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How to empower new hires with modern learning and development tools

How to empower new hires with modern learning and development tools

Training and onboarding are critical steps for companies that want to succeed in a booming knowledge economy. But first, leaders must reframe the mindset behind traditional onboarding and human resource management. To be in touch with today's best learners, onboarding must be viewed as an opportunity to shape the career trajectories of new hires.

For HR professionals, training managers, and corporate leaders, equipping new employees with the right learning and development tools isn't just an investment in their future—it's fundamental to shaping a powerful workforce and building a healthy work culture.

In this post, we'll explore why employee empowerment is important and highlight some of the most dynamic learning and development tools to help.

Learning and development: The launching point

Think back ten to twenty years ago in the HR world. Learning and development used to be a basic exercise on the average hiring roadmap, complete with training courses and routine learning material about a company. But today, onboarding is at the forefront of strategic business growth, particularly if the goal is to help employees feel empowered.

In a 2023 survey of onboarding and the current workforce, HRD Future puts it this way:

“Once viewed as a mandatory paperwork process, onboarding now emerges as a pivotal stage in the employee lifecycle. It has shifted from being a routine task to a crucial opportunity to set the tone for an employee's experience within the organization. No longer limited to completing forms and watching orientation videos, modern onboarding has evolved into a holistic experience designed to engage, empower, and integrate new hires seamlessly.”

New employees come with natural curiosity, untapped potential, and a diverse range of experiences. Plus, freshly hired team members have a natural eagerness to contribute in meaningful ways. From the start, there’s a massive opportunity to engage and retain top talent, while creating a foundation of success for years to come.

That’s precisely why reframing onboarding as a career-changing process is crucial. It's no longer a mediocre exercise that happens on any decent online learning system.

Learning and development tools that go beyond basic compliance training (and include comprehensive mentorship and career pathways) make onboarding what it truly should be—the prime time for organizations welcoming new staff.

3 Benefits of learning and development programs for new hires

Imagine walking into an unfamiliar office (or signing into a new remote workspace) and feeling fully supported in an upcoming role. When a robust learning and professional development program is in place, new hires get to experience this positivity from the first interaction.

Plus, using intuitive learning management software pays off in big ways, both by assisting new staff and creating more seamless processes for trainers, instructors, and leaders.

Here are three major advantages to using an advanced learning experience platform like CYPHER in your onboarding workflow.

Improved transition from hiring time

A structured learning and development program eases the movement from one job to the next, setting a clear path for empowered employees to follow in a new place. The right learning and development platform is one that can carefully evaluate things like:

  • Current knowledge gaps for an accurate baseline
  • Existing compliance certifications or training status
  • Long-range development or mentorship plan
  • Engagement insights about how the learning process is actually going

When these details are known up front, managers and mentors are more equipped to help employees learn foundational skills for the job. Additionally, managers benefit from the skills new employees bring that may not already be present within the organization.

Increased job satisfaction and employee engagement

When new employees receive personal attention and investment from the start, they are more likely to be satisfied and engaged in their work in the long term. According to data from the Brandon Hall Group, positive onboarding experiences can improve retention by up to 82%.

Introducing new hires to their department or team, creating a personalized onboarding program, and providing honest feedback on a regular basis are all effective onboarding strategies. These steps also make training requirements feel personal and human, rather than detached and unrelated to actual job functions.

Faster skill development and productivity

Specialized knowledge sharing tools accelerate the acquisition of necessary skills, placing new employees in a better position to contribute to stated company goals.

For example, a company that prioritizes customer service outcomes as a KPI could design a personalized learning path that helps new hires master customer-focused communication skills. By understanding the kind of actions that contribute to higher customer engagement and CSAT scores, new hires are able to start performing at a high level right away.

What to look for in an onboarding-friendly training platform

Most corporate leaders and business development professionals have access to a wealth of tools designed to make learning (and onboarding) more engaging and productive. But what should trainers really search for when it comes to creating an in-depth, personalized onboarding process for new hires?

Here's a list of must-have features that you can use to ensure employees develop the right skills from the start.

Content creation tools and capability

The old content creation process for onboarding was slow, labor-intensive, and highly repetitive. Educational materials for onboarding lacked proper branding and design to best engage learners.

But with an online course provider like CYPHER, instructors can easily create an entire onboarding or training program in minutes using AI course creation tools. This includes the process of uploading personalized learning profiles, creating individualized learning paths, and incorporating competency mapping.

AI-Powered potential

AI (artificial intelligence) can accelerate the learning process so team leaders have more time to focus on real human connections. When incorporating AI into learning management systems, instructors can reduce the need for manual onboarding and free up time for more meaningful conversations.

CYPHER Learning’s AI 360 with Copilot generates competency-mapped and gamified courses in just minutes. From turning static lessons into multisensory learning experiences and generating images for courses, AI 360 has everything you need to take your courses from good to great – while saving time and resources. Plus, all of our AI-powered tools are packaged, purposeful, and intuitive, so you can create without any knowledge of AI.

HR trainers, course creators, instructors, and more can generate courses from their own uploaded, original content – PDFs, videos, etc. Or, they can use AI to generate engaging learning modules, courses, and specialized onboarding experiences. Trainers can also upload branded slide decks or custom company procedures for a personal spin.

