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Strategic management
4 minutes to read

Adaptation program (onboarding): what it is and how to create it

An adaptation program (onboarding) is a set of tools applied to quickly introduce a new employee to their role and provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary for the effective performance of their duties. A high-quality onboarding program significantly accelerates the process of integrating new employees into their roles and positively influences the business economy.

Common mistakes made by managers when introducing new employees

Here are the main mistakes that lead to employees taking much longer to settle into their roles in companies, and sometimes they never acquire sufficient competencies for maximum efficiency in their work:

  1. Lack of structured onboarding training for new employees

One of the major mistakes when introducing new employees is the complete absence of structured training. When a new employee is entirely handed over to their manager, thinking the manager will figure out how to train them, it often results in the newcomer “hanging around” for several months as a “trainee,” not providing satisfactory results to the company and even making mistakes.

  1. Absence of certification (knowledge checks) at the end of onboarding

Effective learning requires effort, and we all know that. Without a strict examination on a topic, there is often no motivation to put extra effort into learning it. A crucial rule: no check of acquired knowledge means no quality learning. Many companies don’t have any knowledge checks after an employee completes the training process. As a result, people learn inadequately, skim through study materials, and adopt a “in one ear, out the other” approach. This significantly diminishes the quality of onboarding for new employees.

  1. Insufficient automation of the onboarding process

The most expensive working time in a company is the time of its managers. Unfortunately, this time is often the scarcest. To qualitatively introduce each new employee into their role, a considerable number of working hours from their direct manager is usually required. As the size of the team increases, the attention of the manager to each new employee usually starts to decline. However, by looking at the learning process of each new employee, the theoretical part becomes a significant component, where the employee needs to be explained key concepts and working methods that concern them. In the age of automation, there are many Learning Management Systems (LMS) available today, enabling the rapid construction of a quality automated process. In this process, all the necessary theoretical knowledge for the new employee is obtained from the system, saving the manager’s time thanks to pre-recorded instructional videos.

All these mistakes lead to a significant reduction in the effectiveness of the initial training of newcomers, but they can be quickly corrected by building a high-quality onboarding program.

What is an effective onboarding program and how to build it?

An effective onboarding program should be highly automated through a Learning Management System (LMS).

The onboarding system consists of the following elements:

  1. Competency profile

This document lists all the competencies a new employee must possess to effectively fulfill their responsibilities. Competencies are categorized into corporate-wide and job-specific.

Corporate-wide competencies include knowledge applicable to every employee, such as business models, future vision, product and service descriptions, organizational structure, key management tools, task and project management rules, corporate culture principles, and internal regulations.

Job-specific competencies encompass skills specific to particular roles, such as sales rules and technologies for sales managers, planning and budgeting rules for finance professionals, manufacturing procedures for production staff, etc.

       You can download a sample competency profile from the link below:

free download
Video for new employees
about corporate culture

By clicking the button «Get the video», you agree to the processing of your personal data in accordance with the Privacy Policy

  1. Training program structure

Similar to schedules in schools and higher education institutions, a new employee starting the adaptation program should receive a training schedule. People usually struggle to independently plan their learning schedule, so the structure of the adaptation program addresses the qualitative organization of introductory training. This structure is initially developed with rough timing and is further adjusted as employees progress through the training.

  1. Separate theoretical and practical training

Reflecting on the process of learning to drive a car, learners independently study the theoretical foundation, take exams on it, and then undergo practical training separately. This is how the onboarding process should be structured. During the initial 1-2 weeks, a new employee learns all necessary theory and undergoes an exam (certification). Subsequently, they embark on about a month of practical training under the guidance of an experienced mentor from the team.

  1. Theoretical and practical certification

After the theoretical and practical parts of the introductory training, a high-quality knowledge check is crucial. This may include testing, theory exams, or practical demonstrations of acquired skills. The format and structure of certification should be developed in advance to minimize improvisation during the assessment.

  1. Automated learning management system (LMS)

Today, there are many modern LMS systems that allow you to quickly build a quality automated learning process (download overview of popular LMS systems). When a new employee joins the company, they gain access to such a system, guiding them through the learning process. In the system, employees access all necessary theoretical video materials, supplementary documents, take tests, etc.

  1. Video lessons with supplementary text materials

To save managers’ time and deliver information more structuredly to new employees, most theoretical knowledge should be recorded as video lessons. It doesn’t necessarily have to be of professional quality; even recording lessons directly on a webcam or phone brings significant benefits. Creating video materials can involve making a presentation with slides on the training topic and recording a screencast, switching between slides and providing voice commentary on each slide. This results in a highly structured and convenient video that can be uploaded to the LMS system.

As an example, you can download a video from our training program for new employees, where I explain the logic and principles of our company’s corporate culture:

free download
Video for new employees
about corporate culture

By clicking the button «Get video», you agree to the processing of your personal data in accordance with the Privacy Policy

  1. Assigned responsible for organizing the learning process

It’s essential to have someone, in addition to the employee’s manager, assigned to be responsible for guiding the new employee through the learning process. This person can be a Training and Development Manager (L&D Manager), HR Manager, or even an Office Manager. The goal is for this person to thoroughly understand how the learning process should unfold and act as the main moderator, organizing both the new employee and other internal specialists who need to teach the newcomer.

These are key components to consider before developing a robust and effective training program for new employees. “Business-Constructor” has been helping small entrepreneurs and large companies create and implement quality onboarding programs for over 10 years. If you’re interested in developing and implementing such a system in your company, leave a request, and our specialist will guide you on how we can assist you.

I hope this article is useful for you.

If you understand that it is important for you to implement the described tools, but there are doubts that it will be possible to do it well on your own, leave a request and we will tell you how we can help you:

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