8 Great Ideas to Try When Onboarding Remotely

The onboarding process is one of the most important first impressions a company will make on its new employees, and it can determine if the employee will stay long-term or not. An employee who feels welcome on their first day is more likely to grow in their appreciation and attachment to the company rather than someone who has a bad start.

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However, during the current Covid pandemic, preparing for a good onboarding experience can prove to be difficult, when you have to do it remotely. This article will suggest 7 great ideas you can implement to provide a great remote onboarding process.

1. Electronic Welcome Pack

A welcome pack or digital onboarding software is always useful for performing remote onboarding. The experts from Workbright.com explain that this package should include all the important information a new employee needs to know about the company on their first day, such as the company’s rules and policies, contact numbers of important colleagues whom they may need to contact, and other relevant things.

Having a remote onboarding process does not mean you have to give up on your regular welcome pack, you simply need to use suitable software or turn your normal welcome pack into an electronic version and distribute it electronically to all your new remote employees. It’s also better to send it out earlier than the onboarding date so employees can become familiar with the materials and information in advance.

2. A Welcome Video

Working remotely often means that employees will have very few interactions with their colleagues, and this is not good in the case of receiving new employees. A great way to counter this lack of interaction is to develop a welcome video that you can share with all your new employees.

It is a gesture of care that new employees will appreciate, and it also helps develop a sense of belonging for everyone who is coming into the company. This can be a fun video that allows employees to understand more about your business and the key matters that they need to be aware of.

3. Video Call on the First Day

The first day of onboarding cannot be done in person, but you can certainly do it via a video call. There are many apps available for this sort of meeting, and it shows your new employee that you are thinking about them. They will feel more at ease when they receive this kind of welcome and interaction, as it will create a sense of belonging to the company and to the working team.

When you are conducting a video call with your new employees, you should pause and ask if they need any clarification during the call, so they can share their thoughts more openly and avoid any misunderstandings.

4. Live Training Sessions

Technology is a great help during the pandemic, as it allows people to connect and work together even during the lockdown. To help your new employees with their questions, you should incorporate a live training session into the onboarding process.

New employees should attend the live session together, have an opportunity to get to know each other, and also ask about anything they are unsure about. In case you cannot host too many live training sessions, you can pre-record the training and send it to new employees when they come on board with your company. Many webinar software options are available to help you create training videos and save them in a hub for remote employees.

5. Social Media Meeting

As your company is working remotely, new employees will possibly not have the chance to meet with other colleagues in person. It is a good idea to use social media to have a meeting where your new employees can be introduced to other team members, discuss their work areas, expand their network and build relationships with different departments and teams.

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This kind of social meeting is very important even when the employees are working in the office, so it is certainly needed when everyone is working remotely and rarely have a chance to talk to each other.

6. Divide New Employees into Groups for Onboarding

Group onboarding is a great way for new employees to get to know one another in a friendly and cozy environment, especially when they are sharing common work tasks or they are a similar age. If you are unable to group them based on their background, you can consider having a group session for all the new employees who have just started in the past 2 months or so. This is also a good way to check in with your new employees and see how they are fitting in.

7. Mentoring Program

When people work remotely, it’s very difficult for new employees to get the help and support they need. Hence, for the remote onboarding process, it is a good idea to develop a mentoring program. A mentor is simply a more experienced team member who can help guide the new employees on how to get around things, who to contact, what to avoid, and other basic operations of your business. These can be done via group mentoring sessions or through direct contact between the mentor and the mentee.

8. Self-Paced Tasks

To ensure an effective remote onboarding process, you should consider giving your new employees a checklist of tasks they need to complete during their first two weeks or their first month. They will need to complete these self-paced tasks in order to pass the onboarding process. This will ensure that new employees go over all the required reading materials that relate to the company’s policies and procedures, as well as a basic understanding of the various departments and divisions.  

Working remotely can be tough when you no longer have the usual interactions and social meetings with other colleagues. For new employees, it can be even more difficult. However, a good onboarding process can help new employees feel more welcome and fit in more quickly with the company, while at the same time, allow them to learn more about the company, their work, and their colleagues, through self-paced reading and virtual social meetings.

At the end of the day, the most important thing you should remember is to deliver the same amount of information and support to your new employees in the remote onboarding process, just as you would in a session done in person.

Interesting related article: “Successfully onboarding a B2B SaaS client.”