Improve Your Onboarding with an LMS

Jill W.

Bringing on a new staff member can come with a lot of anxieties on both sides of the relationship. Will the new person be competent? the hiring manager wonders. Will they fit in? The new hire has questions too: Is this new company everything they seemed in the interview process? What will my days really look like?

The first hours of the first day are usually used to give out important practical information, but they can also set the tone for the working relationship. An effective onboarding strategy gets the new hire oriented, comfortable, and ready to work as efficiently as possible. Too often, a new hire is left to languish for their first day or week as they cobble together conflicting information from anyone who can spare a moment for them.  They want to start strong but instead are set up alone in the conference room with pamphlets, while someone tries to track down IT and figure out if they've got a computer ready. A messy first few days is a frustrating experience for your new hire (and is also part of why hiring is such an expensive process!).

Companies should be aware of what a smooth onboarding process look like. For a new hire, there's nothing quite like the relief of arriving on your first day and finding a company who remembers you were coming! Onboarding horror stories all have common themes: being stuck in a far corner, with no equipment, no idea what to do, and no one to ask. These are the first days that make people wonder did this company even remember they hired me?

What does smooth onboarding look like?

Companies who onboard efficiently have a lot in common with each other. They've got someone slated to show you around, equipment set up for you, and a plan for those first few hours. They have selected a first task that will get you started and identified who you can direct your questions to. They want your first few hours to feel smooth and well-defined, and to answer more questions than they bring up. In short, a smooth onboarding process makes the new hire feel welcomed, informed, and set up for success.

A roadmap of what needs to be covered is the best way for both parties to be certain that nothing essential is left out. It doesn't rely on memory, as hiring is not (usually) performed often enough for repetition to take care of the details. It's easy for important information to be forgotten in the whirlwind of a new staff member's first day in the office.

How can an LMS help?

We have posted about how SkillBuilder® LMS can help you optimize you onboarding process. An LMS can lay out the categories of what the new hire needs to know, such as:

  • Policies such as computer use and key card access
  • Legalities like Controlled Goods and privacy issues
  • Hours, sick time and vacation leave
  • Logistics like evacuation plans and the building layout
  • Org chart showing who does what and how to contact them
  • Company culture and norms
  • IT concerns such as computer passwords and software licenses
  • Department-specific information
  • Role-specific information

Sure, you know that the only way to get into the office supply cabinet is to email Jamie, but does the new hire? Your onboarding needs to reflect the reality of how things function, and not the way you wish it worked. It's easy to forget that you need a network login or that Irene is the resident expert in Excel, and these are the kinds of omissions that can cause delays and doubled effort.

Having this kind of essential information organized in an LMS means that each person's first day is measurable, complete, and consistent. In an LMS, the orientation process doesn't rely entirely on memory or the unpredictable schedule of a busy manager and can be updated to reflect the current policies and procedures. Training that is partially out of date, inaccurate or no longer relevant can add to a new employee's confusion and will also give them the impression of disorganization in the company.

An LMS can be accessed and updated by anyone in the organization, which means that the HR policy documents can be managed by HR, the IT training updated by the IT department, and role-specific training developed by hiring managers. Since SkillBuilder® LMS is simple to use, the staff of any department can master updating and administrating their own learning modules for their new hires without having to rely on a central training team.

The onboarding LMS can be up to date all the time and it can be the responsibility of everybody who has key knowledge in your company. The new hire's closest colleagues are the best people to explain the essentials of the role, so allowing them to be the authors of the new hire training provides the best possible information.

The SkillBuilder® LMS difference

Using a tool like SkillBuilder® LMS allows you to customize what each new hire sees by assigning them specific learning items and learning paths. A new marketing person can be assigned to the marketing team's department-specific training without making them click through the accounting department's training. When you create a new user in the LMS, you choose exactly what you want them to see. There's no wasted time with the new staff member skipping through irrelevant information that doesn't pertain to their role. They can be assigned to the general onboarding information alongside any department - or role-specific information all at the same time. Their manager has the ability to customize the learning paths they are assigning without having to recreate the basics every time.


Bringing on a new employee already has many challenges, and an LMS containing important onboarding information is a great way to simplify the process. It also ensures accuracy and consistency for everyone who is brought into the company.

First impressions work in both directions with a new hire. A smooth first day with thorough training on an LMS like SkillBuilder shows a new employee that you run a well-organized and modern business that cares about their experience.

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Jill W.

Jill is an Instructional Designer at BaseCorp Learning Systems with more than 10 years of experience researching, writing and designing effective learning materials. She is fascinated by the English language and enjoys the challenge of adapting her work for different audiences. After work, Jill continues to leverage her professional experience as she works toward the development of a training program for her cats. So far, success has not been apparent.