Adapting To the New Normal: Remote Employee Onboarding
For many companies, the shift to remote or hybrid work environments has been one of the biggest challenges of the modern era. And nowhere is this challenge more apparent than in onboarding. Giving new hires the start they need and deserve is already a big task when working in person–from a distance, it can seem impossible.
But let’s not just see this switch as merely a challenge or a difficulty to be overcome. We can use this switch as a way to solve remote work for good and help our teams to adjust and thrive in our new remote world. All we need is the right set of resources and tools.
1. Don’t Just Migrate Your Status Quo In-Person Onboarding To Email
Our first new hire training tip for an effective remote onboarding process is a critical one. Put simply, it isn’t enough to just migrate your status quo in-person onboarding process to email. It might be tempting, but trust us: it won’t work. Instead, you need to start from the fundamentals. Imagine the first-day experience for your new hires when working remotely.
What is their first point of contact with you? How will you welcome them from a distance? What kind of a picture of your company will they get? And how will you make sure you communicate your distinct company culture in a remote or setting? Answering these questions might seem tough, but it’s crucial to supporting employee development with the right remote learning culture and mobile learning solutions. Remember: making the shift to remote onboarding isn’t as simple as just firing up Zoom. You need to think about every step of your onboarding process and consider whether it remains fit-for-purpose in a remote context.
2. Great Remote Onboarding Is All About Pre-Boarding
A key part of building the right remote onboarding process is pre-boarding. As we covered in chapter two, pre-boarding is everything that happens from contract signing to arriving at the office–or signing in for Day One from home. Access issues are one of the most common first-day problems we see with companies when they’re building a remote learning culture. When you’re working remotely, this communication is even more important. You want your new hires to feel plugged-in to the workplace, even if they can’t be physically present. That’s why you need to take care to check off every box on your pre-boarding list, from making sure email accounts are functional to providing your new hires with the right logins to crucial tools.
Pre-boarding might seem like a basic admin task, but overlooking this important step jeopardizes a smooth first day for your new hire. Any first day is stressful, and starting a new job remotely (especially in the middle of a health crisis!) is even more stressful. You don’t want people to have to worry about getting their computers or email access, too. These kinds of stresses can negatively impact the onboarding experience.
3. Build Immersive Remote Onboarding With Cross-Team Collaboration
Delivering a great employee onboarding process from a distance is tough for just one team. That’s why it’s so crucial to make your remote onboarding collaborative and to leverage all that great subject-matter expertise that lives within your teams.
This collaboration on remote onboarding takes two forms:
1. Collaborating To Create Great Remote Onboarding Content
Onboarding is the process of introducing your new hires to everything they need to know to do their jobs. And everything they need to know can be a lot–it’s impossible for just L&D or HR to know everything every new hire needs to know. That’s why it’s so key to empower your subject-matter experts to share their knowledge no matter which team they’re from. With the right learning platform, anyone in your business can design and author learning modules and seek input and feedback from others as they go. By decentralizing onboarding content creation, you can make everybody’s lives easier. There’s less pressure for the HR or L&D teams, more interest from the rest of the company in the onboarding process, and more interactions for the new hire with all departments.
2. Collaborating During The Remote Onboarding Process
On top of content creation, Collaborative Learning should also happen during the remote onboarding process. At 360Learning, we make use of the collaborative features on our learning platform to encourage interactions and collaboration. This includes our Discussion Forum, where new hires can ask questions anytime, and offer instant reactions to each module. Most of the time, questions asked in forums are answered immediately by the course author or fellow colleagues. With these interactions and responses, every one of your courses and modules becomes a living document and is a collection of all the expertise, questions, and learning experiences of your previous learners. This helps new hires understand the courses better, and create a sense of community. This is especially valuable in a remote onboarding or learning process, which can feel lonely otherwise.
So, when you’re building the right remote employee onboarding process and supporting new employee development, don’t neglect these three tips. And one other fundamental factor to consider? Make sure you have the right tech for the job.
Download the eBook New Hire Roadmap: All The Employee Onboarding Resources You Need From Day 1 To Day 90 And Beyond to learn how to launch a new hire training program that makes a mark and fosters lifelong L&D. Also, join the webinar to stay updated with a new hire roadmap that will leverage your onboarding process!