COVID-19 has undoubtedly made the entire world rethink several life choices. The workplace has transformed as well, and it has been a much-needed transformation. The pandemic has brought about the necessity of remote employee onboarding. With more and more organizations deciding to go utterly remote in all the aspects of their functioning, virtual induction and onboarding training have become the norm of the times.

So, why are organizations leaning towards virtual induction and onboarding training?

Traditional or face-to-face sessions have been effective as they include the human touch. The new employees feel valued when they have someone taking them through new experiences.

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Challenges in traditional training method

Time management:

Many of the Instructor-led-training sessions are conducted by senior managers. Like everyone else, they are short on time, and taking these sessions eats into their productive time. The result may well be a hushed-up training session that adds no value to the new hire’s knowledge base.

Content inconsistency:

Several trainers conduct these induction and training sessions, and each trainer has their unique style and principles. Some content may be viewed to be essential and stressed upon, leaving out the rest. It poses a problem as it could lead to confusion among the new employees.

Cognitive overload:

With a lot of content to be delivered to the new employees within a short span, they may not process, store and analyze all of it correctly. The time spent thus would be unproductive, and the new employee is sure to feel left out.

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Virtual Induction and Onboarding Training Benefits

Moving away from classroom-based induction and onboarding training has its perks, and there are several benefits if you can implement that in your workplace.

  • When the induction and onboarding training goes online, the new hires have greater control over their learning. Learning becomes self-paced, and they can access the learning modules whenever require multiple times.
  • It is an excellent option for the organization and helps make the onboarding process faster. It aids the other induction and onboarding training aspects for the ILT or the VILT methods.
  • Moreover, it helps reduce the cost of training and provides organizations with the flexibility to choose from entirely online or blended courses.

There are two significant ways you can create virtual induction and onboarding training. Let us see.

1. Virtual Induction and Onboarding Training using Mobile Learning or mLearning

A well-designed induction and onboarding training program lead to the retention of employees for up to three years. Also, the employees feel valued and begin contributing positively early on during the process.

Mobile learning is one option to the traditional induction and onboarding programs used in organizations. It takes less time to train the new hires and offers them the flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere.

Mobile learning offers a range of highly interactive learning options and is more engaging than the usual in-classroom training methods.

The virtual induction and onboarding training using mobile learning offer organizations the following benefits:

  1. Mobile learning helps the organization convey the culture, mission, values, and other information that remains consistent easily.
  2. It helps in reaching all the remote workers irrespective of their geographic location.
  3. The content can be modified and updated easily. It can also be personalized to suit a particular department or team.
  4. The progress of each new employee can be tracked, and additional training can be made available for particular employees if they face challenges with the content.
  5. It helps in healthy competition between the new employees as they can check their progress and scores and compare them with those of their peers.

How do you make Mobile learning a part of your organization’s virtual induction and onboarding training?

Let us look at some tips to improve your induction training process.

  1. Keep the modules short or ‘bite-sized.’ When the learning material is chunked into smaller bits, it is easily absorbed by the new hires without posing too many complications.
  2. Immerse the employee into the content using gamification, quizzes interactive videos that keep the new hires engaged and induce healthy competition.
  3. Add features like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) to make the virtual induction and onboarding training an authentic experience instead of just something the new hires have to go through as a compulsion.
  4. Offer opportunities for collaboration. If all the modules are individualized, the employees will not interact with the other team members, leading to detachment. Involving them in social learning is a good way of building healthy relationships in the workplace.

Thus, several organizations today adopt and prefer mobile learning to deliver high-impact employee training. There is another way to create virtual induction and onboarding training. Let us look at the blended approach.

2. Virtual Induction and Onboarding Training using Blended Learning

Some organizations still believe that going entirely online is not beneficial for their workforce. Such organizations have adopted what is known as the blended learning approach that includes eLearning and classroom training led by an instructor.

Some learners learn better in an ILT atmosphere, while others prefer an eLearning approach. Also, complex content may be better suited to ILT, wherein a certified trainer is involved. Organizations can make the induction process quicker and make the new hires productive at an early stage.

Let us look at a few strategies to use blended learning in virtual induction and onboarding training.

  1. The initial meeting can be face to face so that the new employees get the hang of the organizational culture and get a chance to interact with the other employees.
  2. The role-specific training can happen in the form of gamification or quizzes using eLearning.
  3. In specialized training, various ILT sessions and VR can help the new hires understand the nuances and try out specific scenarios.
  4. Assessment for the skills and knowledge gained can be done online. It would create healthy competition between the new hires and motivate them to do better.

Whichever method you use, the workplace dynamics have changed for the better.

Let us look at some salient features that you can include in your virtual induction and onboarding training.

  1. Make the new employees aware of the company policies. With the pandemic, working from home and remote employment have saved our day. Policies about working from home must be conveyed to the new employees when they join. They need to be explained the break times, leave policies, and other features.
  2. Keep the communication channels easy to use. Following up on the daily targets is essential, so use methods accessible to all to communicate with the new hires. There are many video conferencing software that is available and easy to use.
  3. Allow for collaboration among the team-mates. New hires generally feel lost and need the support of their managers and one another.
  4. Feedback is the most crucial aspect of learning. Providing feedback at regular intervals improves performance and makes the new employees feel accountable for their work.

Thus, whichever approach you take, the implementation of the virtual induction and onboarding training has to be spot-on.

You can either go entirely online by providing your new hires with all the induction and training modules on their smart devices or go in for a blended approach with the ILT and eLearning modules spread out evenly. The choice remains with the organization and what works for the workforce in it.

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