Companies of all sizes are using cloud-based technology to augment their onboarding efforts and, as a result, they are making the process more engaging, fun, and effective, says Karl Mehta, CEO of EdCast, a personal learning network. “Everything is moving to the cloud.”
“In the past, training tended to be ‘HR-centric’ or ‘course-centric,’ while the new paradigm is user-centric,” Mehta says.
By leveraging cloud-based technology and trends in social networking, trainers have opportunities to adopt a “peer-to-peer format,” making onboarding “far more fun and engaging than the traditional way learning was delivered.”
Many companies using the cloud still conduct in-person onboarding events, but the technology gives them the opportunity to personalize onboarding, Mehta says. For example, if two new hires join a company on the same day, but one is a faster learner or more experienced, that individual might feel frustrated learning with a group in a classroom or rehashing information he or she has already mastered.
With cloud-based technology, new hires can proceed with onboarding at their own pace and, once they demonstrate their knowledge in a certain area, the technology allows them to skip over information that less-experienced employees would have to complete, says Mehta.
Other benefits include reduced costs for classroom training, the ability for learners to access content anywhere and anytime, and the employer’s ability to continuously refresh content, to push information to employees, and to make onboarding “a continuous event,” Mehta says.
In addition, cloud-based technology enables employers to leverage social learning—that is, learners can post a question to learn from more experienced employees, making learners feel as if they are “already connected to the organization,” and have known their colleagues “for years instead of days.”
When moving to the cloud, it is important to be open to change. “The main common mistake that we see is to come with the belief that what has worked in the past will continue to work in the present and the future,” Mehta says. “You can’t take advantage of all the innovation if you have a locked mindset.”