Desperate times call for desperate measures.
You sent your employees to work from home and they mastered it! Now it’s time to welcome new employees onboard remotely, and you have to master it. Onboarding has always been a critical factor in defining the success rate of the hiring process. Get it right the first time, and you can convert your new hires into long-standing major business contributors. In the new normal, businesses have, thus, transitioned to virtual recruitment and onboarding to stay afloat amid the global pandemic and still give the newbies a wholesome joining experience.
What is Virtual Onboarding?
The prefix ‘virtual’ before almost every process recently gained popularity when businesses started to operate remotely. Any activity performed using video conferencing tools, online resources and webinars which doesn’t involve in-person availability can be called a virtual process. Virtual onboarding or remote employee onboarding is the procedure of organizational socialization conducted to welcome and introduce the new joiners to the company, their roles, policies, and culture.
Let’s have a quick look at the 5 pro tips to build and improve the overall virtual onboarding experience.
How to build and improve a virtual onboarding program – 5 ways
I. Cover every base thoroughly
Nowadays, since the physical distancing is quite high in this case, don’t restrict the onboarding event to just one phone call/video session. It must not be a one-and-done but a long-and-strong program. Just like a newborn demands a fostering environment, extensive care, and systematic mentoring, the new joiners also require inculcation of company culture, understanding of goals & objectives, and proper training to grow steadily. Through virtual onboarding, you can provide a wide overview of the company and its products & services over multiple, interactive video conferences (series). Inviting managers, senior management, CXOs and business leaders to touch base with the new hires from time to time is also a must. Precisely, while conducting onboarding programs virtually, you should leave no stone unturned.
II. Make exhaustive use of technology
In 2021, most of the organizations already run on advanced technology. While onboarding a new hire virtually, the most important element is availability of automated systems and access to technology. A desktop/laptop must be delivered to the employee’s residence along with set-up instructions at the earliest. Some of the prerequisites include full-time network connectivity, communication tools, required software and equipment. Companies even need to offer personalized service in case employees are facing problems with technology and system handling. To ensure uninterrupted onboarding sessions, it is inevitable to make exhaustive use of technology.
III. Define clear goals and expectations
When the new hire is sitting miles away, it becomes challenging to make them understand your company objectives, employee expectations, and consolidated goals. This is why defining the specific KRAs and targets for each employee is an important part of remote onboarding. The best way is to showcase the link between an employee’s roles and contributions with the company’s ultimate goals. In this way, the new employees can visualize their value and place in the organization at the very beginning. Moreover, the performance assessment and reward & recognition plans should also be mentioned for creating a clear and holistic picture.
IV. Build engagement and strong connections
This could be the most difficult yet the most important part of virtual onboarding. Physical presence of individuals makes it easy to connect and engage. But, when you are talking about virtual interactions, the overall vibe might often seem cold and off. This is where pre-planned onboarding activities prove beneficial. The social side of virtual onboarding can play a huge role here. Let the newbies make online buddies within the office so that they can develop friendships and strong professional relationships. Secondly, conducting fun interactive sessions could be a part of the program so that the joiners can retain happy information in their minds. Organize virtual lunches, tea/coffee breaks, and gaming events every once in a while to keep the new hires away from burnouts.
V. Be futuristic – think long term
“Employee enthusiasm for work peaks at the start of a new job but wanes by 22% shortly thereafter”. Onboarding is not only a week-long activity. It is a continuous approach to build, engage, and retain great employees. So, always think beyond one week in advance. After the initial few sessions of making the newbies adapt to the company operation, plan to create moments of belonging for them. Take feedback from the joiners and implement the most viable ones. In short, be in a constant mode of reiterating and testing new ways to make the remote employee onboarding experience a fruitful one in future.
A quick virtual onboarding checklist for remote employees
|1. Get new hire paperwork done online|
|2. Deliver and set up hardware/asset|
|3. Send welcome kits/new joiners’ gifts|
|4. Modify content as per virtual event|
|5. Make company culture and goals clear|
|6. Set specific goals and expectations|
|7. Create an agenda for entire week-1|
|8. Arrange role-specific training sessions|
|9. Conduct group video calls for introduction|
|10. Maintain smooth online communication|
Remote Employee Onboarding at HROne
At HROne, we ensure that the candidates who successfully qualify the recruitment stages and become an employee are smoothly onboarded virtually even in these tough times.
- The hires can easily upload their personal/professional details and official documents online.
- HRs can communicate with new joiners using the 1-on-1 send message feature of the software, and schedule orientation programs.
- Managers are auto-assigned to respective employees and their tasks are notified/auto-sent to their inbox once employee ID is generated.
- The concerned authorities are invited to perform regular virtual onboarding activities as and when required.