Did you know that recent surveys have shown that 9 out of 10 people working remotely in the United State want to remain that way? Working remotely has given people the chance to spend more time with their families and take care of their health.
If you want to encourage new people to join your team, remote work is a perfect incentive, but you might be wondering what onboarding looks like. Keep reading if you want to learn more about virtual onboarding and how you can successfully implement it within your business!
1 Put Yourself in Their Shoes
One of the best tips for improving your virtual onboarding experience is by putting yourself in a candidate’s shoes. From the beginning of your planning, you should be working through the onboarding process as if you have never been exposed to it. People often make the mistake of overlooking information because they are so familiar with some of the details.
In reality, candidates might be confused with the language or terms you are using, especially if it is for an entry-level position. It is also good to put yourself in their shoes since it gets you thinking, which will help you expect the questions and conversations you will have.
2 Improve Your Communication
Finding virtual onboarding tips is easy, but finding the actual solutions to problems is another issue. If you want to improve virtual onboarding, you need to make sure that communicating is easy and transparent for everyone. New employees will have questions and need assistance while they learn their position. Emails are a great way to communicate for certain businesses.
However, phone calls and instant chats are other methods that provide more success. Having quick and easy ways to communicate will ensure that your process goes smoothly. It will also help ensure that your employee won’t be waiting around for an email with the next steps.
3 Switch to Electronic
If you are looking for virtual onboarding best practices, switching to electronic is recommended. Some companies still have employees fill out tax and hiring forms with pen and paper. Instead of killing more trees and wasting storage space, you can switch to electronic forms. These are easier to store because they can go in the cloud and you don’t have to worry about misreading someone’s handwriting.
You can learn about companies that help with documents here and discover an easier way to complete i9s! Tax forms and application documents are easy to switch to an electronic format and will ensure consistency in your business. The best part about using electronic forms is that you can feel good about leaving a smaller carbon footprint.
4 Provide Thorough Directions
When it comes to onboarding virtual employees, you need to provide thorough details, since they aren’t sitting next to you. If your new employees need to work through a training program or need to attend online calls for training, you must ensure that they know how to. The best way to provide instructions is through email, you can include attachments and screenshots to give more details too. You can also make an attendance sheet in excel to track all the records.
Giving enough directions and a couple of resources to contact for help will make employees feel comfortable. When new staff doesn’t have enough guidance, they don’t know what to ask and the team sets them up for failure. No matter how small the task or goal is, provide thorough directions while onboarding and training to reduce your risk of turnover.
5 Create an Onboarding Checklist
Even if you have someone that has been hiring for 15 years without guidance, you should still create a checklist. Onboarding checklists are good to have in case job roles change. You can provide consistency year after year by covering the same information with all of your staff. This is good to do since it helps get everyone on the same page.
The only concern about creating an onboarding checklist is that you fail to update it. Once you go off the tracks with the checklist, make changes to reflect how the company is evolving. If the checklist isn’t accurate, it is essentially useless. If you don’t have any of your onboarding processes documented, you can do this during your next hire.
6 Share Resources
Depending on your company, you might need to provide resources to your new employees. Not everyone has access to a computer with a camera at home. If the job you are filling requires a computer, phone, or other tools, you need to provide them to them. Giving new employees the resources they need to get the job done is essential.
Make sure that you get these items to your employees quickly. You might want to consider giving them a day or a couple of days to acclimate themselves to the technology, programs, or software. If you are hiring people out of state, be prepared to spend some money on shipping items if your staff needs a laptop.
7 Include Videos
Whether you build a YouTube page or include them as an attachment in emails, you should always use videos. Videos are a great way to explain a difficult concept in simpler terms. There is often a lot of reading and writing involved with onboarding, so a video also acts as a break for the new employee. Another advantage of videos is that they create a more personable experience and you can introduce the team to them.
You can make funny, instructions or informative videos to enhance your onboarding experience. People learn in unique ways and videos are a perfect solution to boredom and having a lack of interest.
8 Use Modules
Did you know that learning modules have proven to be more effective than traditional teaching methods? Learning modules are perfect for employees getting virtually on boarded. These modules can be customized to your company and training process. Modules are an electronic format of training that includes videos, reading segments, and links.
