Onboarding in the Remote Work Era

Employee onboarding is one of the most important tasks of the hiring process. Once you have gone through the application/interview process and selected the top candidate for the role, the real work begins. This process becomes even more complicated with many employees starting remotely due to the challenges encountered with the COVID-19 pandemic. How are we as a management team able to get this new hire up to speed with the rest of the team virtually? 

The following is a list of tips to help make the remote onboarding process as smooth as possible:

  • Pre-Onboarding: It’s important to start early and be prepared. The manager should come with a set plan that will map out how you want the first couple of days to go, along with some objectives and goals that will help them mark their progress. Managers should also start with assigning smaller projects that require cross-team collaboration so the new hire gets a sense of what is to come.
  • Provide a Digital Employee Resource Handbook: It is important to give new team members all the resources they need in order to be successful from the very start. This document should include a check-list on the administrative tasks they need to complete, as well as stories on the company culture. Giving employees the right resources also includes setting them up with the right people.
  • Encourage collaboration: It is important to create an environment of collaborative learning to help build new connections among teammates and engage with the new hire. According to an article by GitLab, socialization is a vital part of the onboarding process to help new hires feel connected to their new teams as well as other departments. Managers should think of setting up informal meetings where it is encouraged to ask questions and get to know each other on a more casual level. The most successful teams have environments of respect and support, and a strong workplace community is key to a successful business.
  • Understand that the process is ongoing: Oftentimes the onboarding process is set up for the new hire’s first week. However, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to even a few months depending on the complexity of the role and organization. According to BambooHR, employee retention can be increased if the onboarding process is stretched out across the new hire’s first year. Managers should check in as well as consider implementing workshops or sessions throughout the year that work to keep newer team mates engaged.

How Skills Tracking Can Help 

Oftentimes new hires do not know who to go for in order to get the right answers to all their questions. By having a skills inventory, new hires can easily see who knows what and which projects they are currently working on. This can help improve the onboarding process by providing new hires with the tools and information they need as they adjust to their new role 

Successfully onboarding a new employee and providing them with the right tools in order to be successful is crucial in making sure your business is operating at its highest level. Not only will this benefit productivity but improve employee culture, engagement and retention. Following these steps will allow you to have a smooth transition from trainee to a capable employee that’s ready to take on any challenge that comes their way.