How do we guarantee employee success? Twenty years ago, a new hire would watch an instructional video, receive an informational packet, and be shown to their desk.

The onboarding period would probably last one or two days – a week at the very most.

Today, we know that onboarding is more than simply orientating a new hire. It is, instead, a critical period that deserves a lot more time and attention.

We know that “…companies with successful onboarding programs are not just more likely to retain their new hires but even report measurable profit growth,” points out the Harvard Business Review.

We also know that learning is more complex than handing a new hire a video and some company guidelines.

In fact, tapping into the way our new hires learn may be the single most effective tool in making our onboarding effective.

High-performing organizations are combining a variety of modalities to help new hires gain information, develop skills, engage in company culture, build relationships, and get measurable results from their work.

The most successful organizations are utilizing the power of blended learning.


6 Questions to Ask Yourself: To Be Sure You Benefit from Blended Learning

According to Cornell University’s Center for Teaching Innovation, “Blended learning is learning that combines the best of online learning and face-to-face instruction…”

Yet, it’s so much more than that.

Blended learning:

  • Taps into your new hire’s unique skill sets
  • Fosters relationships with their colleagues
  • Supports high-impact coaching
  • Encourages peer learning
  • Introduces real-life simulations and virtual reality tools
  • Utilizes interactive technology
  • Values hands-on and self-directed learning

Blended learning meets new hires where they are, and uses multiple modalities to support optimum success in their new role.

Blended learning works. In fact, 70% of learnerssay they learn best in a blended learning environment.


Let’s take a look at some questions you can ask yourself to ensure your onboarding program is benefitting from blended learning:

Do we support each new hire’s unique learning style?

Unboxed Technologysuggests, “offering engaging content in multiple modalities, to reflect the three types of learning: visual, kinesthetic, and auditory.”

Every new hire will learn differently – some through reading, some through interactions, and others by observation. Ask yourself: does our onboarding support each new hire’s unique learning style?

Are we utilizing cutting-edge e-learning technology?

Learning through e-learning typically requires 40-60% less employee timethan learning the same material in a traditional classroom setting, and participants learn 5 times more material– without increasing training time.

By using blended learning instead of a more linear approach, you’re giving your new hires the opportunity to develop more quickly, and you’re saving yourself valuable time and money. Ask yourself: are we utilizing cutting-edge e-learning technology in our onboarding program?

Do we have dynamic classroom tutorials that engage new hires?

While learners thrive in an environment that uses multiple modalities – studies show that new hires will get 10% of their knowledge from formal instruction(learning that takes place in an instructor-led classroom).

While it seems old-fashioned and traditional, these classroom tutorials are still essential. Ask yourself: does your onboarding program still feature a traditional teaching element where students get to learn from an industry expert?

Are we fostering relationships across the organization?

One meta-analysis found that feeling socially accepted was a key factor in newcomer success. That means new hires need to feel connected to the people around them – from peers to managers, and even supervisors and CEOs.

“Even with elaborate onboarding programs, organizations need to be cognizant of the power of informal interactions between new employees and their managers…” says an article in the Harvard Business Review.

Ask yourself: are our onboarding programs encouraging trust connections between employees all across our organization?

Do new hires receive active coaching from managers?

Getting real results from your sales team, “requires a focus on coaching and developing sales talent,” says an article in Biz Journals.

Coaching is integral in getting your new hires from entry level to high performance, and the best onboarding programs prioritize time for coaching between managers and new sales talent.

Are our new hires engaging in hands-on, self-led learning?

“Blended learning becomes a new hire training best practice,” says an article on Unboxed Technology“ when it combines both the personal engagement of face-to-face training with self-guided learning.”

New hires will need the opportunity to try out what they’ve learned in a supportive environment; providing time for hands-on, self-lead learning will help your new hires be ready for action.


Implementing Blended Learning Gives You a Competitive Advantage

“We all have different learning styles. Blended learning works so well because it touches on each different style, for more comprehensive training,” says Unboxed Technology, “A mash-up of learning modes such as e-learning, instructor-led, interactive workbooks, videos, and animations, keeps learners engaged and helps the information stick.”

Blended learning is a powerful tool for improving onboarding, retaining new hires, and increasing revenue. And yet, even though we know the power of blended learning, only a fraction of businesses are implementing learning strategies that incorporate it.

The Brandon Hall 2018 Learning Strategy Study shows that aligning learning strategy with the business is the biggest imperative for 78% of organizations, but that only 18% of companies are “ready to take action” to address it.

Blended learning is one of the most powerful ways you can enhance your organization’s outcomes. Ask yourself these six integral questions today, and launch your employee success to the next level.


If you are looking to skyrocket your new hires success, join our upcoming webinar on How to Build World-Class Sales Onboarding with our panel of experts on Thursday, September 23rd, 2018.


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