Overcoming Onboarding Risks
The onboarding experience of your new starters plays a critical role—so it’s important to be aware of the possible onboarding risks posed by a virtual environment. In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways you can avoid onboarding risks and plan for a positive and successful onboarding experience for your new starters.
As they embark on their journey with your company, this is the first experience an employee has of your unique learning style, culture, and overall communication approach. This is your chance to create a lasting impression on your new starters and to engage them effectively. By carefully planning your online onboarding program, you can create an experience that not only impresses but also motivates and engages your new starters.
Think about the outcomes you desire, identify your priorities, and structure a program that will provide the most impactful engagement. Together, we can help your employees reach their full potential and achieve remarkable success.
Learning From The Pandemic
Throughout the pandemic, many organizations were forced to adapt and learn fast in terms of digital onboarding. Organizations needed to act quickly and effectively to ensure staff were on board as a matter of company survival. Unfortunately, many team leaders failed to consider the importance of onboarding risks like disengagement and learner fatigue.
Starting a new job at any time can be daunting and overwhelming, and so we encourage clients to create an onboarding experience that is useful, inclusive, welcoming, and dare we say it, fun.
Successful Onboarding Means Loyal Employees
Many organizations have seen increased staff attrition and turnover rates post-pandemic, but we firmly believe that you can still engage, educate, and entertain your new starters in the virtual world. Let’s leave poor onboarding in the past and embrace the power of creating a dynamic, welcoming onboarding experience!
With the job market becoming more competitive, it’s essential to avoid common onboarding risks like disengagement and early attrition. Here are our 3 recommendations for successfully onboarding your new starters in a virtual world.
1. Be As Human As Possible
The biggest challenge with onboarding in a virtual environment is to still come across as approachable and human. People are now very used to video calls, and gone are the days of “you’re on mute” (maybe?) and seeing people’s chins instead of their faces. People are comfortable with this medium, and this means you don’t have to be super formal and rigid. It’s time to have fun!
Use warmth, humour and playfulness to your advantage. This can be done through simple conversational techniques, short games, or captivating visual aids. Accessibility should be at the core of these learning devices to ensure that all learners feel included and welcomed.
Don’t let the virtual delivery bring you down—instead, use it as an opportunity to inject some much-needed humour and interactivity into your onboarding program. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box. Whether it’s a virtual icebreaker game, a funny video, or a lighthearted joke, adding some levity to your onboarding can go a long way in making your new starters feel at ease.
2. Remember Timing Is Key
In a non-virtual world, an induction might include a walk around the office to show the individual where the printer or the kitchen is, or it might include an introduction to key contacts or even a tasty team lunch. All these in-person activities are there to keep the new recruit engaged and to give them space to take in all the new information. It’s important to try to keep this pace and variety in mind when creating virtual onboarding programs, too. This time is especially important for the new starter to absorb the culture in their own time.
There are ways you can still create space and rhythm in the virtual space to ensure your new employees aren’t overwhelmed or alienated:
- Use microlearning techniques to your advantage. Shorter, more direct learning styles work well in this environment. This creates pace but also means the learner becomes more focused and less likely to daydream or, worse, become overwhelmed.
- Think about the deadline carefully. Could you give your new starters a week or a fortnight to complete their onboarding, or would four weeks be more manageable and realistic?
- Mix up the tone. Whilst your content might be serious and very important, that doesn’t mean everything in your program has to be along these lines. Keep momentum by mixing up the tone and adding lighthearted stories or anecdotes where possible.
3. Put Flexibility At The Heart Of Your Onboarding Program
The pandemic has taught us many things—not least the importance of being flexible and being ready to adapt when required. We have seen productivity excel since we’ve embraced a hybrid working world, and this is all thanks to flexible working and empowered staff.
With virtual onboarding, you have the power to save time, work around busy schedules, and provide your new starter with the flexibility they need to succeed.
You can easily adapt your program to suit the working patterns of the team or the priorities at the moment. By putting flexibility at the heart of your program, it means you’re not only prepared for any scenario, but you can fit around the unique needs of each individual on your team.
Can We Help You Improve Your Onboarding Experience?
At every step of the way, we are here to support and guide you in creating the best onboarding experience, whether that be in a hybrid or virtual environment. With our expert help, you have the power to get the most out of this time with your new staff. Get in touch with us to find out more.
Originally published at kineo.com.