Is your company leaving its virtual onboarding process to chance?
As the economy begins to bounce back, organizations are slowly returning to growth mode and hiring again. It’s creating a new dilemma: how to successfully onboard new hires in the virtual environment. In the past, even remote-friendly operations had some form of in-person training or orientation, so there’s an element of trial and error.
Read on for six valuable tips to help your firm master the virtual onboarding process.
- Establish realistic milestones. Effective remote employee onboarding starts with having a detailed plan that covers all aspects of the process. Most importantly, it should include benchmarks that can be used to measure how they’re progressing. Setting timelines for the successful completion of each milestone in the onboarding plan will give new remote employees structure and help them stay productive as they adjust to working with your organization.
- Find ways to immerse new hires in your company culture. To drive engagement and retention, new employees need to experience the company culture even when they’re working remotely. Support this effort by providing a variety of online opportunities for workers to engage and interact. This might include virtual coffee chats and lunches, video meet-and-greets, invites to key meetings, virtual office tours, and more. Experiences like these can help new team members feel welcome even though they are physically distant.
- Make it comprehensive and interactive. Virtual onboarding shouldn’t be a stodgy “one-and-done” deal. Rather than a single video session or phone call, think multiple, interactive video sessions that provide ample information about your company and its products and services. Convert traditional onboarding classroom training to shorter segments so that they’re more engaging in the digital environment. Going virtual also raises the bar on content, so include plenty of visuals and fun, interactive elements. Schedule several days of material and video sessions so new hires don’t feel neglected. Make sure they can easily access the training that’s been completed so they can refer back to it as needed.
- Have regular check-ins. Communicating frequently with new remote employees allows you to make sure they feel comfortable and are progressing as expected, using the milestones you developed as benchmarks. It also allows you to assess the effectiveness of your onboarding process and provides a platform for employee feedback. Use this feedback to refine your plan so that future employees can reap the benefits. Your new hire check-ins don’t have to be time-consuming or elaborate. They can be as simple as an email, a quick chat over the phone, or a video call.
- Enlist the power of virtual mentors. Mentorship is renowned for its ability to positively impact employee engagement and retention. Incorporating virtual mentors in your remote onboarding program will help new hires get acclimated easier and supports feelings of inclusion. The warm welcome of a caring virtual mentor will go a long way in assuring new hires that, while they may be geographically separated, they aren’t alone.
- Add a personal touch. Your orientation may be digital but that doesn’t mean it has to be impersonal. Add physical elements here and there to support the human connection. Mail a welcome card signed by the team or a basket filled with branded company gear. Ease new job anxiety by sending an onboarding care package in advance of their first day on the job. It might include HR documents, login credentials, and the onboarding agenda. In the absence of on-site welcome sessions and handshakes, personal touches like these help to maintain a physical connection.
Onboarding new employees can be a challenge even in the best of times.
But remote working is here to stay, so creating comprehensive online platforms for new hire integration is critical. The key to a successful onboarding process, remote or not, is to make every new employee feel like they’re a valued part of the team.
Is your organization ready to create an effective virtual onboarding process? The HR Team is here to help! Please reach out to our friendly team of skilled professionals to get started.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.