What is online onboarding?

Published by Carole Bower on

What is online onboarding?

Table of contents

Onboarding is the process of training new employees, to give them all the tools that they need for a successful start. This generally involves training new employees on your company, your offer, your customers, culture and the regulations they need to follow. An effective onboarding programme can increase employee retention and loyalty to a company. Online onboarding can have the same effect, when done right.

According to Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) research, 54% of companies with onboarding programs reported higher employee engagement. At the same time, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.

With online onboarding, this is all achieved with digital training tools. These tools can help onboard both remote and office-based employees. Consider whether online training tools might benefit your onboarding process.


Benefits of online onboarding

Here are some reasons you should be moving towards online onboarding now: 

  • With the right partner, you can quickly build an online onboarding program that covers all aspects of your business. This can include training on company culture, customers, right through to compliance.
  • Cut down on the amount of resources needed to create multiple onboarding experiences. Develop a standardised online programme, to save time and money.
  • Online onboarding suits the diverse needs of new hires, allowing them to complete their onboarding anytime, anywhere. The flexibility of online onboarding is crucial for remote and global onboarding.
  • Online training offers advantages that face-to-face onboarding does not. Gamification and other interactive content increase hew hire engagement and their retention of important information.
  • Online onboarding allows you to measure how your teams are learning. You can compare progress, and can identify any anomalies within a team to offer further support. As a result, you can tailor later training to each individual and suit their needs.

Learning materials

Not everyone learns at the same speed or the same way. Successful online onboarding programs embrace a variety of learning resources – videos, portals, interactive games, webinars, apps. Each promotes greater interest and engagement.

There are many types of content that a digital online onboarding program can include.

  • Video. Video is a visually rich medium and is, therefore, more engaging to the learner. For example, emotive scenarios or interactive videos are far more likely to retain the attention of a learner. Training videos don’t need to be in a lecture format in order to provide valuable information. In fact, learners are more likely to remember their training if they can remember how it made them feel. 
  • Quizzes. Quizzes can come in many formats. You can use them to check knowledge or see how your employees perform in practical scenarios. They can also be used as a formal assessment or a reflective exercise. Quizzes offer an additional method to keep learners engaged, and monitor progress.
  • Digital experiences. Digital experiences are a mix of video, games and quizzes all in a digital environment. The goal is to create an immersive and captivating experience to train employees. 
  • Online portals. A portal experience connects colleagues, curates digital content and provides a ‘hub’ for a topic or theme.

Tools to assist online onboarding

It can be difficult to feel comfortable in a new workplace, so colleague connections are important. This is especially challenging when employees are working remotely. Provide effective communication platforms to build your teams’ relationships. 

Your online onboarding program can facilitate this. Custom portal experiences can provide team-building exercises and a platform for communication amongst colleagues. They can watch each others’ progress and provide advice, as they move through the onboarding process. Consider how your team might benefit from additional tools from their training provider.

At BAD, we know how important the success of your onboarding program is to you. 

We provide unique digital experiences to help companies successfully onboard and train their teams. Reach out to us today to learn more.

Related stories


What is online onboarding?

Online onboarding needs to be just as effective as your usual onboarding…