Employee Onboarding

5 Stages of Employee Training

5 Stages of Employee Training

When we consider training over the life cycle of an employee, it is clear that not all training is the same. A new employee doesn’t receive the same training as someone who has been around for 1 year or 5 years. The difference is more than just the content that changes, but how the training is done. We’ll take a look a how training might look across 5 successive stages of employee training. We’ll start at onboarding a new team member, all the way until they become community leaders.

5 Stages of Employee Training


No business can succeed without onboarding training. At this stage we are giving learners the basic information to competently (and legally) start work such as workplace policies and safety training. Training now is just like checking things off of a list– one and done.

The focus in this stage is on friendly guidance for the learner and ensuring compliance. We want to keep the content ordered to prevent the learner from getting lost. Managers can use reminders and check-ins to keep the learner on track.


At this point, we have the basics out of the way and are now training things that are unique to the business. These skills can’t be mastered in one sitting, they will require repetition. Memorizing 50 recipes and being able to execute them on the spot isn’t the same as remembering a descriptive fact.

Practice is ongoing and relatively unstructured; consistent engagement is important. As a result, training content must be bite-sized and easily searched. We might incorporate more interactivity, gamification, and scheduled activities that encourage the learner to stick with it over time.


Businesses don’t stay the same and inevitably we’ll need training that supports change. This might look like promotions, new products, or updated operational procedures. Change for a business usually comes with a timeline. Consequently, training is required to meet this timeline as well.

At this stage communication is critical. Your training department needs reliable avenues to send notifications, reminders, or otherwise grab attention. Tools to specifically report on new content and segment previously complete versus new learners can be a great help.

Career Development

Employees want to boost their skills and advance their careers. In this stage, training is focused on deeper learning topics such as leadership and management. Advanced courses should be available but not required.

We want to provide learning paths that go beyond “normal” required training; either manager or self initiated. These paths should be specialized and rewarding without punishing those who aren’t looking to advance their career yet.

Community Leadership

Veteran employees are valuable parts of every business. Outside of receiving change-related training or advancing their careers, they also have an important role in training. Experienced employees are the drivers of informal learning in a community.

Here, we can focus on providing shared spaces to help newer employees connect with the rest of the team. Initiatives such as mentorship programs or knowledge bases are areas where experienced employees can have a big impact.


It’s easy to feel like training is all about one aspect (onboarding, or career development, or practice) and miss the big picture. However, a mature training program should continually improve all aspects across the 5 stages of employee training.

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Build a Workplace Culture and HR Policies That Support Trust, Inclusion and Fairness

Workplace culture is a key driver of employee performance. A positive workplace culture can help your employees be more productive, more effective at teamwork, and more content at work. In contrast, a negative workplace culture could cause rifts and toxicity that undermine your organization from within.

In sum: Workplace culture matters. Your organizational culture has an effect on your ability to achieve your key goals. Unfortunately, too many organizations don’t monitor or plan their workplace culture. Instead, they view culture as extraneous to success or something that happens by accident.

Building an effective workplace culture that promotes peak performance requires deliberate planning and thought. It doesn’t happen on its own. If you want your team to perform at their peak, you’ll want to ensure your work culture and HR policies promote trust, inclusion, and fairness across your organization. Here’s what you need to know about the ROI of workplace culture – and how you can build a positive and productive culture in your organization.

Workplace Culture Drives Recruitment & Retention

Your organization’s culture is a key driver of both employee recruitment and employee retention. In addition to attracting new talent, a positive culture keeps current employees engaged. This means they’ll be more likely to stay rather than accept a new position somewhere else.

But organizational culture is more than just office perks. It’s more than just putting a foosball table in the break room. Jessica Kriegel, Ph.D., a workplace culture consultant, told Computer World earlier this year that creating a positive onboarding experience for new hires means treating onboarding like dating.

“You’re selling the culture of the organization,” Kriegel says. “It’s a sales opportunity to recruit someone to your company.”

