When it comes to finding and maintaining high quality talent for any corporation, timing is everything. During the search and interview process, a company spends money and resources to attain a new hire, approximately $4,000 or more, according to The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. However, once the interview process is done, timing is still crucial. According to the Aberdeen Report, 90 percent of companies say that employees will make a decision to stay or leave within the first 12 months. What’s more is that 22 percent of staff turnover happens within the first 45 days after employment. It is therefore vital that onboarding be a smooth, social community-building experience to make employees feel at home and enthusiastic about a business, while getting them up to speed effectively.
One of the easiest and most logical ways to get an employee ready and excited about their new position is through onboarding. This process informs a person on how to do their job and how they fit into the bigger picture. According to Aberdeen, corporate onboarding has been proven to reduce employee turnover from 44 percent to 14 percent. It may be true that 35 percent of companies do not spend anything on onboarding, per the Allied HR IQ Survey, but when you consider the survey also states that 25 percent of new employees leave within the first year, the onboarding option looks a lot more attractive.
While there are many methods for onboarding new employees, including group seminars and one-on-one training with managers, the most innovative way is with corporate massive online open courses (MOOC). Corporate MOOCs facilitate learning by making it available when you’re getting new employees and scaling it economically and globally. Just-in-time learning standardizes onboarding for consistency across the entire enterprise and builds relationships between new employees to create a great learning environment for all. In fact, the social learning community is the most important part of onboarding and retaining new hires.
Discussions and social interaction through the online onboarding programs vastly improve the learning experience. In comparison, sitting and listening to someone speak can make you feel like you’re back in school. Interactivity and social community shows employees that the corporate workforce can be an engaging and fun social experience, more than just a way to pay the bills.
So why is community and social interaction so important to the onboarding process? It is vital because younger employees are not like previous generations. They enter into the workforce having grown up with the Internet, and some have never known a world without Twitter or Facebook. They seek out knowledge and absorb it more efficiently in bite-sized, simple and easy-to-digest pieces of information. They prefer learning that involves a sense of social community rather than something simply written out or lectured. They learn best when they can consume knowledge any time, because it is what they are already accustomed to doing.
Knowing that, how does a company leverage the social-media instinct to retain new employees? By making learning like social media, with seamless user flow, social ecosystems, peer-to-peer learning and rewards for a job well done. All of these offer a learning experience that is fun, interactive and easy to connect with mentally and emotionally. Leaderboards, for example, have done well for many social media sites and games that can be implemented in corporate onboarding MOOCs. Leaderboards and reward programs foster a friendly sense of competition between employees and inform them exactly where they stand in the company. This gives them a baseline to determine how they can improve. Facebook games prove this method is effective.
In addition to being an effective way to give employees the knowledge they need, this onboarding method offers a reprieve from monetary and time costs. Traditional methods do not scale, are inconsistent, expensive and time consuming. MOOCs are an innovative way to solve these problems.
Embracing these newer kinds of online learning technologies, companies need to use methods that young employees know and accept. Companies are presenting young employees with an onboarding process that is easier to understand and a social community in which they can personally thrive. An employee who adjusts to the workflow quickly and contently is an employee who will be a solid investment.
The future of business is a new generation of young, social and online-friendly employees. Successful onboarding must include a social community experience, peer-to-peer learning and gamification. Corporations have to embrace these aspects of learning, rather than ignore new innovations. It isn’t a difficult choice between ineffective traditional methods and social online learning, but it’s a major change for most companies. Luckily, there are companies that specialize in providing corporate MOOC solutions. Corporations need onboarding to retain employees and change their training methods now or face losing critical talent and time. It is a choice to succeed.