Essay on Onboarding Program for Virtual Learners
Number of words: 1556
An onboarding program serves its purpose better when the participants learning styles are considered. Visual learners prefer observing rather than talking and acting. These learners find verbal instructions tedious and challenging to implement (Chen, 2020). They like reading and respond to visual items such as charts, videos, and pictures. This paper is a comprehensive onboarding program for visual learners. Onboarding programs’ duration differs depending on the size of an institution or organization. This program lasts six months, and it aims at enabling the new hires to build partnerships and networks, manage expectations, understand the organization and integrate into its culture.
The communication department, in collaboration with the supervisor, emails the participants in the program. This exercise would involve calling and not emailing if the new employees were auditory learners. Its purpose is to welcome them to the organization and communicate the reporting dates. The email should be comprehensive, informing them of the supplementary materials such as uniforms needed while reporting for the first day. If possible, the photos of these requirements should be attached to the email. Onboarding programs may include formal classes, workshops, and informal coaching. However, formal courses do not suit visual learners.
Prepare a portal for the new hire and include job-specific information to ensure they are ready before their arrival. If the portal is already prepared, pre-read to ensure all the details are indicated. The system controllers can modify the to suit visual learners by using images instead of words. The information included in the portal can also be summarized into charts and tables to suit visual learners. Create a training team responsible for implementing the onboarding program. Train the team on the appropriate ways to train the visual learners during the program.
On the first day, hold an orientation program where the training team introduces the new hire to relevant places in the organization. Identify the sites and areas they will frequent during their schedules depending on each one’s job description. Where formal classes are mandatory, incorporate instructional media such as videos and charts to train the new hire. This practice will accommodate the visual learners in a better way. Engage the participants in a lunch with the team and supervisor to build networks and partnerships.
Organize a meeting between the supervisor and the new hire to discuss important organizational information such as performance strategies, the organization’s culture, success measures, and expectations. This activity ensures the program meets its objective to help the participants meet performance goals and manage expectations. Provide tangible materials such as pamphlets and organization magazines as illustrations.
Conduct a business overview through virtual training to give the new higher insights into the business. If the overview is done verbally by the supervisor, make it brief since most participants are visual learners. The overview is essential and having the attention of the learners is crucial. It introduces the company briefly but extensively to the new hire (Lancaster & Muranaka, 2018). It contains the key takeaways of the first-day program. Include organizational information such as its values, mission, vision, benefits, and compensation in the business overview program.
Create a social platform for a new hire or include them in any existing collaboration group. This exercise is to ensure they continue building networks and partnerships as they continue working with the organization. Include the new hire in the organization’s team depending on their areas of specialization. Organize them into support groups for motivation and learning purposes. Allow the new employees to interact with the other employees so they can learn the necessary skills. Throughout the exercise, more demonstrations will be used over verbal discussions. Visual learners are naturally practical, and they comprehend better when presented information is observable and illustrative (Pasternak & Flores, 2018).
Discuss and examine the performance goals the participants are expected to meet. This practice enhances motivation among the new hire. It also ensures they are aware of the organization’s code of conduct and the employee requirements. Explaining the consequences for underperformance and employee misconduct is also essential at this stage of the onboarding program. After discussing the performance goals with the supervisor, it is important to document them for reference in the performance management system. In the onboarding program week, organize several cross-functional peer meetings to help the new hire acquire a broad understanding of the organization.
First 30 Days
The first 30 days should be enough for the new employee to adapt to the organization’s setting and activities. Hence, it is an essential duration of the onboarding program. The activities done at this stage determine the new hire’s performance and competence. During the onboarding program in the 30 days, It would be important to host a ‘new hire welcome day.’ This event should extend the new hire’s networking and partnership (Stup, 2019). Meeting other stakeholders and clients in the organization is a process of building solid partnerships and networks.
Organize job-specific training for the new hire to help them acquire relevant skills and knowledge in their job areas. Incorporate practical activities in training to cater for the needs of the participants. One-on-one interviews and discussions are helpful during the training for quick learning. Additionally, engage the new hire in site visits and business errands as part of their training. According to (Stup, 2019)visual learners comprehend best when they are actively involved in activities. This argument implies that although observing is vital for these learners, participating actively is 15% more effective (Davila & Pina-Ramirez, 2018).
Attend business overview meetings to broaden new hires’ understanding of the business to integrate well into the business culture. During these meetings, discuss crucial information that would help the new hire adapt to the organization’s structure. Enlighten employees on the workplace culture, the goals, and the vision of the business during these meetings. Making the sessions interactive to engage the participants is a win for the business as the visual learners’ attention will remain uninterrupted.
Fist 3-6 Months
By the third month, the new hire has built a stable network and acquired partners. This session of the onboarding program should enhance the built networks and partnerships. Hence, actively involve the new employees in networking activities. Let them attend business meetings, seminars, and conferences. Train them on intensive networking skills, which are best complemented by practical communication skills. All these exercises enable them to maintain the established networks and develop stronger partnerships in the future.
Engage the supervisor in conducting consistent check-in meetings with the new employees to calibrate their progress on goal achievement. Draft a schedule for the meetings to foresee consistency. The sessions would be practical if held every two weeks. Offering advice to the seemingly underperforming employees on how to increase productivity and performance is a necessary exercise. The participants being visual learners, conduct one-on-one meetings in place of written memos and submissions. During the check-in meetings, address issues practically by making illustrations and charts where possible. Work towards having as few lectures as possible.
Corporate and organizational success depends on the established culture. Teach the new hire the ‘intangible’ business’ workplace and ethical culture. It is the ‘intangible’ culture that helps it make tangible profits. Ensuring they are well adapted to the culture enhances their productivity, performance, and ethical conduct. Assess the extent to which each has mastered them and adopt techniques and strategies to help them improve. It is essential to clarify that the business culture is the organization’s soul since it is the only aspect competitors cannot imitate.
Although the onboarding program ends in 6 months, its impact lasts for years. The benefits and skills help the organization equip the new employees with carry into the future. The program may or may not be used with future new hires. Its outcome should determine whether it effectively accomplishes the objectives of enabling the new hires to build partnerships and networks, manage expectations, understand the organization, and integrate into its culture. If it does not achieve the desired outcome among the participants, it should be modified or changed depending on the desired result. It is flexible enough to accommodate any changes in its structure while catering to the visual learners’ needs.
Chen, S. (2020). Key Elements For A Successful Employee Onboarding Program. Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses. https://repository.upenn.edu/od_theses_msod/108/
Davila, N., & Pina-Ramirez, W. (2018). Effective Onboarding. In Google Books. American Society for Training and Development. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jJVqDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT38&dq=bUSINESS+onboarding+program&ots=rbZU7BA8vB&sig=aCLWQM7m-1TPL9q2m6AuLGVKIWE
Lancaster, S., & Muranaka, K. (2018). Case Study: Evaluation of a New Employee Orientation Program. https://www.boisestate.edu/opwl/files/2019/08/TalesFromTheField-2015-05-NEOevaluation1.pdf
Pasternak, T., & Flores, C. (2018). Creating an Intern Onboarding Program Within the Ball State Office of Admissions An Honors Thesis (HONR 499) Thesis Advisor Expected Date of Graduation. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/161950667.pdf
Stup, R. (2019, January 22). Employee Onboarding: The First Step to Develop and Retain the Best People. https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/60843