With remote work trends on the rise, virtual onboarding is something that we hear every day now. Can’t deny! Virtual meetings and onboarding can never replace the face to face ones. They are always the best. But desperate times call for desperate measures. With whatever available, we need to make working virtually and connecting with people via digital channels- work. In other words, we need to do whatever it takes to ensure the successful virtual onboarding of new employees. So, how do you give your new hires the big, warm welcome they deserve when everybody is working remotely from different locations?
To start with, there is a lot you can do to ensure a good first impression and make new hires feel welcomed. Onboarding new employees when everyone is working remotely has its own special challenges. However, here are 3 ways businesses can welcome new employees into their digital workplace to hopefully kick start an extensive, prosperous work-experience for both the employer and employee.
3 Tips to ensure successful virtual onboarding
Let’s look at some tips to ensure the successful virtual onboarding of new employees in this remote work environment.
1. Go digital
Remote working means working with the aid of numerous digital tools. Work is impossible to go on without the use of digital tools. These tools are what keeps everybody together regardless of the time and space factor. In today’s digital workplace, it’s important to transition your company onboarding process into electronic forms. This means allowing your new employees to fill all the necessary onboarding forms from their personal computer before their first day of work. This process is popularly called as “pre-boarding.” Pre-boarding will save you a lot of time. Thereby, allocating time to where it’s needed the most – i.e. giving your new employees a lot of time to virtually connect with the other employees and getting to know them better.
Organizations that were already equipped with remote work and collaboration tools have managed to continue many business operations as usual. So, ensure to fit processes such as hiring and onboarding new talent into this new environment. Train new hires on how to use collaboration software. That is, familiarize your new employees with the various digital communication and collaboration tools that your company uses. For instance, this could be helping your employees to learn how to use tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and so on…This is the most important step in ensuring a successful virtual onboarding experience both for the new employees and the others.
2. Reform your onboarding policy
With no physical office to welcome and connect new employees, how should the onboarding process adjust to match the times?
Answer: Creating a clear onboarding path that aligns with your business needs.
Successful virtual onboarding ensures a clear path for employees as they enter a new company. Even in this unprecedented time, the shift to remote work shouldn’t prevent new hires from the traditional experience. And organizations should be prepared for onboarding more employees in this remote setting. But how?
Here’s how! You can start by implementing new practices to support the present remote working model. You may record this in the form of a digital document and circulate it to all the new employees on the first day of their work. Even better, a day before they report to work. This digital onboarding policy may include the following:
- Office rules on dress code and decorum for online meetings, working hours, use of cell phones, and company resources
- Various human resource policies like employee act, work benefits, health benefits, code of conduct, and other legal documents
- Employee roles and responsibilities
- Performance standards and expectations
- Training and development expectations
Thus, by having access to documentation that outlines roles, responsibilities, and changes to onboarding in a remote environment help keep everyone informed and accountable.
Last but not the least, don’t forget to introduce them to your company Learning Management System (LMS) or online resource library if you have any.
That being said, consider rolling out information and training to new hires at a slower pace. It can be overwhelming to be onboarded in a completely remote environment. Also, it’s important to document process changes and design remote onboarding guides to match these changing needs. And most importantly, keep everybody informed about the same.
3. Introduce a multimedia presentation
Adding a multi-media presentation on your onboarding checklist can make the overall event a bit more interesting. Instead of boring new employees with the typical company mission and vision statements, make their first day entertaining and rememberable by presenting them with a vibrant, interactive multimedia presentation.
This presentation should highlight your workplace culture and goals. You may even use tools such as imagery, live video, and testimonials from previous customers and business partners. This strategy keeps the onboarding process informative and also memorable for new employees. The best presentation is one that can get your new employees excited about developing their skills and making an impact on your organization. The more engaged your employees feel, the more likely they will feel motivated to perform their best for your company.
In addition, you can even create a buddy system or even assign a virtual mentor to help them adjust to the new remote work setting. Ensuring new employees feel welcomed and comfortable in their new workplace will go a long way toward creating a friendly environment, a successful digital workplace must maintain in order to achieve maximum productivity.
Putting it together
Virtual onboarding doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple and focus on creating an engaging experience – one that your employees will remember until the end. This involves building an engaging virtual culture. You can do this by establishing ongoing touchpoints and check-ins. This is critical to keep your organizational culture alive and most importantly – to keep your remote employees engaged, motivated, and connected, especially for new hires.