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Welcome Onboard!

How to make new employees welcome

According to the Human Capital Institute, ‘Approximately 70% of newly hired employees decide whether to remain with the organisation within the first 6 months of joining.’

Where Millennials are concerned, this figure rises. Research conducted by Gallup in 2019 found 60% of this group, born between 1980 and 1996, actively looked for other jobs within the first year of being in a new role. And, when this group did change jobs, 93% moved to a different organisation. It’s important to remember Millennials are now the single largest group in the employment sector. Ignore them at your peril!

Therefore, making new employees welcome, getting them onboard – and keeping them there – is not just an issue for HR, there are financial and strategic implications to think about. How can you move the organisation forward if the crew are constantly abandoning ship?

The answer lies in the kind of WELCOME and onboarding you provide. A welcome which is enhanced when part of it is provided online. See if you are using your online learning systems to provide the right kind of welcome. We’ve listed some ways below.

W is for working together

Early doors

The onboarding experience, whereby new staff are inducted into the organisation, can begin before they arrive. Why not get them to log in so they can become familiar with your systems and personnel? Help them to establish what they want to get out of their new role, offer some guidance, or perhaps set goals? Don’t make the induction process only about assimilation of policy and practice, make it more of a two-way form of communication.

Webinars and forums

Working together involves people offering advice and support. How about encouraging established workers to create a webinar for their department’s induction? Set up a forum where questions can be asked, FAQs get posted, and internal communication is encouraged.

E is for elicit success

Share success stories

Let your newcomers find out how others have experienced success in the organisation. Include induction resources which highlight success; use case studies of original and creative ideas, and where promotions are celebrated. This might establish a potential career pathway for the new arrival. (See customising learning)

Stimulate support

Encourage managers to identify best practice and disseminate it online. This information may come from appraisal and performance management reviews. Doing this not only values support and innovation, it also makes sure the knowledge is passed on so it can help others. Learning cultures within organisations work best when they transcend layers of management. Encourage everyone to get involved in the sharing of support to increase efficiency, reduce stress, and facilitate creativity and innovation.

L is for learning leadership

Lead from the top

The executive and senior management need to play a big part in showing how important learning, training and personal development is to them. Include short video clips of them in online resources, explaining why they want the learner to succeed. Perhaps include them doing the course too! They can be the ones to explain why that particular learning is so crucial to the organisation and validate the learning in this way.

Executive and senior staff are role models

They illustrate the aspirations to which new staff can aim. They can be mentors, and coaches too. Again, in any online learning resource, they can appear in a video or provide quotations and inspirational statements.

C is for customising learning

Making learning personal

Induction processes need to be individualised. There’s nothing worse than feeling you are one cog in a huge, impersonal machine. Get in touch with emails that include names, course details, deadlines for completion, previous successes, and personal targets that have been agreed beforehand. Make each person feel valued.

Individual learning plans

Agreed at the beginning of a new role and reviewed regularly in performance management meetings, these plans summarise the individual’s ambitions, current responsibilities and accountabilities. The plan provides a pathway through which they can navigate, addressing online learning and blended learning opportunities in the process.

O is for ownership

Track progress

It’s important to establish systems that disseminate the learner’s progress to them, so they can take ownership of it. Who holds this data in your organisation? Is it only the manager? If so, what message does that convey? When the data is shared it enables the individual to identify how they might want to move forward. It’s less about imposition, and more about consultation and ownership.

Breadth of learning

When there is a wide range of online learning resources, individuals can select which ones will help them develop. Of course, some will be mandatory, but best practice shows greater ownership happens when individuals can choose topics, perhaps on subjects like soft skills, leadership and management, or personal development such as communication or resilience.

M is for metrics and measurement

Map the onboarding process

Using data from induction processes, interviews and contributions from the individual, identify some of the pathways that might be taken within the first year of employment in your organisation. Millennials especially want to see how they can move forward, both with their career and with opportunities that will keep them challenged and engaged where they are now. Help them map out their pathway.

Use your LMS to inform personalisation

Following up on our point about ownership, your LMS can be set up in ways that will inform managers and individuals about their development. The simplicity of the Nimble LMS enables anyone with limited experience in this area to create filters that facilitate detailed personalisation of data. It makes poring over headache-inducing spreadsheets a thing of the past.

E is for endings

Outcomes and impact

To what extent do your employees get to find out about the learning outcomes in your organisation? By sharing this information, you can create an inclusive learning culture. Millennials value this enormously. What benefits have arisen from those mandatory courses everyone did? How have the voluntary courses benefited people? We’re not just talking statistics either – make the outcomes about people and the organisation, not just numbers.

Success stories

As we showed in elicit success, the stories and case studies that show where people have found success are a wonderful motivating factor. They can inspire the destinations for others to plan their pathways to success. And, in the process, improve the capital of the organisation as a whole.


Onboarding shouldn’t be dismissed as an administrative chore that is only about induction. Online learning resources can be managed so they become an enabling and empowering tool to provide a warm welcome to newcomers. A tool by which a greater sense of loyalty and ownership in the organisation is generated, thereby retaining those newcomers for as long as you need them.

Phil Parker, Learning Development Consultant, Nimble Elearning 


To find out how to get your learning environment right for your employees, have a read of this useful article:


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