Microlearning in onboarding process: best practices & automation ideas

April 15, 2024


Elena Obolonskaia

In this guide, we will explore the best practices for onboarding new hires and automating the process using a simple, yet effective, microlearning framework.
Microlearning in onboarding process: best practices & automation ideas

Microlearning in onboarding guide contents:

  1. Challenges with traditional onboarding
  2. How microlearning addresses onboarding challenges
  3. How to approach and structure your onboarding process
  4. New hire onboarding: content delivery and automation
  5. Using 7taps Microlearning for your onboarding process
  6. Best practices: topics for onboarding microlearning assets
  7. How to build a micro course for employee onboarding

What is the onboarding process?

The employee onboarding process goes beyond mere paperwork and introductory meetings. It is a comprehensive approach designed to seamlessly incorporate new employees into their positions and the company culture. This involves equipping them with the necessary tools and facilitating a smooth transition into their new environment.

Challenges with traditional onboarding

Traditional onboarding methods, with their lengthy binders and tedious sessions, are outdated in today's dynamic workplace, failing to suit the needs of distributed teams, gig workers, and high turnover. A flexible, scalable, and personalized approach is essential.

The rise of remote work and rapid growth challenge maintaining personal connections, making traditional, individual onboarding impractical. Companies must equip new hires with tailored training and resources, utilizing a comprehensive checklist and metrics to ensure effectiveness and boost engagement and retention.

Automating the onboarding process helps efficiently manage resources while adapting to market changes. However, it's crucial to balance digital resources with personalized experiences to address disengagement and information overload, ensuring a welcoming and effective onboarding journey.

best_practices_ for_ onboarding_process

How microlearning addresses onboarding challenges

Microlearning is a learning methodology that delivers training in quick, targeted chunks, allowing each piece to focus on one outcome. This approach breaks complex information into bite-sized modules, making it easier for learners, especially new employees, to grasp and retain information.

Microlearning aligns with the current workforce's preference for accessible and engaging learning experiences. By utilizing microlearning, companies can better meet the needs of remote, shift, and gig workers, enhancing information retention and onboarding efficiency.

Thanks to the low cost of developing microlearning materials, organizations can offer effective, personalized training tailored to individual needs using minimal resources.

💡Learn more about microlearning, its benefits, and use cases.

How to approach and structure your onboarding process

Microlearning advocates presenting information in small, easy-to-understand parts, making training for new hires more efficient and reducing the learning curve. Imagine covering one topic at a time through a mobile-friendly training module, delivered in a text message right when a new hire needs it. This approach is ideal for providing a supportive environment.

microlearning_for_ onboarding_process

Getting started with the onboarding process

To optimize your onboarding process, focus on understanding each employee's unique needs, and tailoring the program to their specific roles and responsibilities. This involves identifying the most common questions and essential information sought by new hires, such as benefits, team dynamics, company culture, and daily procedures. Use this insight to create concise microlearning modules on topics like using the knowledge base, understanding pay schedules, Zoom etiquette, and navigating social aspects of remote work. This strategy ensures new employees receive vital information without feeling overwhelmed.

Incorporate microlearning tools or onboarding software, such as 7taps, to provide role-specific training plans, add a personal touch to content, and seamlessly integrate training into daily routines.

To support our team members during our new HRIS software implementation, we used 7taps to create a  job aid about how to set up a direct deposit and began sharing it with newcomers via a QR code during orientation sessions. It helps new team members each week.”

Julie Anderson McKee
Director, Learning and Development
Inova Health System

Transforming existing content into microlearning

Transforming content into microlearning requires a thoughtful approach. Start by assessing your existing materials. Identify key topics and break them down into smaller modules. The key to successful microlearning lies in creating content that addresses one topic per lesson or course. These courses can be anything from company values to effective communication.

By breaking down the onboarding curriculum into bite-sized, focused courses, organizations can effectively provide information while maintaining employee engagement and retention. Course delivery spaced out over time reinforces learning and aids in preventing the forgetting curve.

💡Learn how to transform existing content into micro lessons.

Managing resistance in implementing microlearning

You might encounter some resistance from traditionalists when taking the binders apart. However, the success of microlearning is evident through its engagement and effectiveness. By focusing on clarity, staying visually appealing, and providing user-friendly content, many organizations find that the benefits of microlearning far outweigh any initial resistance. By incorporating a feedback loop within the microlearning process organizations can adapt and evolve their microlearning content based on new hire input and emerging trends in onboarding strategies.

Learn how Greene Tweed managed resistance when implementing a microlearning program.

New hire onboarding: content delivery and automation

Spaced learning

Timing is key in microlearning. If you throw hundreds of microlearning resources at a new hire, it won’t help the cause. Instead, deliver micro-content at intervals using spaced learning to reduce cognitive load and improve long-term retention.

By structuring microlearning content into a logical flow, you can create personalized learning journeys for employees. Drip-feeding content lets new hires learn at their own pace, ensuring they get the right information when needed.


