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.