As remote work becomes more common, these virtual employee onboarding tips go a long way toward acclimating new employees and HR pros to this trend.
An increasing number of today’s employees rarely, if ever, set foot in a physical workplace. In fact, some workers are completely remote, and even their onboarding process is completed online. According to statistics published by Zippia, as of 2022, 26% of U.S. employees work remotely. And it is anticipated that more than 36 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025.
As one of your company’s HR team members or hiring managers, you may find remote onboarding becoming more routine. This article will feature virtual onboarding tips for welcoming new employees and helping them acclimate.
Tips for virtual employee onboarding of new team members
If you’re used to traditional in-person onboarding, the virtual onboarding experience may throw you a curveball. However, in today’s growing culture of remote workers, embracing the virtual onboarding process is a must. These virtual onboarding tips can help you successfully onboard new hires, getting them up to speed and comfortable in your organization.
Invest in pre-onboarding preparations
To successfully onboard your new virtual-style hire, you don’t want to wing it. Take the time for pre-onboarding preparations.
- Send a welcome letter.
- Host a brief video call explaining what’s to come.
- Take advantage of paperless onboarding. Electronically deliver all documents to sign before the employee’s start date.
- Ship out all technology or access codes your new employee will need during their 1st week. Have IT set the new hire’s company email address so it’s good to go.
- Share any employee handbooks, SOPs, or other information to further familiarize them with the company culture before they start.
- Provide other information, such as key team members with whom they’ll be working, job responsibilities, and virtual-meetings dress code.
Giving your new team member an organized pre-board experience is highly beneficial. It can help them feel like part of the team and offers ample opportunity for questions. It can establish a positive first impression of the company and better equip the new employee to build relationships.
Create an onboarding schedule
Starting a new job can be overwhelming under any circumstances. By creating an all-inclusive onboarding schedule, you can help your new team member navigate their own onboarding process. They’ll know what to expect and when tasks are due, eliminating confusion and avoiding lapses. Creating a week-1 plan is helpful. You can even schedule a virtual happy hour for week’s end, when the entire team celebrates your new hire’s successful first week.
Include welcome videos
Videos help bring people together when they can’t interact in the physical environment. In the virtual environment, it’s difficult to get a feel of what’s going on in a company. Using pre-recorded videos can help simulate the in-person experience and help a new employee feel part of the team. Have veteran team members send short 15 to 30-second greetings via email, text, or chat.
Offer one-on-one video chats
Once your company has selected a candidate, there may be key employees who should make a more personal introduction. While they can certainly make phone calls, video chats are more common these days. Scheduling one-on-one video chats to put the proverbial faces to the names helps reduce feelings of “distance.” Moreover, if you or they can create an “open door” video-chat policy, your new hire may feel more supported.
Set up a team meeting on the first day
When people work together in person, coworkers tend to drop in on a new hire to meet and greet them. To help welcome onsite and remote employees virtually, set up a team meeting on their first day. Doing so will facilitate employee engagement and an introduction to your company’s culture. Your new team member may then feel more comfortable reaching out to others with questions or needs. This is important for becoming acclimated to a new work environment.
Assign your new employee a mentor or work buddy
To help a remote employee succeed, assign them a mentor or a work buddy. Introducing them to someone they can turn to is one of the best ways to help orient them. Their mentor or work buddy can check in on them regularly, answer questions, or just shoot the breeze. They can help the new employee to understand clear expectations that will help them succeed in the new job. Having someone to talk to can alleviate loneliness and stress associated with starting a new job in a solitary environment.
Following virtual onboarding tips makes a better experience for everyone
Remember, onboarding isn’t just about job training. It’s also about introducing your employee to your company’s culture, purpose, and team. As remote work gains popularity, best practices for virtual onboarding go a long way toward acclimating teams to this trend.
For more on virtual onboarding and other HR topics, find tips, tools, and resources at Workest by Zenefits.