Employee On-Boarding for the 21st Century




Public Service Provider

Hiring new employees is a challenge in any setting. The story often goes like this–put out a job posting, receive resumes and applications, sort and short list candidates, interview, offer, hire. If you’ve chosen the right person or group of people you will likely know it within the first few months–this is the on-boarding process.

The on-boarding process, like all first impressions and introductions, sets the tone for the entire relationship. This process represents clear and measurable costs, and doing this efficiently will have a cascading positive impact on an organization. The ramp up to proficiency costs the resources used to train new employees as well as the opportunity cost of the trainees not contributing while they learn. Competency leads to confidence and this increases the probability of employee retention during or immediately after training–lost employees, or attrition, are an even larger cost as the hiring/onboarding process needs to be repeated.
A frequently used public facing government institution was struggling with this on-boarding process. The position posing a major problem was a front line staff position responsible for addressing concerns and inquiries from various stakeholders, some technical and some not. To be effective in this position the employee needed a large body of knowledge. The status quo on-boarding process had a lengthy 3-4 month ramp to competency, low retention rate, and inconsistent training between mentors.

The root causes were multifaceted but two key areas of concern existed. Important tacit information was undocumented and resided in the heads of experienced employees, and, an inefficient content management system required an immense effort to keep up to date.

The solution began with requirements analysis that uncovered problems the organization’s leadership didn’t know they had. Most importantly, each of the organization’s experienced employees were all doing their job completely differently. The problems with on-boarding began to make sense. Training had always been done on a mentor basis and that person’s way of working was passed down to the trainee.

A Learner Management System was recommended and implemented to house training content in a way that made it easy to deliver while streamlining the content management effort.

Innovatia collaborated with key stakeholders within the organization to collect all relevant training information. From this information 35 engaging training modules were created. These modules also served as a template for future module development for use in other areas of the organization.

The content is now delivered in highly effective and fun 15 minute chunks. The on-boarding process was reduced from 4 months to 4 weeks and retention rates have risen to almost 100%. The Learner Management System along with the training module templates has empowered the organization’s existing staff to own and develop their own content into the future.

An important and unexpected outcome of the project was the standardization of training and work. All the information that was unique to certain individuals was considered and out of this body of knowledge a best practice was established for future employees to adopt. This was very powerful as they had dozens of competent and experienced employees reaching good results just in different ways.

Since this project, additional modules were quickly and cost effectively developed using the client’s internal resources and deployed to support other training initiatives.

Contact Innovatia to learn more about ways best practice in content development and technology can streamline your new employee on-boarding process.

Quick Facts


  • Employee on-boarding taking too long (3-4 months)
  • Tacit information about important business functions not documented
  • Information across the organizations was disparate and inconsistent between people
  • High attrition employee rates


  • Learner Management System implemented
  • Training modules rolled out (35)
  • On-boarding of new employees standardized for future operations
  • eLearning templates established and existing staff empowered to create additional modules

Business Benefits:

  • Employee on-boarding lowered to 4 weeks
  • Reduced employee attrition
  • Operations and training standardized
  • Empowered internal staff to quickly and cost effectively create new training modules

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Founded in 1999 and with offices across North America and globally, Innovatia’s 650 professionals deliver top quality solutions to their clients. Innovatia delivers knowledge management services in three areas including Learning Solutions, Documentation, and Technical Support. These solutions span the entire solution set from custom design and development through to delivery and support bringing the latest innovations in Knowledge Management to their clients.