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The Ultimate Guide to Master Remote Onboarding

An Ultimate Guide to Master Remote Onboarding

The business world has reached a stage where new hires start their work remotely and don’t get a chance to meet their team in person. Getting them accustomed to your work culture can be difficult. 

Maybe even more challenging than assisting onsite employees to shift to a work-from-home setting since new hires will have to learn everything from scratch, remotely.

There are certain misconceptions about remote onboarding and remote work in general. For example, employers might assume that an employee working from home will not be as productive as someone working from the office.

This isn’t true as studies have shown that wfh increases productivity by 20 to 30%. Not just that, companies also saved $2000 a year per employee! This is clearly a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee.

Most companies have no other option but to embrace this remote work culture and make it work as efficiently as they can, to ensure business continuity.

In this guide, we'll be covering

What is Remote Employee Onboarding? 

Remote Employee onboarding is a set of activities carried out remotely by the employer to help new hires learn more about the company and their role. Employees that are onboarded remotely are usually trained to work in a remote setting for the long run, generally at their homes. 

Why is good onboarding important? 

Onboarding is an employee’s first introduction to the company. Their experience during this stage can mold their perception of the company and its culture, which can go either way depending on how well the onboarding is carried out. 

According to this stat, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding. If an employee has a bad experience at your company, it's not difficult for them to find a better job as openings are at an all-time high. 

Why-is-good-onboarding-important

A good onboarding experience sets the tone for these new employees. Discussing the company culture and employee’s involvement with the company, and doing frequent check-ins with them, shows that you care about their experience and personal growth at the company.  

Making employees understand how they contribute towards the company’s end goal and how their work can benefit their career development, can make them feel more engaged. Engaged employees are more productive and take less time off work.  

Employee turnover is expensive when you consider the cost to hire another professional and the loss of productivity during the vacancy. Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.  

Recommendations and reviews about your company can be more impactful than you think. A bad experience can provoke dissatisfied employees to leave bad reviews, tarnishing your brand. This could cost the company good talent, who might come across these reviews. 

Why it is Important to Effectively Train Your Remote Team

Onboarding new employees is always accompanied by training and if training is ineffective, so is the onboarding process. With a remote work environment, effective training goes a long way in ensuring that employees get familiar with the organization’s tech stack and achieving organizational development and success. A well-trained employee stays efficient and productive for a longer time. 

Apart from training new employees, organizations must also train existing employees to keep them updated with the latest tech or any changes in the business process. Effective training in an organization can: 

  • Improve employee morale 
  • Increase employee productivity 
  • Reduce supervision required 
  • Reduce chances of error 
  • Improve business outcomes 

4 phases of remote onboarding 

We’ve understood how a good onboarding practice can benefit the company. The remote onboarding process can be split into 4 distinct phases and each phase is as important as the other.  

Phase 1: Orientation 

In this initial phase, the new hire is introduced to the organization, senior leadership, and fellow team members. The objective is to paint a clear picture of the company and what it stands for. The information communicated in this stage is more or less the same for all departments of the organization. 

Phase-1--Orientation

Onboarding employees in groups can minimize the effort and eliminate redundancies. Each group can be assigned a leader to support them through the process. 

The new employees are informed about the rules and regulations of the company and the actions they will have to take to stay compliant. They need to be aware of Business Process Compliance as well. The business will have to comply with all internal and external policies and the employees must understand how to execute processes in a compliant way. 

Remote employees cannot be expected to stay compliant with just a one-time orientation. To eliminate the chances of non-compliance, walkthroughs can be deployed to guide employees through processes involving multiple software.

Phase 2: Defining goals and training 

Once orientation is complete, the next phase involves training employees for their role at the organization. The new hires will learn about their day-to-day activities and the tools they'll need to carry out those activities. 

Companies must review the new hires' skillset and understand how their team can benefit from them. This review will help define goals according to the performance expected from each individual.  

Phase-2--Defining-goals-and-training-

A well-executed training program will give employees the confidence to perform key functions of their role and will also eliminate chances of error. 

However, while training employees remotely, traditional methods can prove impractical. Setting up sessions via zoom calls to train them can only help so much. According to this survey, 67% of remote workers said that they require additional training to perform better in their roles. 

There are tonnes of digital tools that make training easier and Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP) are one of the best choices out there. Employees can be trained using walkthroughs and learning content in various formats. Employees can revisit this content to help them reinforce the training they’ve received.  

Once training is done, the new employee can be observed for a short period of time to understand how well they're performing. A DAP like Apty can help with this analysis for however long, without compromising their privacy.