Workplace culture, Kriegel explains, isn’t about feelings – it’s about beliefs. Kriegel says companies can deliberately engineer the beliefs they want employees to hold. The key, she says, is to design cultural experiences that lead to those beliefs.

“If we want people to be more innovative, they need to have the belief that leadership encourages risk-taking and embraces failure,” Kriegel explains. 

It’s values and beliefs like these that create a strong workplace culture. If you want your company culture to create results then build it on values like trust, inclusion, and fairness.

The Importance of Trust, Inclusion, and Fairness

Trust is a key aspect of a successful culture. If your team doesn’t feel like you trust them to do their jobs, they’ll start to feel downtrodden and unmotivated. Without a sense of trust, your employees won’t want to show up to work. As a result, they’ll only put in the minimum effort.

Inclusion is also an important aspect of a positive workplace culture. When everyone on the team feels included, they become more effective at working together as a team. This means team-based projects will get done faster and to a higher degree of quality.

Fairness is potentially the most important value in your workplace. People have an innate sense of fairness that has been developed from a very young age. When your employees sense that they are being treated unfairly, it can cause significant rifts in your team. In some cases, unfair treatment may lead top employees to quit. In other, more egregious cases, it may lead to regulatory action or lawsuits.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that having a strong, positive culture can improve your retention and recruitment. One study found that a culture focused on mutual support and achievement had retention benefits. In contrast, a workplace culture focused on power resulted in significant employee churn. Quite simply: Employees are more likely to stick around when they feel valued. And that means ensuring your workplace is a place of trust, inclusion, and fairness.

A Positive Workplace Culture Boosts Productivity

Beyond retention and recruitment, having a strong office culture renders benefits in other ways. Workplace culture is a significant factor in employee engagement, which influences productivity. When your employees feel engaged at work, they’re more productive – which means they perform better. 

A positive company culture can also give employees a sense of ownership at work. When employees feel a sense of ownership, they’re more motivated and engaged.

Beyond simply higher morale, though, a strong company culture can also create a sense of accountability among your staff. This means they’ll be more committed to hitting their goals. One 2017 Gallup study found that engaged employees are 17% more productive than less-engaged employees.

Workplace Culture Starts from the Top

As a leader, you set your workplace culture. Whether you’re aware of it or not, the way you treat your employees influences the way they treat each other.

Your company HR policies also have a strong influence in creating your workplace culture. That’s why auditing your HR policies can help ensure you’re creating a productive and inclusive culture at your organization.

Once you’ve set those cultural policies, you’ll want to ensure that your new hires adopt them quickly. When onboarding and training new hires, ensure you have a module on your workplace culture. This way, new hires will know whether your culture is more high-pressure and hustle-oriented or more patient and relaxed. They’ll also know what your company’s values are and how they can embody those values in the workplace. 

Technology can aid in this regard. With a corporate LMS, for instance, you can train your new employees on company culture before they enter the workplace. You can even create specialized modules that explain what trust, inclusion, and fairness look like at your organization.

Workplace culture is a key driver of employee performance; a positive culture also aids in recruitment and retention. Your organization will have some sort of culture, whether you plan it or not. That’s why it’s best to intentionally create a positive and welcoming culture where your employees can thrive. By building a culture of trust, inclusion, and fairness, you can boost productivity, improve employee retention, and give your new recruits a reason to feel excited to show up to work.

Are you training your team on workplace culture? How are you creating a company culture where your employees can thrive?

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What GEN Z Recruits Expect from Your Employee Onboarding

What GEN Z Recruits Expect from Your Employee Onboarding

Every generation brings with it new changes to the world of work. Long ago, the Lost Generation came of age during the Industrial Revolution and accelerated the transition from working by hand to working with machines. Later, the Baby Boomers ushered in the era of home computers, followed by the Millennials and the dawn of Web 2.0. Now, as Generation Z comes of age, further changes are at hand – and they’re set to once again redefine the world of work. 

