In the past year, many companies have had to help employees shift from working in an office to working from home. Home office setups and new software became imperative to keep business moving. But now, it’s been over a year into a global pandemic, and many companies are still navigating the choppy logistics of long-term work-from-home scenarios while trying to expand their staff. So, it begs the question: What about your new employees? How can you help them be successful?
As someone who has changed jobs in the middle of a pandemic, I’ve come to realize just how vital a good onboarding program is. While a positive company culture and sophisticated technology profile may attract a new employee, informative and directive onboarding content helps retain and transform them into successful employees.
Pulling from my experience as a new hire more than once during the pandemic, it’s become apparent to me that building a stable bridge for employees to cross from “newbie” to “seasoned employee” requires hitting the nail of expectations on the head with more than one hammer. In this case, I’m talking about content formats.
Delivering your onboarding content in more than one way ensures that your employees can find what they need when they need it in a format in which they learn best.
1. Printed and Digital Self-Study
While it may be an expense to mail material to an employee’s home, having physical information on hand can help smooth their transition. For example, printed guides for computer set up, phone systems, and training schedules are helpful in lieu of having IT or a colleague standing next to them.
However, digital copies of training materials are never without merit. The ability to search for a keyword within a document can be a time saver. Plus, digital files can be easily updated, offering longevity of a digital file over a hard copy. Employees are grateful to have easy access to content when a phone issue from day one also occurs on day three hundred and sixty-six.
2. Instructor-Led Training
I have come to realize that having information to peruse and review on my own is not enough. Especially if the employee has changed careers or industries, self-study materials can seem like their written in a foreign language. Having a face-to-face presentation (either live or virtual) with a synopsis of the information provided helps complete the process of understanding. It also opens the door for employees to ask questions, which is golden for an employer who’s trying to remember what it’s like to be a new hire.
3. Targeted Assessments
Handing an employee several hours of training without assessing their understanding before they are thrown out of the nest and into their daily tasks is a gamble. Sure, something during the interview process made you (the employer) decide that this new hire would understand their role and procedures; however, testing them on-the-job is not the only place someone can or really should be assessed.
Assessments that allow new hires to practice what they learned and that identify where they should focus their efforts are invaluable to both the employee and management. They can help employees gain confidence. Feeling a sense of success before you meet the proverbial wolves can have an empowering effect. And an empowered new hire is often a more effective new hire.
Only time will tell how well we can improve new employee retention in a virtual office environment. Now is the time to be in control of that future through progressive training methods.
If you’d like to learn more about designing and crafting effective training materials and memorable content, check out these resources:
Learn More: How to Improve Training & Get Measurable Results
Learn More: 3 Secrets to Crafting Memorable Content
About the Author:
Margaret Lill is an innovative content creator based out of Cleveland, Ohio. With six years of B2B marketing and content creation experience, she aspires to inform and educate through the written word. Click here to contact Margaret.