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February 20, 2024

Embrace Everboarding: A Continuous Learning Strategy for Modern Workplaces

Illustration of everboarding process

Most companies have an onboarding problem.

Only 52% of new hires feel satisfied with the onboarding experience at their current job, research from Paychex revealed. Survey respondents said it left them confused (32%) and undertrained (52%).

Further, Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report found most employees (51%) are not engaged—not involved, enthusiastic about, or committed to their work. This is a problem that often starts on the first day of their job when onboarding begins. As a result, new employees become disengaged, fail to reach full productivity, and may start looking for another job.

The problem stems from traditional onboarding processes that fall short of meeting the needs of new employees. Traditional onboarding, often sequential, disjointed, and impersonal, fails to cater to the individual needs of new hires or leverage the benefits of continuous learning.

This is where everboarding comes into play.

Everboarding is an innovative approach to onboarding that extends beyond the initial days or weeks of employment. Using this strategy, organizations continuously integrate employees into their roles, the company culture, and their evolving processes.

7 Benefits of Everboarding

Everboarding places the employee at the center of the journey, offering a dynamic and ongoing support system throughout their tenure. This strategy is especially critical in a landscape constantly altered by technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence (AI), which continually reshape workflows and job responsibilities. Specific benefits include:

  • Continuous learning: Ongoing training opportunities empower employees, fostering skill development and growth.
  • Accelerated productivity: Seamless onboarding ensures quicker adaptation, leading to faster integration and output.
  • Stronger culture alignment: Consistent messaging cultivates a cohesive environment, aligning values and goals.
  • Improved employee satisfaction: Personalized experiences cater to individual needs, boosting morale and loyalty.
  • Enhanced feedback loops: Regular check-ins facilitate communication, allowing for timely adjustments and improvements.
  • Agile adaptation: Dynamic onboarding adjusts to evolving needs and circumstances, ensuring resilience and adaptability.
  • Improved employee retention: Everboarding fosters continuous engagement, reducing turnover rates by nurturing long-term relationships.

Everboarding for Sales Reps Explained in 9 Steps

The everboarding experience begins with a new hire’s handshake at the time of offer and continues through the tenure of their employment. Along the way, you must provide moments that matter—moments that make them feel welcomed, valued, engaged, and that your organization is innovative and forward-thinking. These nine steps make it possible:

1. Preboarding: Generating Excitement Before Day 1

Before their official first day, send your new hire a welcome package. Include items that are personal to them and relate to your company. During this time, new hires can complete routine new-hire tasks, such as completing HR forms, and work with IT to ensure they have the tools, software, and hardware they need for their job.

2. Day 1: Executive Welcome

The first day sets the tone. Begin by sharing a video greeting from the CEO, followed by an in-person or video welcome from the new hire’s manager and an introduction to colleagues on their team. That day emphasizes the company’s commitment to the new hire’s success and integration into the organization versus standard practice where many firms simply allow new hires to “figure it out.”

3. Meet the Team

Now it’s time for your new hire to get to know their team. During this phase, they record a video introducing themself to the team. The video is then uploaded to the employee directory and shared with the team. Members can then watch, post welcome messages, and share information about themselves. Now, when a team member meets the new employee in person, they already know a little bit about them and it’s easier to have conversations.

4. Understand the Company’s Culture

Delivered in bite-sized pieces that new hires can watch and read as their schedule allows, these microlearning modules teach employees your company’s operating principles, the company’s strategy, and how employees fit in. These modules are supplemented with quizzes and reinforcement to ensure learning sticks.

5. Expedite the Ramp Process

Micro-learning also helps new hires ramp up quickly. Deliver short videos and articles in the flow of work to help your new reps understand product positioning and to master corporate messaging. Couple that with quizzes and reinforcement to help employees remember what they learn.

6. Master Skills and New Information

Customize skills training according to the new hire’s proficiency. Training content must be relevant to their level of expertise and delivered in bite-sized segments that they can

consume in the flow of work. For sales reps, provide ways for them to practice pitches and messaging before they talk with real prospects. You must also provide ways for managers to monitor new hires’ progress and certify their abilities.

7. Prepare to Engage with Prospects and Clients

Equally important is the seller’s understanding of your industry and your buyer personas. With that knowledge and the right tools, they can deliver personalized buyer experiences. Set your sellers up to succeed by implementing a sales content management system that integrates with your CRM. When you do, you can easily recommend the best content, training, coaching, and messaging for the deal or meeting at hand—and in the flow of their work.

8. Engage Prospects & Clients with Digital Sales Rooms

Help your sellers stand out and increase their chances of success by providing them with cutting-edge technology. Digital sales rooms, for example, enable sellers to further create personalized and convenient buying experiences using an easy-to-create

microsite they build from a template for the buyer. With a central hub, sellers and buyers can communicate, share content, and align. Your sellers will also be happier and more likely to stay knowing you invested in modern sales tools that elevate their performance.

9. Sellers Share Lessons Learned

Sellers like to learn from other sellers—to hear their success stories, winning pitches, and how they overcome buyer objections. So, once your new hire begins meeting with buyers, ask them to share their win/loss stories and their insights and expertise from the field. When sellers collaborate, they get real-life, in-the-trenches stories—not theory—that they can apply to their prospecting and buyer conversations.

Implementing Your Everboarding Plan

Ready to implement your everboarding plan? Use these five steps to guide you:

  • Assessment and Planning: Evaluate your current onboarding process and identify areas for improvement. Plan to incorporate continuous learning and personalization.
  • Personalized Learning Paths: Develop customized learning paths that align with individual roles, skills, and career goals, blending formal training, on-the-job learning, and mentorship.
  • Technology Integration: Leverage a revenue enablement platform to facilitate accessible online learning, track progress, and encourage communication.
  • Cultural Shift Towards Learning: Promote a culture that values ongoing development, recognizing learning achievements and encouraging knowledge sharing.
  • Feedback Loop: Collect and act on feedback to refine the everboarding process continually.

The Impact of Everboarding

Implementing everboarding not only addresses the shortcomings highlighted by traditional onboarding methods, but it also aligns with the modern workplace’s demands for continuous growth and adaptation. This approach leads to increased employee engagement, improved performance, enhanced retention, and a more agile and adaptable organization.

By delivering personalized, just-in-time training in manageable chunks and facilitating a culture of continuous learning and feedback, companies can create an environment where employees feel valued, engaged, and equipped to meet the challenges of today’s dynamic business landscape. Everboarding transforms the new hire journey into a lifelong learning experience, from hire to retire, fostering a growth culture and making the company a destination employer.

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