I’ve written a lot about artificial intelligence and its impact on real estate. In fact, one of my recent blogs “uncovered the myths” of AI in the workplace looked at some of the misconceptions we have about how AI is (and isn’t) helping in the workplace. And, that’s where I’d like to pick up …

I want you to think back to the last time you started a new job. What was the onboarding process like? Did you shadow a colleague to learn the day-to-day? Did you sit at a kiosk and watch a training video? Did someone hand you a big file folder of printed documents to read at your leisure? Maybe you had no onboarding at all?

Given the opportunity to choose, which would you prefer?


Onboarding has certainly been impacted by the growth of technology in the workplace — and not just at “tech” companies. (Isn’t nearly every business a “tech” business these days, by the way?) There are platforms like Zenefits, Digidesk, Modyo, and others that all claim their technologies help smooth the process — making it easier and more efficient. And, Glassdoor found that quality onboarding can improve employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70% … so we know it’s important.

But, if we consider all the different ways that people learn … is digital onboarding a one-size-fits-all solution that’s truly going to empower your newest team members to success? *** maybe add the extrovert/introvert blog here** (saying this for a year)


While I love embracing new technologies, I also see a potential problem with all this digital onboarding — and that’s the fact that everyone learns differently. For some, shadowing a colleague might be the best way to get hands-on training. For others, quietly reading a manual and taking the time to digest the information might be more helpful. Maybe a training podcast? (Now, there’s a #tech idea!)

I think we need to be mindful of this though. Perhaps that means having different options for new team members to choose from when it comes to their onboarding or training — to help accommodate the ways in which they feel they learn the best.

Certainly, digital onboarding can be a great HR tool for gathering documents, getting signatures, etc. — but, when it comes to training, I think we need to rethink the model and consider all of the ways people learn.


Lastly, let’s remember to start off on the right foot. In one of my past blogs on how artificial intelligence is helping with hiring and finding the right candidates, we learned that while most job candidates find value in technology, they are frustrated when it supersedes the human element. In fact, 82% are often frustrated with an overly automated job search experience.

Let’s start thinking about hiring, onboarding, training — and retention — from a holistic standpoint. Sure, let’s integrate technology to make things easier and to streamline mundane processes. But, let us also remember that we’re building a company and we want talented people who enjoy being there. We want them to have a human experience. We don’t want them stuck in a kiosk learning about “company culture” — we want them living, breathing, and enjoying their experience.

I’d love to hear from you! Follow me over to my LinkedIn page and share your most recent onboarding experience!