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Nano Learning for Successful New Employee Orientation and Onboarding

Published: Monday, August 6, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The ubiquitous nature of you tube video stars and Twitter-ati have taught learning developers one thing clearly: Short is sweet and sticky!

Bite sized learning besides being served hot on demand is highly palatable. Served as memorable nuggets of information it helps to serve specific learning goals and hands the steering wheel over to the learner who can drive it to focus on areas they really need help with and when.

I remember, early in my career sitting in for 2-3 days of orientation on a new job- Information overload with little to no scope of retention. Often my mind went off to snore in deep recesses of space while my eyes and lips played along politely. Now think of any summary you may have heard or provided at end of a lecture. Those key points- ripe for uptake are what nano-learning is all about. Moving through haze of information to make it accessible in form of a snack. This lends itself very well to flexibility of approach in presentation-  narrow molecules of easy to digest information which works well for present day nonprofit environments where remote working teams are a standing reality. 2-5 mins of content juicy chunks keep information flow rapid, contextualized and focused. The upside is learners are awake and munching on it-burping questions aloud and bright eyed!

In large organizations, these quick launching to- the-point morsels of information can work to serve “in-time” needs, as an employee settles in their new job. As firms grow and expand , this can be scaled easily from “on-demand” learning that can cover one objective at a time acting as a powerade “Knowledge gulp” forming part of a larger learning module (accessible one step at a time, if need arises). For nonprofits, nano-learning’s feature of scalability in modifying or even developing additional content helps to serve employees quickly while staying within funding parameters and supply. The constant redesigning of compliance content with policy or funding changes can be forever a thing of the past.


Smaller nonprofits, where staff and policy changes are a constant dynamic in play, stand to benefit by investing in bouts of information modules that are easy to develop, tailor and launch. Mix and match as you will. Pre-arranged and designed nano-learning units can thus be assigned to new employees in a format and order as per their role and need for content uptake, at any given time. This helps to break up new employee orientation and onboarding model from hours of sitting through to segments with immediate feedback, closing knowledge gap and promoting self-sufficiency while putting a new employee at ease in their preferred learning style.

New employees thus benefit from a fast-tracked onboarding. They can choose the knowledge to be absorbed on their time- waiting in the line for coffee or for a colleague that is late to a meeting while learning appears as pops of knowledge on the handheld device in a plethora of multimedia tools like video, graphics, podcasts etc. to access it on the go. Customizable to learning styles and tight schedules of new employees it is a tool that busy environments like nonprofits can quickly adapt orientation and onboarding days to drill down to right dose for efficient digestibility of job-related tasks or knowledge.

Easy accessibility of scalable targeted contextualized content across range of mobile devices and cloud-based authoring tools helps professionals access and edit it from anywhere. Use of rich multimedia ensures it is   applicable and appealing to learners across diverse learning styles and motivations. This leads to timely uptake and better use of information translating to higher retention and completion rates further   enhancing the speed at which the  institutional content is applied on job.

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