Let’s look through the basics of virtual onboarding to fine-tune the process that takes place in your company Practices for Remote Employee Onboarding.
Remote Employee Onboarding Plan:
I often say that everything starts with a plan. Remote Employee Onboarding is no exception. Of course, the majority of businesses that often hire employees already have one.
But at the moment, it is high time to update it to meet the needs of remote work. So, your onboarding plan must be clear and detailed. Set the goals and deadlines. Define what information and when to share with new hires (as some information may be sensitive, not everything should be shared right at the beginning of the training course), establish schedules, etc. If you have several newcomers, choose the format of their training: in a group, individual sessions, or you can combine both.
Earlier, a new hire’s first day looked like that an office tour, getting acquainted with colleagues, establishing a learning schedule, setting up goals.
In general, the first week was devoted to building new connections. And, what happens when a person works from home? Actually, anyone would feel isolated. To prevent it, you can prepare a welcome packet for a new hire. It should be sent out beforehand and include the following information: payroll and tax documents, a list of teammates with their positions and contacts, a list of tasks that need to be completed in the future, a list of online resources and tools to learn, etc. It is the general information that might be relevant to a newcomer in the first weeks or months. On the one hand, one might say that this information is not of great importance, but, on the other hand, it gives the feeling of being involved in what is happening in a company.
Having a mentor is essential. This is a person who can help you get used to your new position, learn the typical processes in your new company, acquire their professional experience, and get acquainted with your new role and responsibilities.
When you work from home, that is vital. About 60% of new hires admit that their mentor helped them adapt to the new corporate culture faster, avoid mistakes, and stay productive. Another piece of advice here: make sure that a person who is assigned to be a mentor is ready for that. I mean, being a mentor is an additional responsibility to the general workload. And a mentor should be patient enough to answer questions and explain things. This role presupposes being a bit of a teacher, and it is not as easy as it may seem.
High-Quality Learning Materials
A mentor’s help is not enough for new hires. They need an additional source of information at hand. As was mentioned above, many businesses use an FAQ or a knowledge base to train personnel. These are online types of documentation. Their biggest advantage is that they are available 24/7 from any place and any device. What you need is the Internet. It may happen that an employee needs to check up on something or make sure that he/she is going through the motions correctly. Why asking the same questions again and again if you simply can open a guide or an instruction and find what you need?
Milestones are not only meant to check an employee’s progress. They are great guidance for employees. You can clearly see what and by when you should know. You can check whether you are coping well with your learning plan. This motivates a person to go further and stay productive or gain what has not been done yet. Using a checklist at different stages is a helping hand as well while tracking the results of Remote Employee Onboarding. It contributes to consistency and diving deep into the material.
Do not forget to gather feedback at all stages to find soft spots in your Remote Employee Onboarding plan. It can help you improve it in the future. Successful remote work requires a lot of communication to make sure that everything is flawless. The simplest thing you can do is to have a conversation via an online conference tool.
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