The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruptions in business and forced employees in many organizations to work from home. These challenges have also made organizations consider cutting training budgets or postponing training altogether. But, what about onboarding new employees? These programs cannot be postponed.
Fortunately, organizations have found ways to adapt. They have introduced new modalities of training and have kept themselves abreast with the latest tools and platforms to make onboarding and training successful and seamless.
Onboarding is a crucial activity that determines how new team members look at the organization and how quickly they integrate into the culture. A poor onboarding program, or a lack of onboarding altogether, can have a lasting impact on employee morale, confidence and performance.
Onboarding sets the tone for a long-lasting relationship with the organization and is the employer’s opportunity to help new hires understand its vision, mission and goals. This understanding then helps the new employees start their roles with enthusiasm and put their best foot forward. Onboarding is also an opportunity to help the new hires get to know their fellow team members and manager quickly.
In light of the pandemic, virtual onboarding is often the best or even the only way to bring new hires up to speed. For a successful virtual onboarding program, the organization must first ensure that new hires receive the necessary equipment, including, often, a desktop or laptop computer. Then, eLearning and virtual training sessions can onboard new hires remotely.
A successful onboarding program has the following characteristics:
It is important that initial training and interaction sessions are meaningful and engaging. The eLearning sessions should be interactive so that new hires are engaged as they get to know the organization and understand their role.
When new hires join the organization, it is important that their onboarding training includes a mix of bespoke or custom solutions and off-the-shelf training, with organizational branding on the specific topics and skills your employees need to learn.
An onboarding program will only be effective if there are adequate follow-up training and materials to help the new hires. This “continuous learning journey” concept gives learners periodic support and content to ensure that they don’t forget what they learned through formal training. In particular, supplementary microlearning “nuggets,” provided at regular intervals after the training, can go a long way toward helping learners remember and apply key concepts.
During the pandemic, one organization turned its onboarding program into a completely virtual experience. It gives new employees access to an online platform, where they can go through some introductory materials. Then, they participate in virtual onboarding sessions conducted by trainers or functional leaders. Finally, the employees receive additional supporting materials that they can access on the platform.
As you implement your first onboarding program, keep these best practices in mind:
I hope you found this article insightful and that it helps you in driving employee engagement and performance. If you have any questions, you can contact us or write to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org