Onboarding is an essential part of employee initiation. Without it, new workers will have trouble becoming acclimated to both work and the company culture. Retention rates drop, productivity stagnates, and as a result cost efficiency goes down significantly. That, obviously, is not an ideal scenario. Remote onboarding adds more than a few challenges to this key process.
Not being able to mingle in person with coworkers can create additional hurdles for building relationships. A lack of hands-on practice often results in a lesser understanding of work and expectations. All of this can lead to a work environment just as unhealthy as if there was no onboarding program, to begin with.
Making remote onboarding work for your organization seems difficult, but it can be as simple as a few small changes to your program. Today we’ll be going over some ways to make remote onboarding a simple and effective process.
Be Objective and Direct
In-person training allows for some wiggle room when it comes to practice. Managers and other experienced employees are always near at hand for employees to ask questions, and if they make mistakes, other workers can jump in to help.
Not so with remote onboarding. It’s more important for new hires to learn quickly and efficiently so that there are fewer opportunities for mistakes and miscommunication. When employees are learning the ropes remotely, providing direct, objective feedback is key. This will help new employees know where they stand in the process, while also building trust between them and those training them.
Integrate Employees Into Your Community
Get your employees in the loop and in the system as soon as possible. Without access to online tools or personal help, your new generation of workers is likely to flounder. Adopting a message board program like Slack allows you to integrate employees immediately, and get them connected with their peers.
Make sure to explain to new workers how to find different resources, as well as tell them who they can contact when they have questions.
Hold Small Virtual Meetings
Allowing employees to integrate with your community is one thing, helping them establish relationships with their peers is another. As a 2018 Gallup report made clear, those who had a good friend at work were seven times as likely to be engaged in their work. The pandemic made it supremely difficult to establish close friendships in the workplace — because there wasn’t a workplace to call home.
Supplementing in-person banter with compact meetings isn’t a perfect solution, but it does allow face-to-face conversation between coworkers. For many remote workers, this may be their only chance to see their coworkers.
Create Clear Career Pathways
Pathways to raises and promotion keep your employees motivated to do their best — but remote work can make that step up seem miles away. If a clear promotional pathway isn’t advertised to candidates and new hires, they may feel trapped in their job. Likewise, remote employees are often not in close contact with their superiors. This causes there to be less feedback on projects and met goals — creating a larger divide between candidates and their aspirations.
Give candidates a rundown of your organization’s career pathways, and review your current promotional guidelines. Are they clear? Do they seem achievable? Your new hires will appreciate any goal you set for them as long as they know that their hard work will pay off.
Utilize AI Onboarding Software
Integrating AI software into your remote onboarding process makes a world of difference — for both employees and HR. A good onboarding program can set goals for new hires automatically, help them set up their company identity, and improve their onboarding experience tenfold. On the HR side of things, the flexible software can keep track of employee progress, and minimize paperwork when it’s interconnected with your company’s other systems.