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Delivering High-engagement Remote Onboarding Experiences with Virtuality

Making employee onboarding more flexible and accessible while creating memorable onboarding experiences.
 
5 minutes read
Tajeshwar Grewal

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Tajeshwar Grewal
Group Manager, Digital Workplace Services
5 minutes read
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As hybrid work becomes the norm, businesses are onboarding new hires from across the globe via digital channels and platforms. Here’s how HCLTech and VIRBELA’s joint enterprise VR offering is helping organizations overcome the challenges of remote onboarding.

Flexibility is the new normal in the world of work…

Organizations across the globe are soon realizing that the changes brought about by the pandemic in the world of work are here to stay. Surveys indicate that 80% of employees are looking for hybrid work. A good fraction of those who're not offered the flexibility to work will quit sooner or later. Leading businesses are exploiting this trend to hire talent from across the globe, and build highly capable, distributed teams that function within hybrid or remote-first cultures.

…But Success is Still Far

One of the greatest challenges of hiring and onboarding employees remotely is engaging them adequately throughout the employee journey—and building a sense of connectedness with the company culture. A lack of engagement leads to attrition. And high churn can significantly raise the cost of sustaining your talent pipeline.

Put simply, you must offer flexible work models to employees. But to do so successfully, you must find new ways to make employees feel connected and engaged in the new digital work culture.

This is where virtual reality (VR) technology comes into play. In remote-first hiring and onboarding, VR seems very promising—not only in its ability to engage new hires but also in improving the outcomes of onboarding programs. See how VR enables you to engage your new hires with immersive onboarding experiences. And how HCLTech Virtuality can help you build such experiences within your organization.

The Challenges of Remote Onboarding

In traditional work cultures, new hires typically spent their first day in the office. So that key people in their teams could interact with them—and make them feel a part of a larger whole. But when organizations were forced to onboard new hires remotely, employees started feeling less connected and valued and often experienced a lack of clarity on what was expected of them.

Here are some of the key challenges that make remote onboarding difficult.

  1. Information Overload
    Because new hires must be provided with a lot of information, organizations tend to schedule a series of Zoom meetings, which causes cognitive overload and meeting fatigue.
  2. Sense of Exclusion
    Without ensuring intentional interactions with the rest of the team, a new hire could end up feeling disconnected and isolated from the company.
  3. Building a Strong Culture
    In traditional work models, new hires are organically introduced to the workplace culture through their interactions and time spent at the office. In remote work models, this can be challenging because of limited, two-dimensional interactions with people via screens.
  4. Communication Challenges
    Video meetings and voice calls make it difficult for employees to build trust. In addition, they make communication burdensome, unlike organic, in-person chats.

As lack of engagement is one of the top drivers of increasing attrition rates, it can exacerbate retention. However, organizations can address most of the challenges we’ve talked about by making use of VR technologies effectively and creating memorable onboarding experiences.

 

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Virtual Reality transforms remote onboarding into an immersive and interactive experience that goes beyond traditional methods.

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Successful Remote Onboarding with VR

Onboarding is one of the most important drivers of employee success and fulfilling relationships at work. In fact, effective onboarding contributes to a strong sense of connectedness for 91% of employees, and 89% of employees feel better integrated into the company culture as a result.

The key value of VR in remote onboarding lies in its ability to immerse an employee into a deliberately constructed experience. And turn them into the central point of focus. By making use of VR in onboarding, organizations can gamify rote processes, deliver virtual tours and create intentional interactions between team members in informal virtual spaces.

HCLTech Virtuality, an enterprise VR environment built in partnership with VIRBELA, a leading VR experience design company, can help organizations implement engaging onboarding experiences within a matter of weeks. Here are some of how you can use the solution to supercharge the remote onboarding process for your employees:

  1. Workplace Virtual Tours
    As part of the pre-boarding process, you can offer a 3D tour of a digital replica of your workplace to remote candidates. This can help them get acquainted with the workplace from the day, and save time for the HR department.
  2. Interactive Learning Experiences
    New hires need to absorb a plethora of information and train themselves for specific workflows. This is where you can leverage VR experiences—powered by HCLTech Virtuality—to make learning more interactive and impactful. VR experiences can make sensitive scenarios in conflict management or DEI training (via simulations) safe for your participants.
  3. Icebreakers with Team Members
    Some employees tend to take time in getting comfortable with their team members. You can accelerate this process by introducing these employees to team members in informal virtual environments such as hikes or adventures. By getting comfortable with team members, new hires are better able to collaborate with them and deliver results faster.
  4. Gamification of Processes
    VR can also help organizations gamify rote processes such as documentation, orientations, and introduction to workplace policies during onboarding. This helps employees instantaneously immerse themselves into the organization and its culture, and consequently reduces the risk of early turnover.

In addition to these benefits, using VR helps you reduce GHG emissions associated with preboarding and onboarding workflows. You’re also able to reduce travel and accommodation costs while making onboarding more flexible and accessible for employees.

HCLTech Virtuality for Employee Onboarding

The solution helps you leverage the benefits of VR in employee onboarding with a purpose-built platform. With HCLTech Virtuality, you can develop experiences that are accessible from any device and any platform—with minimal dependencies. The solution also comes with robust security and isolation capabilities. Not to forget its customizable components that you can exploit to rapidly build VR experiences at scale.

We’ve built Virtuality in partnership with VIRBELA—a technology company leading the market with its next-generation of enterprise-first products for VR and the metaverse. VIRBELA leverages insights into behavioral psychology and deep technology expertise to build unique and engaging experiences that bring customers, partners and employees closer to each other with virtual reality.

Start building immersive onboarding experiences with HCLTech Virtuality today. Write to us at dwp@hcl.com for the next steps.

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TAGS:
AR/VR
Artificial intelligence
employee onboarding
Metaverse
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