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Remote Onboarding | WI Employee Benefits Partners

Remote Onboarding Success Plan

Remote workplaces have become very commonplace in our world today. In fact, a PwC survey of 669 CEOs, 78% agree that remote work is here for the long-term. As a result, remote onboarding has become part of the normal Human Resources operation in companies. Let’s dive into what remote onboarding looks like and some benefits and challenges of this new way of welcoming employees to the team.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of welcoming new employees to the company and introducing them to the company culture of their new employer. Onboarding is different from training in that training focuses on the policies and procedures of the job while onboarding is more focused on integrating the new hire to the team and helping them develop relationships within the workplace.  Remote onboarding has the same focus but everything is done online through Zoom or other virtual meeting platforms. Onboarding is also not a one-time event. It’s a process that takes multiple days and an ongoing commitment to truly acclimate the new employee to the department.

Challenges of remote onboarding

Connecting virtually with others can have its challenges. Coordinating the entire team’s schedule to welcome new hires as they arrive on the team can be hard. This same challenge happens as the team attempts to continue to build camaraderie with some in-person team members and other remote team members. As many of us have come to understand, working remotely can be very isolating. Throw in joining a new team, and your new hire can feel extremely unengaged. Another challenge is technology set up in a remote environment. When onboarding in person, the IT department can physically be there to issue company technology. Remote onboarding relies on the new employee setting up their own technology or walking through set-up with an IT representative online.

Tips for remote onboarding success

Despite the challenges, remote onboarding can be a successful experience. Here are some tips to overcome some of these obstacles and make your new hire feel engaged and part of the team by the end of their remote onboarding process.

  1. Set up a kick-off video call with your entire team to welcome the new member. By having a video call, you make it easier for names and faces to connect. Video welcome calls also allow the new hire to see the enthusiasm in the faces of their new team and begin to build an emotional connection.
  2. Provide an organizational chart so that the remote employee understands the reporting lines in the company. Additionally, consider including pictures of those included on the chart so they can put faces to names. Another great way to go to the next level to connect with the new hire would be to pre-record quick welcome videos by the high-level execs and send them via email.
  3. Introduce the new employee to the company via email or social media. Do a simple “Getting to Know You” interview with them so you can share some interesting facts about this new team member.
  4. Regularly check-in via quick chat messages or video call with your remote new hire to find out if they have any questions or concerns in their first week(s). By having scheduled times where you connect with your new employee, they will have less of a chance to feel alone and will begin to learn your management style.

According to ServiceNow, “enthusiasm for a job peaks at the start of the job and wanes by 22% shortly thereafter.” Now is the time to capture your new hire’s enthusiasm and encourage its growth. While remote onboarding can be a challenge, it is possible to overcome the obstacles it presents with some careful planning and dedication to its success.