Onboarding plays a crucial role in a new employee’s success & happiness. Onboarding is a step-by-step process of integrating a new hire with your company & its culture.
Today, organizations are transitioning to a mindset where flexible remote work arrangement is an option for employees and businesses are ready to go beyond the regular employee onboarding process.
As practical as this may be, the fact is that Remote working employees don’t have opportunities to effectively integrate with the company processes & culture. This is where Virtual Onboarding of new employees or Remote new employee Onboarding becomes a necessity in the modern workplace that we are now warming upto.
It is true that providing a smooth & effective remote onboarding experience can be challenging, initially. Since you are doing it for the first time there might be many challenges and problems you might encounter.
A survey by Gallup, says more than 88% of companies don't onboard their employees well. This results in employee churn and loss of productivity.
In this blog, we will discuss the remote employee Onboarding best practices that you can follow to effectively onboard new hires.
1. Keep an Onboarding plan ready
Onboarding new employees remotely takes longer than in-person. To make the remote employee Onboarding process smooth & fast, keep an Onboarding plan ready. Existing plans can be altered to make it more suitable for the remote Onboarding.
Your plan must include a detailed step-by-step Onboarding process. It must also include milestones to measure how your employees are progressing through the process. A survey says more than 60% of organizations fail to set milestones for new hires.
Setting milestones will make your process more structured, motivates your new hires to be productive, and also reduces their stress & anxiety.
In your plan, include meetings, video conferencing, ice-breaker sessions, casual (in-formal) meetings, feedback sessions, etc. All these will help them to get to know other people, settle down with the new rhythm of work & onboard quickly.
An effective way to onboard & train new hires remotely is to leverage a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP). A DAP provides On-screen guidance which is like a guide sitting next to your new hires, explaining to them how to go about using their tools & software.
With a DAP tool like Apty, you can onboard, train & support your growing remote workforce.
2. Start small and achieve big
You must create short-term plans to achieve something big. Draft a plan for 30 days initially and stick to it. Understand your new hire's expectations and their remote working challenges in these 30 days and then come up with an effective long-term plan.
Create a welcome pack to get your new hires pumped about their Onboarding journey. The welcome pack can include some personalized gifts (eg: t-shirt, headphone, gift-vouchers), a welcome letter from the CEO, informal welcome video, whatever is in line with your budget and company’s ideology.
Also, your welcome pack can provide your new hires with some important information that they can make use of it in their first few days at the company.
The first few weeks are always challenging. During this period, your ultimate aim must be to make new hires feel comfortable. Remote employee Onboarding needs frequent check-ins so that your new hires don’t feel left alone.
Make sure you organize a team building exercise within the first couple of weeks that enriches cross-team collaboration. This paves way for your new hires to get introduced to other team members, company culture & other formalities.
3. Enhance cohort Onboarding
Research says more than 18% of remote employees feel loneliness as their biggest challenge. A feeling of isolation or loneliness is a serious issue that must be taken care of and properly addressed.
Particularly, when it comes to new employee Onboarding it plays a major part in employee retention and churn rate.
The best way to overcome loneliness in remote workers is to encourage team or group learning. The cohort Onboarding program helps you to make the entire process less stressful for both you & new hires.
Group or collaborative Onboarding is an easy way for new employees to get along with fellow team members quickly, also virtual group Onboarding is less intimidating than meeting individuals one on one.
Try to create frequent web sessions and motivate your remote employees to take part in it.
Provide different aspects of learning experience, give multiple choices of learning & training, motivate all types of learners, concentrate more on slow runners.
Create a sense of belonging and individual care which helps your remote employees to come forward and involve themselves actively in the Onboarding process.
4. Create a personal connection
Frequent check-ins and virtual meetings help you to build a personal connection with new hires. It allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your remote Onboarding process and keeps your new employees on the right track.
A personal connection cannot happen in a day, you must include informal chats and frequent communication to build trust & connection. Once a good connection is established, then it will be very easy to help them to achieve milestones in your Onboarding plan.
You will be able to get honest feedback, which you can use to refine your existing Onboarding plan.
After a few weeks, ask your new remote employees the value they got from the current Onboarding strategy. By constantly assessing & refining your Onboarding plan can help remote workforce to adapt better to work and onboard soon.
It is not necessarily the manager who needs to do frequent meetings & build the relationship. HR, team members, any of them can go check-in and be a touch base.
You can even identify champions across multiple teams to touch base with new hires, just to make sure your culture does not support working in silos.
5. Have elements for Engagement
Employee engagement is the most essential part to successfully train remote employees. We are talking about creating a learning environment for your new hires which helps them to advance both in career and personal life.
Providing value & keeping them motivated will eventually build your employee engagement level.
Companies must put themselves in the shoes of remote working employees & brainstorm before they make any decision or changes in the Onboarding process.
Provide your new hires a career growth plan, show them where they can see themselves in the next 3, 6, or 12 months.
We, at Apty, understand how important Employee Onboarding and Training is to your business, whether remote or in-person. We have several resources that explore at length the various aspects of employee Onboarding.
Articles like Employee Onboarding Best Practices , Onboarding 101: Employee Onboarding Training Guide or 3 Main Benefits Of Effective Employee Training And Onboarding could come in handy to ensure business continuity at all times.
Creating an impactful Onboarding experience is difficult. Investing in a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) like Apty empowers employees to learn Enterprise software by themselves within your product.
It also helps in engaging remote employees by customizing walkthroughs for your employees, increasing productivity and reduces support requirements.