“Orientation at my last company was online; it was cool. I learned at my own pace and no one made me participate in dumb, getting-to-know-you types of activities. Sorry, I guess that’s the techie in me talking. I just prefer learning on my own.”
Does that sound like something the majority of your employees would say? If so, then perhaps you’ll want to consider implementing a web-based organizational orientation program.
Web-based orientation programs are designed to allow new employees to experience many or all of the same components of conventional programs, either by joining others in virtual classrooms, webinar-style, or on their own time. This second method is commonly referred to as “self-directed.” In both instances, individuals generally receive e-mails with login instructions, a user name and password, and navigation tools and tips. A schedule is enclosed with dates and times for those opting to participate in the live chat, classroom format; self-directed participants are notified as to when recorded and archived live sessions will be available for viewing. Employees can then upload files of these sessions and undergo orientation later on at the time and location of their choosing.
Not unlike conventional organizational orientation programs, web-based programs can range anywhere from the equivalent of a few hours to several days or more, although they are generally shorter than conventional programs due to their overall format. Electronic versions also differ in that the information is imparted in a series of modularized presentations usually lasting about an hour to an hour and a half each. The length of time between virtual classroom sessions is generally three or four days.
Content is largely presented in the form of live lectures, streaming videos, and PowerPoint slides. Participants in virtual classrooms are able to ask questions of the orientation leader by typing them on their computer monitor, usually receiving an oral response before the session ends. Employees who view archived files must submit questions via e-mail to orientation presenters and wait for a reply.
Some web-based organizational orientation programs are greatly condensed,