Even before Coronavirus, businesses both small and large were already making the switch to online inductions for a number of reasons.
Virtual onboarding can lead to greater new hire retentions, improved productivity and even growth in revenue.
It also meets restrictions imposed by geographical restrictions which has become a central issue in light of Coronoavirus.
Now it is imperative to use online tools to onboard new employees whilst restrictions remain in place and even beyond restrictions, for a number of reasons including:
- Internal trainers and managers may not be available for periods of time if individuals have to isolate due to Coronovirus
- Restrictions on travel, particularly across states may restrict trainers and managers from travelling to meet and train new employees face to face
- Social distancing measures may make it impractical to have large groups of new employees being inducted together in small training rooms
Create a centralised location for all materials related to training and group them into relevant roles and departments. Make sure you also have a list of items that will need to completed regardless of role and separate them based on when they need to be completed by i.e. ahead of start date; on their first day; in the first week, first month etc.
Create a clear checklist for new employees
Using the content and timeline you have developed, create a checklist for new employees so they can clearly see what they will be doing from the moment they are onboarded and can mark the tasks as they are done
Create online content
For each of the steps, create online content that people can use to complete them. Use a combination of text, video, infographics and illustrations to make content easier to understand.
Some ideas of creating engaging content include:
- Videos of existing team members doing tasks
- Articles or videos of trainers explaining processes.
- CEO talking about values and the culture at your workplace
Set up regular check ins
Make sure that the employee has virtual meetings and calls set up regularly especially within the first month. Set up training with different members of the team so that the new employee can get understanding of everyone’s roles.
A virtual Friday afternoon team drink will help them to start building social relationships too!
Creating a group feel
One of the things many companies like about face to face inductions is the ability to onboard people in groups. Having a cohort helps new hires because they can relate to each other, share information and develop bonds that continue during their time in the organisation.
One option is to mix online and face to face interactions during the induction process. Where this isn’t possible, for example due to Coronavirus, a combination of social and communication tools will help to retain that group feeling. One important tip here is to make a manager or trainer responsible for starting, encouraging and keeping group interactions going.