Joining a company comes with a new environment, new expectations, and a new chance at making a good first impression. But how do new hires adjust to a job when their role is remote? Enter stage right: workplace onboarding.
Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into the company; into the company’s administrative processes, the technology stack, the culture and a host of activities that help them get up to speed quickly.
When workplace onboarding is done right, it sets up employees to succeed in their position — so much so that 69% of employees say they’ll stay at a company longer if there’s a good onboarding experience.
We know remote onboarding can be difficult. You can’t walk down the hall to a helpdesk. You can’t ask your neighbor for advice. Worst of all, there are no in-person interactions to help the new hire feel connected to their coworkers or the company culture. It can feel as if the new hire joined a nameless, faceless, emotionless entity. While the tactical elements of onboarding are needed, the most salient element is how they assimilate emotionally and socially.
With the right resources, you can make new hires feel welcome and confident in their decision to join your company.
How HR Managers Can Use Remote Onboarding Best Practices
With a little planning and thoughtfulness, you can make sure they feel welcome and part of the team from day one.
New Hire Classes Introduce Groups of Employees Simultaneously
Company culture can be a lot to adjust to, especially if an employee is new to professional life. Some companies have opted for hiring employees in groups so they go through the first weeks or months at their company together.
These “new hire classes” provide support for each other while building a community within the company, allowing new employees to adjust to a new environment with friends by their side. The ability to compare experiences is very beneficial. And the occasional commiseration helps take the edge off of frustration and lets the person know it’s not just them.
Provide Merch, Gear, and Goodies
Who doesn’t love a little company swag to show off a new job? Providing company swag or welcome gifts helps onboard remote employees, and it shows you’re excited to have them on the team.
Go the extra mile by including a note from their manager or the CEO. You could also send a coffee shop or food delivery app gift card, so they can celebrate their first day with a treat.
Due Diligence in Onboarding Information
New employees might find it difficult to fill their first days or weeks if tasks are unclear. Properly documented expectations and instructions help new hires hit the ground running.
Get new hires organized from the start with project management software that serves as a hub for tasks, deadlines, and progress reports. Monday, Asana, Notion or similar apps can help you project manage the onboarding process.
Finally, offer additional points of contact, like a designated HR member or a similar department head, for new hires to ask questions.
Start with the First Four Weeks
Lay out an onboarding and assimilation plan over the hire’s first four weeks. Make sure you share it with the new hire and execute against it. Anyone who is new to a job will appreciate knowing what's going to happen, when it’s going to happen and with whom.
In the first week, start with small, easily achievable items. Checking off “watch a welcome video” or “read about company values” helps new hires better understand the workplace and build a foundation for their new role. And by taking care of some simple tasks early on, the new employee will feel more confident and prepared to tackle bigger challenges down the road.
Create Opportunities for Socialization
One way to help ease the transition of starting a new remote job is to create opportunities for socialization. Set time in the calendar for the new hire to meet their co-workers and execs alike.
Include onboarding social activities, like a group Zoom lunch, and encourage new hires to share a post on social media so they can start connecting with new coworkers on LinkedIn.
Assign an Onboarding Mentor to New Hires
Best practices for remote onboarding often include providing a specific onboarding mentor to new hires. In the critical first few months of a new employee’s tenure, having a mentor can be a game changer. A peer point-of-contact offers valuable insight for new hires, especially on topics an employee may be less inclined to ask higher management about.
This can be a valuable experience for both the new hire and the tenured employee. Your new hire benefits from the knowledge of the more tenured employee. This brings the new hire up to speed quickly, which ultimately encourages connection, reduces turnover, and results in higher productivity. More senior team members also gain the benefit of feeling connected to newer employees and contributing to the success of the new individual.
Choose Wisq to Help Onboard Your New Employees with Remote Onboarding Best Practices
One of the most important aspects of remote onboarding is making sure that the new hire has permission to socialize, crucial for helping remote employees feel like they are part of the team.
Without that permission, they may feel isolated and like they can't be themselves at work.
Remote onboarding and remote work involve having fun and being your authentic self. Want to see how Wisq can help? Check out a demo.