Generation Z isn’t just more tech-savvy than previous generations – they have their own unique priorities and values that they’re bringing into the workplace. They have their own expectations around the world of work and the process of getting a job that employers must cater to in order to stay competitive with new hires. 

Here are some of the reasons why onboarding your Generation Z employees should be as easy as signing up for Netflix – and a few ways you can create a seamless onboarding experience your Gen Z hires will love.

Generation Z Has a Unique Attitude Toward Work

Generation Z is unlike any generation to have come before it. In the past, previous generations preferred standard 9-5 office hours. They preferred meeting with managers face-to-face, and they enjoyed doing less technical work.

But today’s young people are disillusioned with the traditional world of work. They have ambition, yes; however, their ambition doesn’t necessarily align with the concept of climbing the traditional corporate ladder. After seeing multiple recessions and a pandemic in their short lives, Gen Z is now seeking a greater life purpose. They want to be in roles that enable personal and professional growth. They eschew low-level work like unpaid internships. And in many cases, they’re quitting jobs without having second jobs lined up.

“You have permission to quit a job that makes you miserable,” one Gen Z TikToker recently said.

These younger workers have developed a reputation for job-hopping to get the best deal, but the reality is deeper than simply looking for a low-effort, high-pay gravy job. A 2019 survey of Generation Z members by Kronos Inc. found that 30% of Gen Z view themselves as the hardest-working generation. 

These workers may sound entitled, but they entered the workforce during a recession and a pandemic when they witnessed many of their peers and elders being laid off. Gen Z works hard, but they also have certain standards in the workplace. They won’t tolerate rigid schedules, poor work conditions, or bad managers. As many as 21% of them say they don’t want a manager at all. 

In essence, Gen Z wants flexibility at work and opportunities for personal growth. They want to work for ethical companies who give them respect, recognition, and flexibility. They value authenticity and personalization. And they’re willing to switch jobs to find these traits in an employer.

Leverage Technology to Boost Engagement

Gen Z doesn’t just want employers to use technology when onboarding – they expect employers to be tech-savvy. Embracing new technology in your onboarding process can show your potential hires that you’re flexible and modern, which can result in a more engaged and motivated hire.

Emerging new technologies also render other benefits to the employer apart from making recruitment easier. New tech tools can enable your employees to be more productive and independent with less manager interaction and less time spent in the manager’s office.

With an online LMS, for instance, your hires can walk themselves through training exercises on a flexible schedule without the need for one-on-one interaction or manager hand-holding. 

An LMS is also a great way to give your Gen Z hires the professional development opportunities they crave. Gen Z employees strongly prefer having jobs that enable them to grow their skills, and they’re willing to leave companies if they don’t feel included. By embracing Gen Z’s ambition, you can help them find a home at your organization and perhaps convince them to stick around for the long haul.

Onboarding & ProDev Set the Tone

If you want to hire and retain good Gen Z workers, you’ll want to invest in your employee onboarding and professional development processes. It’s significantly more expensive to hire a new employee than it is to retain an existing one; the right changes to your processes can give your Gen Z employees a reason to stick around. Gen Z isn’t necessarily loyal to a single employer – they see a job as a means to an end. The onboarding process is your opportunity as an employer to change how your Gen Z employees view you. It’s your opportunity to convince them to stick around.

Gen Z expects onboarding and professional development to be simple and straightforward. They expect a personalized experience that they can walk through on their own, at their own pace. They expect onboarding to be as easy as signing up for Netflix. The more you can do to give them that kind of experience, the more successful you’ll be at retaining them and making the most of their skills and ambition.

Gen Z workers aren’t some mysterious enigma. They have predictable and easy-to-understand priorities and preferences rooted in a particular worldview of work. They’re very different from previous generations in the manner in which they view work, yes. But once you understand their priorities, it’s easy to retain and motivate them.

What is your organization doing to boost engagement with your Gen Z employees? How are you making your workplace more socially conscious, tech-savvy, or flexible? How are you creating meaning for your employees?

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