Five tips for efficient online onboarding

Onboarding is a digital learning classic

After all, it is a cost-effective way to accelerate the newcomer’s journey to becoming a productive employee.

Work and data environments have changed over the years, and the learners’ demands have increased. With these tips, you can transform digital learning into an effective means of multiform induction.

1. Teach them about learning, not facts

“We have 360 experts in five different regions” – except, we don’t anymore, as the information is already outdated. It’s useless to make learners cram office locations, numbers of employees, and other facts during the digital onboarding. It is more important to teach them about the internal logic and equipment in the organization.

The inductee should learn to actively use the organization’s information sources and channels as quickly as possible. When we are using different tools flexibly, onboarding can be customized more efficiently. (This, of course, requires that the tools and sources of information are in order. Sometimes they aren’t, but you can, for example, clarify how to use the chaotic intranet by describing where certain information can be found, and what it is needed for, with the help of digital onboarding.)

2. Build the role-based paths digitally, as well

The situation of new employees varies: a summer worker starts immediately; an expert may take longer before they truly get the hang of their tasks. Many special skills can only be acquired while working.

If the digital onboarding consists of short precise modules, it is easy and systematic to combine them into a clear and role-oriented path. However, this opportunity is also a threat. Unless the connections, expectations, and terminology are made clear to the new employee, various compliance, product, and system training courses can easily be an unnecessary burden.

This is why an “induction to onboarding” is important: what needs to be learned, how, and on what schedule. Digital tools are also an irreplaceable tool for this purpose. A clear digital onboarding path serves as a frame of reference that introduces the requirements for competence in phases.

3. Harness the initial excitement

The employment contract has been signed, but the first day on the job is a while, perhaps even weeks, away. The newcomer will never be thirstier for information than now. Most probably, they have looked through the organization’s website before applying, and now they are keen to get a sneak preview of what’s to come.

Optional digital preboarding offered before the official onboarding is the answer to this thirst. Confidentiality must be maintained, of course, but with the help of preboarding, a new employee can, for example, get to know their future onboarding path, prepare questions for the inductor, and get a glimpse of the daily life in the organization. Good preboarding has a direct and intimate feel.

Take advantage of a return channel

Return channels are typically underused in digital learning solutions. Digital onboarding can be used to gather expectations, initial reactions, and questions from new employees. This, of course, requires systematic monitoring of responses, but feedback collected through a neutral channel is valuable, for example, in terms of developing employer image and onboarding.

5. Feeling is of utmost importance

The first task of digital onboarding is to show matters that convey emotion: this is who we are, this is who we want to be, it’s wonderful to have you join us.

Digital training is typically a tool for the individual, so it is worth considering what engages an individual in the common culture: what do I contribute to the workplace? This kind of an approach can establish psychological security even digitally. The newcomer is ready to put their heart into their work.

Facts cannot make this happen.

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