Onboarding for Remote Employees

by | Jun 20, 2022 | Onboarding | 0 comments

Onboarding is the integration and acclimatization of new employees into the company’s policies and culture. It is a critical aspect of the recruitment process, which involves lots of rigorous activities to help the new hires blend properly with the company’s workforce.

The onboarding process can either be face-to-face or by virtual means. Face-to-face onboarding involves the physical assimilation of new staff into the workforce. The process is undertaken in the physical office of the organization.

In this post, you’ll learn about remote onboarding and the common challenges of the onboarding process.

What Is Remote Onboarding?

Remote onboarding is a virtual way of integrating the new hires into the company while helping them adapt quickly to the company culture, values, norms, and processes. Unlike the physical onboarding process which involves the face-to-face onboarding interaction, the remote onboarding process involves using modern technologies and collaboration tools to onboard new employees into the organization without any physical interactions.

It is very important that new hires enjoy and have a good onboarding process because it is a great way to make them feel welcome and get them up to a quick start. You can make your new hires feel welcome and valued through a practical onboarding checklist. 

The onboarding checklist is a series of steps or actions a sales leader takes to integrate the new hires into the company. According to Brandon Hall Group, organizations with a robust onboarding process are more likely to increase the new hire retention rate by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent.

How Long Should Remote Onboarding Take?

The onboarding process is a rigorous activity that is usually time-consuming and the team onboarding experience has to be given great attention. A study from Sapling reveals that new hires will have over fifty onboarding activities that need to be completed during their period. This goes a long way to mean that employee onboarding is not an activity that needs to be rushed, if you want the process to be effective.

The timeframe for an effective onboarding process varies from company to company. This is because every company has its unique individual attributes and specific cultures. Therefore, new employees may find their formal organization’s onboarding experience and process very different from the new one. 

In addition, the position or role you want to fill with a new sales rep is worth considering in designing the schedule or timeframe for your onboarding program. Some technical roles may require a long onboarding process before the employees fully get accustomed to the new job.

However, most sales leaders agree that an ideal onboarding process should take between two weeks to three months at maximum. The new hires would be actively engaged with the onboarding process and get equipped with all things needed to sell effectively within this period. Newly recruited salespeople can continue to passively learn every other thing needed to thrive in the company while on the job.

What Is An Onboarding Session?

The onboarding session is the time through which onboarding activities hold. It starts from the first day of the hires at work. The start-day sessions include:

  • Building relationships with the employees.
  • Filling online and submitting online forms.
  • Conducting video calls and emails.
  • Sending invitations for virtual meetings.
  • Sending supplies to the home office.

These are important onboarding sessions to hold that could help the new hires to gain more confidence in delivering their job functionalities. 

How To Manage The Onboarding Process Of New Hires Remotely

The hiring managers need to design a good onboarding checklist to achieve their remote onboarding goal. The remote onboarding process involves some important activities, which include the following: 

  1. Develop a two-week plan
  2. Introduce them to small projects
  3. Onboard in cohorts
  4. Seek feedback
  5. Create time for personal connection
  6. Setting up a slack channel

All these identified activities would make onboarding new hires remotely a good experience.

Common Remote Onboarding Challenges

#1. The problem of creating a sense of belonging on the first day of the onboarding process

One of the problems hiring managers do face has to do with the way they instil a sense of belonging in the mind of their remote workers. Meeting your team members on the first day of the meeting could be challenging because the new hires are just being introduced to a new work environment. This is a common challenge that could be remedied by setting up a video call with your new sales employees.

As a hiring manager, you should hold a video call with the new hires before the first day of the onboarding process. Put a video call through to your new hires to congratulate and welcome them individually before the actual onboarding program kicks off. Doing this would help the new hires feel welcome in your sales organization and also make them develop a positive mindset towards your onboarding process before their job actually starts in your organization. The result of this action is a positive relationship between you and your new hires even before day one of the onboarding program.

#2. Having a disorganized and prolonged onboarding process

Poor preparation is the actual cause of this, and it greatly affects the onboarding process of new employees. Gallup found that only 12 percent of workers strongly agree that the organization does a great job onboarding new employees. That means 88% don’t believe their organizations do a great job of onboarding, which leaves much room for improvement. 

This large percentage is mostly due to unnecessary repetitions of activities and a break in internet connections in the process of onboarding.

#3. Access to the right technology and tools

This is one of the major problems confronted by the new hires in their onboarding process. While it is expected that the company supports their new hires with the right technologies and possibly, internet routers, many assume that the new hires have the technology needed to succeed in their onboarding process. This sometimes results in a communication gap between the facilitators of the onboarding program and the attendees, making the whole process less fun for all parties involved. 

#4. Issues with the company technology setup

It is not the responsibility of the new hires to set up their devices for virtual communication on video calls and other means. However, many hires assume they can handle this until the final day, and unfortunately, they fail to set up their devices for virtual meetings.

The Importance Of The Onboarding Process

The onboarding process is an important introductory phase in welcoming the new hires into the company. It is important because

  1. It helps the new hires get accustomed to the company’s philosophies, cultures, and orientations.
  2. It helps to associate the new employees with the existing Team members.
  3. It boosts their confidence in handling complex tasks.
  4. It allows the new hires to identify and create a long-lasting relationships among themselves.
  5. It unfetters the new hires to the working system and environment.

What Do New Hires Want In The Onboarding Program?

The new hires are just coming into your sales organization and are yet to learn about your company culture. Regardless of their sales experience, they still need you, as a hiring manager, to answer the questions bothering their minds about the company.

During the onboarding process, the new hires want to understand the company’s protocols and processes fully. The protocols and the processes are the main principles guiding the operational efficiency of the companies. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the operational managers to outline these for them clearly.

The new hires want to know about the job functionalities of their roles. Every role within an organization has its unique job functions. These job functions guide the new hires to know the scope of their job jurisdictions. Therefore, the new hires seek an in-depth understanding of the job role and expectations to succeed in the new organization.

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