Onboarding, it seems, is growing up.
It wasn’t so long ago that many organizations treated new employee onboarding almost as an afterthought. “First Days” were often hastily outlined by the hiring manager, and seldom featured little more than a quick introduction to the team, a thirty-minute overview of primary job functions, and for a few lucky newbies, perhaps a cup of coffee or a quick lunch courtesy of their new boss’s expense account.
That “sink or swim” approach certainly pushed many new hires to jump in and start contributing right away — but just as often, it left new hires adrift in a sea of unfamiliar details and unintended confusion. In that environment, it’s little surprise that, according to Bersin research, 4 percent of new employees leave a job after only 1 day, and 22 percent of staff turnovers (1 in 4!) occur within the first 45 days of employment.
And those losses are felt all across the business — according to Intuit, half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first 120 days, and half of all senior outside hires fail within 18 months.
As Bersin notes, these personnel losses can add up — estimates suggest that losing an employee in the first year costs at least three times that employee’s salary.
All of which is why today, more and more organizations are looking to improve the way they offer onboarding at every level of the organization.
Fortunately, as more and more organizations discover the value of more closely managing their new hires’ initial experiences, learning and development professionals are finding the opportunity to help transition corporate onboarding from “one-and-done” to “programmatic learning”.
Businesses are turning to their new employees first days on the job as a prime opportunity to instill organizational values, inculcate corporate culture, foster cross-team collaboration, and offer inspiration that can help newbies get started on the right foot both for their current role and for a potential future career path.
This newfound shift in onboarding has been generating quite a bit of buzz, with Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Customer and Employee Experience expert Michael Falcon sharing ideas for employee onboarding that goes beyond day one, all in just in the past few weeks.
With so many great ideas being shared on how to scale and support truly comprehensive employee onboarding, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorites. And because most L&D organizations simply don’t have the scale or flexibility to reach every new hire in person on location right when they are getting started, we wanted to add in a few ideas from our own customers for using video to design an on-demand onboarding program.
Often the first concern new hires have is how they’ll fit into their new teams. Entrepreneur recommends you start any new hire’s first day with an office tour. Fast Company goes a step further, recommending hiring managers share an org chart, and if possible, pictures of each member of the team so the new person can begin learning names and faces.
Helping a new employee to feel comfortable in their new team is a critical part of reducing new hire turnover. Office tours and personal introductions are valuable, but the one-time nature of those events often means new hires wind up overwhelmed with details — and in need of a second introduction later. Providing pictures and an org chart can help sort out that whirlwind of information — but those sources don’t offer much in the way of personal detail.
To help create team introductions that really connect, video can be a simple tool that goes well above and beyond expectations. Hiring managers can video tours new hires can reference for directions around the office, and new colleagues can record quick personal introductions that a new hire can really connect with. Best of all, because it’s video, your new hire can watch every recording again and again — as often as they need to learn names, get to know colleagues, and really feel at home while at work.
Entrepreneur notes that a key element of helping new hires get up to speed in their roles is sharing the training information they need to really learn the specifics of their daily responsibilities. Michael Falcon agrees, and notes that leading organizations are expanding the scope of onboarding training to include cross-departmental how-tos, to better prepare new hires for collaborating across organizational boundaries and getting more done.
Both Entrepreneur and Michael Falcon advise new onboarding programs to curate training information of any type into bite-sized, step-by-step tutorials. Onboarding is often an organization’s best chance to teach an employee the “right” way to do things — breaking up lessons into an easy-to-digest sequence makes virtually any subject easier for most people to learn.
For many organizations, video training offers and easy means to share role-specific training in a repeatable, reliable way. With recorded training, your team can curate specific segments that can be shown to each new hire right when they need to see them — ensuring new skills are taught in both a consistent and timely manner. Your teams can rely on the same tested-and-proven training materials for years — or, quickly revise and update your materials whenever they need.
Every organization works in its own unique way, prioritizing its own unique set of values. For your experienced employees, those little details are often second nature — almost unremarkable facets of how you do business. But for your new employees, those same details are often at first a virtually incomprehensible code — and one that is all too often only learned by trial and error.
Corporate cultures are inherently unique, but no matter your organization’s style, video can be a useful tool for helping bring your new hires into the fold. Some businesses find that video is a well-proven medium for sharing messages from executives and other communications teams, providing new hires with an engaging way to really see corporate values explained. Other organizations find that video is an ideal tool for getting new hires to take part in the office culture, by recording introductions, demonstrating early expertise, and creating content that may be shared with their peers.
Here at Panopto, video is a key part of how we welcome new hires into our organization. Every new hire at Panopto records an introductory video sharing who they are, where they’ve been, and what’s brought them to us. We find it’s a great way to not only help everyone see how easy it is to use Panopto to record a video presentation, but also to help everyone get to know one another as we grow as a company. For just a sample of what one of our introductory videos looks like, check out Jenn’s, below.
We couldn’t agree more with the staff at Entrepreneur — one of the most essential elements of onboarding is also the most obvious, be ready for day one. Your new hire will be walking in the door ready to leap into action — one of the most demoralizing things you can do is to tell them “we weren’t quite ready for you yet.”
Fortunately, here too video can be a tremendous asset for a programmatic onboarding approach. Desk phones may still need to be hooked up, one-on-one introductions with stakeholders may still need to be scheduled, but as long as you’ve got a web connection you can give your new hire access to any and all of the video welcoming content you’ve designed.
With a video content management system like Panopto, your new hire can access any videos you share with them instantly from anywhere — and even on their own smartphone or tablet if your IT team still needs to finalize that laptop procurement. For organizations where first day logistics are done just-in-time, video onboarding and training materials are an always-available fallback that will provide your new hire with a helpful introduction, no matter what.
Learn 15 ways to enhance new employee onboarding with video — with a simple guide to creating an onboarding program that works — in our new white paper, 15 Ways To Enhance Employee Onboarding With Video.