Did you know that according to a study carried out by Gallup, only 12% of employees feel that their organisation does a good job of onboarding new recruits?
That’s an astounding statistic and, considering how much time and effort we invest in perfecting the entire recruitment process, one that is also quite surprising. This is especially true when we take into account that research carried out by Glassdoor has revealed that companies can improve employee retention by as much as 82% through effective onboarding.
Of course, we’re talking about onboarding in general terms here. But what about remote onboarding? Should remote hires be given just as much attention as their in-office colleagues?
We don’t need to tell you that the answer to that is a resounding yes, so with this in mind, let’s take a closer look at remote onboarding.
What is remote onboarding?
Remote onboarding is the process of welcoming a new employee into the organisation and bringing them up to speed on company policies and processes through a combination of video calls and software solutions.
In a nutshell, it’s just like onboarding but done through applications such as Skype, Zoom, or even Slack.
Why is it so important right now?
Like in-office onboarding, remote onboarding has always been important. However, recently we’ve become more reliant on remote onboarding following the global pandemic that pushed employers and employees alike to embrace working remotely.
According to recent research, as many as 56% of companies allow employees to work remotely if needed while 85% of managers believe that remote team members will become the new norm.
So as you can see, even if remote onboarding isn’t widespread right now, it likely will be in the not too distant future.
Key components to an effective remote onboarding program
Whether you’re a new hire that’s about to undergo remote onboarding or an employer welcoming the latest addition to your team, here are some of the key components that you should be able to recognize in a solid onboarding program.
The right technology
It stands to reason that remote employees have the right technology to carry out their new role effectively and the same goes for remote onboarding.
This doesn’t just mean the right hardware but also the right software and any additional cybersecurity tools required for both onboarding and the role itself. This should never be the responsibility of the employee so if you’re a new hire that’s worried about the quality of your PC, talk to your employer about getting a new one.
Likewise, if you’re an employer, you should never assume that your new hire has all the requisite hardware.
A simple admin process
Contracts, personal details, insurance and payroll details — there are always plenty of forms and documents to sign in a new role, and signing them should be a very simple process.
These should really be handled right off the bat and signed with tools like DocuSign or something similar. The last thing a new hire needs is the hassle of actual paperwork coming through the post that needs to be returned. 21st Century and all that!
A seamless communication process
This is often where tools like Slack are worth their weight in (virtual) gold. A new hire going through an onboarding program needs to be able to ask questions and feel that they’ll get their answer immediately.
It also helps to create a sense of being part of the team and allows for new hires to interact with colleagues. It may not be quite like chatting around the water cooler, but it can help break the ice in some way so that new hires can integrate more easily.
And that brings us to our next point.
A proper introduction to team members
It’s all too easy to forget that remote employees need more than a general welcome email with all team members included as an introduction.
As with all employees, they should be introduced properly and face-to-face which can easily be done during a Zoom meeting. Incredibly, this is the one component that is probably forgotten the most, but it really is crucial to a new hire feeling both welcome and a genuine part of the team.
A mentor or work buddy
Believe it or not, remote workers also need a work buddy or mentor just as much as those in-office hires. A person that they can talk to about how they are progressing through the program and how they are handling their responsibilities in their new role.
The value of a work buddy in those first few months cannot be overstated. According to research published by the Harvard Business Review, 97% of employees that met a work buddy 8 or more times in the first 3 months said that they helped them to quickly become productive. That’s a win-win for all involved.
If you’re a new hire who is getting prepped for a remote onboarding program, check to see that all the components above are included. If not, then go right ahead and ask your new employer about it.
It could just be that they simply didn’t realise it was needed or that they’re just as new to the remote onboarding process as you are.
As for employers and hiring managers, that statistic about improving retention by 82% through effective onboarding should be proof enough that refining your onboarding process should be a primary objective.
So make sure that your remote onboarding has all the key components mentioned above and we’re sure that your new hires will thank you for it.
Looking for a new remote role in Ireland, get in touch with the team here at Software Placements and we’ll be more than happy to discuss any roles we are currently in the process of filling or any upcoming opportunities.