adapts) to suit each individual’s unique needs.

Adaptive learning works by gathering data on employee preferences, patterns and behaviors, then using that information to adjust the learning process. So, in the context of onboarding, that means the data is used to optimize the onboarding process, so it suits each individual new hire.

Since this new hire training program relies on data, its potential can keep climbing.

Benefits of Adaptive Onboarding

So, now that we’ve established what adaptive onboarding is, you might be wondering why you should adopt it. Consider the following benefits of adaptive onboarding:

1.   Employee focused.

By nature, adaptive onboarding places the new hires at the very heart of the employee onboarding experience. In other words, it can help you create a learner-centric experience for your new hires. It can show your people that the organization cares about their individual learning and development (L&D) needs and that they value their individual contributions to the company.

This can result in a more positive onboarding experience that can give your new hires a great reason to keep working with your company. This can also inspire them to keep growing within (and contributing meaningfully to) your business.

2.   Better productivity.

When employees have the tools and support they need to work efficiently, they tend to be more productive. And when you can provide that support right from the start, they can have a better chance at feeling more comfortable in their new roles.

3.   Real-time insights.

How do your employees prefer to work, and which tools do they typically rely on? If you have a solid idea of your employees’ workflow processes, you’re likely already adapting to their needs. That’s because using adaptive models can make it much easier to see what employees’ preferences are and how they like to work.

The knowledge that comes from these real-time insights can help you plan and strategize with your employee preferences in mind. Adaptive learning models can also enable you to anticipate learning preferences for other employees across the company. It can give you the insight to predict the needs of future new hires, allowing you to optimize the onboarding experience each time.

Practical Tips for Adaptive Onboarding

Next, it’s time to consider how you can put the theoretic behind adaptive onboarding into practice and start taking advantage of the benefits. After all, it’s very worthwhile to optimize your onboarding program when it has the potential to boost retention rates and employee engagement. Let’s explore some best practices for delivering an effective adaptive onboarding experience.

1.   Take advantage of data.

Data is the backbone of modern technology. With more information than ever at our fingertips, it makes sense to use that to craft a data-driven learning strategy. This strategy should be built around real-life data that captures the behavior and preferences of your new employees so their onboarding learning process is as smooth as possible.

Of course, you can also use data in a more long-term sense. Since you’re collecting it to optimize the onboarding experience in an immediate sense, you’ll already have it when you want to improve your onboarding program in the future. In other words, the data can inform you of any opportunities for improvement to the onboarding process.

2.   Make sure your approach keeps evolving.

Speaking of updates, your approach should never stay stagnant. Instead, ensure your new hire training program continues evolving and improving to better reflect the ongoing needs of your new hires. This can help you ensure your training is as effective as possible. And effective training programs are vital — in fact, having access to more effective training would convince nearly one-fourth of new hires to stay if they planned to leave.

3.   Use adaptive tools.

There’s more to an adaptive approach than just deciding you’re going to make changes to reflect new hires’ needs. You’ve got to make sure you’re using tools that can keep up with your approach,

For example, let’s say you’re using a to handle incoming calls. If that receptionist can be updated to reflect changes in callers’ needs, then you’re using a genuinely adaptive tool. If not, it might be time to find one that can, so your desire to adapt is matched by your capability to do so.

Welcoming New Hires with Adaptive Onboarding

We’ve seen the benefits of using adaptive onboarding, and we’ve covered the best practices associated with it. That means it’s time to consider what happens once you adopting this new approach to onboarding. When you decide to welcome new hires using adaptive onboarding, you’re essentially doing these three things:

1.   Showing their opinion is valued right away.

Training that takes new employees’ thoughts, feelings and personal preferences into account demonstrate that your company cares about their people.

This comes with a host of benefits. Employees can feel more welcome since they’ll know the company is ready to make changes to better suit them. They’ll also know they can share their opinion, ensuring they’re ready to contribute to the company’s growth and culture. Also, demonstrating that you value their opinion is a great way of proving your loyalty to them. You’re not just saying you care — you’re showing it.

2.   Proving your company is flexible and adaptable.

No one likes the idea of a super rigid company that can’t accommodate its employees’ needs —  so you’ve got to show your company is different. Consider the increase of flexible working. Nearly one-half of all workers surveyed planned to ask for flexible working arrangements once they were able to, showing how important it is to a large chunk of the workforce that a company can make adjustments and accommodations.

3.   Creating positive, lasting impressions.

It’s important to get off on the right foot with your new hires from day one. Adaptive onboarding can give a good first impression of your company. It can also help with learning retention. This means that your new hires will remember what they were taught during onboarding because the information was transmitted to them in a way that best suits their needs. An adaptive onboarding approach places your new hires’ needs front and center, showing them that they’re valued from the get-go.