How to best onboard new employees at your childcare center.
Blended learning refers to using multiple strategies to transfer knowledge. In this case, we are referring to using an e-learning training model with a mentor or coach to train new childcare employees. For the childcare industry, it’s very important that regulations are upheld as well as professional development of your teachers.
For many, on-demand learning has become a popular training strategy. With on-demand e-learning, there is an assumption there will be no loss of knowledge, though it can still occur. Although employees can go back to review trainings because it is available online 24/7, time to revisit trainings competes with demands of the workday.
At Inspire! Care 360, working with childcare businesses, we found that new teachers are often motivated first to finish their tasks quickly, and then they feel compelled to make sure the task was completed correctly. New teachers also want to seek assistance and clarification when they have questions or challenges.
In many cases, we have seen that choosing an e-learning experience is a cost and time efficiency tool and not a whole-learner strategy. The overall effectiveness of work and skills performance tends to decrease when an opportunity outside of the e-learning is not provided.
Coaching Strategies Meets e-Learning
Resist the urge to only use e-learning tools. Providing a coach or mentor can be more effective than just relying on an e-learning or classroom delivery. E-learning paired with coaching is a blended solution in today’s training world. A goal of any work-based learning strategy is to transfer learning to workplace performance.
Translating any kind of learning into skills has challenges. When learning occurs in a classroom environment, there is often lag between the learning and the skills performance. Your teachers can gather for hours or days to learn and then return to the center with the expectation that they can reference and effectively perform these new skills.
During the time between learning and work performance, skills and knowledge can degrade as high as 91 percent. The challenge with this loss is that it contributes directly to job performance. When employees say, “Nobody told me that,” or “I didn’t learn that,” it doesn’t necessarily mean they truly weren’t given the knowledge, but rather they didn’t retain it.
Why Does Blended Learning Work?
Inspire! Care 360 operates under the experience that an e-learning strategy with a system for mentor/peer coaching is crucial for a teacher or staff member to transfer skills from learning to completed work. Employees move from a level of knowledge about a skill to a level of completing the task with competency. Blended learning with a mentoring component is not often utilized—especially in the childcare industry. Blended mentoring is best completed with a combination of knowledge and content presentation, planned training/work activities, and a skilled performance-based mentor.
Our research says that the outcome at the end of an onboarding process is better when the mentor and the mentee see themselves as similar. There are also increased opportunities for involvement and advice when a mentor is involved in the new hire process.
The Inspire! Care 360 program is a blended e-learning strategy that combines on-demand e-learning content, with an experienced mentor, and traditional on-site performance-based skills completion.
Great things that happen when you onboard using blended mentoring
- Full engagement of a new employee at time of hire
- Commitments to learning are communicated and solidified
- One-on-one clarification of responsibilities
- Better understanding of knowledge, skills and values
- Develops and empowers the new employee
- Nurtures potential via observation, repetition, and demonstration
- The new employee owns the goals and the processes
- Regular contact with the new employee is linked directly to job performance and success
- Encourages a work environment where colleagues help each other when they have the opportunity
- Legitimizes and reinforces course content
Bivette Stodghill is the Learning Coordinator at Inspire! Care 360. Biv spearheads the development of curriculum, career paths and online learning environment. Overseeing the IC360 Online Learning Management System, Biv delivers efficient training opportunities in early education, customer service, human resources, operations, and labor issues.