Starting a new job can be exciting and challenging at the same time. According to research carried out by Brandon Hall Group, businesses with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.
When businesses invest time and money into their onboarding program, not only do they give their new employees a proper introduction to the company culture, but they also prove that joining the team was the right choice.
However, onboarding remotely may be somewhat more demanding. Small talk by the coffee machine, immediate responses to questions, and familiar faces nearby are examples of how a physical office provides a sense of belonging.
The lack of spontaneous interactions when working from home can make team members feel more isolated. This way, a welcoming and enjoyable onboarding program is more than necessary; it is essential. High-quality software alongside good practices can help companies with this process.
Create an Onboarding Roadmap
Firstly, the onboarding journey must be carefully planned. Preparing the process helps to determine which aspects are important to cover during the new hire’s first weeks, such as the responsibilities involving their role and the company’s goals, values, and culture. Outlining these in a roadmap makes the process as smooth and engaging as possible. It’s also crucial for new team members to be aware of what to expect in the following weeks.
Start Onboarding Right Away
Onboarding starts right after the offer is accepted. As hiring globally requires special attention regarding legal matters, the service offered by Oyster may help ensuring tax and employment laws are being followed.
Once a contract is drawn up, signing can be done using electronic signature software. Then, send a thorough guide with instructions for software setup. Moreover, safely share all credentials to the company’s digital infrastructure using a password manager.
Additionally, prepare a complete and well-written employee handbook with everything admin-related, like work schedules, time-off requests, and payment. Online services like Trainual can help employers build a comprehensive manual to educate newbies and seniors on the company’s policies.
Another tip is to send out a welcome package, so new hires are reminded that they’re joining a real team with real people. Souvenirs with the company logo are also a lovely touch. To go above and beyond, companies can surprise newbies by sending them a welcome breakfast or brunch via a food delivery app.
Set Clear Expectations
It’s impossible for team members to achieve their goals if they don’t know what’s expected of them. New employees need clear and realistic expectations laid out from the beginning. This can be done by creating a plan that details monthly targets. It’s also fundamental to have regular meetings to discuss progress made and answer questions.
Assign Mentors To New Hires
In a physical office, it’s easy to reach out to the nearest coworker to ask for help. When you’re working from home, asking a pet or plant for advice is unlikely to yield the answer you’re looking for. Having a senior team member as a mentor who’s always there to provide assistance and encouragement hugely reduces the feeling of loneliness. Moreover, it increases the sense of immediate support that is typical of a real office.
Schedule Team Meetings
Another key practice is to schedule introductory meetings to welcome the new coworker and introduce them to the team. It’s also important to arrange one-on-one meetings with the team members whom the newbie will be working closely with. Doing so gives them the opportunity to bond and discuss their expectations about the tasks they will carry out together. Fortunately, there are great collaboration tools on the market that can be used for all kinds of communication.
Provide Virtual Training
These collaboration tools also play a significant role in virtual training, which is another vital element of the remote onboarding process. Although many instructions can be provided through employee handbooks, specific tasks and responsibilities should be addressed in a more visual, personal, and straightforward way. Live sessions with instructors, pre-recorded video-based lessons, and interactive self-paced courses are examples of effective training solutions.
Assign Easy Tasks
While acclimatizing to a new atmosphere, the team member may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they receive. Therefore, assigning manageable tasks on their first few days gives them time to adjust.
In addition, it motivates them for the following tasks as the difficulty level gradually increases. Installing software and reading the company’s guides are some examples of easier tasks that can be set for the new hire’s first day.
Ask For Feedback
No matter how much effort was made to ensure an excellent onboarding process, there is always room for improvement. Asking for feedback is the best way to understand which strategies are working and which need improvement.
A well-designed onboarding process is key to welcoming and retaining employees. The chances are that people who are well supported and equipped with the information and tools needed to perform their job successfully will feel happy in their new environment. Consequently, they are more likely to produce high-quality work and stick with the company.