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Training vs. Onboarding: What You Need to Know
Blog

Most companies understand the need for good employee training, but do you fully understand the difference between training and onboarding?

When it comes to getting a new hire up to speed, it’s important to know exactly what they need to be fully trained to perform their role. But you also want to make sure their onboarding experience extends beyond just the first couple of weeks.

If you’re wondering how to separate training and onboarding, this quick read should help you design better processes for your business and your new hires.

What is Employee Training?

First things first, what even is employee training? Surely you have some sort of idea and maybe even some basic processes built out. But in a nutshell, training focuses on the specifics of the job that an employee is going to be carrying out in your company, and covers all the procedures that a new hire must follow when completing their tasks.

Effective training also teaches employees how to use and navigate any systems and platforms your company uses. By the end of training, your new hire should be equipped with everything they need to do their job without feeling stuck or confused.

What is Employee Onboarding?

While training focuses on the how-tos of performing in your role, the focus of employee onboarding is to familiarize a new hire with the culture of their new workplace and to become more familiar with company goals, initiatives, etc.

During an effective onboarding process, a new employee has the chance to meet with other team members, get acclimated with the office, and gain an understanding of the culture and morale within the organization. By the end of onboarding, employees should feel like they are part of a team that works together to achieve common goals.

Which is More Important: Training or Onboarding?

So, all this begs the question: which is more important? Training and onboarding are both vitally important if you want to make the most of your new hire. You need to ensure that you have both an effective training process and an effective onboarding process in place.

Employees need to know not only how to do their job in practical terms, but also to have a full understanding of the aims of the company in general and their team in particular. As an employer, you need to invest in both training and onboarding to help your new hires thrive.

How to Design Effective Training and Onboarding Processes

Now that you understand the difference between training and onboarding, you’re ready to design an effective process to support your new hires for the days, weeks, and months to come.

While training and onboarding aren’t synonymous, they can be accomplished simultaneously. For example, a new hire could spend much of the day being shown how to use company software and platforms by an experienced employee, but you can carve out time to introduce new hires to other team members or go out for lunch. In this way, the new employee can get a well-rounded introduction to their new role. However, it is important not to let all the responsibility for onboarding fall on one or two individuals. Managers should ensure the whole team pitches in to help new hires feel comfortable and welcome.

How to Ensure Training and Onboarding is Effective

Just because you’ve built out these processes doesn’t mean it’s working the best it could. It’s important for all businesses to review their employee onboarding and training processes regularly to ensure all new hires are getting the help they need to fit in. Metrics, such as employee turnover, can help to give an idea of how effective the onboarding process is. You should also encourage employees to give feedback on their onboarding experience so you can improve for the next hire. This valuable data can help companies to refine and develop their employee onboarding and training processes to make them as effective as possible.


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