- A recent study reveals that there is a potential “mismatch” between employee expectations and manager expectations over how formal training needs to be for newcomers, especially those coming straight from college, the Association for Talent Development reported.
- Newcomers sought more formal support and coaching from managers, while managers often found they had little time for such a task. On the other hand, managers wanted newcomers to seek help when they needed it, but new employees often thought they shouldn’t “bother” managers with their queries.
- The study reveals that new employees, especially those who are joining their first job, may seek a stronger foundation that could be provided through more formal onboarding programs.
ATD notes that L&D leaders need to “recognize that most employees’ experience of learning prior to their first jobs is highly structured, focused, and directed.” University is indeed a vastly different experience from the “do-it-yourself” learning that has become more in vogue with online resources and social networks.
The researchers also found that “socialization and onboarding is a relational process,” meaning learning is more than just an information-sharing process. Students are used to “constant connectivity” with their peers, but it doesn’t mean they will know how to manage their learning once they take on their first job.
Learning and development professionals should then focus on building onboarding programs that contain enough structure and “relational learning.”
“This doesn’t necessarily mean building a course, but providing road maps and resources along with frequent interaction with those able to give guidance may be critical to a successful socialization process,” ATD says.