Most of the world’s workforce got a good glimpse of what a work-from-home setup looks like. And as more countries now inch closer towards herd immunity via COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs, some companies hope to maintain still either a full or hybrid remote working set up. What this tells us is that teleworking will only continue to grow with time.
As companies shift to a virtual work arrangement with their employees, many adjustments will have to happen to communications, reporting, management, collaboration, and even hiring and onboarding. A virtual onboarding experience will be crucial to success in a shift to online work setups.
A good onboarding process remains key to any team, whether brick and mortar or virtual. Organizations with a complete onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. So if your company looks to shift to hiring more remote employees, you should consider these six tips to successfully onboard your staff.
1. Introduce the Company Culture and Values
When working with a virtual team, company culture and values will still remain important. It doesn’t mean that people don’t see each other face to face as much that there will no longer be a place for culture. Culture exists in all organizations of any form, and these beliefs, traditions, and philosophies need to be communicated from day one.
Many companies make the mistake of communicating the nuts and bolts and put people through all the company paperwork, but never touch on culture. Being clear on culture, behavior, and values can help your new staff member mesh with the team better and provide clarity as to what mindsets and actions will gain merit in your organization and which will unpleasantly rock the boat too early on.
2. Put Everything in Writing
According to studies, a third of new hires say that their onboarding program was informal, inconsistent, or reactive. Mostly, this happens because management and human resource teams fail to put structure and documentation into an onboarding process. Having a remote employee onboarding checklist is a good start. Try also to have a roadmap for every new hire and provide milestones for them to reach in their first few days or weeks, such as who they should talk to, what paperwork they should complete, and what tasks and tools they should get acquainted with by a certain time frame.
The way we disseminate business information might have changed, but one thing remains the same— anything worth uploading to new hires is worth putting into writing. Having this template can also save managers countless times and effort, given that they can follow the same template with every new recruit.
3. Be Clear on Key Performance Indicators and Goals
Up to 60% of companies fail to set milestones or goals for new hires. With goals and targets, good staff will have the necessary clarity to maneuver their way through the angst of the first few days or weeks on new soil. Without them, any staff will feel the volatility and uncertainty of maneuvering through the unknown territory without a map to guide them.
4. Introduce Your New Hire to the Team
One of the more necessary virtual onboarding activities is to introduce your new hire to the team. Just because people don’t see each other face-to-face or don’t do so as often as a traditional office might, it doesn’t mean there’s no need for these pleasantries. By introducing new members to existing staff, you don’t just put a face to everyone. You also help build clarity as to who should approach who and when to do so, creating less friction when collaborating.
Consider taking five to ten minutes on the next company Zoom meeting to allow a new team hire to introduce him or herself a little bit more than go around the “table” to have everyone quickly introduce themselves too. When you have a large virtual team, put together a company directory that new staff can refer to and provide photos, contact details, job titles, and job descriptions.
5. Make a List of All Tools Employee Needs to Know
With remote work comes all the tools and resources a virtual staff member must learn. Online work constantly evolves mainly because technology changes by the hour. So whatever tools your company uses, don’t assume recruits will know all of them. There are many variations and competitors to the devices you use for communication, file sharing, CRM, and practically any tool one uses for virtual operations.
If you happen not to have a clear set of tools yet, it’s important to decide to use them and start logging them regularly. Check out these remote work software examples from FinancesOnline to get a glimpse of what tools are out there.
Good Onboarding Builds Long Term Employee Success
The onboarding process is but the early stages of an employee’s journey with a company. But when managers follow best practices for onboarding remote employees, it does more than make for a good impression. It can increase employee loyalty, build workplace morale, and ultimately improve the company’s bottom line. With a good onboarding process in place, you set your new hires and your team up for success.