Orientations and Training During the Pandemic: How Technology Can Help

  • April 8, 2020
New Employee

The Coronavirus outbreak is the most disruptive event that most American workers have ever seen. The economic fallout is still unfolding. However, when the pandemic is behind us, we’ll undoubtedly look at digital and web-based technologies as a saving grace for businesses that were able to move work online. The millions of employees who can work remotely are helping to mitigate both the health and business crisis. How work gets done will be changed forever. Kate Lister, president of consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics estimates 25 to 30% of the workforce will work from home within two years, a rise fueled at least partly by the crisis.

Employee and Volunteer Orientation and Training has been impacted like everything else. But most companies can’t afford to let the new remote work protocols interfere with their staffing needs. With all the online technologies available, it need not be an obstacle.

Training During COVID-19

According to McKinsey, digital and virtual learning programs were already on the rise before COVID-19 struck, and now that trend has only accelerated.

“As organizations increasingly promote their existing portfolios of digital-learning options, a handful indicate that they are also considering migrating some existing in-person training programs to an all-digital format. Such efforts go beyond merely applying existing technology solutions to offer virtual classrooms. Rather, they represent a more fundamental rethinking of the learning experience to enable collaborative, interactive social-learning experiences for groups of learners. Digital-learning providers recognize that COVID-19 is a catalyst for this transition and are looking to help their corporate customers accelerate their transformation. “

McKinsey offers these tips for turning in-person learning digital:

  • Start by reframing the “learning problem” as a design opportunity and rethink the learner’s end-to-end experience as a designer would.
  • Set priorities for the essential learning objectives and focus intently on selecting the content that will meet them.
  • Design for shorter interactions and provide more time between sessions to strengthen learning.
  • Focus on human connections whenever possible, creating intentional, meaningful interactions.
  • Finally, support a seamless learning experience from first contact to last and ensure the same learning experience for all participants.

Lessonly offers these tips for moving training online:

  • Think about outcomes for training and how you will measure it online.
  • Deliver content that is easy to access and digest.
  • Leverage Zoom, Webex, or Skype to achieve live, personable interaction at least some of the time.
  • Keep the conversation going within small groups, even when training is done. Apps like Skype or Slack can facilitate asynchronous discussions.
  • Work in extra practice time since there is less in-person time with learners. Training software can have practice scenarios, or utilize video recording.
  • Make sure learners know where to go for help.
  • Create a sense of camaraderie online.
  • Provide role clarity.

E-learning Industry offers these tips for switching from instructor-led to online training:

  • Focus on the practical application of knowledge.
  • Get feedback from employees.
  • Provide online support resources.
  • Create clear guidelines for your e-learning developers.

Online Orientations

When it comes to new employees and volunteers, the need for orientation doesn’t go away even though you may not be able to do so in person. Companies usually find that transitioning to Online Orientation improves the process significantly for many reasons including:

  • Information is consistent will all new employees or volunteers.
  • Users can access the information again later if need be
  • Saves the company money while staff can be working on other projects
  • The user can do the orientation anytime or prior to showing up for the first day on the job.

E-learning Industry offers these pointers for moving new employee orientations online:

  • Set the goals you want to achieve with employee orientation.
  • Make up a comprehensive plan and follow it throughout the onboarding process.
  • Figure out which part of the training you can move online to automate and create a course.
  • Find the best software for your company to put induction training on autopilot.
  • Discuss how successfully an employee is adapting to the new work environment with an assigned mentor or a direct supervisor.

Here are some ideas of what to include in your orientation:

  • The company’s history
  • Mission and vision
  • Company Values
  • Corporate culture
  • Corporate policy
  • Organizational structure and leadership team
  • Products and their main benefits
  • Key clients and partners
  • Basic IT training

Comevo’s Launch Orientation Software

For companies looking to make the move to online orientations, Comevo’s Launch Orientation Software is easy to implement, easy to use, and easy to update. Comevo offers cloud software services with engaging multimedia, 24/7 accessibility, consistent delivery, fast deployment, and monitored results.

Here are some of the specific benefits:

  • Comevo maintains and supports the software platform, freeing up your IT department.
  • Comevo offers unlimited customer support.
  • The orientation is mobile-friendly and can be accessed on desktop or mobile devices.
  • Tracking reports show specific stats on usage.

 

If there is any good news during these trying times, it’s that the challenges faced by organizations in the face of social distancing requirements can be addressed and alleviated through a range of technology solutions. These solutions will make onboarding, training, orientation, productivity, and every other facet of work, more efficient, cost-effective, and resilient in the long-term.