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Employee Orientation Training: Returning To The Workplace

  • By nilesh
  • July 4, 2022

Safety Is The Name Of The Game

The concept of working from home (WFH) is slowly beginning to wind down as some businesses cautiously reopen the doors to their premises. But, the risks remain because even at this late stage of the pandemic, COVID-19 is still very much a threat.

Things To Consider Before Deciding To Return To Your Workplace

If it’s more convenient for your business, you should definitely continue WFH. But, if you plan to safely return to your office space, you will be expected to provide assurances that your employees have been trained as per the CDC’s “returning to the workplace” compliance guidelines. More importantly, you will need to reassure your employees that their safety and health is your foremost concern.

You must ensure that your employees are made aware of this simple fact: A return to the workplace is not the same as a return to normalcy. In 2021, “business as usual” is still on the far horizon. Over 70% of business executives anticipate a return to the office before the end of this year. But, due to staggered work shifts, not all employees will return to the workplace. Most companies are going for a hybrid version of the remote workforce model and the on-site workforce model.

Planning A Return To The Workplace

Some leaders are taking special online courses to learn how to plan and organize an orderly return to a socially distanced workplace. But, what’s alarming is that over 60% of executives currently don’t even have a solid plan in place even though their employees have been ordered to return to the office soon. Your return to the workplace will need to be carefully mapped out in collaboration with your legal, human resources, IT, and OSH teams. Don’t keep your L&D vertical out of the loop; it has a crucial role to play here.

What Are The New Workplace Rules?

The main objective of the new workplace rules is to minimize or prevent the spread of COVID-19. This means the introduction of safety precautions like vigilant hygiene, alternate work shifts, social distancing, compulsory masks, sanitizing stations, thermometers, and mandatory testing into the daily work schedule of your employees. You’ll need to rely on essential safety knowledge straight from the CDC website.

So let’s say that you’ve planned out your team’s return to work. Now, you’ll need a reliable method of communicating your newly revised HR policies to them. That’s where eLearning comes in. A comprehensive “safe return to the workplace” online training course can prepare your employees to navigate the new types of challenges they will find at their new workplace.

eLearning As An Employee Orientation Solution

You need to develop a new series of online learning resources and modules that are more interactive. After all, interactivity is what turns knowledge into experience. And, experiential learning is hard to forget. The key is to inform and orientate your team with some just-in-time training courses or bite-sized online job aids that are full of practical advice and tips. The online course format is perfect for walking your employees through the information they need to stay safe at work. Courses can be designed to show them exactly what they should expect on their first day back at work. Big changes can be tough to handle but a well-informed employee is a well-prepared employee.

Why Is eLearning The Perfect Fit For “Return To The Workplace” Training?

In this case, instructor-led training would ironically defeat the whole point of social distancing. Instead, rely on web-based training that uses short videos to convey information in a fun, engaging way. If you hire the right people, you can even develop a well-researched rapid learning course that doesn’t sacrifice its interactive elements for the sake of speedy development. The design stage must be guided by direct inputs from OSH professionals.

Your eLearning course will be easy to update, which is necessary (you may need to make revisions as per the latest updates of the CDC guidelines). The online learning format can be used to dispel any COVID-19 myths, raise basic PPE awareness, and stress the importance of the new hygiene rules. You can even include online tests and assessments to hammer home the point of this special training program.

A Cost-Effective Training Solution

Online courses are, by their very nature, self-paced. Self-paced learning will reduce your employees’ need to contact the help desk when in doubt. All they’ll have to do is reach into their pockets and access your informative module on their phones. This will save everyone’s time and help you avoid a dip in productivity.

The Power Of Storytelling As A Teaching Tool

You should develop scenario-based online training anchored by relatable characters and stories that are specific to your company’s work environment. Employees will be expected to apply this knowledge every day, so you should present storified workplace scenarios to help them understand the new workplace rules from all angles. Rather than simply presenting your team with a forgettable do’s and don’ts list, you should leverage modern teaching methods to liven it up and convert that simple list into highly engaging learning content.

Behavioral And Social Learning

The principles behind behavioral learning can be harnessed during the design stage of your new online course. This will make it easier to instill new health-conscious competencies within your employees’ minds. After all, you’re looking to change their mindset and strengthen their belief in the new workplace rules.

Behavioral learning when combined with modern social learning has been known to work wonders in influencing learners’ behavior. You can incorporate social learning in the form of a learning app that your employees will install on their phones. Nudge-based training will work by sending periodic reminders in the form of phone notifications (i.e., reminding your employees to sanitize their hands, reminding your employees to check the headcount of the room they are in, and so on.


Adopt online learning and you can ensure a COVID-secure workplace by establishing a new daily routine in the lives of your employees!