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July 9, 2021

Working in Virbela: Onboarding and Orientation

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Onboarding new hires is exciting for everyone—and when you work in a virtual world, you can bring superlative talent into your company from just about anywhere. 

On their first day, there may be a lot to cover: meetings, introductions, tours, and more of what makes your organization tick, to start. Plan on taking advantage of Virbela’s seamless office experience to welcome new employees to the team.

Here, Virbela Director of Human Resources Bryan Reese fills you in on some of his favorite ways to onboard new employees in a virtual world.

Bryan Reese, Director of Human Resources

Bryan has helped companies develop HR capabilities for more than 20 years. He’s an expert in organizational growth, recruiting, training, and more. Take your cues from how he onboards new hires in Virbela to create your own best practices.


Welcoming New Hires

Even the most confident employees might feel a few jitters on their first day. A genuine welcome eases the way and highlights your organization’s culture upfront.

Bryan likes to start Orientation by gathering in an easy-to-find spot. In Virbela, that’s the Concierge area, right when you enter the Virbela Open Campus. Bryan makes sure he’s there before anyone else might arrive, but a dedicated concierge staff is there to back him up.

Where’s your version of a front desk or reception? If your company doesn’t usually staff a virtual reception desk, just being there when new employees enter your campus does the trick. 

Before anyone’s first day, Bryan shares a simple, branded guide to ensure everyone feels comfortable using Virbela’s basic commands to speak, chat in a private or public chat box, walk around, or teleport across campus.


Create a Guide with Virtual World Command Basics

Email candidates a quick cheat sheet before Orientation. Include basic commands for interacting in a virtual world and anything unique about your campus they need to know to feel confident starting their new job.

Even better: Share your company’s guide before interviewing candidates.

Read More: Working in Virbela: Human Resources | Interviewing Candidates

New employees will get the hang of interacting with you and other team members pretty quickly—if they didn’t already pick it up during their virtual interview rounds. 

As more digital natives enter the workforce, virtual interactions are likely to be commonplace. Some of your new employees have probably already been gaming for years. They’ll feel at home in a virtual environment—or, if it is new, this framework will help them become naturals quickly.


Introductions

Bryan is big on the concept of introductions during Orientation. By taking a broad approach that weaves socializing with the need-to-knows, he can continue to offer a positive, welcoming mood.

“Being able to connect in such a unique and personal way through Virbela has been key to setting our new staff members up for success,” he explains. “We run into fellow staff and clients in our open quad areas or branded spaces, like The Virbela Speakeasy™, where we host fun events. We offer full social interaction to our new hires, right from the beginning.”

  

Taking Care of Business

As new employees get to know each other, Bryan begins to introduce more of Virbela. At your company, you can use Orientation to showcase the larger contours of your operations.

Some of the things you might spotlight include:

  • Your company’s mission
  • Core values statements 
  • Your leadership team
  • Organizational structure
  • Product or service offerings
  • Technology platforms

Virtual campuses offer customizable boardrooms, meeting halls, auditoriums, and other gathering spots. With your choice of configurable spaces, you can move new employees through the campus for short sessions that keep their attention and lay out what they need to know.

Presentations are just as seamless as they are in the real world, because you can use your favorite tools in Virbela, too. Bryan relies heavily on screen sharing and video cam features. With lots of Google Slides to inject a fresh visual take on Orientation info, he’s usually presenting his web browser on customizable white boards.

Bryan Shares a Tip: “Host each session on your agenda in a different part of campus. Leadership might speak to new hires from the auditorium stage or around a boardroom table, depending on the size of your company. Walk over to the payroll office to talk about payroll and benefits. Visit your Help Desk when explaining IT support. By connecting new information with campus locations, employees get a sense of space. They’ll start to feel like they’re really at work—because they are!”


Establishing Routines

Orientation is the perfect time to prepare new employees for their daily routines.

At Virbela, all-hands stand-ups are a meaningful part of the culture. These brief weekly meetings let everyone get on the same page when it comes to business objectives, plus offers a few minutes to socialize. Bryan splits up the morning of Orientation by escorting new employees to their first stand-up. 

During your Orientation, you can invite new hires to regular staff meetings or show them their office, let them know what hours your company offers on-campus support, or tell them about social opportunities.

Orientation is your first chance to really bring your new hires into the fold. Take advantage of the opportunity to welcome them and show them the ropes while onboarding for success.

Be sure to catch more of our Working in Virbela series to make the most of your virtual campus. Follow Virbela on LinkedIn and @VirbelaHQ on Twitter to see when new guides debut. 

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