ATD Blog

Trending: High-Tech/High-Touch Onboarding Programs

Friday, August 30, 2013

A recent survey of 90 professionals in human resources and learning & development (L&D) roles reveals that onboarding has become a strategic priority for a growing number of companies for 2013. These organizations are in the process of updating their programs, with a desire to build loyalty and accelerate performance early on, and ultimately improve overall retention. They are doing so by integrating technology solutions with people solutions, aiming to create the perfect balance of high-tech/high-touch onboarding programs.

Impact Instruction Group conducted the survey to delve deeper into current trends in onboarding and the role of technology L&D in those programs. “With technology advances, a more geographically dispersed employee population, and strong competition to attract and retain the best people, Impact Instruction sees these trends and others changing the employment landscape and driving the need for companies to update their onboarding programs,” said Amy Franko, founder and CEO of Impact Instruction Group.

Here are some survey highlights:

  • Some 71 percent of survey respondents are currently in the process of updating their onboarding programs.
  • More than 73 percent of respondents indicate that the largest catalysts driving change to their onboarding programs are to accelerate new employees’ performance and improve employee retention and loyalty.
  • A majority (86 percent) of survey respondents consider their updates to contain moderate to major changes.
  • When it comes to technology, a combined 67 percent of respondents deliver less than 40 percent of their onboarding through technology-based solutions. However, 16 percent deliver more than 61percent of their onboarding programs through technology-based solutions.
  • Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) use a company-wide intranet for their technology-based solution for onboarding, with e-learning coming in second at 55 percent.
  • The majority of respondents indicated that HR (87 percent) and L&D (72 percent) are the departments most involved in developing and updating their onboarding programs. Only 37 percent of respondent’s individual business units have involvement.

When Impact Instruction asked respondents what they would change about their onboarding programs, common themes emerged, including:

  • more leadership buy-in, involvement, and support in the onboarding process
  • increased consistency in the onboarding process
  • increased departmental accountability
  • use of technology to keep all onboarding related materials in one location to serve as a resource center for employee.

But many respondents report that their organizations’ onboarding programs are doing something well, including:

  • making new employees feel welcome
  • involving leadership
  • using of technology as a resource in the onboarding process
  • personalizing programs to the employee or role
  • demonstrating consistency across all business units
  • incorporating face-to-face interaction.

To view the full report, visit

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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