Why Flawless Onboarding Process Is Significant To Hiring Remote Employees Successfully?
Employee onboarding, also known as new-employee assimilation or orientation, is the procedure by which an organization accommodates its new employees. It has clear objectives - to help employees build connections, accustom them to company culture, and understand work expectations. However, attaining these goals can be difficult during remote onboarding as you can not have in-person meetings with new hires.
Thus, as the remote work culture rises and more and more organizations hire remote employees, it becomes essential to have a streamlined remote employee onboarding process. From setting clear expectations from the get-go to creating an employee handbook and using the right onboarding software, we will have a look at how an efficient onboarding process changes the way remote employees begin their journey in the organization.
First, let us understand what exactly is remote employee onboarding.
What Is Remote Employee Onboarding?
Employee onboarding is a sequence of tasks that help new employees get to know their team and learn about the company’s values, practices, traditions, and tools. Remote employee onboarding is a similar process, but the hired employees will be working remotely rather than from the office.
An onboarding process facilitates employees to adjust to a new workplace seamlessly. Employers should take advantage of this opportunity to explain all the factors that will enable new team members to succeed as they get more familiar with their roles within the organization. Remote employee onboarding can be both formal and informal and generally, organizations use both approaches so that new employees are fully ramped up.
A sequence of workshops, training sessions, video calls, and exercises often make up for the formal onboarding process. The informal onboarding process can be more ad hoc and involve shadowing team members, getting to know different stakeholders, learning about corporate customs and methods of problem-solving through observation, and spontaneous coaching sessions with the new employee’s manager.
Why Should You Plan Well for Remote Onboarding?
Even though remote work is on the rise, it has certain disadvantages. Remote working can make employees feel disconnected from the organization and less involved with daily company happenings. It leads to decreased employee visibility and there is a lack of face time with the managers and other team members. Working from the office provides employees with the opportunity to bond over shared experiences, which is missing in work-from-home setups.
However, since 70% of employees prefer hybrid work models after covid-19, remote working is the future, and employers need to create a streamlined working and communication process for the same. A well-planned onboarding process can contribute to minimizing the disadvantages of remote working and helps retain new hires by making them feel like a member of the team. It acclimates new hires to their role, the company’s philosophies, and what the company has to offer.
When new employees join the company, especially Gen Z workers, they expect the employers to follow an onboarding process that clarifies fundamental expectations and provides them with the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Today’s employees expect much more from their companies except for a regular paycheck - they care about the company’s culture, teamwork, mentorship, learning opportunities, leadership, and more.
An effective onboarding program can help stimulate the same and make remote employees feel happier and more productive. Setting clear expectations, building an understanding of culture, establishing a foundation for strong organizational relationships, and providing early comfort and confidence are the make-or-break parts of a remote onboarding process.
Let's have a look at some benefits that a flawless onboarding process can offer to the business.
Top 6 Reasons for Implementing Flawless On Boarding Process while Hiring Remote Employees
Stronger Employee Experience
A great onboarding process is necessary for setting the tone of the entire employee experience. By putting an emphasis on things like company culture, employee development, and regular check-ins, you can show new employees how much you care about their experience at your company. Extending these focus areas past your onboarding phase then maintains that strong employee experience, right from hiring to retirement.
Better Employee Engagement
Employees that are on boarded properly can feel more connected to your business and its goal, vision, and values. Setting up your new employees with other coworkers helps them learn about the organization in an interesting way. Recognizing employees early for a job done well and implementing feedback also leads to increased job satisfaction. Incorporating these activities into your onboarding process for new remote employees helps build employee engagement right away.
Higher Employee Retention
69% of employees say that they are likely to stay with a company for at least 3 years after a structured onboarding process. Since a lot of candidates change their minds about an offer after signing it, it is beneficial to start this with the employee preboarding the moment an offer letter is signed. Offering a warm welcome enables you to capitalize on the excitement generated by your hiring process and job offer and ensures a smooth transition from applicant to employee. Continuing the onboarding process for at least 60-90 days guarantees that new hires successfully settle into and adapt to their new roles and stay long-term with the organization.
Easier Talent Attraction
After the initial onboarding experience, 20% of new employees are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member. Thus, an engaging onboarding process can go a long way in helping you not only retain existing employees but also attract strong candidates. Employee referrals are a crucial avenue for recruiting candidates as they are proven to be easier, quicker, and less expensive to hire.
