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How to make sure your new employees retain important information during your orientation process

It doesn’t matter if it’s a blockbuster movie or a job interview, early impressions have a huge impact on the way we perceive a situation or event.

That’s why it’s so crucial for companies to shine from the outset, and demonstrate why the organisation is so great to work for. With thousands of brands to choose from, the market has never been more competitive.  Nearly half of millennials plan to leave their job within two years, which means retaining skilled employees has never been a greater challenge. But if you’re able to invest in learning from the very start, you’re more likely to build a successful journey with your staff along for the ride.

To create that great start for employees, you’re going to need an engaging and innovative onboarding and orientation process, that helps new recruits slip seamlessly into office life. Also known as ‘organisational socialisation’, companies can deploy a range of tactics to help their employees to learn new information and skills, as well as supporting them to understand company culture. In addition to the short-term benefits, there’s also evidence to show that when new employees have a successful onboarding process, they’re almost 60% more likely to remain with an organisation for at least three years.

But how can you make sure your orientation process goes well and that your new recruits are able to retain the information they need to succeed?

Interactive learning

Students don’t learn successfully when they’re asked to regurgitate information from books or spreadsheets, so it makes sense that a standard lecture might not be the most effective way to conduct your orientation. Studies show that interactive learning can be up to six times as effective as traditional educational tools because they allow people to find out information for themselves and absorb it. And the more engaged and active someone is while learning information, the more likely they are to retain the information long-term. An interactive or immersive approach also shows new recruits that the company is prioritising their learning and putting their needs first. Whether it’s something as simple as the layout of the office, or a company’s prefered sales strategy, giving staff the opportunity to discover the information independently demonstrates trust in your employees.

Using technology

According to studies, by 2025 almost 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials. Brought up in the era of technology, they rely on apps and other tech as part of their daily lives, so it makes sense to incorporate it into the orientation process. Potentially saving time and money, online orientation and onboarding processes are a great way to combine innovation and interaction- creating the ideal learning platform.

Online strategies, such as gamification, can also help people to engage with the topics during the orientation process. Allowing new recruits to immerse themselves in the material, it offers them a chance to develop relationships with other team members early on. From challenges to activities, gamification ignites a bit of competitive spirit which can also positively impact learning and retention. Professional trainers also support this view, with 84% suggesting that gamified learning helps to improve employee retention of knowledge.


During the first few months of a new job, your recruits should be feeling engaged and enthusiastic about their role. But unless you capitalise on this early, you’re at risk of losing their focus and alienating them from your objectives as a brand. By investing in your communications and offering a personalised orientation approach, your new recruits will learn faster and develop a better relationship with managers. Different approaches work for different people, and it’s worth investigating a range of techniques. For example, you could try surveying new recruits on their preferred learning methods before they begin. Not only does it show you’re willing to invest in their development, but it also means you can tailor the orientation process for their requirements.

Ultimately a good orientation process will involve working with your new recruits and engaging them with every aspect of the process. By taking a holistic approach, you can not only support a successful first few months but also set the stage for the long-term internal staff development.

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