How To Create Online Onboarding Training Experiences That Stick
Onboarding is the first impression your organization makes on employees coming on board, and online onboarding training is capable of not only making these new hires feel welcome and valued, but also ensuring that they understand both the work and the culture of your company. Considering that the onboarding process is critical to the future of new starters, in this article, I will share 6 tips to create online onboarding training experiences that stick, so that you can make sure that you will address all the usual questions that are on the minds of your newly hired staff, as well as that onboarding will be an excellent experience for everyone involved.
- Help your new employees understand what you want from them.
Nothing makes a newly hired employee feel more frustrated than realizing that the information delivered to them during their first days at work didn’t truly reflect their job duties or the company’s culture. Quell your new staff’s uncertainty by making sure that your online onboarding training thoroughly informs them about their roles and responsibilities. Create crystal clear eLearning objectives that will help new starters understand exactly what is expected of them, if not during the next months, at least during the next few weeks. Provide them with all necessary tools to access information quickly, as well as fully simulated practice tasks, so they can learn from their mistakes safely. The more clearly you explain to your new employees what to expect from the organization’s culture and work environment, the more prepared they will be, and the better work-related decisions they will make in the future.
- Communicate your company’s culture and values.
When new employees understand their company’s culture, values, and business strategy from the beginning, they are able to connect with its vision, hence to develop a positive attitude that makes them proud to work for your organization. To effectively communicate your company’s values, consider taking advantage of eLearning templates, which can be customized and easily align with your brand and thus effectively reflect its DNA. Provide visuals, stories, eLearning videos and podcasts that “narrate” your company’s background, key moments, and achievements, as well as information about the policies, structures, protocol, and useful details such as dress code and sanctions. This way, both you and your new employees will be able to avoid missteps and confusion.
- Focus on performance and behaviors.
To help reduce time to competency, follow the example of several big companies that combine their onboarding and talent management processes, in order to support performance. Make sure that your online onboarding training program is responsive and functional for all platforms and mobile devices, so your new employees will be able to practice their required skill sets at any time and from wherever they want. Create simulations and interactive tasks that help new starters experiment with and retain work related procedures, as well as scenarios with real world benefits that facilitate them in practicing expected behaviors and soft skills. As long as your online onboarding training is clearly focused on specific outcomes instead of generating abstract principles and theoretical ideas, you can be certain that your points are getting across.
- Create a personal and authentic online onboarding experience.
Online onboarding training is ideal for conveying your company’s spirit when welcoming new employees. Consider developing a personal approach to welcome your newly hired staff by creating friendly eLearning videos that introduce them not only to existing staff, and especially to the most recent recruits, but also to key executives. Feel free to incorporate all elements that you find suitable for making a new starter feel welcome, and don’t hesitate to use humor to reinforce handy hints and tips. By following a friendly and empathetic approach you will not only communicate more effectively your corporate identity to the new members of your organization, but also get them excited about starting their new job.
- Promote a sense of belonging.
Ensuring that your newly hired employees feel part of your organization as soon as possible is essential in online onboarding training. To support new starters through their onboarding journey, consider engaging them in a new-hire online community within the company, where they will be able to join online discussions, interact with their colleagues, share their ideas and concerns, ask questions, and participate in team building eLearning games. By encouraging your new employees to connect with their peers you will not only offer them a greater sense of belonging, but also help them make the most of their online onboarding experience.
- Measure the success of your online onboarding training.
Finally, to ensure that your online onboarding training has results, you need to measure its effectiveness. Evaluating your online onboarding training program will help you determine whether the techniques you have followed were successful in truly preparing your new employees for challenges in their new jobs and future careers. Collect your new hires’ feedback by asking them to complete surveys and participate in focus groups where they can state whether they were given appropriate assignments that actually helped them develop their skills and capabilities, as well as how they found the whole online onboarding training experience. This way, you can make sure that you know whether your deliverable was truly beneficial or you need to revise it and improve it, in order to create a better and more effective online onboarding training experience.
Now that you know how to create online onboarding training experiences that stick, you may be interested in ensuring that each member of your staff is doing their job effectively. Read the article 6 Tips For Creating A Winning Performance Management Online Training Strategy and learn how to create a performance management online training strategy that will give your employees the knowledge and skills they need to become an integral part of your company's success.