Inboarding in corporate training: definition and benefits

inboarding nella formazione aziendale digitale processo di upskilling

Here we are for a new focus on the best practices in corporate training of the future.

Today we are talking about Inboarding – not to be confused with Onboarding! This is a training strategy that is emerging as a key piece in the talent management landscape, as it aims to prepare employees for new challenges and responsibilities within the company.

We’ve said too much already…Let’s get going! 🚀

What is Inboarding?

Let’s try to give a definition:

Inboarding consists of a dynamic and continuous process focused on supporting employees already established in the company by providing them with the skills, knowledge and training they need to excel in their internal career path. Unlike Onboarding, which focuses on integrating new entrants, Inboarding aims to increase productivity, stimulate engagement and foster retention of existing talent.

Its relevance becomes apparent at times of changing corporate culture or when role expectations require new skills. We have already approached this topic in a slightly different light when we wrote about Upskilling and Reskilling, check it out here!

For instance, well-structured Inboarding turns out to be particularly crucial in internal promotion situations, offering support to the employee in the transition, facilitating adaptation to the new tasks and improving his or her productivity in the newly assigned role.

Inboarding vs Onboarding

At first glance, Inboarding and Onboarding have many similarities.

In fact, by definition, both provide employees with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their new roles. Structurally, Inboarding involves many of the same steps as Onboarding-including knowledge transfer, observation, real-time training, and mentoring.

However, they are two training processes intended for different contexts!

inboarding and onboarding are two similar processes but intended for different training contexts

Onboarding is for getting started…

Onboarding is for new hires and focuses on key elements such as cultural integration, familiarization with company processes, and defining the responsibilities of the new role. It is a process aimed at easing new members’ transition into the team, making them productive as soon as possible.

…Inboarding is to promote continuous development

On the other hand, Inboarding is designed for the continuous development and involvement of existing employees. This process involves HR managers and Learning&Development managers to monitor performance, provide feedback, identify training opportunities, and support employee career progression.

In addition, Inboarding helps established team members expand their knowledge and skills to prepare for their next steps within the organization by focusing on cross-training, skills upgrading, and awareness of training programs.

Spoiler: you need both!

Both inboarding and onboarding are key steps in the employee training process in the company

In a nutshell, if Onboarding is focused on welcoming and integrating new hires, Inboarding focuses on the professional development of existing employees. Both are vital to ensuring that team members feel engaged, productive, and grow within the organization.

We would like to give you some solid reasons to support our argument.

  • Increase of retention. Effective Onboarding can indeed help new hires feel engaged and secure in their roles from the start, while Inboarding keeps them engaged and motivated to stay with the company for a long time.

  • High quality of performance. If a well-structured Onboarding process establishes the foundation for employees to perform well in their roles, Inboarding then goes further- continuously improving their skills and leading to higher productivity.

  • Consolidation of corporate culture. Onboarding introduces new employees to the company culture, while Inboarding maintains and reinforces that culture over time, creating a cohesive and positive work environment.

  • Innovation. Inboarding promotes continuous learning and collaboration, fostering an environment where employees feel encouraged to contribute innovative ideas and push the company forward.

Inboarding: possible applications of this training strategy

As we mentioned above, as employees grow within an organization and the organization changes, employers can support their team members through various transitions using Inboarding.

inboarding is particularly effective during times of change within a company

Some of the most significant use cases of Inboarding for organizations.

  • Transition to a new position or team. Inboarding helps them settle into their new work environment and ensures that they have the skills they need to excel in their new position.

  • Promotion. Inboarding can support employees as they adjust to new responsibilities, especially if they are handling new managerial responsibilities or need to train their replacements.

  • Change management. Business changes often cause stress and upheaval for employees, who need to stay engaged during uncomfortable periods of change and learn the skills needed to embrace the future.

  • Transition to hybrid and remote work. When transitioning to a remote or hybrid work environment, Inboarding provides employees with a solid foundation through remote training, usable through a state-of-the-art digital platform-such as Litmos LMS.

As mentioned above, Inboarding is also effective in those stages of corporate culture change or to empower one’s employees to pursue continuous innovation.

The benefits of Inboarding for in-company digital training

It should be noted that Inboarding, compared to Onboarding, is structured over a longer period of time, adapting to the employee’s time in the company. This flexibility makes the steps of this process less structured, as it is something that is constantly evolving and adapting.

