Desperate times call for innovative measures. On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost every facet of the employee experience has to be reimagined given the majority of organizations have asked employees to work from home. In such a situation, how does an organization ensure a superior onboarding experience for its new employees?
IndiaFirst Life Insurance did so by leveraging the power of digital technology. In an exclusive interaction with us, Praveen Menon, Chief People Officer, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co Ltd shares an interesting initiative undertaken by the company to elevate the onboarding experience through digital during the lockdown.
The Problem Statement
The firm was hiring front line sales force for its Bancassurance channel. And the induction program was designed to make them ready post the program. This was essentially to be done through an instructor-led training/classroom program. However, even given the current situation brought on by Coronavirus, the firm did not want to short change the employee experience and wanted the new hires to have an interaction with their trainer during the induction period.
IndiaFirst Life Insurance conceptualized the induction program with a focus on engagement and learning. At the same time, it did not want the participants to feel stressed out and chaotic from Day-1. Hence the training team conducted the orientation call on Day-1 of the lockdown and explained the course of action in the next 10-15 days.
Praveen shares, “Our intention was to complete the entire induction through digital medium and make them ready to hit the field once the lockdown is over.”
In order to achieve this, the firm prepared the requisite content and divided into three parts –
- Pre-read material and handouts
- Content for trainers to conduct in live webinar setup i.e. Presentations and videos
- E-learning on Mobile.
On account of the situation, the duration of the induction program was revised to 10 days where 3 hours in a day were allotted for video conferencing. The remaining time was given to the participants to refresh concepts through reading material and e-learning.
Challenges in Execution
As expected, network bandwidth was an anticipated problem. However, it did not stop the firm from executing the onboarding digitally. In order to tide over this challenge, the firm had made sure the conference call set up was ready as a standby arrangement.
The ROI from the Program for Employee Experience
While this was a new initiative by the firm, however the smooth execution of induction program for 84 new employees even during such testing times was well received. Moreover, despite the lack of a physical onboarding, employees felt connected, which also created a sense of belonging despite none of them visiting the firm’s office for the induction sessions. Praveen points out another interesting fact.
“This possibly would be the first time in their career that they had Work from Home (WFH) arrangement from Day-1 itself,” he revealed.
Future plans/ Learnings based on the outcomes of the Case Study
Given that the firm was able to successfully pull off this experiment in onboarding, it has now encouraged it to introduce video conference-based training as a conscious choice in its learning roadmap, which in turn has helped it to save costs and yet deliver a good onboarding experience by leveraging the power of digital.