5 mistakes to avoid during onboarding training

Employer branding, team performance, employee retention; onboarding training for new hires is one of the most pivotal opportunities and expenses for a company. It’s the fine line between talent hopping on board or jumping ship and continues to be overlooked. Onboarding training mistakes can heavily impact an employee’s outlook and even impede their ability to begin the job they were hired to do, in fact…

Up to 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days. (Source: Michelle Smith, VP of Marketing, O.C. Tanner)

Luckily there are simple but essential onboarding steps you can take to avoid these mistakes. We’ve outlined 5 to avoid, and exactly how to avoid them.

1. Neglecting employee onboarding preparation

A common oversight to employee onboarding training is little to no prior preparation. After pre-onboarding, the introduction to your company is a crucial step towards integrating and retaining your new hires. An improvised, ad-lib approach not only sets the tone of their experience but creates a huge risk of knowledge gaps and incomplete training among your team.

Think of onboarding training like a map, and autonomy as the destination. Are your hires aligned with the company vision and mission? Do they have the right tools and the training to use them? Do they know who and where to find their collaborators? A step-by-step structure means you can manage their exposure to new information and keep track of their learning journey.

Companies believe that effective onboarding increases retention (52%) and productivity time (60%). (Source: SHRM)

But how do I prepare? Let’s discuss.

🋠Give meaning to your onboarding! 

Start by mapping the plan of your new hire’s journey through the company, breaking down their activities and milestones week by week. Communicate your company’s mission, values, and vision, before diving into operational activities. Consider the fact that onboarding training could take place both remotely and in-person requiring a well-documented process to avoid confusion. Whatever the case may be, think human, and bring meaning to your employees from day one. Since they met your selection criteria, it’s time to meet theirs!  

2. Overloading your new hires during training

A fatal onboarding training error is sharing too much… too soon. While there’s bountiful information to share, a systematic approach is the difference between your new hire understanding and being overloaded.

🋠Train your employees in real-time with a digital adoption platform (DAP)

With a digital adoption platform, you can train your employees in real-time, inside each of their role-specific tools. Using a method of incremental learning, or as we call it ‘learning by doing’, keeps users engaged for up to 3 minute intervals, breaking down long-form training into small modules. The aim is to facilitate the retention of information using easily digestible chunks, allowing the user to learn at their own pace for quicker autonomy!

3. One-size-fits all onboarding 

Did you know, 54% of people want personalized content based on their interests (Adobe)?. That includes your new hires. Think Netflix or Pinterest, personalized training is an extension of changing expectations today. Customized learning areas can help address different positions, levels of seniority, skill sets, and working styles. 

76% of employees say that training is the most important factor during their first week in a company. (Source: The Aberdeen Report) 

But my company has thousands of employees with different challenges! Depending on the user profile i.e department, role, digital competence, or experience, training is targeted and customizable to meet their needs. Your goal is to increase the Time to Value of users through guided training that’s relevant to them. And with Learning Analytics, you can track their progress, adapting what works, and what doesn’t.

🋠Create tailor-made training thanks to digital adoption platforms

The Lemon Learning digital adoption platform allows you to create personalized training for your new hires. Based on your new hire position, role, or working language, you can customize the training content to their individual needs. By following simple, tailor-made training, hires accelerate the time it takes to become operational.




4. Neglecting training in digital tools

Intranet, HRIS, ERP, CRM, business tools, the list goes on. New hires are faced with advanced tools wherever they go, making digital training an indispensable onboarding step. Digital training has a direct impact on the commitment, performance, and even retention of new hires. 

Supporting your users from their first interaction with your tools can reduce your churn (user loss) by 67%. (Source: Esteban Kolsky, Huffington Post)

Just like first impressions, a negative introduction to a digital tool can significantly decrease its chances of adoption.

🋠Train your new hires the way they want, when they want, directly inside their tools

With Lemon Learning, users are trained directly inside their tools with interactive guides. Whether it’s an ERP, CRM, HRIS, or in-house tool, your new hires learn how to use the software in a practical way, and in real-time. The result? A decrease in support and an increase in user retention!

5. A lack of employee onboarding training evaluation

A major pitfall in corporate culture is the reluctance to change ‘fixed’ processes. A part of that can be attributed to a lack of feedback. Inflexible learning that doesn’t evolve with user feedback over time will be less effective in the long term. Fortunately, it’s very simple to avoid. Post onboarding is the perfect time to distribute surveys, questionnaires and quantifiable feedback prompts to find out what worked, what didn’t, and what more could be done. 

On average, 60% to 73% of an organization’s data isn’t used for analytical evaluation. (Source: Forrester)

🋠Improve onboarding training with Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics allows you to optimize your training with data. At Lemon Learning, we support companies with precise and personalized statistics covering their different training courses. Thanks to the data collected, you can analyze the practices of your new hires and improve your software training.


Onboarding training is a major phase in the lifespan of an employee and their experience with your company. With the right tools in place to facilitate user onboarding, your levels of digital adoption and employee retention can reach new heights.   

If you’d like to have a conversation about digital adoption solutions and what they can do for your organization, get in touch! Or take a peek at our customer case studies page to see how we’ve helped other organizations.