6 Tips To Succeed In Online Onboarding Training
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Online Onboarding Training: 6 Success Tips For eLearning Professionals

Online onboarding  training gives new hires the skills and knowledge they need to get off to a productive start. Rather than being thrown into the proverbial fire, they have the chance to ease into their everyday duties. Employees can also engage in online training activities that mimic real world situations, giving them valuable experience and practical knowledge. Here are the 6 essential elements that ALL successful online onboarding training programs have in common.

1. "First Day On The Job" Simulations

Most new hires are nervous when they show up on the first day. They don't know how to clock-in or where to find their work stations. Everything is unfamiliar, which can wreak havoc on their self-confidence. However, you can give them firsthand experience BEFORE the first day jitters sink in. Real world simulations offer them the chance to explore every aspect of the job. They can take a virtual walk through the workplace, find out where everything is, and familiarize themselves with the equipment. These simulations help clarify expectations and job responsibilities so that there isn't any confusion later on. When the first day rolls around, they can venture into the office with their heads held high. Anxiety and stress is no longer a hurdle they need to overcome, because they have experience under their belt.

2. Online Training Mentors

Speaking of experience, there are certain members of your organization who have it in spades. They have been in the industry for years and are ready and willing to share their expertise. Tap into their skills and talents by pairing them with a new employee. Be sure to set some ground rules and match like-minded individuals. For example, employees who share similar interests or personality traits. Use web conferencing software tools and private messaging systems to help them stay in touch. You can also create social media pages and discussion forums when organizing mentorship groups. The secret to online mentoring success is to clarify expectations and roles in advance. Let everyone know how they must participate, when they will communicate, and how you'll check their progress. Additionally, both the mentors and mentees should have access to support online resources. For example, a dedicated social media group where mentors can share their ideas and express their concerns.

3. Departmental Forums

Every department in your organization should have a separate forum or blog where they can communicate. New hires are able to login to the online platform to learn from their co-workers and ask questions. In fact, you may want to have a special forum thread for employee introductions. This gives everyone the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their colleagues, even if they are on another continent. Provide your employees with a list of talking points, and encourage them to reach out to new hires. It's also wise to assign a moderator for each board who can keep the group on topic and enforce the netiquette for the online discussion. There are also a variety of social media sites that feature closed groups, such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

4. Serious Games As Online Assessments

One of the things that new hires dread about the onboarding process is the final online assessment. Many organizations use online exams and quizzes to determine whether employees were paying attention. Thus, they are typically dull and tedious, because they only test basic knowledge. However, you have the power to transform your online assessments into engaging and exciting serious games. These serious games can test every aspect of your online training, from company policies to workplace tasks. Instead of taking a multiple choice exam, new employees have the chance to take a virtual journey or participate in an online quiz show.

5. Online Presentations To Build Brand Awareness

EVERY employee in your organization is a brand representative, even if they never come into contact with your customers. Thus, building brand awareness is an important part of your online onboarding training. Your new employees must know about the company's history, brand message, and corporate culture before they enter the workplace. They have to be passionate about your brand and know what you stand for. Many organizations still use printed manuals and guidebooks to convey this information, but this usually doesn't reflect the personality of your brand. Online presentationson the other hand, are immersive, interactive, and engaging. You can customize every aspect of the online video so that it aligns with your brand image. The background music, color scheme, narration, and images form a complete picture of your corporate culture. You also have the ability to incorporate links to online training tutorials, activities, and third-party online resources to enrich the online training experience.

6. Task-Based Scenarios

Your new hires need to be able to perform their tasks as soon as possible. Every minute that they spend on on-the-job training is a minute that they could be increasing company profits. For this very reason, your online onboarding training should include task-based scenarios. Choose the most important processes that new hires must perform from day one. Break them down into sub-tasks and skills, then develop an online training scenario that highlights each step. To add more realism, incorporate images and sounds from the workplace, as well as relatable characters. Branching scenarios provide new hires with practical knowledge and experience they need to overcome common challenges. As such, they'll know how to handle similar situations on-the-job.

Consider adding these essential elements to your new hire online onboarding training program. They can increase employee engagement and improve the online training ROI of your corporate eLearning program. Another notable benefit is reducing employee turnover, which means fewer online onboarding training sessions in the future.

Generation Z are the newest members of your diverse workforce. Read the article 7 Tips To Develop Online Training Courses For Generation Z Workforce to discover a few tips for developing online training courses for these tech-savvy corporate learners.

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