Employee Training vs. Onboarding: The Key Difference

Courtney Gray

Onboarding and training are both vital to employee retention. So it's important to engage your employees from the very start so you can continue their ongoing growth and development. In fact, 33% of employees will seek new opportunities at other companies if they feel unchallenged or stagnate in their work. 


But if you invest in engaging onboarding and training? Well, highly engaged businesses achieve 59% less employee turnover than those without a focus on engagement. 


This article will explain the difference between onboarding training and developmental training, and how gamification is the core element to create engagement in both areas. 


Employee onboarding vs. Employee training

So what's the difference between onboarding and training? While it's easy to assume they are the same thing, there is a key difference.


Onboarding refers to the initial learning phase for a new hire. This is everything from their first day until around a couple of months into their role (depending on how long and comprehensive the onboarding program is). 


In the onboarding phase, you will inform your new hires of their role in the company and their team, alongside other key aspects like company values, goals, and overall strategy. This is a vital part of welcoming your new hire. 


Onboarding is an important way to make your new employees feel equipped for their new job and workplace. 


It's so vital that... 

Employees feel 18x more engaged and committed to their organization if they are onboarded correctly.



Employee training, on the other hand, refers to the ongoing development and skills specialization of your employees. Any employee should undertake training, whether they have been at your company for one year or 20 years.


In fact, as stated above, you should really be continually developing your employees. Otherwise, you can say goodbye to your most competent employees and hello to costly and time-consuming rehiring. 


Training helps to continually educate and grow your employees to ensure they are performing at their best, while still having fun in the process. It's therefore an efficient way to engage your employees to increase self-efficacy, working satisfaction, and personal development. 


Related: Learn 5 easy ways you can successfully onboard new hires



Timeline of an Onboarding Program

While employee training is a continuous activity, onboarding has a defined time period. But how long should this period last? Only 37% of companies extend their onboarding program beyond the first month, but you should consider an onboarding program that lasts at least three months to ensure the best onboarding for your new hires. 


Why? Well, organizations with longer onboarding programs will see their employees gain full proficiency 34% faster than those with shorter onboarding programs.


After their onboarding, it's time to get your employees started with their continuous training to really grow and develop your new hires. 



Gamified Learning in an Onboarding Program 

So, you've set up a comprehensive onboarding program alongside your continuous training. But how do you make it engaging? With gamification.


So much so that gamified learning is more motivating and interesting than other learning systems.


What is gamification? Think of video games. More specifically, the engaging elements such as scoring points, competing against others, and continuously adding achievements to your profile. 


The Relesys platform uses the premise of gamification and offers multiple ways for app users to gain points such as logging in, reading content, and engaging on the social wall. Points are tallied into a high score board, encouraging participation and healthy competition between employees and departments.


Not only that, but the platform also has achievement badges for users to earn, which are then displayed on their personal profiles and are visible to all other employees.


When training, onboarding, and personal development are fun and motivating, the learning outcomes are stronger and more efficient. Gamification is thus a vital aspect in driving the interaction and engagement of your employees, and in adding an extra level of fun for all app users.


Related: Watch how you can make your onboarding fun with gamification.

HubSpot Video

Did you know that 35% of companies have no formal onboarding program?


It should be clear by now that the above stat is a real problem. We've already spoken about how employees will search for new opportunities if they don't feel properly onboarded. But the organizational costs? Rehiring costs are estimated to range between 100% and 300% of the replaced employee’s salary.


The Relesys Training Pro solution addresses this problem head-on and allows you to create engaging yet informative onboarding on your own digital platform. By utilizing a digital solution, your employees can access onboarding and training right from their own mobile phones and undertake it whenever it suits them best. 


Related: Discover how Gina Tricot revolutionized their onboarding with their digital app.