Phase 3: Transitioning to their permanent role 

This stage starts 60-120 days after an employee joins a company. Their training activities are completed and it’s time for them to move to their permanent role. However, their onboarding doesn't end here. Employees can forget what they learn and 24/7 access to learning content is necessary.  

Phase-3--Transitioning-to-their-permanent-role-

Their direct supervisors must ensure effective communication between the employee and their team members. Establish proper channels to allow seamless communication. 

The supervisor must also discuss avenues for growth and improvement for the employee that can benefit them as well as the company. Transparency is crucial and the employees must be informed of their shortcomings.

Phase 4: Ongoing growth 

This phase involves supporting the employee in their growth. Get feedback and communicate transparently to understand how they can continue to contribute positively to the organization and achieve personal growth as well.  

Phase-4--Ongoing-growth

Identify problems, if any, with employee performance and correct these issues before it affects the company. Analyze their performance to find areas of improvement and provide assistance.  

Allow them to create methods for individual growth within the company. This is referred to as career mapping. This will motivate the employees to perform well in order to progress their careers.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick video that can help HR teams and hiring managers with remote onboarding. 

Remote employee Onboarding Tips for HR and hiring Managers

Best practices for remote onboarding 

Remote onboarding is not an easy feat for both the company and the employee. There is no face-to-face interaction and it is difficult to set the right environment for the new hire. Here are some best practices for remote onboarding you can follow to make the process a lot easier.

1. Make a good first impression 

A good first impression sets the tone for what’s to come for the employee. They feel welcomed and more confident about their new job. This can motivate them to be more engaged with the onboarding process and can turn them into more productive employees.  

Make sure the new employee is comfortable with their new team members. Initiate a one-on-one meeting with their team leader and gradually get them introduced to their fellow team members. Set up ice-breaker sessions and other casual meetings via video conferencing to create a more pleasant environment. Orient them well to their job, team, and organization.

2. Set clear goals 

Make sure employees know what is expected from them at the organization. Provide a list of regular tasks, goals, stretch goals, and key performance indicators. Being transparent about the company’s goals and how the employee can contribute to it helps them understand how they can accelerate their personal growth at the same time.

3. Focus on the experience 

With remote work, all the interaction that an employee has with the organization is through a screen. Ensure they have a seamless experience, be it communicating with team members, accessing files, or raising support tickets. Educate them about the various points of contact for any issue or query. 

Provide the right set of tools for them to complete their tasks and get feedback on any issue they are facing with it. Use Apty Digital Adoption Platform to provide a consistent user experience on all your web applications.

4. Check-in frequently 

Asking for feedback on their onboarding experience can be more insightful than you think. The employees are the ones at the receiving end of the process and they would know best about its shortcomings. Enable easy communication to resolve issues quickly.  

Use Apty to find pain points in your processes and fix them using in-app guidance.

5. Provide ongoing training 

Traditional classroom-style training will not be effective for a remote workforce. 70% of employees forget what they learn in training within a day. This is hypothesized by the forgetting curve. To overcome this, employees must be able to revisit training content when required. Training is not a one-time process and it needs to be constantly reinforced to be effective. 

Apty provides easily accessible learning content and walkthroughs to reinforce training. Beat the forgetting curve with Apty Digital Adoption Platform. 

6. Track the progress 

For any process, tracking its progress is necessary to improve upon it. The success of onboarding activities must be measured with defined KPIs. Track employee retention, turnover, etc to find where the onboarding process is failing. 

Set milestones in the onboarding process for the new hires to achieve. This will motivate them to effectively complete the onboarding process.

How a DAP Plays a Vital Role in Onboarding in the Post Pandemic World  

Technology is advancing at a rapid rate and it is up to the organization to catch up with it. Digital Adoption Platforms help organizations and their employees adopt technology much faster and stay ahead of the curve. 

They provide a seamless user experience with customized walkthroughs that span across your entire tech stack. Invest in a DAP tool like Apty to empower your newly joined employees to make them more productive.

Several Fortune 500 Companies have chosen Apty for their onboarding and training requirements. Find out why!

Transform your employees’ onboarding experience with Apty

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Haniy Shaban
Written by Haniy Shaban

Haniy is a content marketer who is passionate about marketing innovative, new technologies. He believes that writing, just like any other form of art, is ever-evolving, which explains his curiosity to constantly learn and experiment. When he's not wordsmithing, Haniy loves reading comics, listening to music, and playing basketball.

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