Some might argue that online training eliminates the face-to-face interaction necessary for office culture, however, internet-based training benefits your whole team. Considering 25% of training hours were conducted through online media in 2013 (with 16% through self-paced online programs), it’s clear virtual training programs are taking hold in the corporate learning environment. From instigating creative thought, access to learned material, to team building exercises, online training is meant to augment the internal corporate instruction.

Fostering High-Performance Environments

Developing high-potential employees can be tricky. They are highly competitive candidates, so innovation is key to retaining these new hires. Online training and onboarding programs are easy examples of this innovation. Many organizations have taken to gamification as their online training of choice because of the immediate intrinsic rewards of beating your high score or beating your coworkers in a battle of company wits.

Gamification is a proven virtual motivator for employees. With games as a central theme to the learning environment in the onboarding process, employees increase skill adaption by at least 40% from utilizing behavior-motivating strategies. The productive (and slightly competitive) nature of gamification makes it easy for training programs to instill high-performance behavior in new hires. Subsequently, managers can mold their team into HiPo thought leaders.

Beyond Conventional Learning

Engaging remote teams of new hires isn’t much different. Without the boundaries of the traditional classroom setting, you can train your teleworkers with the same consistency as your in-house team. While you may have hired a group of brand new remote employees, virtual training, even via video conferencing, ensures they are on the same page as the rest of the new hires. This gives the new team time to bond, build interpersonal relationships and help one another interpret the training session.

Beat Knowledge Loss

Within 24 hours, new hires lose 70% of the information they learned in their training session the day before. Gather all of the training materials online (and in one place), so the team has the ability to refer back to them as needed. Chances are, they will forget what they learned at the beginning of their onboarding session and by giving them easy access to the materials, they’ll have better information retention. Refresh that information every three months to help your employees remember important information.

Encourage New Hires to Teach New Information

What better way to test new hire knowledge then to ask them to teach their colleagues? Allow your new hires to take on a small leadership role and take their training into their own hands. This ensures they know the information well enough not only to retain it, but to teach others the details as well. When employees are able to teach concepts, managers can assess their ability to move forward into the role. If the employee struggles to teach their peers on basic concepts, it’s back to the training board. Emily Holdman (@emilyledridge), Vice President and Marketing Expert with, said:

“You haven’t truly learned something until you can teach it to others.”

Virtual Bonding

Your organization may not have a culture of company picnics and daily employee lunches to build camaraderie, and that’s okay. Instead, you can offer employees special projects that keep them engaged and allow them to participate in your collaborative work environment. Fortune 100 Best Companies to work for experience twice the amount of success in the general market because of their internal synergy.The use of discussion boards, intranet and social media fosters team building during the training process, which can overlap into the employee’s work beyond onboarding. Some benefits that come from team building include:

  • Hidden or unknown talents
  • Improved organizational productivity
  • Identify barriers which thwart creativity
  • Find team strengths and weaknesses
  • Improve moral leadership

Developing an online training program for your new hires not only makes onboarding easy for you and the new employees. Creating a more engaging learning process for your new hires will ensure their success within the company. Online training will increase engagement among employees, improve performance over an extended period of time and leave employees more satisfied and driven in their positions. While internet-based training can appear less interactive on the surface, it actually encourages learning.