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How Effective Onboarding and Employee Enablement Combat Today’s Hiring Challenges

The vicious cycle

Let’s start with the good news: the U.S. job market is in great shape.

On the whole, Americans are gainfully employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 4.3 percent unemployment rate in May is the lowest in a decade.

Now, the bad news: Low unemployment means that there’s mounting pressure to attract and retain talent, and that’s increasingly difficult. The focus on retaining talent begins on Day 1, because as the old adage goes, first impressions are lasting impressions. Most companies are in a continuous cycle on onboarding new employees and struggling to understand what effective onboarding looks like. This challenge becomes even more complex when you’re dealing with a distributed workforce or deskless workers or in an industry with high turnover.

Today, companies are spending significant money on onboarding and training. The 2014 State of the Industry Report notes that companies spend between $1,200 and $1,900 per worker on training and development. Unfortunately, the amount of money spent on training doesn’t necessarily mean that employees are better equipped to do their jobs. Here are a few startling statistics:

  • Once trained, critical job information isn’t easily available. Forrester survey results illustrate that 76% of employees complain about the difficulty of finding information.
  • Employee productivity takes a hit. On average, employees waste eight hours a week searching for information, which results in expensive productivity loss (IDC study).
  • Employee engagement suffers. According to Gallup, 54% of employees are not engaged in their work, which leads to lost business opportunities.

What can businesses do?

Thankfully, there’s good news: Gallup reports that engaged employees are associated with 22% higher profitability, 21% higher productivity, and 65% lower turnover rates. The real challenge, then, is finding ways to engage and empower employees from the start. Businesses need to look at onboarding and operations to recognize the benefits associated with consistent and real-time access to content and knowledge.

Mobile is the obvious and correct answer.

Technology provides the means to onboard distributed workers and keep them aligned with corporate policies and procedures while on the job. Businesses must invest in and adopt mobile content.

With the Inkling Knowledge solution, workforces are armed with a single version of operational knowledge. This smart content system delivers mission-critical information directly to employees to increase productivity and proficiency. At the same time, operational leaders receive in-depth analytics on the effectiveness of the content and training.

This type of optimized onboarding sets employees up for success, empowers them with job knowledge, and helps decrease turnover and increase sales. As explained in The New York Times, “In a numbers-driven world, the most compelling argument for change is the growing evidence that meeting the needs of employees fuels their productivity, loyalty, and performance.”

It’s time to look past the obvious hiring challenge and focus on how to make workforces productive and engaged from the moment they are onboarded. By addressing the crux of the problem, forward-thinking companies can gain the competitive advantage in hiring and retaining talent.

Check out Inkling today and get your workforce humming. Can you afford to wait?

Want to learn more?

Hear how three innovative companies, including McDonald’s and Abbott, are using Inkling Knowledge to increase employee engagement and productivity while significantly decreasing costs in this on-demand webinar.

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