A successful onboarding process enhances employee relationship building and aids the new hire’s integration into the company. Between things like learning about your organization and developing connections to forge cross-functional teams, it takes time for new hires to adapt to a new role. When new employees are onboarded the right way, this process can be sped up, reducing the time it requires for employees to become proficient and increasing productivity by over 70%.
Stronger Company Culture
You can attract and retain the right individuals by creating a strong, intentional company culture and communicating it during the recruitment and onboarding process. In the early stages of the employee lifecycle, communicate the purpose, vision, and values of your business frequently. Organizations that invest in employee onboarding report easier assimilation into the company culture. To achieve cultural alignment, use tools like onboarding materials and all-hands meetings to showcase employee success stories and corporate accomplishments.
Now that you know the importance of a flawless onboarding process for remote employees, below are the steps that you should take to onboard your new hires effectively.
Steps to Onboard Your Remote Employees Effectively
#1 Streamline Your Pre-boarding Process
You must lay a solid pre-boarding foundation before anything else. This encompasses everything that takes place once you decide the candidate is a good fit for your organization up to the moment when they report for their first day of work.
Make sure your new employees have access to all the resources they will need to do their jobs, such as productivity tools, learning modules, email accounts, project management tools, expense reporting apps, etc.
#2 Have a Checklist For Remote Onboarding
- Create a checklist that will help in the remote onboarding process. This checklist should include the following:
- Schedule an individual or group orientation via video conferencing call. Send a digital copy of the employee handbook and other onboarding documentation beforehand.
- Schedule an HR session where employees can sign documents digitally, learn about benefits, and set up any accounts they may need access to.
- Hold a team meeting and provide the new hires with important team documents, relevant contact information, team calendars, and everything else your team uses on a daily basis.
- Create an individual 30/60/90 day onboarding plan with video check-ins and goals.
#3 Adopt a Collaborative Onboarding Process
Instead of depending solely on the HR and L&D departments, the organization’s key experts should collaborate and share their knowledge with the new employees by developing the onboarding course material themselves. All they need is appropriate learning management software to create modules that divide complex chunks of information into smaller bits.
This way, new employees can gradually finish relevant modules and ask for feedback as they progress. By decentralization of onboarding content, the HR and L&D team will be facing less pressure and the new employees will be able to interact with every department.
#4 Customize the Onboarding Experience for Each Employee
Potential employees have expectations about the job and their responsibilities as they go through the onboarding procedures. Therefore, it’s imperative that you modify the onboarding procedures in a way that fulfills their needs and expectations. You must provide the new employees with learning pathways that are tailored to their position and prepare them for it. They should be provided with the freedom to consume the learning paths at their own pace, especially when they are in different time zones.
#5 Provide A List Of Key Stakeholders
The hiring manager should compile a list of the most important stakeholders the candidate will work with in their new position and provide the new hire with any relevant background information. Accelerating onboarding, whether remote or not, involves establishing key stakeholders from day one and encouraging meet and greets.
#6 Engage the New Hires With Automated Workflow
New employees might become easily sidetracked, especially if they have to go through multiple learning paths and are working remotely. Using checklists and setting up reminders is the best way to keep them engaged. A checklist shows visible progress, encouraging new employees to complete the learning modules.
If you observe that one of the employees is lagging behind, send them a personalized message to check if they need assistance and to see if you should set up a one-on-one meeting with them.
#7 Refine Your Processes by Acquiring Feedback
2/3rd of employees leave their jobs if they feel unappreciated - which is the reason why taking employee feedback is important. It enables you to understand their pain points and lets them know that you care. Check in with your new employees and ask them how they felt about the onboarding process and what challenges they faced. This will provide you with constructive feedback that can be used to streamline your onboarding processes.
#8 Foster Employee Relationship and Loyalty
Check in regularly with your remote employees and make them feel like they belong. Following the above-mentioned steps will ultimately help foster employee-employer relationships and make your new employees more comfortable. An efficiently executed onboarding process can make employees feel that they are valued and wanted, which develops long-term loyalty and improves the retention rate.
It is definitely a big challenge for businesses to create an engaging and organized remote onboarding process in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. To onboard your remote employees effectively using the process listed above and to avoid diminishing employee engagement, onboarding software can be used.
Why Should You Use an Onboarding Software to Hire Remote Employees Successfully?