An effective in-company Inboarding plan, however, must carefully consider several elements.

Evaluation of strengths and weaknesses. One constantly monitors the worker’s growth, identifying his skills and areas in which he can improve. This supports his skill development and provides insight into his career path within the company.

assessment of strengths and weaknesses is crucial for improvement and for choosing a tailored inboarding process

Performance assessment. With dedicated HR tools, employee performance can be monitored. Excellent performance indicates motivation and understanding of the role, while declines may require intervention and support.

Constant feedback. Maintaining an open dialogue with employees is key: asking for and providing regular feedback through surveys and evaluations fosters an environment of open communication, keeping employees connected and making them feel an integral part of the company.

Personalized skill development. Creating customized development plans for each resource is crucial: it demonstrates commitment to supporting the employee’s professional growth, who is given ongoing opportunities to improve.

Company culture geared toward internal development. Inboarding helps create a culture that values and promotes internal development. This approach enables employees to feel part of an organization that offers opportunities for growth and development, making them aware that they have prospects for advancement.

How to promote an Inboarding strategy in the company?

Implementing effective organizational change requires a series of key steps to improve corporate Inboarding. But how do you convey the importance of this process to your colleagues?

Promote the inboarding process in the company to make people understand how useful and important it is for continuous learning

First and foremost, it is crucial to eliminate organizational barriers by promoting flexibility through the use of rigid role descriptions and the promotion and assignment of projects to interested employees.

Improving team cohesion is equally crucial: social activities such as aperitifs and celebrations promote rapid integration and employee engagement. In addition, encouraging internal mobility and the use of career coaches fosters a dynamic corporate culture.

As we mentioned earlier, giving constant feedback is essential, not only for new entrants but also for those taking on new roles internally. To guide the employee in his or her new position, regular evaluations must be provided to help the employee adjust.

Finally, continuous learning is essential for career changes, which employees find themselves being prepared for.

In summary, successful organizational change requires flexibility, team-building activities, promotion of internal mobility, constant feedback, and targeted training.

And now, the mistakes to avoid when implementing an Inboarding strategy

You will see that, with a little experience, you will surely be able to come up with a comprehensive and effective Inboarding plan. To give you a hand in the task ahead, we have collected the main mistakes to avoid.

  1. Avoid the tendency toward standardization. Each entry process should be as specific as possible, tailored to the individual needs of employees. You cannot expect to adopt a single strategy for all employees. For example, a junior employee might have different needs, expectations, and ambitions than a senior employee. It is critical to thoroughly understand employees as a first step in structuring a tailored Inboarding plan.

  1. Do not overload employees with information. Although advice and feedback are valuable, providing too much of it could be confusing and-in the worst case-lead employees to not follow it. It is better to provide few, but consistent and constructive suggestions, giving employees time to assimilate and apply them.
no to information overload
  1. Ignoring worker feedback is another mistake to avoid. Employees’ needs are key, and an effective Inboarding program must take them into account. Employees are often the ones who know best about their own shortcomings and can offer useful suggestions on how to improve their experience in the company. Holding regular discussion sessions, encouraging employees to voice their opinions, and trying to best reconcile their needs with those of the company is the best you can do for them.

In short

In summary, Inboarding and Onboarding represent two key phases in employee integration and development.

Inboarding represents a dynamic and time-articulated phase aimed at supporting established employees in the company, focusing on skill development and training for internal challenges. Unlike Onboarding, it aims to increase productivity and foster retention of existing talent.

Its relevance emerges during cultural changes or when role expectations require new skills. Inboarding is crucial in internal promotions, facilitating adaptation to new tasks.

Inboarding, with a flexible and targeted approach, offers benefits such as strengths/weaknesses analysis, performance appraisal, constant feedback, and personalized skill development. Its implementation requires removing organizational barriers, enhancing team cohesion, and promoting continuous training.

In sum, effective management of this process contributes to the long-term success of the organization by facilitating transitions, supporting professional development, and fostering a corporate culture geared toward internal development. Avoiding common mistakes, such as standardization and information overload, is crucial to ensuring an effective Inboarding process tailored to the individual needs of employees.

See ya!


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