Hiring Remote Employees? A Lesson in Creating an Effective Virtual Onboarding Program

🕑 2 minutes read | Sep 01 2021 | By Becky Gendron

It’s proven that effective onboarding increases employee performance, productivity, and retention. In fact, research by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. Now, that’s something not to be ignored.

With many organizations maintaining remote or hybrid work for the foreseeable future, how do you take your new hire onboarding process and turn it into an effective virtual onboarding program? It is not only a key part of any organization’s new hire strategy but critical to set up new hires and organizations for success.

While there are many ways to build a valuable onboarding process, it’s critical to design these programs with a focus on fostering employee engagement, knowledge transfer, and opportunities to practice what they learned.

2021 Brandon Hall Award for ‘Best New Hire Onboarding Program’

Wellpath, one of the largest healthcare providers for correctional and behavioral health facilities in the U.S., successfully demonstrated this onboarding process and is how they made a successful shift from traditional instructor-led onboarding to a virtual onboarding program for newly hired employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company experienced a sharp rise in demand to supply frontline healthcare workers, and in turn, this led to an increased demand for hiring managers for their recruiting team. In response, Wellpath partnered with TTA to transform their onboarding processes, moving away from traditional instructor-led onboarding to a new program that blended virtual and self-paced components.

The new onboarding program delivered immediate benefits. Over a six-month period, the number of hiring managers able to complete their training rose from 40 to more than 400 – a 900% increase, and 225 hiring managers were successfully onboarded and completed their training in the first 30 days of the program.

By incorporating interactive eLearning modules, including scheduled training reviews and reinforcement training, they were able to drastically improve knowledge retention and significantly decrease the time-to-proficiency during onboarding. In addition, job-aids and facilitator guides were designed and developed to help with on-the-job questions and answers. Wellpath found that by creating a sustainable, engaging, and user-friendly blended learning program, new hiring managers showed a greater interest in learning new skills. As a result, they were much more able to take ownership of the onboarding process for their teams as they worked to fill open frontline healthcare positions.


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