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Creating a Remote Onboarding Program

Employee on-boarding is a very time-consuming and important process when it comes to developing the best employees for your organization. Anyone whose responsibility this falls under knows it can be challenging to coordinate, even when you have everyone in one location. Now imagine having to manage multiple schedules, sync up various people, and organize several moving parts spanning different remote working locations.

Despite on-boarding during a very uncertain time, one thing that is certain is how employee retention is linked to the hiring process. According to Sapling, great employee on-boarding can improve employee retention by 82%. This leads to a decrease in time spent and costs incurred when turnover happens.

What strategies can you use to ensure a successful remote on-boarding program that mirrors the traditional on-boarding you’re used to?

  1. Connect Face-to-Face

This is the end-all-be-all for any remote working situation. During the traditional on-boarding process, many first days consist of numerous in-person greetings and a review of what the on-boarding schedule consists of. When doing this remotely, it’s worth considering that most of day one is spent on a video conference call with the on-boarding leaders and new hires. In the days following, schedule at least one video call per day as the on-boarding leader. You should also include availability in your schedule, leaving your remote door open to any new hires who have questions or needs that come up along the way.

  1. Create a Success Plan

Before any new hire starts, you should have an idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are. Understanding how an employee will operate best, allows you to create a plan that not only helps to make them successful during the on-boarding process but supports them in improving their weaknesses. Once that analysis is done, expectations need to be clearly indicated, and goals should be set with specific deadlines for both. Each new hire should be given the information they need in black and white regarding who they report to, any leaders they might need to reach out to, and colleagues who will be acting as mentors upon on-boarding graduation.

  1. Choose the Best Tools

We all know that starting a new job means a litany of paperwork, so it makes sense to have a formalized process run through a digital format that allows for the sharing of sensitive documents and gathering of signatures when needed. In addition to this, you will need a platform that acts as a messaging system for quick, more urgent discussions that an email wouldn’t fit the purpose for. To assess progress, use a reliable project management platform that allows the on-boarding leaders to check in throughout and evaluate the performance, adjusting the plan if needed.

  1. Schedule Chit-Chat

When on-boarding remotely, new hires won’t have the opportunity to drop by a colleague’s desk to ask a question or introduce themselves, and there is no water cooler to congregate around and create relationships. It’s important to designate time for small talk without it being a distraction or interruption. Block off time for each employee at the start of the day to catch up before diving into work.

  1. Send a Swag Package

Many new hires are given company swag when they start. Consider putting together something that resembles a care package to include any items you’d typically provide before or during the on-boarding process. New employees will feel like they are part of the team, and this also shows that the company is invested in them.

Do you have any remote on-boarding tips? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Managing Remote Employees.