Using AR Effectively in Employee Onboarding

Effective employee onboarding is directly tied to both the success of any business and the success of every employee, regardless of industry.  Onboarding is an experience that includes several key activities, such as orientation exercises, understanding company values and culture, socialization with the existing staff, initial job skills training, and comprehension of the new role and its impact on the business.  Throughout all of these activities, new employees learn the behaviors that are expected of them while they work for the organization. Thus, quality employee onboarding should be a priority for every organization.  

Employee onboarding tends to be boring.

The process of getting started at a new company is stressful for any new employee.  New employees begin their journey with many unanswered questions, unknown expectations, and are often underwhelmed with their onboarding experience.  Learning professionals must focus on making it effective by intentionally utilizing immersive and interactive technology to deeply engage the learner.  

Welcoming new employees to the organization should be a very exciting moment, but too often, it will drag on and become monotonous.  If we know onboarding is critical to success, why is it still so lackluster?  One reason is that we rely on instructor-led programs to deliver mass amounts of information (like drinking from a firehose).  We know that the employee will feel overwhelmed by this teaching strategy, and we as L&D professionals are equally overwhelmed by how much we need to teach in a short amount of time. We trade the need to be effective and engaging in exchange for the need to be brief and thorough – but there is a better way.  

Adding Augmented Reality improves employee onboarding program. 

Adding Augmented Reality (AR) to your employee onboarding experience will breathe new life and excitement into your existing programs.  AR is a powerful engagement tool; it is an effective and fun way to increase learning effectiveness throughout your blended learning solutions.  When your new employee arrives for their first day and is met with an immersive technology that enhances their learning and puts a smile on their face, they will know they have made the right choice – and they will be eager to return the next day.  

How to integrate AR into your existing employee onboarding program.

Incorporating AR into your existing employee onboarding programs is easier than you might think.  Start by reviewing the content that you currently cover in onboarding.  Look for segments of content that are unlikely to change and are also public or non-proprietary, such as the history of your organization, information introducing key executives, diversity and inclusion culture, or giving back efforts.  By focusing on these specific types of content, you will be able to add engagement value to the areas that require deeper employee understanding – both new and existing employees – and simplify complex topics, making them easy to understand.  You will also minimize risk by choosing to include information that is already public.

Integrate AR with the history of your organization.  Rather than a trainer always reciting the history, create an AR experience that shows the history and allows the employee to interact with it.  Imagine scenes where they see a video or a picture, hear a voiceover explaining the historical significance, and then have the choice of what experience to go to next through either a trivia question or just an interactive button.  

Introduce key executives through AR, especially those that new hires might not get the experience to meet in person.  Create posters or signs of the executives that, when scanned, launch an interactive AR experience – perhaps a 3D video of the executive welcoming them to the organization. This is an interactive way for them to learn more about that person and even download contact information.  Additionally, AR is a great way to acclimate your new hires to your learning and HR staff.  

Highlight your diversity and inclusion efforts through AR-enhanced literature.  Supply the employee with a quick synopsis of your company’s brand statement about diversity and inclusion that launches an AR interactive experience showcasing real employees and their experiences within the organization.  Introduce them to your employee resource groups and even offer them the opportunity to join one through the AR experience.  In this same way, you can show off your organization’s volunteer efforts and empower them from day one to begin giving back, too. 

Continue with AR throughout the onboarding experience.

As the employees’ onboarding experience continues, keep adding in points of engagement through AR.  Offer consistent ways for them to interactively engage in the content and learn about what matters in their new organization.  Make the first days of work fun and exciting, setting the stage for great days to come.  

Contact us to learn more about how Motive can augment your onboarding experience using AR.

Betty Dannewitz

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