Why Microlearning In Onboarding Is A Must

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Onboarding Topics Perfect For Microlearning

Let’s be honest—traditional onboarding can often be boring and cumbersome. This isn’t a reflection of your company or the role that you’ve hired for. Every company and every job has some standard new hire training that everyone has to complete. And chances are it’s not the most exciting thing in the world.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to simply accept that this onboarding can’t be improved. That’s where microlearning comes in—a modern approach to onboarding that can make the process much more enjoyable and effective.

So, why is microlearning a must-have for new hire onboarding?

There are two big advantages to incorporating microlearning into your onboarding plan: it helps break up the monotony of traditional onboarding and it gives you a unique opportunity to prepare new hires before their first day of work.

Breaking Up The Onboarding Monotony

Traditional onboarding often involves long, tedious presentations that can easily become monotonous and dull for your new hires. Unless it’s your new hire’s first job, they’ve probably sat through quite a few first days that look like this. By incorporating microlearning into this part of the onboarding process, you can spare your new hires from this familiar experience and, instead, help your company stand out and make a good first impression.

With microlearning, you can break up these long courses into shorter, bite-sized modules that are much easier to digest. This approach can help keep your new hires engaged and interested throughout the onboarding process, improving knowledge retention and overall job satisfaction.

While some training topics will need to be covered in one shot, it’s highly likely that other, less critical information can be delivered in shorter chunks throughout the new hire’s first week. The first step to breaking up the monotony is to take a look at the topics your onboarding program covers and determine which ones don’t need to happen in one sitting and can be transformed into microlearning modules. Doing so will shave hours off your new hire’s first-day onboarding.

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Preparing New Hires Before Their Start Date

Because microlearning courses are inherently short, they give you an opportunity to share training material with new hires before their first day on-site. But beware: sharing training material with new hires before their start date is a very fine line. Too much material will make them feel like you’re overloading them before they’ve even started. But some short, well-constructed microlearning courses will show your new hire that they can expect clear instructions and organized procedures.

Onboarding materials that are in the format of microlearning are a non-intrusive, welcoming approach that can help new hires feel more prepared and comfortable before they even walk through the door on their first day. It also helps to set the tone for the company culture and values, giving new hires a glimpse into what to expect when they start their new job.

If you’re convinced that microlearning has earned a place in your onboarding process, you might be wondering what that spot might look like. Here are five topics that are great fits to be covered through microlearning courses, instead of traditional courses or drawn-out meetings.

Who’s Who

One of the most daunting parts of starting a new job is having to remember who everyone is in the company. By the third person your new hire gets introduced to, they’ll probably stop remembering new names and faces altogether. This is an example of cognitive overload—presenting someone with too much information at once, making them unable to remember anything further.

Remembering people’s names and faces is a perfect example of a topic that can be covered effectively with microlearning. By creating a short set of slides or mobile flashcards that show the person’s face on one side, and their title, department, etc., on the back, you’ll give your new hire the perfect guide to getting to know everyone.

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This “who’s who” microlearning course won’t feel like training for your new hire. If anything, it’s a huge weight off their shoulders knowing that they can show up on their first day feeling a bit more familiar and comfortable because they’ll have learned a few friendly faces ahead of time.

Company Culture And Values

This is another example of training content you can provide to new hires ahead of time that doesn’t have to feel like training. If your company already has a short video that explains the team’s core values and the story behind them, this is the perfect microlearning resource to share with them.

If you don’t have an already established video, then again a few slides or flash cards showing each core value on the one side and its explanation on the back is a quick and easy way to get this info across.

Don’t forget to share information with your new hire on the company’s history and overall mission. Oftentimes, your new hires might feel left out next to the senior members in your company who have been around for a long time. By making sure that everyone has common knowledge of your company’s history, you’ll create an environment that’s much more welcoming and inclusive for everyone.

Workplace Safety

While it’s unlikely that you can cover all the required safety training in a few microlearning courses, you can definitely provide supplementary information and reinforcement training on these topics.

By breaking down the information into specific topics, such as workplace housekeeping, maintaining a safe environment, fire drills, and basic first aid, you give people the chance to actually internalize this information so that they can recall it in the event of an emergency.

With these topics, it’s important to match the content type to the topic for the best learning experience. For example, for basic first aid, you might include a short video demonstrating the proper procedures. For fire safety, you might include an image that contains a diagram of the building’s layout with the exits prominently labeled. Delivering the right type of content for each topic will keep your new hires engaged and ensure that the information is actually retained.

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Basic Cybersecurity Training

No matter what industry your company is in or what position you’re hiring for, cybersecurity training has become a must-have for everyone. What’s more, the topic is constantly evolving and your employees will continue to need updated training that goes beyond just their onboarding.

For topics such as password safety, clean desk policy, spotting and reporting phishing attempts, and more, a few microlearning courses can go a long way. For these topics specifically, it’s a good idea to create and share micro assessments to evaluate how well new hires have learned the information. Creating an inventory of short questions will help you with onboarding new hires in the present, as well as checking that employees continue to remember their training over time and remain vigilant.

Company Policies And Procedures

Every company has its own processes for things like requesting time off, taking sick days, conducting performance reviews, and more. For the most part, these processes are largely the same across companies, so your new hires won’t be hearing this info for the first time.

For this reason, this is another topic well-suited to deliver through a microlearning course. Everyone needs to be aware of your company’s procedures, but it’s not the type of training that should take up a whole day. You can cover this info with a few short step-by-step guides and informational slides.

When it comes to making a good impression with your new hires, a little microlearning can go a long way. You’ll certainly show them that your company has put time and effort into building an onboarding process that they’ll get value out of, and you might even shorten the time it takes to get your new hire up to speed and in their new role.


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