Onboarding content delivery methods

Everyone has a preferred communication channel that they instantly check. Find out what it is for your employees, and connect with them where they are. SMS, Email, Slack or Microsoft Teams can help you deliver microlearning materials in no time.

💡Ask new hires about their preferred communication channel before assigning onboarding materials. They'll appreciate the personal touch.

Onboarding automation via Learning Paths

7taps microlearning platform can help you schedule the delivery of your content and automate a great part of the onboarding process. In times of rapid company growth and resource constraints, it allows for training multiple individuals simultaneously, each with tailored materials. Automate onboarding via 7taps Learning Paths delivering content via SMS, email, MS Teams or Slack.

Learn how Pliancy adopted microlearning to transform and automate the onboarding process.

Using 7taps Microlearning for your onboarding process

7taps is a microlearning platform that aligns with the science of learning and helps you create, deliver, and track learning experiences. Besides onboarding process automation via Learning Paths, it helps you to:

Avoid information overload

Traditional onboarding overwhelms employees with information. 7taps uses a unique framework that helps you create bite-sized learning content in no time, keeping it short and sweet.

Add a human touch to onboarding content

A user-friendly, social media-style interface creates a welcoming environment for new hires. The content builder allows you to add personalized videos, voice notes, graphics, and more. This approach alleviates the stress often associated with starting a job and forms a positive association with the onboarding experience.

Seamlessly incorporate training into the workflow

7taps mini-courses can be effortlessly shared on Slack or MS Teams, integrating training materials into the daily workflow. These integrations promote learning without feeling like traditional training.

Best practices: topics for onboarding microlearning assets

From interactive quizzes to video tutorials, 7taps helps you build diverse assets. Leverage the tool and its prompting capabilities to create visually appealing content that effectively guides and supports your employees.

  1. FAQs
    A survey by SHRM found that 86% of employees believe access to on-demand training would help them perform better. Answers to common questions, such as a typical day, holiday schedule, business structure, expectations, and acronyms. Addressing these ensures clarity and reduces uncertainty for new hires.

  2. Meet your team
    Introduce key team members, their roles, and contributions to the organization's success to promote a collaborative work environment.

  3. Your role & responsibilities
    Detail the employee's job description, duties, and expectations, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of their role.

  4. Real-life scenarios
    Share situations employees might encounter, allowing them to apply knowledge in practical contexts.

  5. Expectations and goals
    Discuss performance expectations, key performance indicators (KPIs), and personal growth opportunities, aligning new hires with organizational goals.

  6. Navigating the organizational structure
    Offer an overview of the company's hierarchy, departments, and reporting lines for a clear understanding of the organizational setup.

  7. Company culture & values
    Provide insights into the organization's culture, core values, and how they shape the workplace environment.

  8. Code of conduct and ethics
    Offer guidance on the company's code of conduct, ethical standards, and expectations for professional behavior.

  9. Product/Service overview
    Introduce the company's products or services, their features, and how they benefit customers.

  10. Effective communication
    Provide tips for respectful and efficient communication within the team and with other departments.

  11. Company policies & procedures
    Offer an overview of important policies, including HR guidelines, IT security, and safety procedures.

  12. Success stories
    Share inspiring stories of employees who have excelled in their roles, motivating new hires to strive for success.

  13. Company history and milestones
    Tell the history and story of your company, including achievements and goals.

💡Don’t forget to gather feedback from new hires. Ensure their onboarding experience is effective and identify areas for improvement. 7taps allows for gathering such data in an informal, friendly way.

How to build a micro course for employee onboarding  

Once you defined your learning objectives, identified your key topics, and mapped out the onboarding journey, it’s time to create your microlearning content.

We created an onboarding course example for you to better understand the concept.

microlearning_course_for_ new_hire_onboarding

Guidelines for creating microlearning content

  1. The length of a mini-course should not exceed 10-15 cards.
  2. Start with a catchy title that shows the learner what’s in this course for them and why they should invest their time into clicking through it.
  3. Be as brief as possible - use Chat GPT or QuillBot to paraphrase.
  4. Use short, easy-to-read sentences and active voice: more verbs, less adjectives and nouns.
  5. Use friendly, conversational language.
  6. Use one card to deliver one message or idea. It may be a thought-provoking question, an example, a story, or a takeaway.
  7. If possible, present information in the form of lists and bullet points, rather than using plain text.
  8. Incorporate a few multimedia elements -  videos, images, and interactive quizzes to make the content more dynamic and appealing.
  9. Incorporate interactive elements like quizzes and polls to engage learners and make them think on their feet. It also helps reinforce learning.
  10. Always include a call to action, a summarizing phrase, or conclusions in the end.

That’s it! You’re now ready to create your first onboarding course.

Cheers to better onboarding

Integrating microlearning into your onboarding process with tools like 7taps provides a streamlined and effective approach, ensuring a successful start for new hires. By leveraging microlearning, you guarantee that your onboarding process lays the foundation for success. Get started with a free trial of the 7taps Enterprise Plan.

💡 Discover more microlearning ideas

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