Published on

December 19, 2022

A Complete Guide on Personalizing Employee Onboarding

Jannik Weichert photo

Jannik Weichert

Managing Director


Learning Hub

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Personalised employee onboarding

Onboarding is a critical period for new hires and the company alike, as it sets the stage for a successful and productive long-term relationship. In this blog, we will explore a strategy most companies can use to make their employee onboarding experience more personalized and effective. We look at breaking down the onboarding tracks into smaller bits and using these to create a tailored and personalized employee onboarding experience.

What is personalized employee onboarding?

Personalized employee onboarding is the process of introducing new employees to their job, team, and company in a way tailored to their specific needs and preferences. This can include providing individualized training and support, assigning a mentor, or providing a platform that knows which part of the company the new hire needs to know and which skills the person has to learn. The goal of personalized onboarding is to help new employees feel welcomed, supported, and successful in their new roles and to set them up for long-term success within the company.

One person is explaining something to another person

Why is personalized employee onboarding important?

Personalized employee onboarding is essential because it helps accelerate the time needed to get up to speed, improves the employee experience, and also minimizes the administrative workload for the company. When new employees feel welcomed and supported, they are more likely to feel engaged and motivated, leading to better job performance and increased retention rates. Personalized onboarding can also help new hires understand the company culture, values, and expectations quicker, which can help them feel like a valuable team member and contribute to the organization's overall success.

Four steps to personalize the onboarding process for each employee

There are essentially three options for personalizing the onboarding process. Option one involves each department creating a tailored onboarding track, which is used for all new hires joining the respective team. This is far from ideal since new employees might already be familiar with the tools used in the company or the market the company operates in. This can make the area-specific process unnecessarily time-consuming. It is important to keep in mind that every new hire comes from a different background with very different skill sets. This means that these individuals might need upskilling for their new position or only general information about the company and processes.

Option two involves creating individually tailored onboarding tracks for each new hire. Needless to say, this also would be way too time-consuming for the HR department.

Option three involves creating an onboarding track that allows the automatic creation of various tailor-made versions. What exactly does that mean? You will need to use a platform that personalizes each track according to individual preferences and, most importantly, the prior knowledge of each new hire. This is done by breaking the position down into small pieces (atomic skills) and sectors for the platform to deliver a tailored onboarding process. Let’s unpack the four categories of information needed to individualize the onboarding tracks.

1. General company knowledge

This includes things such as the company vision, strategy, values, culture, working style, team members, details about the market, and challenges of our clients to name a few.

2. Tool knowledge

Containing all the relevant information about the tools in use for communicating and collaborating internally and externally.

3. Product knowledge

Including an overview of the products the company offers, the different current features as well as the product vision and feature roadmap.

4. Role specific knowledge

Lastly, some information and knowledge tailored for the new role. In the case of a new sales hire, you could include topics such as buyer persona or ideal customer profiles, best practices in sales, workflow and process knowledge needed for the sales team, etc.

Once prepared, these knowledge blocks can be used and re-used for each new joiner that requires them without continuous rework.

Four benefits of this personalized employee onboarding approach

  • Employees get up to speed a lot faster using adaptive learning approaches that allow them to work through only the materials that they actually need.
  • You can estimate the exact time a new employee will take to get up to speed since the platform automatically calculates the total learning time.
  • Little quizzes, intermittent drag-and-drop tasks, and gamification of the content not only support the employee’s learning process but also continuously show us which onboarding materials are effective and which are not.
  • Based on the initial assessment and the quiz results, you are able to identify skill spikes and improvement areas, allowing you to develop a learning plan with your new joiner for the upcoming months from the very start.

What you need to get started

Does that sound like just the thing you need as well? Your first personalized onboarding experience is only a couple of steps away!

1. Define the different topic blocks new hires need to be trained in.

These might include:

  • General company knowledge
  • Industry or product specific knowledge
  • Role specific knowledge
  • Compliance topics

2. Look through your current onboarding processes and materials.

What is already available that can be reused?

What part of your onboarding is currently done via in-person or virtual discussions that could be replaced with an e-learning offering? This is a good indication of the materials that might have to be created first.

3. Implement the content on the platform.

Use the content gathered or created in the first two steps and implement it on the platform. Review if it makes sense for you to distinguish between departments for all knowledge blocks. Finally, it is vital to keep the content up to date. This could be as simple as adding a new brick to the onboarding track when using a new tool.

Get started personalizing your corporate learning experience

Now that you understand the importance of personalized employee onboarding, you may wonder what platform you can use to implement the steps above and how to deliver customized training and support to your new hires effectively.

One solution is to use a learning experience platform (LXP). An LXP is a digital platform that allows organizations to create, deliver, and track personalized learning experiences for their employees. Find out how such a platform can help your business to grow, all the benefits on offer, and more in our LXP guide.

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