October 27, 2022

What is remote onboarding? Actions to implement it correctly

The onboarding process is a key process for a good company performance. This is the first stage of the employee lifecycle and, when applied correctly, it ensures the proper integration of every employee into the organization. In de midst of a massive migration of companies going from work premises to remote office, your onboarding process must change to fit this new working style.  

Do you know how to onboard employees remotely? At T2W we have an extensive experience in recruitment processes and Human Resources, so we know about remote onboarding. In this article, we’ll explain how to onboard employees remotely. 

Onboarding in the age of remote work 

Onboarding in the age of remote work

If your organization has gone from working at the office to working from home, you can’t onboard people the same way. If you keep the same process, you’ll star noticing problems with new employees. In fact, during 2020, when the pandemic was still in full force, it was reported that about 37% of companies had problems onboarding new employees. What kind of problems are we talking about? 

Well, there is a noticeable loss of trust in the organization, employee morale and engagement start fading, productivity is heavily affected and, to top it all, employee turnover increases. Remote onboarding follows a very similar process to an in-office onboarding, but it also presents new challenges that need to be addressed by companies. Let’s see the steps for a good remote onboarding process.  

1. A good pre-boarding. 

Pre-boarding is a phase that begins the moment new employees sign a contract with the company. Pre-boarding is comprised of all the actions that happen before employees’ first day of work. It’s main objective is to speed up the subsequent onboarding. For example, during the first day of work, most people have to sign many documents. However, that takes time that could be used for onboarding. For that reason, is best to send all documents and legal proceedings to employees so that they can complete them beforehand.  

Likewise, the company probably has a series of workplace regulations and manuals that employees have to reed. You have to share these guidelines the moment the contract is signed. This way, people have more time to acquaint themselves with such manuals. 

Since it is made remotely, through the onboarding process you should show the company cares about employees. For that reason, you should send a welcome package that employees can receive at home the first day. These packages usually have a series of souvenirs from the organization and is getting increasingly common for modern companies, so be creative with it. This is a nice touch that can help you start a professional relationship the best way. 

2. Introduction of the team 

In an ideal scenario, new employees should meet the rest of people in the organization, but that is not always possible due to the size of each company. However, being introduced to the team is a key step so that newcomers can get to know the people they will work with. This meeting should be scheduled in advance and it shouldn’t extend more than necessary.  

3. Tasks and responsibilities 

In any onboarding process, whether remote or at the office, newcomers need to receive their first training session and take a closer look at their tasks and responsibilities. Since this will be a remote session, make sure to record this meeting so that they can re-watch the session as many times as they need to. This is a big benefit of remote onboarding. Except for this last remark, this phase is usually done the same way as it would be done at the office. 

4. A tour through remote work platforms 

While a tour through the work premises is not necessary in this case, it is important for new employees to get used to the software and platforms used. All companies that work remotely have an online collaborative workspace. Common alternatives are usually provided by Microsoft 360 or Google. Make sure new employees are used to these platforms. 

What communication platform do you use? Whether you use Meet, Teams or any other alternative, show new employees its main features if are not familiar with it. On the other hand, any organized company uses a project management software. Which one do you use? You need to teach newcomers how to use the app, whether it’s Asana, Trello or other option. 

You might like: Types of organizational culture in modern businesses 

5. An appointed coworker for questions 

Regardless of how complete or organized your remote onboarding process is, every new employee will have a series of questions. They will have questions related to their job, the organization, the coworkers, etc. For that reason, you should appoint a person to solve all those doubts. This is known as a mentoring program and it can offer great results! 

In the same way, it’s good to schedule periodical meetings with the newcomer. These have to be private meetings and be focused on checking if there are problems regarding the responsibilities or the working style. The main objective here is to listen to what new employees have to say and to know their experience so far. This talk should be as direct and transparent as possible. The meetings can be short, which is an advantage in remote work. 

6. Remote work equipment 

Ok, the onboarding process is over. Do you know if employees have the tools to get their work done? A mistake that you can’t afford making is assuming all your employees have the best computer for their job. You need to provide a laptop to all the people that require it to work. It happens something similar with cellphones, since some positions require a special mobile to work. It’s not good that employees use their personal devices to do their job. 

Finally, in an environment where everybody works remotely, the internet is key. You can’t expect all employees to have a strong internet connection.  To avoid performance problems, many organizations offer internet bonuses to employees. This measure not only guarantees a good employee performance, but also strengthen employee motivation. Depending on their responsibilities, check which positions require this bonus.  

These are the main actions that will help you onboard employees remotely. Keep in mind that a good onboarding process can help you retain the best workers and get their best performance. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.  

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