Inadequate onboarding costs UK businesses millions in recruitment, lost productivity and employer brand value. And that was before the onset of remote working en masse. A study performed by Cezanne revealed that almost two-thirds of HR professionals experience problems with new recruits handing in their notice within six months. Moreover, with the increasing popularity of the gig economy, 60% of remote workers are not provided with an onboarding process at all. The current pandemic is an opportunity for firms to devise a remote onboarding strategy that will deliver positive experiences moving forward.
The burning question is how will organisations engage, communicate and conduct training when new starters are situated in remote locations? It’s a unique situation the vast majority of firms are unprepared for. The good news is, there are solutions!
Animated videos and gamification enable you to overcome the challenges of communication, engagement and inadequate learning methods. Together with cloud technologies and video-conferencing platforms co-workers can exchange information and provide support – even if the connection is only virtual. Yet the fact of the matter is that remote working technologies, apps and strategies will be the saviour of numerous companies. The potential issue for many companies is that you don’t have much time to get it right. With an increasingly uncertain economic climate threatening millions of business closures, you may only get one shot at nailing remote onboarding.
Remove The Pressure
Starting a role at a new company can be stressful enough. New recruits are eager to impress, but in doing so they invite stress onto themselves. Pressure usually results in a low-quality experience and a less than satisfactory level of performance. Working remotely compounds the pressure. Onboarding strategies typically involve teaching new recruits about the company, culture, goals, work processes, who’s who in the hierarchy and what their job role entails. And that’s before new starters even begin their on-the-job training.
Too much information is overwhelming. It’s more likely to create more concern and stress for your new team member and could impact their immediate performance and their confidence. They will probably also take longer to learn and understand the relevant skills required to perform the job efficiently.
Animation provides a solution on a number of levels here. Because the brain responds to visual cues, it processes images far quicker than oral or textual instructions. Moreover, research shows that visual data improves memory recall. However, when creating animated videos, it is also worth bearing in mind that decorative animation impairs memory recall. The key to using animated videos as a tool for learning and engagement is story-telling.
Interactive Animation Materials and Apps
A challenge with virtual learning generally and onboarding specifically is to keep new starters engaged. The easy solution for most firms will be to record your in-person sessions and distribute it to new recruits in video format. The problem with this approach is that video presentations are static and only provide one-way communication. They do not allow trainees to ask questions at appropriate moments, nor can trainers engage the reaction of their student.
Animated videos and gamification content gives you the opportunity to make content interactive. For example, you can convert a class-based training program into a game which gives trainees options to choose from. What should they do next? Each time the trainee gets the answer correct, they move on to the next stage. Incorrect answers will automatically display the right answer. The question should be revisited randomly further on in the process to determine whether the trainee remembered the correct answer. Animation also brings imaginary customers to life. Let’s say you want to train a new member of your sales team or customer service team to deal with a problematic customer. The animated character can be designed to show emotional expressions and speak words. The trainee should then type an appropriate response.
Striking a Balance
New starters need support and guidance. The nurturing qualities of a mentor are obliviously much harder to do when your staff is working remotely. Whilst communication is an essential aspect of onboarding, managers and mentors have scant time to spare when they have their own targets to meet. Whilst animated content does not satisfy the longing for human connection and personal guidance, it is the best solution available to conduct remote onboarding effectively. Animation and gamification videos help to engage and teach new hires in a fun and exciting way. Remote onboarding may not be the ideal situation, but under the circumstances, animation helps to bridge the gap between remote environments.