virtual training_onboarding

Organizations have successfully transitioned to remote work in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, making virtual onboarding & training of employees a necessity. Training and onboarding workers completely virtually is a fairly new concept for most employers. Amongst the differences between physical and virtual call centers, the training process is one of the most important ones.

With workers starting new jobs from home against the backdrop of COVID-19 without having physically met anyone during the onboarding and training process, getting it right is more important than ever now.

Virtual training programs are nothing new. But 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 the onboarding experience.


Virtual Onboarding 

For employers lucky enough to still be hiring, first impressions count. It applies to the new hire experience just as much as it does to meeting any individual for the first time. If the onboarding process is disorganized or confusing, your new hire may just start job hunting even before they finish getting themselves processed for your company.  

First impressions last. To get that new hire to stay 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 with the training processes and procedures.

Onboarding is even more important now, with the majority of the workforce working remotely. When employees who are used to working in the office start working from home, they can wind up feeling isolated and cut off from their co-workers. Imagine how much more of that applies to someone who hasn’t already established personal connections within the office. Your onboarding process needs to include 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 part of the battle. Businesses must get creative in how they are offering these workers the training opportunities.


Virtual Training 

Training your contact center agents in a time of crisis not only ensures better customer experiences but also helps with the personal growth of those being trained. The ability to handle chaotic situations, working with a calm head, and collaborating with others in a time like this are skills one learns from experience. Now is the best time to keep your training initiatives in play.

Virtual training programs like customer support, online sales training are more important than ever right now for organizations. These can’t be delayed or put on indefinite hold as they are vital to business growth and continuity as well as for employee skill-building and engagement.

 The key to training talents for skills like product knowledge, customer engagement in sales, and customer support in a remote setting is to seek out virtual solutions that allow employees to learn. If not improve the impact then engagement from the trainer or supervisor in-person training program is helpful for the new employees.

For example, at Maxicus, we have successfully been able to launch and run virtual training 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 even during the lockdown phase.

Given the need for speed and ease, many organizations are tempted by video conferencing as their training solution. Only, If you’re planning a short information-sharing session then a video conference might be a fine solution. But, most companies are 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.


Strategies for virtual training and onboarding of new employees during a crisis


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 make keeping that documentation up to date a regular part of your work process. Additionally, having employee equipment and email accounts delivered and set up ahead of time is key.


Face-to-virtual-face introductions

Work-from-home means employees will be hobbling 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.


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. Also keeping daily activities and pre & post-shift meetings ‘as funny and engaging as possible’ in order to reduce the stress of the process.


Set up next-gen tech 

It’s time to think outside the box, and leveraging 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.


Virtual Training for BPOs: Think beyond a week

Companies have an opportunity to do more. 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 help to make micro-moments of belonging. Also, create empowering environments that allow employees to stay connected and collaborate. Employee feedback is a gift to be cherished.

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. While we don’t know how long this crisis will last, the best thing we can all do is to be prepared. Whether you’re onboarding new hires or training them, make it work for your business with Maxicus.


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