The Power of E-learning in Onboarding

Many moons ago (so many that I’ve lost count), I started my first job in public practice as an accounting technician. The first day, after being introduced to my new colleagues and shown my desk, a box was given to me, and I was asked to prepare a review engagement file. At the top of the pile was a program to guide completing a review engagement – but that was the extent of my instruction.

I had been thrown into the pool to either sink or swim. I knew accounting, I understood financial statements. But I had worked in a small, private company up to that point, and never seen a working paper file. I didn’t even know what a working paper file was. As I sat at my new desk, I wondered if I’d made a mistake.

I stuck it out because I had some great team members that helped me understand what I needed to. And my time there was the beginning of a fabulous career. But not everyone is as lucky – and that is why effective onboarding is so important. According to research performed by Zippia [i], of newly hired employees that left in their first six months, 23% left because of unclear guidelines for their responsibilities and another 21% because of ineffective training.

When companies onboard new employees, there are a myriad of topics that need covering. Everything from learning about the organization and its philosophies, benefits, and employee services – to role-specific procedures. It can be a bit like drinking from a firehose at first…and if treated that way, companies run the risk of losing the employees they worked so hard to get.

eLearning as part of your onboarding experience can help you tailor a program that provides your new hires with exactly what they need – and if done correctly, when they need it. In doing so, you’re likely to see an increase in retention rates.

Some other benefits you can expect from including eLearning in your onboarding process are:

  1. Flexibility and accessibility. Trying to coordinate an onboarding program for learners spread across multiple time zones means that someone is being inconvenienced – and that’s not a great starting experience. eLearning allows your learners to complete training at their own pace, and at times that are convenient for them. This is particularly helpful with a global workforce.
  2. Consistency. When delivering live training programs, whether in-person or live-virtual, you run the risk of inconsistency across facilitators. eLearning allows you to ensure that all your learners hear the exact message you need them to walk away with.
  3. Scalability. It’s just as easy for 100 people to complete an eLearning course as it is for 1,000, without any additional cost. So, as your company grows, the incremental cost of onboarding each new employee is lower overall.
  4. Customization and personalization. The jobs your new employees will do aren’t all the same, so a one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding won’t be effective. With a collection of brief, targeted eLearning nano courses you can devise a personalized learning path that gets your new hire up to speed quickly, and only provides relevant content.

If there had been a 20-minute eLearning focused on what a working paper file was that was made available to me when I started, I might not have spent a day spinning my wheels and second guessing whether I was right for my new job. Don’t let your new hires question their decision and use eLearning courses to create an effective program that gets them what they need, when they need it.

Do you have concerns about your current onboarding process and want to explore how to improve it? Reach out to us at Smartfirm to discuss your need and see how we can help build the courses that will give your employees exactly what they need.

[i] 17 Incredible Onboarding Statistics [2023]: HR Trends In Hiring, Training, And Retention – Zippia

Share this post:

More From the Blog

Image of two cartoon business professionals

NPCs Just Got Upgraded


Cognitive Load

Do you have a training need? Reach out to Smartfirm to schedule a call to discuss how we can help.

Do you have a learning challenge for us?

Smartfirm logo

By clicking 'Send message' below, you consent to us storing and processing the personal information submitted above.