While staff are working on modules, they must pass learning checkpoints that access their understanding of a concept. These modules are often used for OSHA standards, learning about HIPPA, and other regulations. This is an interactive way to teach and train your new staff that many people prefer.
9 Consider VR
A common trend people are seeing in the electronic and IT industries is virtual reality. Virtual reality technology is bringing back connections for virtual employees and making it easier to work as a team. Although you might need a moment to adjust to the new reality, you can use this as a way to communicate. Especially while onboarding someone if video calls aren’t efficient enough.
This is a fun way that you can learn more about your new employees and help teach them about their role in your company. Although this is an expensive investment, it is a great way to attract candidates and market your company. Another advantage of VR experiences is that you can use them to show employees the culture of your office. Even if someone is working hundreds of miles away, they can feel close to their team and the atmosphere.
10 Choose a Reliable Platform
Specific software and video conference applications are used for onboarding, and you must choose the right one. Many businesses use Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Skype as a means of communication with remote workers. These are wonderful platforms to use for onboarding, especially when your employee needs to meet their coworkers or work as a team. Slack and other instant messengers are also recommended for quick responses.
If you are looking for something free and have a small team, you could even consider using FB Messenger or WhatsApp Messenger. These are hassle-free communication tools.
11 Provide Guidance
There will be certain expectations that you need to set with new employees so that they are productive and know what to do. Providing guidance, especially at the beginning of onboarding, is essential if you want to be able to trust your staff to do their jobs. After enough training and examples, your employees will feel confident handling situations. They can think back to the feedback and guidance you have provided them.
The best way for employees to learn is to practice and try things out. Even if something is done incorrectly, use it as a learning opportunity. If you feel a disconnect between your expectations and reality, you might want to reevaluate how you are guiding the person.
12 Set the Calendar Up
A problem that some companies face with virtual onboarding is that the staff member doesn’t know what to do. In the first couple of days, they will be learning about their role and the company. Many people will also have some sort of learning curve to working remotely, which is why the calendar is so important. Filling the calendar for new staff during onboarding is recommended if you want to avoid missed meetings and information.
Online calendars are wonderful because you can set reminders and include details about meetings. Since new employees won’t know everyone, having a detailed calendar prepared for them can help them acclimate to the job. You should include links to access the video call or module so that the employee doesn’t have any questions during onboarding.
13 Allow Permissions
Most people don’t realize it, but working remotely isn’t as simple as logging into a computer and accessing everything. Companies must work closely with their IT departments to grant access for specific things to employees. Depending on the nature of their role, they might not need access to information or should not see it. Before hiring your new employee, think about their role and the folders that they will need access to.
The IT department can grant access to new hires virtually by logging into their computer through the back end. Without giving permissions during onboarding, you will waste time accessing information.
14 Schedule a Routine Meeting
If you are the direct supervisor or the new employee, you should schedule a regular meeting with them. Supervisors should meet with their staff at least once every week or so. This provides a chance for them to ask questions and clarify their role. During the onboarding, these meeting should occur multiple times a day to ensure that they aren’t falling behind or confused.
Weekly meetings are typically a reasonable frequency for meeting since it’s not too long for things to go awry.
15 Offer a Welcoming Environment
Virtual employees often lack feedback and conversation. This is why you need to focus on creating a welcoming environment. Nearly 60% of people that left their jobs did so because of the toxic company cultures in the United States. Watch for turnover and red flag throughout onboarding to make people feel welcome.
When employees feel appreciated and noticed from the beginning, they aren’t as afraid to contribute to the team and speak with others. You can introduce the new team member to their coworkers through an email or group chat. Video conferences are another outlet to introduce members and give them a warm introduction.
If you want to make the onboarding experience even more welcoming, you should have a coworker or two work as mentors. Even if they’re only there to give questions and guidance, it can provide a connection for people during onboarding virtually.
What Is Your Virtual Onboarding Plan?
If you want to keep your business up with the times, you shouldn’t be afraid to try virtual onboarding. By learning about the virtual onboarding challenges, you can overcome them with ease. You won’t have to face as many struggles that other people have. Being prepared with a plan will keep your company running smoothly. The hiring process won’t be as intimidating once you get control of onboarding either.
Don’t be afraid to test out your virtual onboarding with a new group of employees. You can get feedback from them to see where improvements need to be made. Be sure to check out our page for more content about the virtual onboarding process and finding the best employees!