Not only is new employee onboarding difficult for many companies and agencies to do effectively, but the long-term ramifications of a poor onboarding experience continue to plague those organizations far into the future. In fact, a 2023 survey of 1,000 workers found that 80% of new hires who felt undertrained from onboarding are planning to quit. While onboarding at any organization requires intentionality and strategic direction, this is even more critical in the digital environment for remote workers.
Talya Bauer and the SHRM Foundation have laid out a widely adopted idea for effective onboarding in traditional settings—what they call the “4 Cs.” Clarification, compliance, connection, and culture—these four principles act as pillars for ensuring new employees are brought into a new company successfully. When it comes to virtual training for new employees in remote or blended positions, as well as for more distributed workforces, the need for these four Cs is amplified—especially connection.
While it may seem as though successfully undertaking new employee onboarding for remote workers is more time-consuming, the reality is that there are numerous benefits to virtual training for new employees.
Virtual training benefits
As remote onboarding continues to become the default for organizations, virtual training technology—specifically, virtual training platforms—has also risen to address these needs. This has also increased the need for designing virtual training in a way that promotes engagement, learning and development, connection, and understanding. In comparing the most recent data available before March 2020 to that since, Perceptyx found a more than 4x jump in the number of employees onboarded remotely rather than in person. With this in mind, let’s explore a few virtual training benefits that online job training programs and platforms can offer.
Consistency in delivery
By leveraging the power of a virtual classroom setup, organizations can ensure their virtual training activities are the same for every new hire. Training for new employee onboarding in person can hold a level of uniformity; however, due to the extemporaneous nature of human interaction, the ability to “get off track” or neglect to cover an important topic always exists. With virtual HR training, though, virtual training for new employees can be dialed-in to guarantee every new hire receives the necessary information, insights, and experience to maximize the opportunity for success.
By choosing the right virtual training platform for your new employee onboarding, you can create and manage your courses, files, etc. in one central location. Plus, you can scale infinitely by utilizing templates that make your setup efficient, consistent, and effective. Rather than relying on prepackaged, one-size-fits-all technology to attempt to shoehorn your onboarding process into a method that fits a rigid system, the right virtual training technology adapts to your organization’s needs and evolutions.
Reliable analytical insights
With virtual training technology, you no longer need to rely on anecdotal evidence of participation, understanding, and comprehension. Use real-time participation metrics to measure how engaging your new employee onboarding strategies are. Identify trends to see how particular levels of interaction correspond to new hires’ readiness to step into their roles. The right analytical tools move your organization from “Brenda asked some questions but I don’t think Juan did” to “Brenda’s talk time was higher than the cohort’s average; however, Juan demonstrated a deeper comprehension of his new role while speaking below the cohort’s average.”
Top virtual training tips for new employee onboarding
In addition to having the right technological setup, it’s essential to have the right virtual training activities and procedures in place.
Don’t wait until the last moment
Avoid technical issues on your new employees’ start dates by introducing the technology to new hires ahead of time. Sending out necessary hardware, such as laptops, monitors, etc., as well as software, including login credentials, appropriate hyperlinks, etc., in advance provides your new employees with the opportunity to address setup issues before Day One. The Harvard Business Review suggests offering a session with IT before a new hire’s start date so the appropriate individuals can address any technical issues proactively. This also builds new employee affinity and introduces these individuals to another important team at your organization.
Identify point-people for important topics
Since remote workers don’t possess the ability to walk around and get acquainted with other employees in break rooms, sitting next to one another before meetings, and other organic circumstances, it’s vitally important to ensure each new hire knows the appropriate people to communicate with across your organization. Identifying individuals ahead of time—whether as a “buddy” system or as topic ambassadors—lets your new employees have a predetermined individual they can reach out to with questions or to better understand that area’s point of focus. As reinforced by SHRM, “Experts recommend creating more opportunities for peer-to-peer communication where current employees can share their work experiences with new hires and provide context for colleagues’ working styles.”
Connect to context
An important benefit of a robust virtual training platform is that—much like universities tie each course taught into the broader institutional mission—your organization can tie each role’s responsibilities to how it contributes to the company or agency’s overall goals. Drawing direct relationships between a new hire’s work and how it fuels the organization’s overall success can seek to create deeper buy-in while also demonstrating intentionality, organization, and effective planning.
Remote doesn’t have to mean isolated
By implementing a virtual training platform, intentionally designing virtual training, and leveraging the powerful analytics gleaned, your organization can increase the success—and scalability—of your new employee onboarding. Excited to see how you can take your onboarding process to the next level with robust virtual training technology? Reach out to our team today, and let’s make your next cohort of hires the best yet!