|The world as we knew it changed dramatically during the year 2020 when the
Covid-19 pandemic hit. Organizations were forced to change their ways of
working and many relocated their employees to home-office. Virtual onboarding
was conducted for the very first time for several companies. In response to a lack
of practice-based approaches to virtual onboarding, this thesis looks at how
organizations can conduct their virtual onboarding, to create high organizational
commitment among the newcomers. The study aims to answer the following
research question: How to facilitate high commitment among new employees when
onboarding is performed virtually?
The research was conducted using a qualitative approach, with twelve interviews
from three medium- and large sized Norwegian enterprises within real estate,
banking and accounting. Based on these in-depth interviews we conclude with
five practice-based suggestions which can be used as a tool for organizations
when conducting virtual onboarding for their new employees, namely; (1) Provide
a structured plan, (2) Meeting expectations, (3) Assign a “go-to-person”, (4)
Establish informal channels, and (5) Delegate responsibility. Further, we have
discussed the importance of these categories in virtual onboarding. The study
highlights the importance of effective onboarding to create committed employees,
especially when they are unable to meet their colleagues or supervisors face-toface.
The thesis serves as a contribution to organizations in a similar situation, who are
obliged or need to conduct virtual onboarding of new hires, which the authors
assume will be important even after the pandemic. Lastly, implications for theory
and practice are discussed.