A Shift in the Platforms for Orientation Materials
Orienting new employees is a long-established standard for many organizations; these processes are set in place to ensure that newcomers – or employees that are new to an organization – are provided with accurate information to enable successful job performance. In the midst of seasoned employees, newcomers’ knowledge is equivocal – lacking a comprehensive understanding of day-to-day tasks, the organizations’ history, products or services, benefits, and policies. During the orientation process organizational goals, values, and other pertinent job-related information are introduced and newcomers are provided with details – both formal and informal – required to interact properly within the organization and complete job functions (Jablin, 2001).
When newcomers experience orientation, traditionally, the process is dependent on face-to-face training as well as interpersonal interactions with entry-level to senior-level employees (Flanagin & Waldeck, 2004). This type of orientation process includes the distribution of memos and training manuals (Flanagin & Waldeck, 2004). In other words, organizations, in the past, have been dependent on text-heavy documentation to orient new employees. Recently, more organizations are transitioning from hard copy orientations materials to web-based training (Piccoli, Ahmad, & Ives, 2001; Stephens, Water, & Sincliar, 2014).
Many organizations and HR professionals orient newcomers with innovative training styles such as web-based training (Piccoli, G., et al., 2014). “Universities, corporations, and government agencies worldwide and increasingly using the Web to deliver instruction and training” (Kahn, B., 1997, pp. 75). For example, Michigan State Police Department offers year-round employee development through a web-based training system commonly known as Security Mentor. Moreover, some organizations rely on web-based training as an employee-development selling point to recruit new employees (McGraw-Hill, 2009).
Stephens, Waters, and Sinclair (2014), suggested that because there is a vast need to use technology in organizations, newcomers are being exposed more frequently to online or web-base training. In order to accommodate this transition, in training, organizations’ focus is altered from interpersonal relationships to “the usability and effectiveness of online training” (Stephens, Water, & Sincliar, 2014, pp. 7). That is, organizations must accommodate these innovations in training and information technology. In addition, to concerns of training effectiveness, organizations must also consider the potential for information overload.
Information Overload as a Result of Over Access
Edmunds and Morris (2000), suggest that individuals are blasted with information whether the information is sought after or not. Other scholars such as Feather, Fickas, Van Lamsweerde, and Ponsard (1998), suggest that because of the last 50 years in technology advancements,...