Onboarding is critical to getting new hires integrated with their fellow workers, management, and the overall company culture. A good onboarding experience encourages engagement and cultivates loyalty. A bad one can lead to adverse results, including poor performance and a high employee turnover rate.

During the pandemic, many companies had to quickly pivot from in-person onboarding to virtual onboarding. Post-pandemic, some amount of the old approach will return. But virtual onboarding is here to stay. Bringing new staff into the fold remotely is simpler, less costly, and more flexible.

With this in mind, it’s important for companies to become highly skilled at remote onboarding. Read on to learn about the importance of onboarding, and get our five top tips.

Onboarding Matters

During the pandemic, companies learned how to convert many practices into a virtual context. Recruiting and hiring new employees; sales kickoffs; virtual meetups a multitude of longstanding business requirements have gone fully digital.

The same has happened with remote onboarding, which over the previous year or so has gained acceptance and traction across multiple business sectors. It’s crucial that companies get this right.

Why? Because onboarding is a delicate phase, that forms the beginnings of the employer/employee relationship. A good onboarding process is akin to starting on the right foot. Ultimately, both parties benefit from a mutually positive, productive, and strong association.

Research into onboarding has found that 77% of employees who experienced a good onboarding hit their performance targets. Enterprises with excellent employee onboarding strategies see an 82% spike in their employee retention rate. Employees tend to stay longer, which means companies reduce churn, and maximize the talents of their people.

Given how important onboarding is, it’s crucial companies redesign their onboarding model, and embrace emerging technologies to deliver a virtual onboarding experience that is dynamic, immersive, and engaging.

Virtual Onboarding via Zoom Won’t Cut It

Though onboarding has gone virtual, the process remains a big challenge for many businesses. During the pandemic, 37.4% of recruiters reported that onboarding new hires remotely is a major challenge. 21.6% of managers said virtual onboarding will remain a big concern once the pandemic is over.

One of the big problems is this: Too many companies have simply shifted their onboarding process to Zoom.

Traditionally, onboarding new hires entail a comprehensive tour at the workplace, face-to-face interactions with current employees, and intimate conversations with the bosses. With Zoom, however, many of these physical, human-based elements are absent, resulting in lack of enthusiasm, exhaustion, and Zoom fatigue.

Five Recommendations for Virtual Onboarding

How can companies do better than Zoom? Using tools that are richer, more human, and more immersive. 

XR-powered remote onboarding can impact the new hire experience in a multitude of positive ways. Without requiring new hires to be physically present, you can give them a very close approximation to their workplace. You can help them recognize, appreciate, and embrace your organization’s culture.

The following virtual onboarding best practices will help you create a solid onboarding program, and deliver a delightful and immersive onboarding experience that empowers new hires to become productive assets to your organization.

1. A Lesson in History

Your organization’s history is a rich selling point to anyone joining your team. Utilizing immersive and dynamic XR environments, you can usher your new hires into a digital space that displays your company’s timeline, historical milestones, notable employees, and achievements among other things.

Make things more interactive by providing fresh employees control over the content they want to see, such as news clippings, videos, images, etc. By showcasing your history, new hires can quickly relate and identify with your overall missions and goals. Let them get hands-on so that they feel involved in the company from the jump.

2. A Day In A Life of The Employee

You can use XR technology to help new hires see what a typical day in your company is like from a first-person point of view. Putting them in an environment that features the usual processes, interactions, and other functions day in and day out is an effective introduction, as well as a litmus test for new hires.

Show them what employees spend sizable bits of their working hours on. Show them where people work, where they chat, what the walls and floors look like. It helps them experience what a work day looks like and ultimately invites them into your organization.

3. A Workplace Walkthrough

One unique thing about XR environments is how it gives new hires a sense of space. Human beings are spatial creatures; we move based on the space available to us. Virtual onboarding can include a walkthrough of their workplace that feels rich and embodied. Take new staff on a digital tour to all corners of the office, and let them explore and get acquainted with your space. Show them that you offer a happy workplace where they can operate and grow.

4. A Formal Introduction

Introducing new hires to their teams and managers is a big part of the onboarding stage. Typically, new hires are toured around the office and introduced to their workers. You can still do that as part of your virtual onboarding. Or, you can set up a breakout room and have the teams converge so they can meet and interact with the new guy as a group.

This process helps new hires identify key stakeholders of the enterprises and be familiar with the hierarchies existing within the organization. Also, virtual interactions allow them to know well their colleagues, who will be crucial to their transition.

5. Gamify The Virtual Onboarding Experience

Gamification is one of the essential virtual onboarding best practices you shouldn’t miss. Injecting gamification elements to the onboarding process helps new hires retain most of the information they received. You can do a quick test on your new hire’s areas of expertise, or something more fun. You could play a ball game to break the ice with their new colleagues. The possibilities are endless.

Elevate The Virtual Onboarding Experience with Spatial Web

It’s vital that your organization’s virtual onboarding strategy goes beyond Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The overall onboarding experience of your new hires needs to be immersive, dynamic, interactive, and vivid; something a flat 2D video chat solution can never offer. For virtual onboarding programs to positively impact critical organizational metrics like employee engagement, productivity, and retention, you need the right XR tool. 
Contact Spatial Web for more information or sign up for a FREE account.

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