As the world shifts to embrace hybrid and remote work options, your new hire onboarding processes need to shift with it. In order to cultivate happy, engaged, and productive new employees, here are some tips to help you convey your company’s culture, goals, and expectations from a distance

What is Virtual Onboarding?

The concept of virtual onboarding is recent. It is similar to the in-person onboarding process except that it is done virtually, using video conferencing tools, online resources, and webinars. Such onboarding procedures successfully explain to the new employees the terms of service at ease.

Pre-Onboarding Preparations

It is crucial to organize the onboarding process correctly to ensure that it will run smoothly and conveniently. First of all, deal with signing all the necessary documents before the new hire’s first day begins. It will allow allocating more time for human contact, which creates a positive first impression of your organization’s working process.

Secondly, make sure to prepare all the necessary information and tools that your new employee will need to work efficiently. Your remote employees will need:

·      Shipping technical devices with pre-installed software (if the position requires specialized technology),

·      Preparing a professional translation of technical documents if you operate in a multicultural environment,

·      Creating an employee handbook or comprehensive sops – from explaining your company’s culture to presenting job responsibilities and detailed manuals on using separate programs and performing particular tasks,

·      Allocating time for training and workshops on how to use all the equipment.

·      Regular communication is crucial, especially during the virtual onboarding, so consider reliable channels for communication and exchanging feedback when preparing the onboarding plan.

Organization Is Key

First, make sure your onboarding process is documented so that you can begin adapting and digitally implementing it. This can be done in the form of a simple checklist. Share this list with your new employee and review it so that you’re both on the same page. A few items that can be on your checklist include:

·      A welcome letter or email containing crucial documents to be completed, such as an I-9 form.

·      A cheat sheet of who to contact in the business for various needs

·      A description of regular meetings that take place, such as town halls

One-On-One Video Chat

There are a number of virtual communication tools for you to choose from. Once you’ve selected the one that best meets your business needs, it’s important to schedule time for you and your new employee to meet virtually. Avoid phone calls and opt instead for a video call. Being able to see each other will help lessen the distance.

Equip New Hires With Technology As Soon As Possible

An employee’s first day usually involves seating arrangements, getting acquainted with hardware and software, and meeting the team. However, in a completely remote world, it will be necessary to ship or pick up devices. Make sure that all equipment arrives prior to the employee’s start date – even if it is a few days early – to ease any anxiety.

It’s best to load new machines with company-specific software and programs that can be updated remotely so that all your new hire needs to do to get online is insert the appropriate credentials. IT teams responsible for onboarding can walk through the process one-on-one and answer questions. Set up a support ticketing system that enables new team members to quickly ask for help when they need it and that enables real-time updates as the issue is in process of resolution.

Train New Hires On How To Use Collaboration Software

Collaboration tools are vital to the success of remote workers. These tools enable teams to communicate, share files and project plans, schedule meetings, and more.

When checking in with the newest member of your team, make sure you get an idea of their familiarity with the collaboration tools you use. Provide documentation on how to sign in, get started, and actually use the tool prior to their first day. This will allow them to play around with the tool beforehand, so come day one, they’re ready to go!

Collaboration tools are great, but only if you have access to them. If your company has strict permissions or requires licenses for the software you use, make sure you grant access as needed. They shouldn’t get denied when they try to log in. In case there are problems, however, we suggest giving your new hire the steps to take to contact IT.

Allow Them To Drive Their Virtual Onboarding

Lighten your load by encouraging new hires to drive their own onboarding process. The easiest way to do this is by creating a “getting started” checklist for them to work off. What tools do they need to download by the end of the first week? What Slack channels do they need to join? When do documents need to be signed? Who do they need to schedule meetings with? By creating tasks that they can do on their own, you not only give them control of their onboarding but free up your time as well.

Don’t Forget Your Company Culture

Workplace culture is a critical component of employee engagement and satisfaction. The morals, values, and beliefs of an organization must be inherent in the very fabric of the company DNA. Ensuring that new hires are willing and able to understand and accept your company’s culture can make all the difference between an average team member and a passionate, engaged, and productive one.

Culture should be made just as important in onboarding as other day-to-day responsibilities. As a company expands and starts to hire remote employees, they often find their culture unable to evolve in the process. Onboarding remote workers in terms of culture can be done through coaching, mentoring, and technology. Make it a priority so company culture stays strong, even through remote onboarding!

Conclusion

Onboarding new hires effectively allows a team to work successfully and avoid most misunderstandings in the long run. Virtual onboarding can seem challenging, but it will not differ from an in-house process with a comprehensive approach and all the necessary tools available.

Virtual onboarding doesn’t have to be a pain. Onboarding is a lengthy process, but virtual onboarding can be simple if you keep these considerations in mind. First, make sure you have a plan for how you’ll address virtual onboarding. You’ll also want to show new hires your genuine excitement in them joining your company—this creates a positive first impression for the new hire. After this, it’s really all about executing the plan you put together. And with these tips, you should be squared away. So, are you ready to start onboarding virtually?