Onboarding With AR: 3 Ways To Effectively Welcome And Engage New Hires

Did you know that 88% of employees believe their organization doesn’t onboard well? 

Whether you’re planning an onboarding program for the first time or you’re looking to improve your existing program, innovative technologies, like augmented reality (AR), can transform your program and ensure success when bringing new members on board.

Three examples of using AR for onboarding include:

  • Learn about the organization’s history, culture, and values on an AR scavenger hunt
  • Use AR object recognition for equipment training
  • Train new hires on complex processes through step-by-step demonstrations with AR

If first impressions last a lifetime, it’s vital that your organization makes a good one. AR can help you do just that! 

It may be worthwhile to ask yourself, “Is my onboarding program effective and could it be enhanced by AR?”

This article will explain what onboarding is, explore how AR can elevate onboarding programs, and provide three examples of using AR for onboarding. 


What Is Employee Onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of bringing new hires into an organization smoothly by having them complete orientation and other necessary training needed for their new role. Onboarding should cover anything a new employee needs to succeed in their role and work confidently. 

At Roundtable, we recommend completing onboarding in the following four phases:

  • Orientation — Introduce the new hire to the organization and key team members, review the handbook, important policies, and related compliance materials, and explore the organization’s values. 
  • Role Training — Teach the new hire about their day-to-day job duties and any information they need to set them up for long-term success.
  • Transition — Train organizational leaders so they can help new hires gain a solid understanding of their position and become fully productive.
  • Ongoing Development — Create plans for continued career and personal growth so that both the individual and organization can reach their goals and achieve success.

Both the employer and new employee have their own onboarding goals, but really they seek the same outcome: to build a solid foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship. 

Read More: Corporate Onboarding Programs: What You Need To Know


Importance Of Comprehensive Onboarding

Without a structured onboarding program, organizations lose 25% of new employees within a year. A negative onboarding experience will result in new hires looking for employment elsewhere, doubling an organization’s costs and time to hire

A structured onboarding program has many benefits, including: 

  • 50% higher employee retention
  • 54% higher productivity levels
  • 34% faster full proficiency gained among employees

The best onboarding programs review performance goals and expectations, demonstrate a healthy and inclusive culture, display operational efficiency, and reduce first-day anxiety. Through integrating AR into your onboarding program, you can not only impress a new hire, but also set your organization apart from others.

Read More: Why Is Onboarding Important For Your Organization


How Can AR Transform Onboarding?

Does your current onboarding program use an eLearning program where learners sit and click through their course? Maybe you walk them around the office on a tour, have them sit through a seminar, or introduce them to an expert who shows them how to operate equipment. 

Instead of these typical onboarding techniques, we’ve found that AR provides an engaging, hands-on, and effective onboarding experience with positive long-term benefits. 

With AR, employees can use their smartphones and tablets to overlay reality with a host of digital assets, including 2D images, videos, text, and 3D digital models. While there are pros and cons, AR is beneficial for role-specific training, as well as on a general level.

AR is an affordable learning technology that saves organizations money and takes onboarding to new heights in the following five ways:

  1. Reduce repeat visits for unsolved issues
  2. Speed up time for resolution
  3. Reduce the need for reliance on experts for answers
  4. Create more consistent training experiences
  5. Reduce potential safety incidents

Read More: How To Build A Powerful Onboarding Program With Extended Reality

Now that we know the benefits that come with this learning modality, let’s dive into three examples of how AR can be used for onboarding. 


Learn About The Organization’s History, Culture, And Values On An AR Scavenger Hunt

New employees need time to understand the history, culture, and values of their organization. For some, this could take days, while for others it could take weeks or even months to fully grasp all there is to know about their new organization. 

To help with this process, AR can be used to send new hires on a scavenger hunt throughout the workplace. Throughout this scavenger hunt, employees use an iPad, tablet, or mobile device to scan real-world 2D images, like a poster or sign. 

Through AR image recognition, users interact with custom-built content that tells a story about the company’s history, culture, and values. Content could include:

  • Interactive digital posters that display information about the organization’s founding
  • Videos that introduce new hires to key leadership members
  • A map of their new work environment that displays where key areas of the business are located


Use AR Object Recognition For Equipment Training

AR offers an efficient way to train new hires on complex machinery and equipment without needing to occupy equipment in the real world. Any employee that works with equipment they must troubleshoot or repair can use AR as an introduction to that process. 

For example, during role training, a newly hired automotive technician may need to learn how to change a tire. By using AR object recognition, the new hire can scan the real-world tire, then isolate specific parts, read informational text, and watch virtual demonstrations of the tire changing process. 

This program allows learners to understand key components of an object they’ll work with on a daily basis and comes with the following benefits:

  • Completed from a safe environment that avoids safety risks or costly damages
  • Doesn’t take up real-world equipment
  • Learners can explore objects as a whole or for its individual parts

Whether it’s a tire, drill, motor, engine, or other complex piece of equipment, AR can recreate real-life objects as digital forms that learners can manipulate, explore, and master prior to starting their job. 


Train New Hires On Complex Processes Through Step-By-Step Demonstrations With AR

AR is largely used for step-by-step process training. AR can walk new hires through detailed instructions for whatever real-world tasks their position requires, including processes on an assembly line with equipment parts or at a cash register with money.

For example, a newly hired retail employee will need to be trained on their store’s current policies, customer service techniques, and point of sale (POS) system. AR is a tool that can train them on the POS system and allow them to practice addressing customers without jeopardizing the store’s reputation or business.

On the digital recreation of the POS system, learners can practice applying discounts, refunding customers, sending digital receipts, supplying the proper amount of change, and more. Not only does this program teach proper retail techniques, it also corrects improper behaviors by having learners repeat the program until they get it right. 


Don’t Be On-Boring With Your Onboarding! 

AR has the potential to elevate onboarding at your organization. Through its unique features, AR provides employees with interactive and engaging learning experiences guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. 

Are you ready to create a custom onboarding program or transform your existing program with AR? Get started building your program today or check out more of our resources on everything onboarding