Onboarding software is an online tool that assists businesses in planning the recruitment and training of new employees. These tools are designed to make processes like watching training videos and filling out documentation related to starting a new job more efficient. It enables upper management to create a uniform onboarding process and monitor employees’ progress while ensuring that they are engaged during the online onboarding.
The majority of onboarding software’s management-focused features are designed to assist program managers in streamlining their own onboarding workload and improving the onboarding experience for new hires. These features enable onboarding duties to be completed digitally, including documentation, colleague introduction, and training preparation.
A few of the most common features of onboarding tools for new employees include:
- Course creation and management
- Training progress tracking
- Task and mentor assignment
- File management
- Digital verification and signature
- Employee portals
Businesses can offer a warm welcome and a seamless transition into the office with the comprehensive digital employee onboarding experience that onboarding software offers. The advantages of onboarding tools for new hires continue well beyond their first day of work and have the potential to influence employee engagement. Below are some key points on how using software can help in the onboarding process of remote employees.
Can Onboarding Software Help In Flawless Onboarding?
Connect New Employees To Team Support
With onboarding software, managers get a dashboard to manage and keep track of tasks of new employees, including team introductions. A mentor feature is a component of many employee onboarding platforms that enables managers to designate seasoned workers to handle particular aspects of the onboarding process.
This makes conducting team meetings easier and lowers the likelihood of a new employee missing any important introductions. Making connections between new hires and the rest of the team fosters a sense of workplace community that will help them feel supported.
Foster A Productive Remote Work Environment
The benefits of having a flexible work schedule are well known, and it is also true that a flexible orientation schedule for new workers can help them get off to a productive start. Using onboarding software, you can plan the training process to give new employees enough time to learn at their own pace.
A flexible onboarding timeline gives employees the chance to reflect and ask questions about their training as they go through it. Additionally, it enables them to schedule training modules around their productive times, which can improve overall retention.
Keep Employees Safe With Cloud-Based Document Management
Employee orientation procedures can be kept online and secure by using onboarding software that offers e-signing and file management features. Signing, storing, and working on important documents in a digitally accessible location will keep onboarding remote employees both safe and grateful during the pandemic and beyond.
Plan for In-house Team Building
Activities with fellow teammates act as positive reinforcement and build a sense of shared identity and goals. Virtual team building, games, happy hours, etc., can help employees boost their moods and eliminate early work stress. Online meetings can be held using onboarding software which will help enhance open communication, members’ collaboration, and flexibility. Continuous interaction with the team can improve job satisfaction and avoid early resignations.
Remote onboarding is not a new concept as most organizations have already adopted the remote work model after the pandemic. But, still organizations are striving hard and implementing strategies that can make remote onboarding extremely effective and successful. Below mentioned are some common pitfalls that should be paid attention to and avoided while performing remote onboarding tasks.
Mistakes to Avoid When Onboarding Remote Employees
1. Conducting The Onboarding Process Over Email
This might work when employees are working from the office but not when you’re dealing with remote employees. Instead of using emails, try to use tools that help you incorporate video calls, Slack, Asana, and email into one place, making it easy to stay organized and avoid long email chains.
2. Communicating Excessively
Stay in touch with your new employees but avoid too much communication as it can be distracting. Only reach out when you have crucial information to share or to check on their progress. However, you ought to be available in case they require your assistance. Provide new hires with information in smaller chunks that won’t overwhelm them and make mobile learning available so they can complete some courses on the go.
3. Having Rigid Performance Targets
Keeping rigid performance targets right from the beginning will only discourage new employees. Instead, provide them with some flexibility and look at the bigger picture. If they have multiple learning modules, for example, you can organize them in such a way that they need to do one each week.
4. Leaving It All To The HR Team
Onboarding new remote employees is not just about orientation, compliance, and completing the documentation formalities. It is a company-wide concerted effort to support the new hires with the necessary information and network necessary for their success and growth. Thus, to help the new hire fit into their role, every manager or team leader plays an important role.
Onboarding remote employees can be a challenge for the organization, but having a systematic step-by-step process can help you create a robust remote workforce over time. A flawless onboarding experience makes the new remote hires feel welcomed, valued, and prepared to handle the role.
To prevent inefficient workflows and poor employee engagement, you must make onboarding a company priority, not an afterthought. Remote working software and HR onboarding software can be used to mitigate many of the challenges of onboarding and managing remote employees. It will help your contingent workforce and multi-functional departments execute, operate, streamline, and manage their work efficiently.
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