How to Create a Successful Virtual Onboarding Process
Why change your virtual onboarding process?
Now that many companies are working remotely we need to take a look at our onboarding process. We had a clear system of how to onboard a new hire in the office. Our human resources and training team took the time to plan how to keep our new team members engaged during the training. Now that many of us have moved to remote training, we need to re-evaluate our plan. Joining a new team at any time can be a difficult task, but especially when joining from home. As the saying goes, out of sight out of mind, this can be the case for new remote hires. Vitalsmarts carried out a survey of over 1,000 employees about working from home. The remote workers said they don’t feel like their colleagues treat them equally when working remotely. They describe feeling left out and lonely. Nobody wants this feeling in their remote team, right?
Let’s get your virtual onboarding process right so your team doesn’t feel lonely or left out. We have the perfect recipe for the sweetest onboarding process.
Our Top Virtual Onboarding Essentials:
Make a plan
It sounds simple but sometimes we need to go back to basics. Sit down with your team and brainstorm some ideas to make your virtual onboarding process a success. Your team will have different onboarding experiences to share and the more ideas the better.
Think of some employee engagement ideas and you will find onboarding inspiration. Ask yourself how you make physical onboarding interactive and how you can apply this to the virtual world.
The first thing your new hires will need to support their learning is the correct equipment. The virtual onboarding process is stressful enough without having to worry about setting up equipment. So make sure you send out clear instructions on how to use the equipment. Offer technical support to the new team members too so if they come across any issues they know where to go. Here are some ideas of equipment your team might need:
- A working laptop and monitor with charging cables and an HDMI. Remember that many people have experienced back problems since working remotely so you might want to send a laptop stand too.
- Any reading material to learn about the company. Some people prefer reading physical books to reading long information online.
- Accounts and passwords for company software.
- A desk and chair. If your company is supplying this, let the new hire know.
Remember that the remote onboarding process is new for a lot of us so clear communication is key. Send all equipment in time so your new team member can test it. It is also a good idea to ask them to run a WIFI check to make sure their connection is good enough for remote work.
It can be easy to miss things when communicating online. There is often some communication barrier like lack of hand gestures or technical issues. It can be easy for your new hire to miss something. So make sure your virtual onboarding process includes daily and weekly checklists, that way everyone is on the same page. You can send the list on a shared google doc, that way you know how the new hire is doing. The checklist isn’t about micromanaging but just making sure your virtual onboarding is a success.
It is a good idea to include your current team in your virtual onboarding process. They have experienced the onboarding process before and understand how the new hires feel. Sure they may have completed their training in person, but some advice is better than none. Try to pair your new hire with someone from the same department or similar background. If you pick people with something in common they will be more comfortable around each other. Schedule a weekly call with some talking points to avoid awkward silences. Then check in with both the new hire and buddy to see how things are going. In a physical office, new employees would naturally get to know the team through time. Unfortunately, this cannot happen online without a scheduled meeting. A buddy system will help boost your team to get to know each other, helping with team spirit.
New team member care package
Usually, when new team members start in person, they receive some company goods. Often we forget about this in the virtual onboarding process. It’s a good idea to send your new hires a care package for their virtual onboarding. Here are some items you can include in your care package:
- A stress ball to release some anger.
- Coffee to keep everyone fresh in the morning.
- A company-branded t-shit so they can be proud of their company.
- Earbuds, we all know remote working can be a bit loud.
- Reading material about the company so they can learn before they start.
Your new hires will appreciate that you thought of a care package for them. And of course, we all know sharing is caring.
The only people who can let you know if your virtual onboarding process was a success is the new hires. Collect feedback from them at the end of the onboarding using a virtual survey. Keep the feedback anonymous so it will be as honest as possible. You can use the feedback to identify any gaps in your new hires’ knowledge and support them with additional training. Your new team members will also appreciate that you value their opinion.
How can I use these ideas in my virtual onboarding process?
Now that you know our top virtual onboarding tips you can use these to help your new hires. But of course, you’ll need a virtual platform to deliver your training. Not all virtual event platforms work in the same way, some are more interactive than others. The more interaction at your onboarding sessions the more your team will learn.
Remo is an engaging platform that will help your virtual onboarding process. You can take a look at the product yourself with our guided tours. We also have a free 14-day trial so you can try our product before making a commitment.