Remote Onboarding: Tips & Checklist
Remote onboarding is an important process created for employees in different locations when starting new jobs. The goal is to lay the foundation for remote workers to transit smoothly into their new role. Additionally, remote onboarding integrates new hires into their employer’s ethical practices and routine.
In this article, we will discuss remote onboarding. We address the question of how employees can be onboarded remotely successfully. You will find some essential elements for building a remote onboarding checklist and process.
Feel free to also check our blog HR for the sample onboarding plan for new employees.
What is Remote Onboarding?
Onboarding is an exercise business organisations perform to incorporate new hires into their workplace. The goal is to familiarise them with their culture and policies. Onboarding activities are performed with the participation of the new hires either through face-to-face interaction or via a virtual onboarding.
Remote onboarding is the process of bringing onboard remote new hires irrespective of their physical locations. Remote onboarding is enabled with the aid of technology – digital employee onboarding. Thus, onboarding employees remotely entails the use of effective onboarding software. Software solutions ensure a thoroughly planned process that facilitates your integration into the new job and new team.
Remote Onboarding Insights
Organisations with an effective onboarding programme achieve 2.5 times more revenue growth and 1.9 times the profit margin compared to organisations with poor onboarding strategies.
—BCG, From Capability to Profitability.
Why is Onboarding Remote Employees so Important?
Onboarding is a a key process for any business organisation. The outcomes of onboarding are important for a company’s business outcomes more than you might anticipate. In fact, a report from BCG highlights some key data. Organisations with an effective onboarding programme achieve 2.5 times more revenue growth and 1.9 times the profit margin compared to organisations with poor onboarding strategies.
The task of onboarding new hires remotely requires proper planning to establish a healthy, thriving, and attractive workplace culture. Furthermore, the remote onboarding process is the first step in building a great work relationship with the newly employed workers. Yet, this is harder to achieve virtually than through face to face interactions.
A virtual onboarding programme must help you acclimate to your roles and responsibilities while working from your home office. Moreover, it enhances your capacity to settle down quickly and achieve the desired productivity. Remote onboarding has to provide you with a positive virtual onboarding experience that makes you feel welcome.
Tips for a Successful Remote Onboarding Process
Onboarding remote employees might require more care and attention than on-premise onboarding. The key reason is this: remote work can feel isolating and disengaging. While training and learning can easily happen online, social connections don’t just happen. Thus, you need your employer to lay the groundwork for social connections and building relationships for remote employees.
After all, the satisfaction of remote employees is as important as the one of on-premise workers. Indeed, their contributions to the company bottom line is just as high and important.
We have compiled a list of tips for ensuring a successful and effective remote onboarding process.
Remote Onboarding Insights
If you think happy and engaged employees just happen, you couldn’t be more wrong. The development of a truly satisfied and engaged workforce begins with a comprehensive onboarding process.
—Michael Krasman, CEO & Co-founder at Urbanbound.
The task of onboarding new hires remotely is not just a mere online exercise, but a complex process with multiple activities and participants. As a remote new hire, you need a great start. This entails that your employer has to provide you with all the tools for full integration. This refers both to tangible tools, such as a computer, and to non-tangible tools, such as skills developed through training. In the case of remote workers, e-learning for employees can ensure that all new hires gain the knowledge they need to be successful.
Onboarding remote employees will contribute to you acquiring the comfort and confidence to contribute positively and productively to your employer’s growth. This is especially crucial when dealing with highly technical jobs. This is the reason why we have drafted a separate article discussing software developer onboarding.
Getting off to a Fast Start
A new beginning in a workplace is synonymous with anxiety, anticipation, and uncertainty. However, this can be surmounted by creating an effective remote onboarding. A structured remote onboarding process relies on documentation: a checklist, a plan, a flowchart. All are examples of how your employer can communicate to you all the steps of your journey.
When you receive all information you need even before the first day, you simply know that your employer has been preparing for your arrival. There is a clear strategy in place, a clear plan and a clear journey. You know that if you show up and bring your best intentions and capabilities, you are safe and ready for success. All this will provide you with the confidence to get started.
