6 Best Practices for a Smooth Virtual Onboarding Process
Any hiring manager will agree that onboarding a new team member can be a long and time-consuming affair. New employees need to be educated on company policies, best working practices, and above all, need to “feel welcomed” into the organization. Recent research has revealed that nearly 70% of new hires continue to stay with the organization for long if they have gone through a good onboarding experience. So, it is safe to say that onboarding new employees takes a lot of effort. And the current pandemic has made it more challenging.
Organizations now need to manage roadblocks associated with remote working and virtual onboarding. How do employers optimize their virtual onboarding process to prevent stress and frustration in a distributed workforce? Let us look at 6 best practices of a virtual employee onboarding process.
1. Send a welcome package to new employees
Nothing can make new employees “feel more welcome” than a digital welcome package before their onboarding process. Welcome kits show that the organization cares about their employees and wants them to have a good working experience.
If feasible, share some "free stuff" or e-vouchers to excite new employees on their first working day. Else, a welcome package can comprise useful reading material, important contact numbers that they can get in touch with, along with some creative “fun” material for their home office.
2. Share the complete onboarding schedule
In the absence of a “real” office environment, remote employees often feel “confused” or “overwhelmed” about their upcoming onboarding schedule. Along with your welcome package, prepare and share a complete schedule of their virtual onboarding process during the first two weeks. This will help virtual employees plan their day and ease them into a remote working schedule.
Organize this agenda using any project management tool or even Google Docs, so that remote employees are familiar with remote working tools from the first day.
3. Conduct remote employee training sessions
Statistics reveal that 94% of employees stay longer with a company if they receive adequate learning opportunities. As part of the onboarding process, including a complete schedule of remote employee training sessions, using a range of e-learning technologies like live video-based interactions, webinars, online tutorials, gamification, and Google Slides presentations. Additionally, microlearning-based training modules and recorded training videos can help new employees upskill themselves at their own pace and convenience.
To build a strong team culture, include collaborative learning opportunities in employee training. For example, senior or experienced team members can help new employees learn new skills “virtually” and excel at their job.
4. Set up “virtual” meetings to build relationships
Remote employees often feel “left out” or isolated as they have little (or no) opportunities to physically interact with other team members. Regular one-to-one (or team) “virtual” meetings can help distributed employees interact and bond better with their managers or peers. It can also create a “sense of belonging” to the organization and drive motivation.
Here are a few tips for virtual meetings:
Keep the online meetings short, for around 10-15 minutes, so that they disrupt the regular workday.
Encourage new hires to introduce themselves to other team members.
Add some “lighthearted” moments to keep the meetings “fun and informal.”
5. Build familiarity with business tools and technologies
This is an important part of virtual onboarding for remote workers. They need to be familiar with how to access and use various business tools and digital technologies used in your organization. The growing costs of data breaches in distributed environments means that remote employees must be familiar with the best security practices with business tools and platforms, including the use of strong account credentials.
For new employees, provide a reference guide on how to access these tools in a safe and secure mode. Secondly, address the critical element of how they can configure their user credentials and follow all safety practices.
6. Check on remote employees regularly
After completing the initial virtual onboarding process, it is important for hiring managers to regularly check in with remote employees to monitor their progress and milestones. Additionally, design a feedback system for remote employees to provide suggestions that can improve the onboarding process. Regular employee feedback can further leverage the business benefits of virtual onboarding.
Also Read: Adapting with the New Normal: Virtual Onboarding
The emergence of a distributed workforce in the post-pandemic business world means that more companies are switching to the virtual onboarding mode to reduce costs and improve hiring efficiency. In this environment, companies need to redesign their training & development programs for a distributed workforce. And for that, Oust Labs can be of great help.
As an integral part of BetterPlace, Oust Labs has been a leading technology platform for improved workforce management for its global clients. Oust Labs has experience in successfully streamlining the process of employee onboarding, training, and upskilling.
In case you wish to know more about what is virtual onboarding and how can it benefit your business enterprise, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or provide your contact details on this online form.