It’s no secret that a well-prepared training program is essential to minimizing the time and costs associated with bringing a new employee up to speed. While the majority of companies have a clear, documented training program, most companies still have room for improvement when it comes to training their new team members efficiently. Although manuals and one-on-one observation are crucial elements of any training program, you can reduce training times and enhance your company’s new employee experience by borrowing the following three tactics commonly used in marketing:
Use Video where possible.
The use of video in marketing has grown increasingly common in marketing, primarily because videos consistently have the highest engagement rates of all types of content. In a study by Hubspot, 54% of consumers reported they prefer to see videos over any other form of marketing content and 81% of businesses reported using video for marketing. This trend is occurring because higher engagement rates lead to higher information retention. WordStream states “viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in a text.” This powerful insight applies to your training program in a few ways:
- Create an onboarding video.
When new employees get started with your company, one of the essential steps in setting them up for success is quickly familiarizing them with the goals and culture of your company. No one conveys the purpose and mission of a company quite as well as the founder/CEO. Creating a video of an influential member of your company explaining what working for your company means to them can be a powerful way of getting everyone on the same page quickly.
- Record “screen captures” for all computer-based
Step-by-step checklists are great tools for helping new employees remember new processes quickly. Further develop their usefulness by augmenting existing training checklists with step-by-step tutorial videos, “screen captures,” for all software-based operations. Tutorial videos allow new employees to view and follow along with the exact procedures your company utilizes, all while saving you time by reducing redundant questions.
- Explain complex offerings with animation.
Many companies use some form of animated video to explain complex products or services to their customers. Explainer, or whiteboard, videos are popular because animation increases the average amount of time a viewer spends highly engaged with your content compared to other types of media, which creates the opportunity to educate your customers further. The same idea can be applied when familiarizing new employees to the intricate details of what you sell. By explaining complex offerings through animation, new employees retain and understand more of the training information during each training session. Keep the videos relatively short; Wistia suggests videos of either 2-3 minutes, or 6 to 12 minutes, to maximize engagement rates.
Popular Tools Include
A) Smartphone Camera, $20 Smartphone Tripod, $20 lavalier audio mic.
B) Screen capture and video editing software (e.g., Adobe Premiere, iMovie).
C) Upwork, Fiverr, Biteable, Promo, GoAnimate (now Vyond).
- Create an onboarding video.
Utilize “Marketing” automation.
Marketing automation makes sending your customers the right information, at the right time, seemingly effortless. Also known as lead nurturing, companies use a combination of email, SMS, and push notification to deliver pre-defined messages based on timing or behavior. This marketing technique can be applied to your employee training program as well. Set up an email automation flow to deliver new training material for each day. You can take this further by adding triggers based on your employee’s behavior during the training process. For example, you might send them more information on a subject they heavily engaged with on your website, or perhaps a more direct training on something they’ve missed (tip: use URL parameters and page visit based triggers to accomplish this). In addition to saving your team time initiating the training program each day, utilizing marketing automation in your training program allows you to enhance the learning experience through personalization for each new employee.
Here’s a quick reminder of how marketing automation works from Wishpond:
Segment your new employees into personas.
Correctly identifying customer personas is a critical part of any successful marketing campaign. Not all customers have the same needs, and there isn’t a single channel of communication or medium that represent the first preference of all customers. Complicating this further, a single customer journey no longer exists as individual customers take unique paths through the journey stages. Marketers have responded to this challenge by uniquely optimizing the customer journey for each of a company’s personas, with about 80% of companies using at least some sort of basic segmentation. Just like customer personas and customer journeys, not all new employees learn about and engage with different parts of your company during the training experience in the same way. While segmenting training programs by job description is common-practice, go beyond job descriptions and focus on identifying common patterns in the ways new employees like to learn, what they need to gain an understanding, and what motivates them to continue learning more.
Need a reminder on Customer Personas? Check out this video from Udacity:
Popular Tools Include A spreadsheet, interview questions, and an interviewee. After the training program has concluded, make sure you conduct an “exit” style interview to find out directly what worked for them and any recommendations for improvement. Just like when conducting Customer Persona Interviews, after a handful of interviews, you’ll begin to notice commonalities in the types of people your company hires and the differences which define them into “persona” style groups.
At Cloud Friday, we know how important making the most of your labor resources is. Particularly for companies with high turnover rates, reducing training costs is one of the most effective ways of stretching your resources a bit further. Marketing’s done the hard work of figuring out what people like to engage with, and how they wish to engage with it. By applying their insights to your training program, you can make a significant impact on your bottom line. When your new employees learn faster and retain more information, your employees, your company, and your customers all win.
Ready to get started? Analyze the following metrics to keep track of the impact on your organization:
- Total Training Time (how long does it take, from day 1 to entirely up to speed?)
- Effective Training Time (how long does it take from day 1 to becoming a contributing team member?)
- Information Retention (how often do you need to retrain?)
- Time invested in training new employees (how much of your teams time does it take to train new employees?)
- Employee Lifespan (how long does an employee stay with your company?)
Have you already accomplished all of the above? Take your training program one step further and investigate whether a Virtual Reality (VR) training program is right for your company. VR training programs are excellent tools for training for complex, one-off scenarios. One fire department in the UK reported a 70% increase in training retention rates after implementing a VR based training program.