The experience of welcoming an employee is easy when you are there to receive him or her personally. In such a scenario, their queries and concerns can be addressed in real-time enabling a more personal experience. However, a new herculean task of hiring new talent and onboarding them has suddenly cropped up, especially when his or her first day is conducted remotely and both, employee and HR don’t have the luxury to go and meet each other in person.
Therefore, when bringing a new member into a virtual team, the onboarding process must do everything possible to integrate them into the group and help them begin to build trust and form relationships. Everybody is well aware of the personal or behavioral challenges that could occur in the virtual onboarding. But, we should also be well aware of the technology aspect, which is equally important.
Developing the technically sound virtual learning experience for the new employees will not only help organizations to make them settled with the company culture in no time but will also help them accept the idea of remote working comfortably.
The Challenges you can Encounter
You may encounter a few speed breakers when you onboard remotely, but does it mean that it’s impossible? Absolutely not…Let’s discuss the three vital challenges and then we’ll move onto the solutions;
- Personalized Interaction: Now we know that it’s ideal for a new hire to get the first impression of his/her workplace, colleagues, and seniors in person. But because of the situation, we are in now, it isn’t all that simple. This is a challenge that must be overcome.
- Supervision: In a normal scenario, a manager would perhaps take a walk to the new hires to know their concerns or address their queries. But with remote onboarding, this physical supervision would be a challenge.
- Usage of Equipment/Tools: In a remote scenario, not everyone has access to the same quality of equipment. Many industries may even require specialized tools and applications. This too can pose an obstacle.
Apart from these, there are some other operational issues as well like power failures, connectivity issues in remote locations, call-drops during the meetings, time is taken for reconnecting the call, infrastructure constraints, and privacy is to be dealt with constantly.
Now that we’ve got the challenges talked about, let’s look for solutions, but first let’s understand what objectives need to be considered while onboarding new employees;
- The new-hire should feel welcome and comfortable in the new setting, even if it’s virtual!
- Learning activities are a must, for them to have an understanding of what is expected of them
- It’s important to enlighten them on their exact role and how they fit into the company
- Ensure they get access to the required guidelines, tools, and technology to get the job done.
Innovative Onboarding Solutions
Due to social distancing, the standard classroom training situation is officially out of the window, for the time being. So this is the time, to get creative, to utilize eLearning for compliance, learner videos, product training, gamification for engaging experiences, AR, and VR for immersive ones. The choices are vast; it’s up to us to utilize them effectively to reap the benefits!
Here are some great practices that can be implemented to ensure a stellar remote onboarding experience:
- Equip Adequately: Before you virtually induct, ensure that the necessary resources have reached the new hires. Provide them with the basic understanding and the required tools and technology to start with. Create an online portal for a hassle-free documentation process.
- Use Collaborative Technology: When you provide support to your new-hires, you need to take into account their situations. Don’t limit yourselves to a simple phone-call, use collaborative tools, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. In addition, to introduce a personal touch send them a personalized orientation video, where they feel welcomed. Ensure you provide for virtual wellness sessions or happy hours. This can help in getting your recruit on board and integrated into the fabric of your organization.
- Digitize the Learning Content: If you already have an onboarding process in place, you’ll need to modify the content to be accessible for virtual workers. You can take the benefits of eLearning materials to create an immersive learning experience.
- Connect and Familiarize: Don’t just limit the onboarding process to a formal induction, allow them to get familiar with faces. This can be done through gamification, through a recognition quiz, allow them to familiarize themselves with the different team members and the roles they play in the company through these quizzes. Not only will this be fun, but it will also a great way for them to understand the different skills required to fit a role in the company.
- Don’t Overload: The induction process should not be limited to a welcome e-mail, a corporate handbook, and a mere phone call. It should be spread across at least 3-4 days, instead of covering it all in one session. Since they are working in isolation, you need to be more accommodating. Utilize Microlearning methods to convey concepts, Use 2-3 min animated videos to cover compliance topics. Bombarding new hires with text-heavy content without using visuals will only end up overwhelming them. Prioritize the information and share it with them in bite sizes.
- Involve and Interact: In a normal work setting, the new staff is introduced to team members face to face with everyone introducing themselves, however now this friendly interaction can’t take place physically, but you can always conduct it virtually. Virtual meets and greet sessions are a great way of catching up and breaking the ice informally.
- Engage and Amaze: Since you won’t be physically present, you need to look for ways and means to keep your staff engaged. Gamification, Animations, AR, and VR are a great way of conducting engaging learning and training sessions. You can include quests, missions, quizzes to continue challenging motivating them. An AR environment will give them a life-like understanding of how the company works. A VR environment can enable them to feel what it’s like to be in a customer or client’s shoes, and understand in real-time how to solve different problems to enhance the customer experience. The best part of this is, all of it can be done remotely, with the feeling of being smack in the middle of reality.
To conclude, new employees are quick to form first impressions. Therefore, their onboarding experience plays a crucial role in how they perceive your organization. Virtual induction may not seem like a cakewalk, to begin with. But if you have an expert who can help, you will slowly realize how cost-effective and time-effective this method is. The only constant in life is ‘Change’ and by the looks of it this change is going to stay for a while, therefore, it’s time we adapt quickly and make virtual onboarding a legitimate practice going forward.
MRCC assists you in orchestrating the entire employee onboarding, right from aligning them to the company’s values, vision, goals, objectives, and strategies to briefing them on the skills and competencies required for the given role in a very short time. Connect with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org