5 Best Practices for Virtual Training & Onboarding for BPOs
Covid crisis did not just change the way our consumers operate but also changed the way our employees work. Team outings, lunch celebrations, coffee breaks, and chatting at water coolers were no longer possible. In such a setting, it was not possible to train employees at a micro level, like the office setting.
The virtual training method of the BPO industry and the onboarding of employees is a fairly new concept for most employers. Amongst the major differences between physical and virtual call centers, the employee training process is one of the most important ones. A virtual training program is not a new concept anymore. For organizations that are new to remote work, managers and leaders may have a difficult time prioritizing their worker’s training needs. The best place to focus on, first, is on the onboarding experience.
For employers, the very first impression of any organization counts just like it does when you meet a new individual. If the onboarding call center process is disorganized or confusing, your new hire might start job hunting even before they finish getting themselves accustomed to the daily routine within your company. First impressions always last. To make sure that new hire stays onboard, a company must be able to make their experience memorable and seamless. This includes helping the new hire to blend into the company culture as well as helping them with the training processes and procedures.
Now, why do you think it is highly recommended to follow this approach as an organization?
Companies with a strong onboarding process improve employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. (Source)
Your onboarding process needs to inculcate ways for new hires to create those connections with management, co-workers, and other new hires. This may seem like a daunting task but it is not impossible, especially with all of the online tools available today. However, onboarding is only a part of the battle. Businesses must get creative in how they are offering these workers certain training opportunities.
Training your contact center agents not only ensures better customer experiences but also helps with their personal growth. The ability to handle chaotic situations, working with a calm head, and collaborating with others are skills that one learns from experience.
Virtual training programs like customer support and online sales training are important for organizations. These can’t be delayed or put on indefinite hold as they are important to business growth along with employee skill-building and engagement.
The key to training talents for skills like delivering them product knowledge, customer engagement in sales, and customer support in a remote setting is to seek out virtual solutions that allow employees to learn. This not just creates a long-lasting impact but also engages them from a trainer or supervisor’s in-person perspective.
“For example, at Maxicus, we have successfully been able to launch and run virtual training best practices for new and existing business processes, using virtual classrooms, a robust Learning Management System, and ready-to-use Knowledge Management tools. These interventions have allowed us to enhance customer experiences and deliver greater ROI for our clients.”
Given the need for speed and ease, many organizations are tempted by video conferencing to use for their training solution. If you’re planning a short information-sharing session, then a video conference might be a fine solution. Most of the companies are, however, looking for a rich learning experience to train employees on deeper, high-impact skills that they were previously doing in-onsite workshops.
In this case, they need a scalable, flexible online platform that incorporates virtual instructor-led workshops, self-study sessions with articles and videos, peer feedback, group projects, and mentoring and coaching; all designed to generate powerful learning and to scale culture and performance change. Effective and engaging online learning will also enhance employee connections and a culture of togetherness in today’s environment.
5 BPO best practices for virtual training and onboarding
Streamlining the process
Before getting any new employees on board, it’s important to make sure all the processes are organized. Keeping the documentation of everything is up-to-date is critical, and even more so while onboarding with remote workers. There is less ability to ask another person about where something is or how something is done at your organization. The way you resolve this is by ensuring all the internal processes and projects are well documented and keeping that documentation up to date as a regular part of your work process. Additionally, having employee equipment and email accounts delivered and set up ahead of time is key. Flip onboarding might help to have a new structure in place for employee on boarding experience wherein just like the traditional paperwork, online portals are used. Make sure to review the whole content review beforehand in order to ensure the success of the session.
Work-from-home means employees will be hopping over to their kitchens for coffee, perhaps in pajamas, instead of gathering at the office break room. It’s important to ensure that they meet other colleagues, as this won’t be happening organically. Companies can solve this by scheduling ‘getting-to-know-you’ video conferences with key people in the organization and with peers and colleagues. This helps put a human connection behind the names people see in emails. Chunk learning is a new concept that aids retention in virtual on boarding process in learning bpo services.
Encourage digital engagement
Working remotely can be a difficult experience, especially when you don’t already know your colleagues. It’s critical to ensure that digital onboarding is engaging. When employees are physically distanced from their team members and managers, it can be easy for them to isolate themselves and disengage from others. The employees should be offered digital tools to help make the transition smoother, such as creating separate Slack channels. Keeping daily activities and pre & post-shift meetings ‘as funny and engaging as possible’ in order to reduce the stress may further help strengthen the process.
Set up next-gen tech
Think outside the box and leverage new tools like augmented reality (AR) for training and onboarding can help employers scale the process across various locations.
AR can be used to update manuals and tutorials and upload new content, which can also save time and money. Additionally, the experiences using AR may prove more engaging for employees. This can improve the way they pick up new and complicated material.
Companies can create a series of videos presenting step-by-step instructions for getting computers set up. Also, the IT team can use a desktop sharing tool to help the workers to configure & for productivity enhancement remote employee monitoring software can operate in virtual working scenarios.
Emphasize human connection
Although, the whole onboarding and training process happens on a virtual platform, a human connection with handshakes and hugs during farewells matters. It builds a sense of trust not just among employees but also with the employers. Just because the process is going digital, it doesn’t mean your onboarding and training process would lose human connection. Try to find different ways to make your employees feel that they belong to your company. You can plan activities like welcome email cards signed by the team, employment forms, benefits brochures, or physical documents that are usually distributed to the other employees. This way you can create a warm physical-human interaction even in the absence of handshakes and hugs.
Virtual Training for BPOs Employees: Think beyond a week
Companies now have an opportunity to do more when it comes to virtual training for BPO employees. They need to think about ensuring their employees feel like they are valued and heard. Organizations should give enough access to resources to the employees and make micro-moments of belonging while also creating empowering environments that allow employees to stay connected and collaborate. Employee feedback is a gift to be cherished.
Interactive conversational flows, scenario-based training, e-learning, virtual-instructor lead training are some of the great ways for HRs to use while onboarding employees.
In order to achieve this approach, outsourcing your work-from-home support process is an idea that will put the fuel in your business growth rocket. Whether you’re onboarding new hires or training them, make it work for your business with Maxicus.