Virtual onboarding for new employees – lessons learned from the pandemic
Virtual onboarding is a way to introduce new employees to the company virtually. Virtual onboarding has many benefits, but also some potential pitfalls that you should be aware of if you are considering this method for your own company. In this article, you’ll learn what we’ve learned about virtual onboarding and get tips on how to use it effectively!
From welcome emails to video introductions. What strategies can you use in virtual onboarding to lower retention rates in the first few months? What are the pros and cons of doing so?
What is the point of virtual onboarding and how does it differ from other employee onboarding methods?
Virtual onboarding uses technology to introduce new employees to the company. The main difference between this type of onboarding and others is that there are no physical interactions with other team members or managers. This means that all interactions are done through communication mediums such as email, video chat, group chats, etc. Virtual inductions can be used for new employees, interns about to become full-time employees, or anyone entering the company in an entry-level position (but it is less appropriate for managers). The onboarding process will depend on the person’s role and how they will fit into your team. However, there are some general guidelines we learned while running our own virtual onboarding program.
The main benefit of a virtual onboarding is to remove any uncertainty someone may have about their job or the company they work for. In traditional induction methods such as orientation or training courses, most questions are answered during this time. However, this information is not always complete, and some details are left out because there is simply not enough time to cover everything. This can lead to a lot of uncertainty on the part of the employee, and he/she might end up feeling unproductive or unclear about his/her role in the company. Virtual onboarding reduces this risk by providing all the information an employee needs in a structured way. There is usually an email with introductory information, but also videos explaining the company’s vision and expectations for one’s role. Other team members can also participate in these conversations and answer questions directly or guide the person through their first days on the job.
How can you use this method to improve employee retention in your company in the first few months?
Improving employee retention in the first few months of employment is often a difficult task, but not impossible. One way to improve new employee retention is to implement a virtual onboarding program for these new employees. Virtual onboarding can also be complementary to physical measures.
Especially in the first months of a new hire, it is more common for employees to quit again. There can be a number of reasons for this: lack of optimism towards the company, unfulfilled expectations or even high adjustment costs. Introducing employees to the workplace and the office before they come in person for the first time can significantly reduce this risk. Virtual onboarding has many benefits, but it’s also important to remember that there can be some pitfalls along the way.
To take advantage of it, make sure your virtual onboarding strategy is well-organized and as objective as possible. You need to be clear about your goals: do you want the employee to become familiar with the company’s values? Do you want them to know who they will be working with? Are there job-related skills or knowledge that need to be taught? The answers to these questions will most likely form the basis of your strategy.
Another important point to keep in mind is that a significant gap between introduction and actual onboarding may cause some people to feel uneasy or anxious about their role in the company. It is very important that you stay in touch with new employees during this time. Make sure they get answers to their questions, and if they have integration issues, let them know you will be there to help them.
Communication is also very important during the introductory phase, as it gives new employees the opportunity to ask questions about the company or even about their job or the upcoming project. There may be certain tasks or skills that need to be trained during the introductory phase. Be sure to explain things clearly and break them down into small sections if necessary.
What can you do now to improve your own virtual onboarding? Even though virtual onboarding is already a very effective method, there are still many ways to improve your own strategy. As with any other project, it’s important to document and analyze the results to continuously improve your work. The first thing you should do is make a list of questions that are frequently asked by new employees. These can include things like, “How does the company treat its employees?” or “What do I need to do to be good at this job?” You can then compile a list of videos or even informational materials that answer these questions. This small investment makes the transition easier and faster for your new employees, which is good for them and good for you!
Most importantly, be well organized, use communication tools like Skype or Google Hangouts, and make sure you go through this process from start to finish with your new employees so they get off to a good start.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this form of onboarding for new employees?
The advantages of virtual onboarding for new employees are that any questions the employee may have about the company, the job description, or their job-related skills can be clarified. Another advantage is that you can train the employee on a specific task or skill independent of other tasks.
The disadvantages are mainly in communication and not knowing what questions the employee will ask. You need to prepare a list of all possible questions and even videos/informational material for those questions.
One of the main problems with virtual onboarding is that employees don’t have direct contact with other employees. It can feel like the employee never really gets to know their colleagues, and this can make them feel isolated from the company.
To counteract this, you could integrate a video into your virtual onboarding process. You should research what might be of interest to your new employees so they can get an idea of who they will be working with in the future and how friendly these people are. This will make it easier for your new employee to ask questions about people they may not have had a chance to talk to during the onboarding process.
There is no right or wrong way to do virtual onboarding, but it is important that you are well organized, that your new employees are well informed, and that you give them as much support as possible if they are having difficulties during the transition.
All information and details in our articles and information have been compiled to the best of our knowledge. However, they are provided without liability. This information cannot replace individual advice in specific cases.
Link to the german version: https://thevisionworks.de/virtuelles-onboarding-fuer-neue-mitarbeiter-erkenntnisse-durch-die-pandemie