Best Practices for an Effective
Onboarding is a process in which new employees are introduced to the ins and outs of their new job, as well as the company’s culture. Done on the first day or first week of work, it traditionally involves an office tour, a welcoming lunch, and other face-to-face activities. But many companies have had to rethink their existing onboarding processes to adapt to the necessity or convenience of remote work arrangements. That means that, like the actual remote work to be done by the employee, onboarding processes have also had to be done offsite and online.
Employers, upper-level managers, and human resource staff may initially find the idea of virtual onboarding very challenging, and for good reason. It may be difficult at first to translate the company’s sense of identity, community, and working culture outside of the office itself. Plus, it often takes twice the energy to engage new employees online. But if you’re about to onboard new recruits to your own company, don’t be discouraged. There’s still a way to conduct virtual onboarding in a way that makes them feel welcome and like they’re part of the team.
Don’t miss the opportunity to turn your virtual onboarding process into a memorable experience for your new employees. If you follow the best virtual onboarding practices listed below, you’ll help them remember why applying to your company was a good decision. Start your virtual onboarding process on a good note with these tips from Mynimo, and get them excited to work with you!
Brief the Successful Applicant on Their Onboarding Plan
The onboarding process should begin soon after the applicant receives the news of their job offer. The first thing you should do is inform them about when their onboarding will take place, through which medium, and what they need to prepare. You may want to consider un-chunking parts of the onboarding plan to stretch out over the week, instead of a full day. That will allow some more time for other activities your new employees need to do, like an orientation with their own department.
You can kick off your virtual onboarding by sending them an email with the schedule and a copy of the employee handbook. A welcome message from the company’s top brass—whether typewritten or in video format—is also a nice touch. This is your opportunity to make a great first impression on your new recruits and show them that you’re prepared for their arrival.
Schedule a Meet and Greet with the Team
The next step in your virtual onboarding process can be an introduction to the company’s people. Even if your new employees are far away, it helps for them to have faces to ascribe to the names they’ll see. This can help nurture camaraderie among old and new members of the team, which counts for a lot in remote work arrangements.
The “meet and greet” portion doesn’t have to be long, and employers can get as creative as they like. If you’re conducting the onboarding process from your office, you can stream a quick virtual tour for new employees with your phone camera. You can also set up a video call with the people your new recruits will be working with, and you can introduce yourselves with icebreaker games. Once your new employees get a feel of the people they’ll be working alongside, they’ll be motivated to start becoming team players themselves.
Put the Spotlight on Your Company Culture
One of the most important parts of your onboarding process should be the introduction of your company’s mission, vision, and values. Your new employee may have seen some of this information in their listing, but the onboarding process is where they’ll learn about these at length.
Your introduction of your company and its culture can take the form of a short online presentation, screen shared during a video call. You can also take the time to highlight your company’s history and recent achievements. It would be great for you to end the presentation with a challenge to your new employees. Ask them about the contributions they can make to the company as individuals, or how they see themselves helping your company achieve a particular goal.
Outline the Employee’s Tasks and Duties and Set Expectations with Them
Some steps in the onboarding process, like the meet-and-greet and presentation of company values, can be done with several new recruits at a time. But the next step—a discussion of the employee’s tasks, duties, and mutual expectations for their contract—is best done individually.
This is the new employee’s chance to ask you questions about their work arrangement, and your chance to clarify their concerns. This is also where you can discuss the more in-depth subjects about their employment, like their schedule, salary, and means of communicating with you. The most important thing is that both parties have everything they need to commence a regular pace of work as soon as possible.
Make All the Necessary Logistical Arrangements
Lastly, before the employee starts their regular days at work, you’ll want to take care of all the logistics behind their working arrangement. Check if they have everything they need to do productive work from home, such as a computer and a stable Internet connection. If it’s possible, you can enroll them in the company’s data plan or loan them equipment.
Emphasize that the resources they’re using are courtesy of the office, and must be used responsibly. But for as long as they are, you can expect consistent work and fast acclimatization from your new employee.
Conclusion: Onboarding the Future Leaders of Your Company
Even if virtual onboarding is not yet the norm for your company, you’ll soon learn how to conduct the process as smoothly as possible. Don’t forget to monitor and fine-tune your onboarding process as you go, taking note of which steps your new employees found most helpful.
It will be a big adjustment to everyone, especially those who are used to working on site. But in the best-case scenario, those who take on work-from-home jobs will still find fulfillment and satisfaction in them. Your new remote workers may even step up and become part of a new generation of company leaders. But all of that starts with the virtual onboarding process and their successful integration into the life of your company.
We wish you the best of luck in onboarding your new employees and staying true to your company’s goals in the digital era!