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How a Strong Orientation Program Improves ROI

By Jessica Bergey   |   

Did you know new employees who have a good onboarding experience are 69% more likely to stay with the company? In fact, according to some research, up to 20% of employees will bail within the first 45 days if they don’t feel welcome and prepared.

At Clemens Food Group, a family-owned company that provides quality pork products for retail, foodservice, and manufacturing customers, we employ about 3,000 workers throughout the United States. Part of our training program focuses on a strong onboarding program because we believe solid orientation training sets employees up for success. 



Learning Plans to Orient New Hires

We use Alchemy for our orientation training, which helps us increase employee retention, and have found the most helpful aspect is being ability to customize training. One way to do this is by using predefined learning plans for new hires. Not only do learning plans create a customized experience for trainees, they also add efficiency to the process by allowing learners to plug and play. This also helps supervisors save time by not having to reinvent the wheel each time.

Learning plans work a lot like “play-lists” and can be tailored to department or role. Each new hire that comes on board is assigned specific learning plan. So if I am coming on board as a production team member, I am going to take every training in the learning plan for a production team member. If I’m coming on board to be the VP of sales, I’m going to take a learning plan that’s tailored more specifically to being a VP of sales.

And since we’re conducting orientation training whose purpose is to familiarize employees with the company, our learning plan courses cover food safety and GMPs. However, our learning plans cover company information, such as our history and core values, food safety, GMP safety, and health benefits, as well.


Ongoing Refresher Trainings

Besides customized training, we utilize Alchemy for ongoing refresher trainings to keep critical topics top of mind. This is helpful for everything, from regulatory compliance to emergency action plans.

To make sure refreshers happen on a regular basis, we’ve set up our system so that Alchemy sends a monthly report that indicates who is due for a refresher. This component really keeps us in compliance.


Automatic Documentation & Real-Time Reporting 

The last component of Alchemy that we use for Orientation, and probably the most beneficial, is automatic documentation and real-time reporting. With Alchemy’s reporting, we immediately can see who has taken the training, and who hasn’t. This allows us to reschedule those missed trainings right away, ensuring we stay on track.

Overall, we’ve seen great improvement from using Alchemy, especially for orientation. We have a lot of group-based training , where workers will watch the Alchemy videos or presentations. Afterwards, the Alchemy courseware tests their knowledge with interactive questions. To reach our diverse team, we hold two orientation sessions every week, Mondays and Wednesdays for English, and Tuesdays and Thursdays for Spanish. We also use a standardized playlist for both of those classes to keep messaging consistent.

Group Based Training

We use a lot of group-based training in orientation. This is where, in a classroom setting, the frontline workers will watch the Alchemy videos or presentations that we’ve created uploaded into Alchemy.


For consistency, we’ve set up a regular schedule where we hold two orientation sessions every week: Monday and Tuesday for English, Wednesday and Thursday for Spanish. Having set multilingual days ensures we can reach all everyone on our diverse team. In order not to reinvent the wheel each time, we also have a standardized playlist that’s used in both of those classes. 

Gamification: Lightning Rounds

The gamification feature is a big hit. We ask employees to participate in the rapid-fire “Lightning Round” quiz at the end of a training. Whoever answers the questions the quickest with the most accuracy is given a lunch voucher, so that they can get $5 off. This really gets workers excited to compete against their peers, so they stay focused and paying attention

I know all companies out there are really focused on employee engagement, but we have found that Alchemy has helped engage our team members from day one. This engagement naturally flows right into knowledge retention as soon as get out of orientation, so training concepts remain top of mind.

Our training attendance has improved dramatically — and the training content is visually more appealing as well. To see how, watch the full webinar. Overall, we’ve seen quite an improvement in engagement and expect that to continue as we grow and adapt the Alchemy platform to our needs.

Higher New Employee Engagement

Overall, new team members respond well to the training presented in orientation. One worker commented on the Alchemy videos, saying it was some of the best she’d seen because they were “actually interesting” and she didn’t feel like she was going to fall asleep. If you’ve ever managed an orientation, or sat through one, you know one of the biggest hurdles to get past is keeping workers attention during training. It is apparent the Alchemy content is hitting home for them — and not only were they understanding the material, they were also enjoying it.

All companies want training that yields high employee engagement, because they know it’s the key to training that sticks. What we’ve found with Alchemy is it’s the little things, like the lightning rounds or the quizzes, that really help engage the team members from Day One — so the training naturally flows from orientation, right into the retention. 

Want to learn more about how to engage employees during Orientation? Watch the full webinar for tips.

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