Sales reps forget 70 percent of training within a week and 87 percent within a month, Gartner research found — a concerning statistic for companies trying to train employees. Fortunately, bite-sized learning counteracts the brain’s natural forgetful tendencies. Organizations should abandon the conventional one-time teaching sessions and adopt a culture of learning to support and enable their staff through their entire tenure.
Most would agree that work today is more demanding and complex than even a decade ago. Products and services in the digital economy take time to master. And the skills a modern workforce needs must continually evolve and adapt to new market conditions and demands.
Traditional onboarding can no longer keep up with these needs. It relies on marathon sessions of one-size-fits-all material that is soon obsolete and forgotten. “Everboarding” should be the training practice of the future.
Everboarding is a continuous onboarding experience supporting and educating employees along a continuum rather than the established one-and-done approach.
Despite research proving the benefits of everboarding and continuous learning, most companies still rely on traditional onboarding processes, which typically involve giving out handbooks and organizing one-day orientation sessions focused on company policies, employee expectations and technology training. This approach doesn’t effectively:
- Support hybrid environments.
- Provide adequate training time while also ramping up employees quickly.
- Ensure information retention.
- Support personalized training that meets a new hire’s unique needs.
- Introduce and engage remote employees with the organization’s culture.
A modern onboarding approach addresses those issues and enables you to build a continuous learning environment.
Why choose everboarding
Traditional onboarding is typically structured as a formal, one-size-fits-all process with a defined beginning and end. Everboarding is a holistic, ongoing approach focused on an employee’s specific training needs that provides learning opportunities, facilitates peer connection and improves employee experience.
The most effective way to master content and skills requires reinforcement, coaching and collaboration. With everboarding, employees receive smaller chunks of information that are more easily retained combined with individualized training. For example, one employee may be taught managerial skills while another learns strategies for improved client presentations.
Everboarding also cultivates peer-to-peer relationships and coaching opportunities that foster trust, teamwork and engagement. While it’s challenging to make and maintain these connections in a hybrid workplace, technology provides asynchronous communication options to encourage communication.
An everboarding approach supports a learning culture that yields significant benefits. Companies using this approach are:
- 92 percent more likely to develop novel products and processes.
- 56 percent more likely to be the first to market.
- 52 percent more productive.
- 17 percent more profitable than their peers.
Eight in 10 employees cite continuing education as a high priority in their job search, demonstrating why these organizations achieve 30-50 percent higher employee retention rates.
Creating a culture of learning will allow the organization to meet these employees where they are to build and improve their unique skills.
3 steps to launch everboarding
There are three essential steps to support everboarding.
- Shift your mindset
Learning is a journey, not a destination. Shift away from viewing onboarding as an event and approach it as a continuing process. That mindset must be introduced and reinforced across the organization. Everboarding effectiveness is limited without buy-in.
Managers must set an example. Experienced and tenured employees may grumble about new requirements and resist further training, so leaders should actively participate in the new process and encourage engagement from others.
- Create a central repository of materials
To make education materials accessible, create a central repository housing all your content, from courses and videos to presentations and guides. By storing everything in one place, employees can easily access everything they need when they need it.
With the fast-paced work environment, people don’t have hours to sit and complete training. Materials should be bite-sized and easy to consume so learners can absorb material at their own pace and incorporate it into their workflow.
Enlist your resident subject matter experts to generate content. Because of their hands-on experience, these employees possess in-depth knowledge beyond what learning and development teams can produce. This also frees L&D to focus on strategic needs.
- Invest in virtual training solutions
Hybrid onboarding and training require technology. A technology platform that supports asynchronous communication is just one way to facilitate connections and learning across disparate locations.
Additionally, the right system will track and measure learning effectiveness. Modern onboarding platforms monitor course completion, employee competency, knowledge mastery and content effectiveness. This can help you evaluate how your efforts impact skills, employee retention and leadership development.
Creating a culture of learning is a long-term effort that leads to productivity and innovation for the company, as well as personal and job fulfillment for your employees. It’s time to ditch stagnant, traditional onboarding methods and embrace customized everboarding to improve company performance, employee engagement and recruiting power.