All new hires go through some kind of onboarding program, but how extensive it is depends on the organization. According to a report from the SHRM Foundation (a Society of Human Resource Management affiliate), a company’s onboarding strategy falls into one of three levels depending on how well it incorporates the Four C’s of onboarding—compliance, clarification, culture, and connection. Here are the three levels. Take your onboarding to the next level by adding video assessment to your practice.

Passive Onboarding, or Level 1, covers compliance and some role clarification, but doesn’t directly address company culture or relationship building. SHRM describes passive onboarding as functional, but unsystematic.

High Potential Onboarding encompasses compliance and clarification, while some culture and connection procedures exist. However, companies at Level 2 have not completely established a systematic onboarding process across the entire organization.

Proactive Onboarding refers to a system where all Four C’s are formally and systematically addressed. Only about 20 percent of organizations have this level on onboarding in place, according to SHRM.

So, why does any of this matter?

Research has shown that effective onboarding programs can improve employee performance by nearly 12 percent. Employee retention, manager satisfaction, and employee engagement also increase when new hires go through systematic onboarding.

With so much data supporting a comprehensive onboarding strategy, many organizations have made establishing one a top priority. A lot goes into creating a successful onboarding program, but one of the best ways to get new hires ahead of the curve is to begin the process prior to Day One on the job. That’s where video assessment comes in.

Learning through video assessment

Most onboarding programs use video to foster engagement and enhance learning—two things that become even more important when the process begins from a distance. It’s common to see organizations explain office policies, company culture, and job responsibilities on video, but assessment is often the missing piece. Without evidence of comprehension, how do companies quantify what new hires understand and the overall effectiveness of their onboarding program?

The best video assessment platforms provide organizations with that evidence and more. Before evaluation occurs, new hires submit video responses as part of an exercise that companies customize with relevant content. New hires complete these video activities asynchronously, or on their own time, allowing multiple people at the company to evaluate their submission.

To get the most authentic representation of what new hires understand, it’s important for organizations to set up exercises where individuals show what they know. In other words, instead of asking new hires to watch a video and then answer multiple-choice questions about its content, have them articulate their knowledge or apply what they’ve learned to a different scenario. Doing this turns passive video consumption into an active learning experience.

What active learning looks like

Active learning experiences for onboarding often consist of exercises geared toward compliance, clarification, culture, and connection. Employers can create video activities outlining aspects of the Four C’s and then have new hires respond accordingly. Here is what that might look like within each category:

  • Compliance:Compliance isn’t the most exciting topic, but video activities can make rules and regulations more engaging. After outlining a company policy, employers can create a mock situation and ask the new hire to apply what they know to determine the correct course of action.
  • Clarification:New hires probably understand the majority of their job responsibilities, but role clarification is necessary in some situations. For instance, if a sales rep signs a client, what are all of their responsibilities with the new client? Setting up mock situations and going over them can have a lot of value down the line.
  • Culture:There is always a feeling-out process when employees start a new job, but video activities can give new hires a glimpse into company norms. Having them critically analyze a situation involving work attire or behavior can help them avoid future conflicts.
  • Connection:A great way to start building meaningful relationships from a distance is to involve a manager or employee from the new hire’s department in an exercise. Have this person describe the team and themselves before asking the new hire to share some of their interests in return. Not only does this inject more of a human element into the onboarding process, but it also clues the new hire into the personality of the office and their future coworkers.  

Once new hires complete an exercise, video assessment platforms often give organizations multiple options to evaluate them. There are typically summative assessment options such as percentage grades and five-star ratings, but the more meaningful evaluations are usually formative. The ability to give new hires personalized feedback and coaching on their videos helps them identify areas to improve and gives employers a better idea of how to develop them going forward. Take your onboarding to the next level by using the ideas I’ve presented here —the payoff is great!