Effective onboarding enhances newcomers’ integration into a work community and encourages them to improve their performance productivity. With Visuon, you can easily make your onboarding processes more effective with the help of modern visualization and digital services.

Digital onboarding

In general, onboarding is divided into two phases: pre-boarding and on-boarding. During the pre-boarding phase, the new employee is welcomed and given practical instructions that allow for a good start. The actual on-boarding phase includes familiarizing with the actual work site, colleagues as well as the relevant work tasks and tools.

In digital environments, the on-boarding phase can be started already before entering the actual workplace. Visuon VR and 360 solutions offer many possibilities for making onboarding more perceptual, multimodal and cost-effective. For example, immersive 360 images make it easy to familiarize newcomers with habitual work environments.

Alternative workforce as the new norm

Speeding up and streamlining the onboarding processes is nowadays more vital than ever. More and more people are employed on a short-term basis, and therefore there is seldom time for long-term training periods. For years, many considered contract, freelance, and on-demand employment to be so-called “alternative work,” i.e. supplementary work to full-time jobs. Today, this segment of workforce has grown and become mainstream even when the talent markets have become tougher.

Leading organizations are strategically looking at all types of work arrangements in favor of their growth plans. Today, global alternative workforce accounts for 15-20% of the total labor force. However, the proportion of alternative workforce, notably in Finland, is predicted to increase rapidly. In the late 2030s, the figure is estimated to be around 60% of the total workforce.

Another major trend is the globalization of work. In multinational organizations, it is often more cost-effective to create orientation material in a visual format, so that the information is made available to everyone without the need for any specific localization projects. In addition to this, the Finnish workforce consists of more and more people whose native language is not Finnish.

Planning the process

In that case, what makes a digital onboarding process effective? The first rule is that there is not a general model for this purpose. In each case, onboarding objectives and methods have to be tailored to serve the specifications of the relevant work task. However, the rule of thumb is that successful onboarding is usually a blended learning process in which multimodality of provided information is the key to success. The learning objectives regulate the selection of methods. For instance, what kind of issues require face-to-face mentoring and when is it more effective to visualize the case with 360 images. 

Onboarding is not a one-sided learning process. Each new employee opens a window of opportunity for the entire organization to learn something new. It is therefore important to consider how, as an organization, we can take advantage of this opportunity. Recently recruited talents are often the best experts for developing the onboarding process even further.

When designing a digital onboarding process, remember these steps:

  1. Objectives: What do you want to achieve with an onboarding process and in what period of time? What is the organization willing to learn from the newcomer? Where should the results of onboarding be shown?
  2. Contents: How extensively and in-depth has the newcomer familiarized with the activities? What are the primary focus points of acquisitions? What could be optional?
  3. Methods: How are the chosen contents learned? At which point do VR and 3D solutions have the greatest potential? Which parts of learning have to be arranged by means of face-to-face interaction with a mentor? How can an organization learn from a newcomer?
  4. Evaluation: How is an onboarding process evaluated? How can the process be improved?

Kirsi Elina Kallio
Learning and Development Specialist