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Onboarding in an increasingly virtual world

We are in the digital age, and that is also affecting the process of adaptation of new employees to organizations. The so-called onboarding process is now more virtual than ever.

In a technical world, we see daily how the usual processes both in daily life and at work are changing little by little. Now we no longer make the shopping list on a piece of paper, but we do it through an app that we have downloaded to our mobile, we follow an online English course, and we can even do our work from home.

Table of Contents

What is the onboarding process?

Although it is defined as a reception process, the truth is that it is much more than that. is the phase of adaptation of the new employee to his position and his colleagues. It is a moment that is of key importance in generating a strong bond between the individual and the company, the first step to ensure that the feeling of belonging arises how necessary it is to retain talent.

Onboarding phases

Onboarding has several phases. In the first one, it seeks Respond to business-related questions and that the new worker needs to know. For example, what does the company do? What is your culture and what are your values? What is expected of the staff members?

The second phase focuses on explain how things are done. Through it, the newly hired person will get to know the work processes in depth, the tools that they will have to use in their day to day, the security measures, the reconciliation plans that exist, etc.

Designing, or misapplying, onboarding is almost as bad as not having an onboarding process for new hires. this ends leading to inefficiencies, because the employee does not know what is expected of him or how he has to carry out his work. Consequences can be derived from this, such as the worker submitting his voluntary resignation from the position, or suffering an accident at work in his first days in the company. 

The welcome and reception procedure is part of the employee experience, a task in which companies still have a long way to go. Not surprisingly, he first Employee Experience Barometer in Spain, carried out in 2018, revealed something very important: for workers it is essential feel support and clarity from the organization during their adaptation process to the position.

The welcome plan in the digital age

Traditionally, onboarding has been done face to faceso that the new employee has a tutor or guide during their first days of work. This person is in charge of providing you with all the necessary information about the company and about your position, explaining how you should perform your tasks.

If it is well designed and applied, this process can be very successful. But many companies do not want to apply it because it implies losing productivity. The new worker will take a few weeks to render the 100%. In addition, for a few days, the employee who acts as a tutor will also not be able to give his full attention to his daily tasks.

The solution to this is a digital or virtual onboarding process, which seeks the same adaptation goal, but uses technological tools to provide all the information. This also makes it possible to adequately welcome those employees who work remotely from the outset. In addition, it also works where it is usually more difficult to generate a feeling of belonging to the organization and keep your commitment.

Benefits of digital onboarding

If we make all the information in digital format available to new hires, they have the advantage of be able to consult it and revise it when they deem it necessary. If you have a question or something is not clear to you, you do not need to turn to anyone, you can solve the problem by consulting the welcome manual. Thus, they feel much more autonomous and self-confident at a time when this is especially important.

In addition, there is the paradox that in the digital environment work is more meticulous. A welcome manual written as an ebook, or slides, collects more information than the one that a person usually communicates when acting as a tutor for a new employee.

On the other hand, a digitized reception process is much easier to customize. yesWe only have to send the employee the information they need for their position.

And we cannot forget what those who are going through the onboarding process feel. A new employee is usually nervous and a little "off". If, instead of taking you to a meeting, or having one person oversee all your tasks, we provide you with digital tools to use at your own pace, the motivation increases.

It has been shown that the mission and values of a company can be absorbed more quickly by watching a short video than by means of a dense talk based on these topics. And the same happens with other issues such as the assimilation of work processes.

completely online

In a labor market in which finding talent is not easy, many companies are already opting for teleworking in its most extreme version: hiring people who do not even reside in the same city where they are located, perhaps not even in the same country, and that they will not pass through the physical premises of the business at any time.

In this sense, a virtual welcome plan is the best way to bridge the physical distance between company and employee, and ensure that the adaptation is as effective and fast as it should be.

How to apply digital onboarding successfully

Plan and design the welcome plan

The good thing about using digital tools is that the hard work will only have to be done once. This is because the material created can be used with all the new employees that arrive at the company.

However, as we need a certain degree of customization and adaptation, it is best to divide the content into several blocks.

In the first instance, it is necessary to develop the content that the first to the last employee of the organization should know: the history of the company, its objectives, its perspectives in the medium and long term, its mission, vision and values, and its culture. Being quite dense topics, it is interesting to look for means of communication that are more amenable, as a small very synthesized guide, a video, or some slides. This material must be sent to the email of newly hired people on their first day of work.

On the other hand, material must be designed to explain more specific issues related to each position and the way to carry out the work. In addition to purely theoretical information, some gamification proposal for the employee to test their skills in a simulated environment before beginning to assume real responsibilities.

Do not overdo the content

The welcome plan should be simple, and the information must be provided progressively and without overwhelming. If from the first moment we ask the new employee to spend hours and hours looking at the material in the welcome guide, in the end they will be overwhelmed.

Not only do you have to adjust the length and density of the content, you also have to control the times. It is not necessary to communicate everything on the first day, the onboarding procedure can be extended for two or three weeks, allowing the employee to get to know the company and its processes more thoroughly, while learning to do their job in a more practical and practical way. real.

Follow up

Automating the onboarding process does not mean sending a series of online content to the employee, or giving them access to a platform, and forgetting about it, none of that. It is absolutely necessary to monitor or follow-up.

Must make sure that the worker is learning things and adapting, but you also have to check that you feel comfortable and happy. If you've absorbed the basics, but feel like you don't quite fit in, we're in danger of wanting to leave.

Involve the rest of the team

The digital process can also have a human side. It is important that the other colleagues of the new employee show their support and help him in his first days. Even there may be that figure of the tutor of which we spoke before, although its weight will now be much less.

Digital welcome packs are an important support and learning tool for those who have just joined the company, even for those who have been working in the company for a while, but have changed jobs. A well-done digital onboarding process achieves retain new talent and that it can become fully operational in less time. If we use technology in the selection of personnel and in the development of business tasks, there is no reason why we should not also take advantage of all the advantages it has when it comes to welcoming new employees.

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