Over BlueVolt’s 20-year history we’ve learned a thing or two while developing a training platform to power your people. So we decided to share here what we’ve discovered about best practices in learning and development (L&D) for the trades industries.
In this 3-part series we’ll focus on the training situations you’re probably grappling with: onboarding employees, managing workplace risks, and building a strong culture.
Here are our tried and tested tips with the highest return on investment, starting with how to create an effective new-hire onboarding workflow.
Why begin with onboarding?
Because it’s the very first experience new workers have with your L&D program, so you had better make it a good one. Then they’ll know that your company is committed to learning, upskilling, and developing its employees. And they’ll be more willing to engage in future training opportunities, such as 1:1 coaching and job shadowing.
Here are the 3 most important takeaways about onboarding new hires:
1. Automate Your Process
Automated onboarding cuts the learning curve and ramp-up time for new workers by using practices with proven effectiveness that are easy for you to implement. Sure, that may be obvious, but did you know it also reduces the “churn rate” months later? Which helps you meet organizational objectives because you’re not focused on constantly filling vacancies.
How much can you slow turns on that HR revolving door, also known as attrition?
Workers with an excellent onboarding experience are 69% more likely to remain with an employer for three years, says the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
When you raise retention to those levels, you’re guaranteed to capture major cost savings. Estimates of the financial burden of turnover average $1,500 for hourly employees and up to 100% to 150% of salary for technical employees.
Those figures cover the hard costs of replacing workers only, and don’t include intangible costs such as low employee morale, missed deadlines, and dissatisfied customers.
2. Use Training Tracks™
Training Tracks make onboarding fast, simple, and effective for your learners. They’re groups of courses, combined into a longer learning path.
This is the #1 best way to streamline onboarding so that employees with similar roles receive the same structured onboarding experience.
We developed the training tracks feature with input from legacy clients like Ron Black of Southern Pipe and Supply. As Director of Human Resources at a family-oriented company with 1,068+ members in 7 states, he had a huge incentive to perfect their onboarding process.
And perfect it, he has.
Nowadays, Southern Pipe’s “initial training is primarily done through the Learning Center with some hands-on facilitation … based on need and what's going on in the company and in the world,” Black says, thereby saving time and effort on the administrative side.
3. Include Product Knowledge
Arm your workforce with product knowledge. This is a crucial topic that industrial companies often mistakenly skip when onboarding new employees, especially those who aren't in a customer-facing role.
But new hires need product training for a comprehensive onboarding experience.
It will help them to do a better job when they have a high-level understanding of what your company does and why it’s important to customers.
Employees who are in direct customer contact roles – whether counter sales, outside sales, inside sales, or customer service – especially need product knowledge to feel confident in their interactions. And that confidence will translate into higher revenue.
BlueVolt is unique as a learning management system because it plugs you into a network of 100s of channel sales businesses and 1,000s of product, industry, and safety courses.
It’s just common sense: the more your people know, the more they can sell.
This is Part 1 of our series on “Best Practices in eLearning.” Look for Part 2 and Part 3 here soon.
Ready to build a culture of learning and growth? Let’s talk!