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Why Your Business Needs To Graduate Out Of Paper Training Manuals and Employee Handbooks

Is your company still handing out paper training manuals and employee handbooks on new hires’ first day? This old and tired method of onboarding needs to go the way of the dinosaur. It’s outdated and ineffective. In fact, this approach can be a main contributor to the fact that 50% of hourly workers don’t reach their four month work anniversary.

Five ways traditional onboarding processes fail

What is so bad about traditional onboarding? Besides being a massive waste of paper and time, typical onboarding fails on five distinct fronts:


Pass on the paperwork. Having your new hires sit at a desk or a table manually filling out multiple forms for various departments is extremely boring, incredibly inefficient and results in duplicate efforts. When those forms are handed in to department heads and HR, what happens? That’s right, someone has to re-enter all of that information into a computer database. It’s the slowest way to get an employee’s information into your system. 


Insist on interactivity. Sticking an excited new employee at a desk to read through page after page of dry, boring materials can kill their momentum on day one. Use onboarding and training tools that include images and quizzes to increase interest on the part of the employee. Being able to self direct their onboarding process can help employees get more from the process. By putting everything they need to do or know in one place, you can make training easy. By making it fun, you can ensure they remember more.


Plan for precision. The more processes there are and the more people involved, the higher the chances of error. When your orientation, onboarding and training are all coming from different directions, it’s easy for mistakes to be made or mixed messages sent. If you look at the first month or so of a new hire’s employment as one long onboarding process, you can improve the consistency of messages they get and obtain more accurate feedback.


Toss the “textbooks.” Stop expecting new hires to slog through manuals trying to identify what’s truly pertinent to their job description. Being forced to “read and acknowledge” an employee handbook is a thankless task, and verifying they’ve done it is difficult. You don’t just want your employees to go through the motions. You want them to be sponges absorbing pertinent information – which means you need to make that information easy to absorb.


Confusion has consequences. The number one reason new employees leave a company is because of lack of clarity surrounding their role. Unless you have a customized employee manual for every position in your company, your new hire isn’t going to get that information from a handbook. Ensure that you provide specific information and instructions about what’s expected from each employee in regard to deliverables.

Free eBook: 100 Hacks to Improve Your Business

What’s digital onboarding all about?

Digital onboarding allows you to collect all of your onboarding, orientation, training, and HR processes in one place. Once you’ve documented your processes and they are organized in an intuitive, logical flow, new hires can be set up in the system and allowed to self-direct their progress.


Every department can be hooked into the same system. Your new employee can enter their information one time, and everyone else who needs it will be able to access it, from HR to IT to building security and more.


Employee identification, parking passes, schedules, benefits, payroll and more can be swiftly handled via digital communications, with the system alerting relevant departments as steps are completed and then presenting the next process to be completed.


With a digitized onboarding process, things like employee handbooks or training manuals can be stripped to the bone, organized to highlight key points, and customized based on the employee’s department or job title.


Information delivered during initial orientation and training can be delivered in easy-to-absorb modules, with testing at the end of each segment to verify your new hire’s grasp of the material. Employees and managers can track progress and get alerts when sections are completed or there’s a snag in the process.

Streamlining employee training for business growth

Possibly the biggest benefit of graduating from paper training manuals and employee handbooks is the ability to scale your business quickly. When you’re not constrained by slow, ineffective onboarding processes, bringing in new hires becomes as simple as handing them access to your digital training tools and getting them started on orientation. 


This results in higher consistency of training, increased employee satisfaction, and less turnover among your recently hired staff. When you digitize employee experiences, put them in control, and provide them with the latest technological tools, you empower them to achieve their objectives. 77% of new employees who have thorough onboarding hit their first performance milestones. 


Trainual is the new way to onboard your employees. Leave the paper printed handbooks behind and step into the new age of employee orientation and training.


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