COVID-19 as we know it has shaken us to the core. It has changed the way we think and function as a society. Apart from following safe and healthy practices, people now need to show more empathy and kindness.
This crisis has made us, as individuals and organizations to think, feel, and do things in a different way which we might not have considered otherwise. Businesses have been made to ensure that their workforce is equipped with all that they need, and it is business as usual.
For companies, onboarding is one of the most critical processes and right now, it’s cause for major concern. Only a few organizations, that have adapted to the concept of the gig economy and remote teams, are prepared for the challenges posed by digital onboarding. For a majority of companies expecting new hires to join in shortly, the new onboarding format remains uncharted territory. This provides the eLearning industry with a unique opportunity and responsibility. We, as eLearning professionals, can rise to the occasion and come up with new approaches to facilitate the smooth transition of an employee into their daily tasks.
A good digital onboarding process is one that ensures that new hires are oriented and equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary in order to get work done. Human touch has always played a crucial role in onboarding and the traditional face-to-face approach is a large part of making an employee feel welcome in the organization. The onboarding process generally spans across days and might be conducted at a separate location or dedicated training center. In my personal experience, robust digitized solutions for onboarding are not only relevant during times like these but also when new hires are suddenly called onto urgent projects and do not have time to go through the specialized training.
Here are a few challenges that could be posed by a traditional approach to onboarding:
Some companies follow the blended approach, but a digital onboarding system is a way to go. The key learning strategies we could use are micro-learning, gamification, and video-based learning. These can be delivered through learning portals or LMS, and the digital onboarding system can be personalized to fit organizational roles and responsibilities. Simulations can be altered to drive a deeper understanding of organizational processes and functional roles; these can be ideal for delivering onboarding training even to people set to occupy higher-level positions. Social platforms can be leveraged to drive a community vibe through the use of welcome messages, introductions, interactions, queries, and sharing of ideas. For a lot of new hires, it might even be easier to start up an online conversation with ease, as opposed to a face-to-face conversation that might be intimidating for someone new to the organization.
Other innovative ideas you could incorporate into virtual onboarding programs:
The advantages of the digitized solution are:
Thanks to technology… digital solutions are vital in making the onboarding processes of new hires a success during these times of remote working.
– By Judy Gnanamuthu, Senior Manager – Instructional Design at MPS Interactive Systems