Built-in mentoring and coaching tools

Personal guidance from experienced personnel can be invaluable for professional growth. But true mentorship always incorporates a human touch—bridging the gap between the new employee and their trainer, even on digital platforms and within e-learning courses.

The goal of onboarding is to build trust while developing new skills, talents, and strengths. Empowering employees begins with letting them know that real people are available to support them throughout the onboarding journey.

Relevant assessment tools

Online training sessions are often monitored by HR staff and instructors as new hires complete their checklists. But throughout the process, real-time data is helpful for identifying where a new hire might get stuck or need additional support.

To better measure career progression and progress, CYPHER offers 55 pre-built assessment tools, including custom reporting options for leaders, coaches, and mentors. These tools make it easier to achieve complete visibility, helping learners find encouragement when they need it most.

Gamification and interactive learning

Modern learners want interactive training options that deliver relevant knowledge at all times. In a shocking survey outcome, EdX Enterprise even found that the majority of new hires view learning and development as the “new” post-secondary experience, roughly equating it with professional training in a collegiate environment.

Of course, this perspective puts extra pressure on employers to make their learning and development offerings unique and results-oriented.

HR leaders can engage new hires with fun and immersive learning experiences that reinforce company culture and skills. CYPHER makes that simple with advanced gamification, encompassing awards, competition, and motivational elements. Employ leaderboards, periodic leveling, and gamified elements within courses and learning paths. Enable accumulation of individual, group, and site-wide points and badges contingent upon participation, scores, and more.

4 Tips to implement L&D into the new hire process

Strategy is just as important as selection when it comes to learning and development programs. This means that corporate leaders must think beyond platform and software capabilities and go “big picture."

What does it take to design new hire onboarding programs that are relevant, competitive, and highly engaging?

Based on our experience as the top skills development program of 2024, here's how to ensure your approach is top-notch.

Realistically assess new training needs

Understand the specific needs of your new hires to tailor your programs effectively. To empower employees for future success, establish an honest baseline of their incoming knowledge and skill gaps. Then, move on to creating supported career paths that deliver real results and professional development opportunities.

Establish clear goals and objectives

Ensure each learning session has specific goals and outcomes, and always communicate these to your new hires. When employees understand the “why” behind corporate processes (including onboarding), they’re more likely to buy in and adopt those policies on a personal level.

If onboarding information is relevant to daily performance in the future, there’s more incentive to retain the information and use it in realistic job scenarios.

Pivot to create more interactive training programs

Onboarding courses must be compelling, practical, and in alignment with learners' preferred styles. It’s never a bad idea to audit onboarding training materials and adjust them as you go. Trainers might need to consider making onboarding changes when:

  • Executive leadership adjusts the company’s business model, growth plan, or long-term corporate strategy
  • There are new external compliance measures, regulatory requirements, or laws that mandate updated employee training
  • Feedback from previously hired employees highlights the need to change or improve processes for the next cohort of new team members

Provide ongoing support and feedback

Following up with new hires after the initial onboarding process is essential. Reinforcing onboarding lessons and skills can improve performance and guide improvements in an employee’s personal career pathway.

There are a few ways to accomplish a healthy feedback loop post-onboarding. Organizations might introduce predictable check-ins with trainers or pair new employees with experienced mentors within the organization. These steps keep the dialogue about learning and development open, so that new hires can reference their training information at any time.

Rethink onboarding by blending technology with a human touch

Even with all the best learning and development features, the onboarding journey will always come up short if it prioritizes technology at the expense of human relationships.

Utilizing industry-leading L&D tools—a learning management system, online courses, and AI technologies—creates competence in role-specific skills. But that technology should complement, not replace, what makes onboarding a relational and personal experience.

As corporate trainer Meredith Leigh Pratt suggests, onboarding without human interaction is not able to deliver the same results as a highly personalized process would. To truly empower new hires, it’s important to connect with them as people—even in remote training scenarios.

When empowering employees is the end game

The ultimate goal for online course providers must be more than simple education—the real destination is empowerment. That empowerment comes full circle when employees can see their personal growth trajectory within a single company.

Career development must be tied to the learning process, with clear pathways that demonstrate how new skills and knowledge leads to future opportunities.

Empowering employees with knowledge sharing tools has implications for the much broader world of global business and customer interactions. As eLearning Industry illustrates:

“Employee training is no longer a one-time event conducted during the onboarding process. Today, the dynamics of the workplace are characterized by constant change, driven by advancements in technology, shifts in consumer behavior, and the globalization of business. To navigate this dynamic landscape, employees must be equipped with the skills and knowledge that go beyond their initial training, necessitating a culture of continuous learning within organizations.”

Implementing a learning and development strategy within onboarding highlights a commitment to employee growth, a signal that the organization invests in its people as much as its product or service.

Take the next steps with CYPHER

As new hires embark on their journey, their growth signifies company growth. By embracing learning and development tools within the learning process, it's more possible to build the ladder for solid career growth and predictable company-wide success.

Are you eager to transform your onboarding processes? Incorporate modern learning and development tools now, and set your new hires on the path to true empowerment.

Explore CYPHER Learning today


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