Improving the virtual onboarding experience with GEO Launch
Published on December 17, 2021 in Working at Geotab by Kyla Dewar | 4 minute read
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Learn more about Geotab’s new and improved virtual onboarding experience, GEO Launch.
There has been a dramatic shift in recent years towards remote or virtual work opportunities. Though many companies have adopted a hybrid working model, others have also gone fully remote. Many businesses have had to make changes to their hiring processes, or even create completely new ones, to support a virtual onboarding experience.
When it comes to onboarding, Geotab is no stranger to these changes. Supported by our hybrid work model, we have fully adapted our in-person onboarding processes for all our offices to be remote. In doing so, we have streamlined employee onboarding and paved the way for a truly immersive experience that is unique to Geotab.
A screenshot showing Geotabbers during a virtual onboarding session.
Before diving into Geotab’s onboarding process, GEO Launch, let’s first outline some basics about onboarding in general.
What is virtual onboarding?
Virtual onboarding, or remote onboarding, works similarly to in-person onboarding. The only difference is that one is entirely online while the other is in a physical space. Virtual onboarding provides an opportunity for employees to learn about their company, team and role from wherever they are located.
The four key stages to onboarding typically are:
- Orientation: New hires are introduced to the organization and key team members. This typically involves reviewing key documents and learning about the company's values.
- Role training: New hires are set up for long-term success by teaching them about their day-to-day responsibilities and providing them with any relevant information.
- Transitioning: Managers assist new hires in gaining a firm knowledge of their role to support their productivity.
- Ongoing development: Managers strategize for continuous professional and personal development so that the individual and the company can attain their objectives and succeed.
Why is onboarding important for new employees?
Here are some quick facts on the benefits of having a structured onboarding experience:
- It can improve employee retention by 82%.
- Employees are 58% more likely to stay at that same company for the next three years.
- It can increase employee performance by up to 11%.
These statistics on the onboarding experience shed light on their value to companies and their new employees. Not only does onboarding help set employees up for success, but it also helps showcase a company’s culture, people and priorities. All of these factors are essential for new employees to understand how their company operates and how they fit into the organization.
What is GEO Launch?
GEO Launch is Geotab’s unique approach to virtual onboarding. When a new hire first joins Geotab, they spend their entire first week in company-specific onboarding. This means that they are completely immersed in all of the ins and outs of how the company operates, our products, partner ecosystem, team structures and beyond.
At Geotab, new hires do not officially meet their team until their second week, where they will start department, team and role-specific training. This helps to provide new Geotabbers with a basic understanding of the company and its operations so they are better prepared for the start of their day-to-day work. Having first an understanding of the ins and outs of Geotab helps make the transition easier and allows them to jump right in.
GEO Launch statistics
In 2021, Geotab successfully onboarded more than 1,000 employees from around the world. This includes 839 full-time employees and 222 interns. The average size of each new onboarding group also grew from 21 in Q1 of 2021 to 36 in Q4 of 2021, highlighting the rapid growth of Geotab as a company.
Upon completion of week one of the GEO Launch experience, each new Geotabber was asked to rate both the facilitator (i.e. the Learning and Development Specialist) and their overall experience. Overall, the GEO Launch experience was given 4.6 out of 5 stars (a 92% overall satisfaction rating) while the facilitators were ranked at 4.88 out of 5 stars (a 97.6% rating).
In addition, to sum up the knowledge presented in the GEO Launch program, all new employees are required to complete a knowledge test. This test goes over the basics of what was learned during the onboarding process and helps show the effectiveness in terms of knowledge retention. In 2021, the average score was 95.42%.
What we accomplished
After week one of the GEO Launch was complete, new Geotabbers were given the opportunity to share their feedback and suggestions for future improvements. Across 2021, the Learning and Development team took this feedback into account and implemented the following improvements:
- Increased social engagement and rapport within departments by partnering individuals based on their departments.
- Incorporated Tabr (an in-house employee matching program for Geotabbers to learn more about each other) into Tuesday and Thursday morning sessions for increased engagement.
- Improved and increased knowledge of Geotab culture by incorporating a discussion and presentation around the Geotab Culture Book and creating an interactive core value activity.
- Listened to the feedback around screen fatigue and created a schedule that allows for more “self-paced” learning where cameras are not required.
- Divided department-SME presentations over the week and scheduled more time for social engagement and structured breaks, in response to the feedback around one day being presentation heavy.
- Incorporated “Wellness Wednesday” by starting each GEO Launch Wednesday off with live chair yoga and guided meditation session.
What makes a good onboarding experience?
At Geotab, we believe that a good onboarding experience results in positive feedback. When the first week of GEO Launch is complete, new Geotabbers are given the chance to provide anonymous feedback on their experience. Here are just a few examples of what our Geotabbers had to say:
Geotabbers also expressed how upbeat the facilitators were and that the sessions were very engaging.
Many comments also touched on the positive energy and mindful approach to onboarding.
A key part of making virtual onboarding successful is making employees feel like they are a part of something.
Geotab takes onboarding seriously. Without proper guidance during the early days at a new company, employees can feel lost or out of place, especially when working remotely. To help combat this, Geotab has created an in-depth virtual onboarding experience that guides new hires through the ins and outs of the company.
We take pride in the success of our onboarding program and encourage anyone who is interested to check out our open positions on our Careers site so you can be a part of it too.
For the latest Geotab news, photos and career updates, follow @InsideGeotab on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
If you liked this post, let us know!
Kyla Dewar is a Content Marketing Specialist for Geotab.
Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.
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