Remote Onboarding: 3 Steps to Success
Creating an Effective Virtual Plan
Onboarding new employees virtually requires a strategic approach. It is essential in today’s rapidly changing workplace. Whether your organization is new to remote work or seasoned professionals, ensuring a smooth remote onboarding experience continues to be a challenge for most. Ensuring new hires seamlessly integrate into the organization can be made simple with the following tips.
Prepare Before Day One
According to a survey from SilkRoad and CareerBuilder, 29% of employees felt their organization did not prepare them adequately for their first day. This is why remote onboarding starts well before the new employee’s first day.
The onboarding process begins with the accepted offer. By communicating effectively and often during this first stage, new employees feel welcome. They become confident about their integration into the company.
Set Up Shop Early
As with any onboarding process, virtual onboarding requires logistics and planning. Organize necessary paperwork, create new accounts and passwords, and send devices like computers or tablets in plenty of time before the first day.
Provide new employees time to create accounts, set up devices, and work with IT before the first day. This reduces the chance of technical issues, but also establishes another connection to the company early on.
Appoint A Mentor
A successful virtual onboarding approach includes dedicating a contact person for new hires. This dedicated onboarding contact is central for relaying important information and answering questions. New employees should never be confused on who to go to when asking questions. Establish this mentor contact beforehand to allow for a seamless transition into the first day.
Engage New Employees
A successful remote onboarding plan is never a one-day session. According to SHRM, by keeping onboarding interactive and thinking beyond a week, employers ensure higher engagement with new employees. This advances connection and integration into the company.
The virtual workplace, by nature, needs to be intentional. New employees won’t necessarily have those happenstance moments to connect with coworkers from another team in the hallway, so it’s important to encourage those conversations early on.
The appointed mentor can encourage the new hire to meet with coworkers within and outside their own team for brief, informal chats on phone or video.
Understand the Team
During these brief, informal chats, new hires also gain the chance to garner a broader scope of the organization and its working parts. If new hires can connect their job to the broader organization, they’re able to connect and build trust in the company’s work flow.
Build the Culture
Spend a little extra time communicating company culture and history is vital in a virtual workspace.
Most companies adopt methods of work that are explained simply as the company’s ‘way of doing things.’ Clearly communicating your organization’s ‘way of doing things’ is vital to integrating new hires to the overall company culture.
Harvard Business Review notes important norms to communicate include method and formality of communication, dress code, working hours, and even specific Zoom etiquette.
Modernize the Process
Remote onboarding should be dynamic, interactive, and include a variety of materials to best prepare new employees.
Get With the Times
Modern employees call for a modern onboarding process. Therefore, revaluating your current training program is a good place to start. So whether this means an interactive video series or simply revamping your current process to match learning objectives, reassess your current onboarding training to help identify issues you might not have seen otherwise.
Create a Plan
An onboarding plan is crucial to tracking a new hire’s acclimation and progress. The plan should include specific goals relating to training and development. Consider anything from video courses to a daily check-list for the new hire to go through and complete during each phase of their onboarding, for instance.
Schedule a Check-In
Finally, while it’s tempting to call it a wrap on onboarding after the first week, the onboarding process doesn’t always have a definitive end time. New employees may find they have questions or experience a new project they require help with months down the road.
By scheduling periodic check-ins, employees and employers are able to provide feedback on the onboarding process and role-related questions or concerns. Ideally, these check-ins are around three months, six months, and one year after their start date.
Prepare, Engage, Connect
In conclusion, with targeted preparation, a method for immediate engagement, and use of modern ways to connect, virtually onboarding new team members can be made simple and effective in today’s ever-evolving workplace.