New Employee Orientation

The Design and Implementation of Onboarding Programs

I have loved doing instructional design and training delivery for new employee orientation. It’s fun to tap into the newness and the excitement the new hires feel about their new job, their new employer.

Along with talented teams at various companies, I instructionally designed and then  facilitated the classroom sessions. I also walked around as a facilities Tour Guide, showing off various areas of the companies’ facilities to give the new hires a geographic sense of place. In a large office building, it helps to know where to find all of the restrooms and coffee makers.

I created a Welcome Guide based on the new hire’s “survival” needs. That is, what the new employee needs to know on the first day, the first week, and the first month.

I really enjoyed creating that guide, and trying to remember what it was like to be an employee at the company on my first day.

I also contributed a storyboard of about 20 screens to the e-learning component of the Orientation program that new employees accessed via the LMS after they attended the instructor-led session.

Companies are dynamic organizations, and this means New Employee Orientation constantly evolves and needs revisions. I worked constantly with SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) to update existing content for both the classroom sessions as well as the online modules.

One of these days, I hope to get on a project where I would instructionally design a mobile new employee orientation experience. And, I would add a social media component to the experience. Can you imagine that? I have some ideas and designs already in my mind.

Have you designed and implemented an mLearning (mobile learning) format for your New Employee Orientation? If yes, I’d love to hear about it!



The L-Files: Client and Vendor Storyboards


Welcome to “The L-Files”, and the first post in a future series where I’ll discuss my role as “The Liaison” on various project teams. It’s common for instructional designers, technical communicators, business analysts, and others to find they are acting as diplomatic liaisons as well as doing their assigned tasks on a project team. I’ll not only post my own stories, I’ll share others’ great adventures when I find them.

Today’s Post

I was assigned to an e-learning course project as the client-side Instructional Designer to work with a virtual e-learning design and development vendor. The client’s required Compliance/Code of Conduct course was deployed to about 3,000 in-house and field staff.

The Vendor’s Storyboard

Previous client-side instructional designers struggled with working in the vendor’s storyboard format. However, when I began working with the vendor team, I found their MS Word, Detailed Design Document easy to use. I let the vendor know I would use their storyboard document, and they immediately expressed their appreciation.

My ability to adapt encouraged a very positive business relationship between the project manager at the vendor site and the remote Instructional Designer. It also greatly shortened the course development life cycle, and increased the vendor’s effectiveness during their internal QA phase.

The client trusted my ability and my decision, and the internal project sponsor benefited as well. We deployed the course on time.

The Client’s Design

I’m used to using PowerPoint storyboards for rapid design of e-learning courses. So, when the Sponsor of this Compliance course had a unique format that he wanted developed, I first designed it in PowerPoint so he could see the potential interactivity.

This PowerPoint storyboard also helped the vendor understand the unique interactivities the Sponsor wanted. We clearly saw how many image files would be needed, and how the potential learner activities would (or would not) work. I then worked with the vendor to “translate” this PowerPoint storyboard into their preferred Word storyboard.

It didn’t take very long at all! Sadly, I no longer have my project log. So, I can’t give you the total hours it took for me to use two storyboard formats as The Liaison between the client and the remote vendor. My process did save project time, and it eliminated the frustrations the team members felt in the past.

I’m “Always Learning…” how to build good will and facilitate the processes in a project team.

And, I invite you to share your experiences as well in this post’s Comments section.