The Knowledge-Driven Productivity Matrix for Onboarding

Learning through assimilation isn’t the most efficient.

We’ve all been there. It’s our first day at a new company and we are struggling to figure out procedures, who to ask for what, why our email isn’t working, even where the coffee machine is. At first, it’s scary, even frustrating at times. You learn through observation and asking questions. But, as time progresses, we eventually learn our way and grow. Who knows – in the future, we may even become a mentor to a new hire.

There has to be an easier way to go from 0-60. Learning through assimilation isn’t the most efficient. In fact, a study from the Harvard Business Review shows that it takes 8 months for new employees to reach their full productivity potential.

What your company really needs is a knowledge-driven productivity hub where your organization can take all of its important documents – organizational information, articles, procedures, training videos, FAQs, forms, documentation – and store it for future access. Think of it like the scene from The Matrix. The main character, Neo, must learn to fight, so they load him into a database where they access training programs, and seconds later he is a Kung Fu master. Pretty cool, right?

Science and technology haven’t gotten to that level yet, but a knowledge-driven productivity community could be your next best thing. Obviously, one-on-one training and job shadowing would have to remain a part of the onboarding process. But, we could speed it up by allowing new hires to access important company- or job-related information, like how to tutorials or videos, quickly and easily. In fact, every employee could benefit from a central repository of company information, whether it’s to download simple tax forms or to access a refresher course on a complex activity.

The benefits go beyond just saving time and increasing productivity, there is a direct correlation between effective onboarding and employee retention and ROI. 69% of employees who feel that they experienced great onboarding are more likely to stay with a company for at least 3 years. That’s good news because it will cost an estimated 16-20% of that employee’s salary to replace them. That means that for every employee making $50,000 it will cost the company as much as $10,000 to replace them. Now multiply that by 50 employees/year, and that’s an expense of $500,000 each year in turnover! So it should make sense to try and not lose an employee over ineffective onboarding. Especially when a knowledge-driven productivity hub may only cost your company the equivalent of 1 or 2 employee turnover expenses.

Until we can transform the onboarding process into a real-life version of The Matrix, there will always be inefficiencies. It’s up to everyone in your organization to improve the process and implementing a knowledge-driven productivity community is an effective way to make a great first impression with new hires and help them go from 0 to 60.