Setting up Technology before the Start Date
A structured IT Onboarding will be set in motion as early as you sign your contract. What are the tools you need in order to start contributing? Are you familiar with all these tools? Or maybe you need additional support? Figuring the answers to all these questions is of utmost importance. And it all should happen before you start working. As a remote worker, you don’t afford showing up to an office and waiting on someone to set your PC for you on the spot. You are alone in your home office. Your employer has to take care of everything. That might include shipping you the equipment, or providing you with the funds for you to order what you need.
Some employers will offer an online session with the IT department of your company to show youaround the key work tools. Or, you can access a learning library with specific courses for each tool: the video conferencing platform, communication channel, and other systems work.
Also, when such an exercise is done before the start date, it will help minimise technical issues that could truncate the outcome of your orientation day.
Emphasis on Team Dynamics & Building a Broader Network
Placing an emphasis on team dynamics and building a broader network helps achieve foundational relationships, trust, and collaboration between the remote workers and the company. You cannot drop by someone’s office to ask for help or say hi when you work remotely. You cannot learn how people do things around simply by observing.
Onboarding remote employees has to aid the understanding of the company’s cultural ethics. Furthermore, it is designed to establish the right connection between the individual’s work and the broader organisational mission, vision, and goals.
Thus, your remote onboarding has to keep social interactions at the core. You can have lunch meetings with your team, or a coffee break. Additionally, meet & greets across departments are also important. You are not an individual that just contributes to a project. You are a piece of a larger puzzle, and you need to understand how the various pieces combine to achieve the end product.
Proper Planning of Tasks
The process of onboarding new employees remotely will be slightly different depending on your role and level of experience. Thus, junior workers cannot be expected to deliver the same results as more senior workers. At the same time, however, a senior developer cannot start writing code from day one, maybe not even from week one. The more complex a project or product, the more time you will need to understand all of its complexity.
And let’s also mention cases of new manager onboarding. A manager will require additional activities focused on understanding the leadership style and business goals.
All of these examples are to illustrate one key fact. You need a realistic outline of tasks and deadlines. Additionally, you need realistic integration and success measurement metrics for your onboarding.
As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to begin with a small project and then grow from there. This ensures active participation of the remote employees and learning by doing.
Remote Onboarding Experience
I took online courses before I applied for this job as I knew one week would be too short for me to learn and take these courses.
—Bo Cui, Junior SEO Specialist at MediaGroup Worldwide.
Remote Onboarding Checklist
We have drafted an entire article about the remote onboarding checklist. It also includes a remote onboarding checklist template, which you can download for free.
Since we are discussing remote onboarding, we though it would reasonable to showcase some of the activities that we regard as essential in a remote onboarding checklist. So, consider this as a teaser of our remote onboarding guide that aids the success of bringing onboard remote workers.
Thus here are some examples of activities that should not miss from your remote onboarding checklist.
- Sending new hires links to company’s culture articles and videos.
- Scheduling of individual or group orientation via video conferencing call and reviewing the company’s mission and values
- Scheduling of a human resources orientation.
- Creating a 30/60/90 day onboarding plan with video check-ins and goals.
- Allowing the remote employees to introduce themselves.
- Encouragement of feedback throughout the remote onboarding process.
Onboarding Remotely is Here to Stay: Conclusions
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic further enhanced the necessity for onboarding remotely. This has also initiated a new tide of workers preferring a fully remote work arrangement. Sometimes new workers will start work remotely and then transition to a hybrid workplace model. Thus, companies should always be ready for Onboarding new hires remotely.
Onboarding new staff remotely has to be just as effective as onboarding on-premise workers. Additionally, companies have to aware and proactive with regards to the challenges of onboarding new employees remotely.
Onboarding remotely must ease the transition of joining your new team while operating from your home office. According to digitate, employees are twice as likely to look for another job if they have a bad onboarding experience.
However, with a wonderful remote onboarding experience, employers are assured of starting with their new hires on the right foot, thereby saving them considerable time, money, and the stress of retraining new hires frequently.
introdus, employee onboarding software, will aid organisations in executing a hitch-free onboarding of their remote workforce. It is an effective onboarding tool that will create a proper communication channel between the company and the remote workers. In addition, it will establish the trust required to achieve a harmonious working relationship between the employers and their remote workers.