The Difference Between Onboarding and Training

onboarding vs training

Growth in a small company is exciting. The need to add more employees can bring a sense of fulfillment to the owner and everyone involved in the company. Care needs to be taken when bringing new employees on, however, because not bringing everyone up to speed right away can result in high turnover rates, low efficiency, and productivity issues. Gone are the days of quick, on-the-job training; today the key is to provide onboarding so that every employee feels welcomed and at ease from the very first day.

Isn’t Training the Same Thing?

Training and onboarding are two separate things, yet they need to coexist. Training covers the technicalities or tasks of the job. It discusses procedures on how to complete tasks, how to work the technology and equipment; basically how to do the job. Onboarding is about integrating with the other employees, management, and the corporate culture. One cannot exist without the other, but they must complement one another in order to be successful.

A Less Stressful First Day

The first day on the job for anyone is nerve wracking, even a high level executive. New faces, a new environment, new policies, and new expectations are enough to put the jitters in anybody’s stomach. These jitters can be put at ease with proper onboarding tactics. Easing a new employee into the company culture can help them to blend in rather than stick out like a sore thumb on that first day. They are nervous enough as it is; why not make them feel a little comfortable before they walk through the door on their first day?

The Methods of Onboarding

There are numerous ways to perform onboarding. Companies that have a hands-on environment might take a new employee on a tour of the office, give him a specific parking spot, and talk about wardrobe before the employee even starts. A company that is less hands-on might opt to provide new employees with a DVD or CD that discusses all of the important details of the company, while others find it sufficient to provide written details of how the company operates. The key is that some type of orientation is provided to the employees to ensure that they are more at east on that very first day.

What’s the Benefit of Onboarding?

Why is time needed to onboard? Can’t companies just jump right to training since that is what makes the profits in the first place? Sure, any company could skip onboarding and go right to training, but it is these companies that often have high turnover rates and low levels of productivity. When given the choice between an employee that feels comfortable and in tune with the corporate culture or one that is ill at ease and wondering where and when they will ever feel like they fit in, which one do you think will be more productive? The employee that was given the chance to get acclimated before day one on the job is the one that will most likely provide the best results.

Onboarding and training will coexist in many companies, but they need to work well with one another in order to be successful. Onboarding is meant to create a close knit corporate culture that embraces new employees and makes them feel like a part of the crowd right away. In the end, this is just as valuable as proper training because an employee that feels as if he does not belong is not going to perform his best as it is, leaving the productivity and bottom line of the company lower than anticipated by adding the new employee to the company.

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