26 May The Benefits Of Microlearning For Onboarding New Starters
Microlearning For Onboarding New Employees
Most organisations understand the importance of a good on-boarding experience for new-starters due to the huge benefits for the individual, their productivity and performance and the sizeable increase in retention rates.
An effective onboarding process can deliver this and also helps new starters to gain important information and become more productive sooner which is a win-win for all.
Research by Glassdoor found that a great onboarding experience will increase retention rates by 82% and productivity by 70%
Gallup found that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organisation does a great job of onboarding new employees. This is a huge gap between perception and reality.
So where are we going wrong? And what can be done to create a great onboarding experience for new starters, which is also cost effective.
Some Points to consider:
The human brain is not designed to stay focussed for a large amount of time and can not absorb multiple different pieces of information at once.
Our brain takes in information – categorises it and then stores if for use later. Information is stored in the short term memory and then transferred into long term memory for access at a later time when it is needed. If there is too much information and there is not a strong motivation for the brain to retain the information (i.e. no motivating factors, limited levels of interest and seemingly irrelevant information) the transfer to long term memory will not occur. A significant increase in the amount of information that is retained by the brain is also achieved by re-enforcement or repetition. If a learner does not re-visit the information it will be lost. The answer to increasing uptake and ability to remember information at a later date is smaller amounts of information which is then re-enforced. This ensures tranfer into long term memory with the ability to recall it later.
What is information overload?
Information overload is the feeling that we have when we are overwhelmed by the volume of information we are presented with. It is tiring and very draining.
When a new starter arrives, it is sometimes common practice to try to “get the compliance out of the way”. This is usually done by issuing a huge list of requirements, paperwork and learning courses to be completed and placing the eager new employee in front of a computer to wade through the requirements.
Unfortunately, our new starter is already dealing with a huge amount of change due to being in a new environment, role and organisation, so limited effective, learning uptake is possible. This is where the phrase “tick the box learning” is demonstrated. Now our onboarding has become an exercise of “going through the motions” to achieve a tick of completion and this will result in very little retention or even understanding.
How do we ensure a great experience every time for every new starter?
Provide a structured learning path that extends past the first week gives a learner a DO provide your learner with lots of information – but “chunk” it, space it and ensure it is easy to locate and access later.
Focus on individual topics and keep it short which allows our brain to sort, understand and, importantly – RETAIN – new information. You will practically see the “fog” lift and hear the sigh of relief.
The best method for ensuring new starters actually absorb and use their learning to increase knowledge and productivity is a combination of Microlearning and adherence to adult learning principles.
Ensure the following:
- Chunked learning material
- Relevant topics
- Learning that is managed by the learner: WHEN they want. WHERE they want.
- Curated, Categorised and cemented with repetition and reinforcement.
This demonstrates respect for the adult learner and provides ease of learning which results in increased uptake with the most important outcome being: Happy newstarters!!