Improving Onboarding with Scheduled Learning

by | Nov 18, 2014

Improving Onboarding with Scheduled Learning

Workforce Management and New Hires, Part 1

Every year we work with Workforce magazine to survey HR professionals about the latest trends in workforce management. This year a new trend jumped out at us from the data: more and more organizations are aligning their scheduling practices with their onboarding processes in order to more fully prepare employees for success on the job.

In fact, 89% of the 930 survey participants told us that they either currently use scheduling to train and equip new hires or want to in the future.

That’s a significant number … so significant that we’ve decided to explore the topic in a three-part blog series.

Using Workforce Management to Facilitate Scheduled Learning

Let’s start with a trend that was notably highest in Energy and Utilities: 75 percent of survey respondents in this sector said they use scheduling to ensure that new hires participate in mandatory training, compared to 49 percent of the total survey population. Other industries where this practice is common, according to the trend survey data, include Healthcare (58 percent) and Financial Services (57 percent).

Making sure employees are well trained, from day one, is always important. But why would a greater portion of respondents from these industries indicate that they’re using workforce management to structure learning courses for new employees? And, perhaps even more important, how can your organization do the same?

To find out, let’s explore three benefits of aligning employee scheduling with course completion:

  1. Cumulative learning. Inundating new hires with too much information right away can inhibit their ability to retain the very knowledge you want them to absorb. Rolling required courses out over several weeks or months allows employees to build on what they’ve already learned and increases long-term retention—which is particularly important in industries where following protocol is tied to public safety, such as Energy and Utilities and Healthcare.
  2. Documented course completion data. Employers in highly regulated industries—such as Energy and Utilities—are often required to provide federal regulators with proof that every employee has completed compliance, safety, and/or security trainings. Connecting these types of learning experiences with scheduling makes it easier for managers to ensure completion and supply documentation, as needed.
  3. Streamlined talent management. Finally, making scheduling incumbent upon course completion simplifies talent management and helps managers know when employees are ready for additional responsibilities. For example, in Energy and Utilities, new hires may be required to complete certain courses before shadowing peers in the field. Similarly, nurses may be required to participate in specific courses about hospital policies before working with patients, and new hires in the Financial Services industry may need to obtain specific certifications before working with clients. Using scheduling to track completion of required courses ensures that employees progress through multiple prerequisites as planned and helps managers identify issues as early as possible.

And these benefits are by no means limited to the industries referenced. Employees of any organization—regardless of size or industry—could benefit from schedule-driven learning opportunities. If your organization already uses scheduling to assign and track course completion, or you’d like to, tell us about it in the comments below.

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