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The days of winging it or throwing an onboarding together at the last minute are over. Virtual onboarding and at-home operations are here to stay. Companies around the world were pushed over the past two years to accommodate their employees as they grew accustomed to working at their kitchen tables and attending Zoom meetings in their pajama pants.
Today, many companies prefer working with and onboarding remote employees rather than going back to a full in-office team. Companies in most industries have discovered valuable ways to incorporate at-home employees even as they return to normal operations. Many employees also prefer to work at home in those fuzzy pajamas, creating a larger remote workforce than we have ever seen before.
That’s probably why you’re here, ready to learn how to onboard a new employee virtually. Perhaps you’re ready for your first virtual onboarding and know that flying by the seat of your pants is no longer an option. Doing things online simply requires more structure and planning, right?
Maybe you’ve tried your hand at a virtual onboarding, and it didn’t go as smoothly as you hoped. That is happening to businesses everywhere, but don’t let it discourage you from trying again. Even if you have years of virtual onboarding experience, you know there are new strategies and technologies that can improve your process.
The secret to successfully onboarding online is to have the right tools. More specifically, have all the right tools in one convenient location. That saves you a lot of time and ensures a more rewarding virtual onboarding experience for each of your new employees.
It’s true that onboarding remote workers takes a bit more planning because you can’t just walk them around the office and allow them to shadow other employees to get the lay of the land. You have to present everything from a distance and keep those remote workers engaged.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to take as much time as you might think!
With one powerful tool and a bit of time setting it up, you can create a winning onboarding strategy that sends the right message to each new employee.
There are some real benefits of remote onboarding, even if you do feel overwhelmed at the thought of making it all work.
Those are just a few of the universal benefits of virtual onboarding. You will likely find many additional benefits specific to your company as you work through the process and learn a few tricks for success.
Every company should develop their own remote onboarding best practices that reflect their unique industry, goals, and culture. That happens naturally over time as you gain experience onboarding remote workers. While you’re in the beginning stages, it helps to work off a set of effective tips for onboarding remote employees.
Let’s get started right now with a few powerful tips for the virtual onboarding process:
Each time you hold a successful onboarding online, take an afternoon to start developing your own virtual onboarding best practices. As you add detail and refine those best practices, you will create an onboarding system that is time and cost-effective for your company.
The days of throwing an onboarding together at the last minute or winging it when the new employee walks in the door are over, right? That means you should start working through the virtual onboarding process at least a week or two in advance. If you intend to create unique video content, then you may need even more time.
The good news is that you can refine your onboarding system with time. Get it as close to what you want as possible before your next onboarding, and then continue to adjust and add until it’s perfect. You will still need to make occasional adjustments because nothing ever stays the same in business.
Consider this quick virtual onboarding checklist for an overview of what planning for onboarding virtually looks like in real life:
You can add items to this remote employee onboarding checklist to make it work for your company.
Do you have an identifiable culture for your company? What about the vibe when someone walks into your offices, reads your company blog, or interacts with members of your team on social media? Culture is important because it helps define a brand and pulls employees together as one cohesive team.
You want to create a remote onboarding culture for the same reasons. A bad onboarding experience could leave new hires with a negative view of the company. That in turn may lead to employee retention problems down the road.
You will gradually build the culture of your onboarding experience just as your company’s culture evolves over time. In the meantime, start by acknowledging your biggest virtual onboarding challenges and asking for virtual onboarding feedback from recently hired employees.
Tip: Use your company culture as a guide for your onboarding process. Aim for consistency whether an employee works in your office or from afar.
It’s important to send a follow-up email for onboarding process. We mentioned this briefly earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again. Don’t leave communication to day one or the night before. Send a detailed onboarding email to new employees that states when and how they can access their day one onboarding and any training to follow.
Start this email by telling your new employees how happy you are to have them on board. Show your enthusiasm for expanding your team, and use their first name to make it sound genuine and personal.
When you’re ready to craft the email, look for a sample reply to welcome email for new employee online. You’ll find some great ideas for keeping it professional and brief while still getting your new hires excited for day one.
Are you ready to start using the one and only tool you will need to create an amazing remote onboarding experience? Learn more about Filo.co and schedule your demo to get started.