All Aboard for Onboarding Success

462813851 (1)Your new employees arrived on time for their first day of work and are ready to start producing for your company. The hard part of the hiring process is over — but it’s not done yet. Now, you need to figure out how you will train these employees to get them up to speed as quick as possible.

Unfortunately, this is where many companies drop the ball. Somehow, “successful” training has become associated with expensive and time-consuming training sessions where they’re given a thick binder of material they lug to their desks (never to open again). These corporate crash courses, which often last for two to three days, result in information overload, unhappy employees and unabsorbed information. This also wastes time that could otherwise be spent working — as employees spend more time taking tests and burning through instruction manuals than actually working during the training process.

Another downside to the traditional employee training process is that companies have few tools for tracking an employee’s learning progress. HR managers need to be certain that by the time a new hire is cleared to do an important task, he or she has a firm understanding of what the job entails. Today’s current job training software offers little insight beyond test scores to ensure that employees have truly grasped concepts and policies.

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Therefore, as an alternative to this traditional method of employee onboarding, many companies are starting to implement a more affordable and effective approach. This method provides new employees with all the information and networking opportunities they need to hit the ground running in their new position. This involves a digital, comprehensive strategy through the creation of a virtual environment.

Using a virtual environment
A virtual environment is an information portal that provides a company’s HR department with all the necessary tools for completely customizing the employee training experience. When using a virtual environment, a company can engage and interact with its new employees through training programs from the convenience of a computer.

Here’s how virtual onboarding can benefit both new employees and the company:

  1. Provide an engaging onboarding experience. Virtual onboarding provides live and on-demand training classes, tools and resources. It can be used to host individual and group breakout sessions, as well as guest speakers. There are digital classrooms and lounges for networking purposes, too. Here, new employees can have followup chats or question and answer sessions with experts.
  2. Employee satisfaction and retention is improved. With a virtual environment, new employees quickly become a productive member of the company’s workforce, helping them acclimate to a company’s work culture. It offers an engaging onboarding experience that can improve employee satisfaction and retention in an efficient and cost effective way.
  3. New employees are trained at a significantly lower cost. A virtual environment could be used to store a library of digital information in which employees can access and share important documents related to company procedures, background information, articles and case studies that can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Videos, music, photos and PowerPoint presentations can all be accessed through this environment. In doing so, the life of a company’s content is extended, providing additional ROI on digital resources.

    Additionally, a virtual training environment continues to provide a strong ROI long after an employee has been through the onboarding process. With the luxury of re-entering the space to better absorb and reinforce information, employees can brush up on their digital skills by using the virtual environment to improve on computer training and proficiency.
  4. Decrease new hires’ time to proficiency. A virtual environment can help accelerate the onboarding of new hires and reduce time-to-competency. New hires are still given the intense training necessary, while bringing them up to speed in a timely fashion.

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Eric Vidal
Eric Vidal is a director of product marketing at InterCall. He has more than 15 years of experience in developing, implementing and optimizing strategies in these areas for numerous organizations and Global 2000 companies.

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