Why Is Employee Onboarding Important for Both Remote and In-Office Work
⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
One of employee onboarding primary goals is to help new employees acclimatize to the social and professional demands of their current work environment. Why? So that they can continue with their positions in a relaxed and successful manner. When more businesses opt to recruit remote employees, they face the challenge of creating an onboarding process for virtual employees that achieves this aim.
Welcoming new employees in person makes answering important questions easier, meet team members and having a sense of how they will all communicate with each other. Lots of remote hires are working in different cities. Sometimes in different time zones so they do not have the luxury of in-person meetings. Or to experience the company culture. That means at the start your new remote employee will have some disadvantages.
So, if you are hiring remote employees, it is essential to create a quality employee onboarding process that will make things easier.
Why Is Employee Onboarding Important for Both Remote and In-Office Work
If we talk about remote and in-office work we can agree that the employee onboarding process is really important for both. There are a few differences between them in terms of execution, but the idea remains the same.
1. Reduce Turnover Costs With Onboarding Employee Process
Turnover is one of the key measures of a business’s performance. With a great employee onboarding process, there is a small chance for a worker to quit. Which significantly reduces the costs of turnovers. If an employee quits, other employees tend to take up the slack, wasting time, money, and organizational resources. Companies investing in successful onboarding practices save money by keeping 50% more new employees than they would otherwise.
2. Provide Job Details to the New Employee
When starting a new job, very few people know details about their position, what to do and how to do it. The employee onboarding process is your chance to explain clear expectations. To resolve concerns and answer big questions before they can grow into safety problems and killers of productivity. It is all about ensuring workers have access to the right tools and resources they need to set the foundation for a management and leadership ongoing.
Picture 1. Details needed for new employees
3. Ensure Workforce Compliance
Onboarding an employee process is the first step of your compliance program which keeps your business protected. The process sets the tone of the employee’s experience in the workplace in terms of company manners, the interaction between other company members and customers.
4. Increase and Maintain Your Organizational Culture
We can define organizational culture as basic and important beliefs, attitudes, values, and ways of interacting which contribute to an organization’s unique social and psychological environment.
Clearly, an organization demonstrates its purpose, principles and specific characteristics through the onboarding employee process at the time when workers are at their most receptive. It shows new employees how their behavior and behavior at work will affect and impact organizational culture.
5. Keep Your Managers Accessible and Accountable and Cultivate Teamwork, Mentorship, and Leadership
During the onboarding process, managers may take a number of concrete steps to establish strong, lasting relations with employees. In addition to making new employees acclimated to the workplace, a successful onboarding process uses the human dimension to bind new and old employees on an emotional, personal level. It is a vital way for managers to grow their team members, to pass on institutional expertise and plant the seeds for potential organizational leaders. Instead of finding a new position, workers would be inspired to go after positions within the company.
Checklist for Onboarding Remote Employee Processes
It is not the most suitable scenario for a new employee to have no ability to connect through in-person meetings. But there are ways to prepare an onboarding program to minimize disadvantages for remote employees. Here are some of the best practices for embarking and integrating remote employees into your company culture:
1. Video Conferencing as Face-To-Face Communication
Using video chat platforms like Skype, Zoom or GoToMeeting is easy and it helps to introduce your new employee to the rest of the employees. It gives new employees more confidence in interactions that build personal bonds. It is also crucial for remote employees to get a sense of how the company looks and works. If you already have pictures or videos from inside your offices, you can plan virtual tours that provide a sense of the company atmosphere for remote employees.
2. Make Clear and Detailed Expectations and Goals
Being straightforward about planned working hours (despite new employee time zone), describing how organizational culture is manifesting itself and discussing milestones, and what will job or tasks will look like at three months, six months and beyond are only a few of several potential questions and detailed information. You need to ensure that new employees understand their position and the tools they will use in their work. Map out a plan to attend team meetings. And also, don’t forget to provide the onboarding process documentation.
3. Create a Remote Culture
The community is typically one of the most important advantages that on-site offices have over remote teams. Team offices, after-work drinks, water cooler talks are some of the things which make your organization feel unified. And it also brings people together. As a matter of fact, the closer employees are to each other it is more likely that they will give the best of themselves for the company. Meaning that people and the company will be a lot more successful.
There are lots of things you can do to create a remote culture. Like every once in a while send out company gifts to remote employees Such as t-shirts, bracelets, birthday cakes or even flowers. This can make employees feel more like working in an on-site office. And most importantly, it will give them a sense of „belonging”. Also, start off the workday with a few minutes of chatting about random themes that can easily replace that small-talk around the office. Besides, you can even organize online teambuilding which can replace commonly physical activities with playing video games online, solving puzzles, organizing online pub quizzes, even include some prizes.
Related: Work Productivity Guide
4. Use the Right Tools for Remote Employees
Since remote work is focused largely on technology, it’s no wonder you will need the right software resources to make the whole thing run smoothly. The paperwork is the first step to solve for onboarding remote employees. Since you can’t just drop the papers on their desk, you should think about the right software you will need for that particular problem. For documentation and online signature you always can use tools like DocuSign. In terms of team-based communication and sending or receiving files, Slack is a great tool. If you need everyone to know what are their task and how it is distributed to the team you will need Basecamp or Asana to get your work done. With these tools, you can track everyone else’s progress.
5. Make a New Employee Feel Welcome
To those who are used to a typical office workplace, working remotely can be a challenge. So you have to go out of your way to make sure the new virtual office feels secure enough to share their thoughts and ideas. Remote employees who have a bond with your company would be more likely to be successful in finishing their tasks.
Also, it’s important for new employees to become a functional part of the team. Introducing them to other members of the team and show them where to turn for support, create a relationship that is essential for job satisfaction and performance. Ensure the rest of the employees accepts a new one. In a mentoring relationship, associate them with experienced team leaders to better understand the company’s priorities and values.
6. Virtual Mentoring
Mentoring is not a new idea for onboarding employees, but it is a recent trend to incorporate it as a strategy for a remote workforce. „Virtual mentoring“ applies simply to any mentoring operation that is not performed in person. There is a suite of communication resources open to this type of mentoring with today’s technology and its tools. That kind of mentoring may be your only choice if your workforce is widely dispersed.
In planning a virtual mentoring program, account for variables that are likely to affect performance between mentor and employee. Such as the difference in time zone, work position, preferences, and behavioral patterns as evident from an employee assessment. Take a step further on face-to-face mentoring and invite both mentors and employees to communicate quarterly. Or, take on video conferences where new employees will have a platform where they can ask questions in real-time. By asking the right questions at the right time and listening to responses, new employees are more likely to shorten their own learning curve.
Picture 2. Virtual Mentoring
7. Revise the Onboarding Process
For every new process you implement, you need to analyze their effects and outcomes. Document, report and analyze how existing and new employees react to the onboarding process. Find out what works best for remote employees by communicating with others who have had similar experiences. Ask them the value they got from your onboarding plan after they have been at their job for some time.
Through constant reviewing and optimizing the onboard process, you can help remote employees to quickly adapt to their new position.
Having an onboarding program in your company is essential for every new employee. But it is definitely more challenging to have that same program for remote employees. Of course, if you can, you should bring new team members into your headquarters. But otherwise, try to plan ahead and set up video conferencing to make them familiar to other employees.
In the end, implementing and maintaining an employee onboarding program seems fairly easy for most of the companies. So a few weeks later try to revise everything you did with your program. Listen to your new and existing employees and try to upgrade and improve your existing processes.
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