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  • Isabelle Ulbrich

VIRTUAL ONBOARDING: DEFINITION AND FUNCTION

Virtual onboarding is a structured process lasting several months in which new employees are introduced to the company through digital technologies, training and online resources. Thus, this form of virtual onboarding includes the transfer of company information and values as well as specific processes of the respective work area. In short, employees learn everything they need for their new job.



Ideally, virtual onboarding begins before the employee actually starts the job. This takes advantage of the high motivation to learn everything about the new job. The first introductions and e-learning modules are provided after signing the contract, for example, and can be internalised at any time from then on. When they start their job, onboarding is continued and accompanies the new employees through the first weeks and months of their employment. Virtual onboarding enables an efficient, uniform and resource-saving integration of new employees and helps to sustainably increase your individual productivity.


For this reason, we at SWISSTEACH have compiled everything you need to know about virtual onboarding and show you how to implement it efficiently in your corporate culture.



PREPARATION OF THE VIRTUAL ONBOARDING


If you are thinking of implementing onboarding virtually in order to efficiently train new employees and INCREASE THEIR LEARNING SUCCESS, you should consider several preparatory steps:

  • Select appropriate tools and technologies: The selection of appropriate tools and technologies depends on the needs and resources of your organisation. These include, for example, learning management systems (LMS), e-learning platforms, communication tools, ordigital collaboration platforms.

  • Create a structured onboarding plan: A good onboarding plan should be clear, structured and comprehensive. It should cover the main topics and learning objectives of virtual onboarding and set out a timeline and responsibilities.

  • Set up the necessary credentials and resources: New employees should be given all the credentials and resources they need to participate in virtual onboarding in a straightforward and reliable way. This includes access to e-learning modules, access rights to relevant files and databases, and access data to communication and collaboration tools.



THE ADVANTAGES OF VIRTUAL ONBOARDING


The use of virtual onboarding is associated with a lot of advantages that pay off sustainably for the company:

  • Optimal use of the motivation phase: The initial period in the new job is often characterised by high motivation and willingness to learn. During this time, new employees are particularly receptive and accordingly eager to learn new knowledge in order to fit into the company's processes. If virtual onboarding is started as early as possible, this phase is optimally utilised. With access to structured and consistent information, new employees can customise their learning process and set their own pace. This maximises their learning performance as well as EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT and helps to sustain the initial enthusiasm.

  • Resource-efficient: Virtual onboarding saves resources by reducing the need to assign existing team members to the induction of new employees. In traditional onboarding processes, experienced employees often have to spend their time explaining individual procedures and processes to the 'newcomers'. With the help of virtual onboarding, these valuable resources can be saved by imparting this very knowledge independently and efficiently via e-learning modules and DIGITAL EMPLOYEE TRAINING. Conclusion: New employees are productive more quickly and the team can efficiently pursue its own tasks. In this way, nothing is "left undone" and the company benefits optimally from its workforce.

  • Consistent communication of important information: Virtual onboarding ensures consistent as well as accurate communication of important company content. In traditional onboarding processes, the quality and consistency of the information conveyed can vary depending on who is responsible for the onboarding. In contrast, virtual onboarding ensures that all new employees receive consistent information. This helps to avoid misunderstandings and ensures that all employees have a common knowledge base. Additional fact: The information can also be easily made available in different languages - so the same information can also be communicated internationally.



WHICH TOPICS ARE SUITABLE FOR VIRTUAL ONBOARDING?


Are you convinced of the effectiveness of digital induction? Then the next step is to find the right topics. We have collected the topics for you that are particularly suitable for virtual onboarding, as they focus primarily on conveying information:


  • Introducing the company and its culture: virtual onboarding offers a wonderful platform to introduce the company. Videos, presentations and interactive modules can be used to give the new employees an insight into the history, mission and vision of the company and to highlight the specific features of the corporate culture. If you want to make it particularly personal, you can include a video with a welcome from the CEO. It can be done quickly and every new employee feels directly addressed.

  • Provide information on the work processes: A thorough introduction to the work processes is essential. Virtual onboarding makes it possible to present this information in a structured and understandable way. This can be done through workflow diagrams, checklists, videos or interactive simulations. There are almost no limits to the methods here.

  • Training in business systems and tools: Depending on the industry and field of activity, different systems and tools can be used. Virtual onboarding should include appropriate training to ensure that new employees can use these tools efficiently and confidently. Simple simulations or videos are particularly helpful.

  • Introduction to company policies and procedures: Every company has its own internal policies and procedures. It is essential that these are clearly communicated from the beginning. Virtual onboarding allows for systematic and consistent communication of these policies, even on an international scale if necessary.

  • Legally important topics such as compliance, data protection, occupational safety, etc.: Legal aspects are essential in any organisation. Virtual onboarding is an effective way to communicate these topics and ensure that employees know and understand the legal requirements and obligations. Furthermore, virtual onboarding can also be used to prove to external auditors that each individual employee - no matter how long they have been with the company - has completed the necessary training.



SUPPORT AND COMMUNICATION DURING VIRTUAL ONBOARDING


Even though virtual onboarding is largely self-directed, contact persons should be available to answer questions and provide support, or to cover the topics that build on the digitally conveyed information. This shows new employees that they are not alone and strengthens the sense of belonging. In addition, the use of online communication tools is crucial to foster sharing and collaboration. These tools allow for regular check-ins, virtual meetings and informal chats to encourage new employee engagement and address potential issues early on.


Feedback is an important aspect of virtual onboarding. Regular feedback sessions and progress evaluation should take place to ensure that new employees are achieving their goals and integrating well into the organisation. In the best case, this progress is tracked directly by the LMS. This way, only the person in charge has to evaluate the given information and give feedback. Furthermore, the feedback also serves the company to make adjustments to the virtual onboarding if necessary.



BEST PRACTICES AND TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL VIRTUAL ONBOARDING


Finally, we would like to give you three tips to help make your virtual onboarding a complete success:

  1. Clear communication and transparency: communication should be clear and transparent. This includes the expectations placed on new employees, as well as the goals and timeline of the onboarding process. Clarity and transparency help to avoid misunderstandings and build trust.

  2. Clear, concise and appealing design of the e-learning modules: The design of the e-learning modules should be inviting, to the point and easy to understand. Long texts and complex information should be avoided. Instead, visual aids, interactive elements (such as gamification) and real-life examples can be used to make the learning experience engaging and effective.

  3. Implement a suitable e-learning infrastructure: in order to use virtual onboarding in a targeted way to effectively introduce new employees to the company, a suitable LMS is needed that has all the necessary tools. GLOBAL TEACH® fully meets these needs and, moreover, can be highly customised to the given requirements.

If you have any further questions about virtual onboarding, please feel free to CONTACT us at any time. We will be happy to help you individually and without obligation and look forward to your enquiry!

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