HR Management

Onboarding Best Practices: Set your New Hires Up for Success

The past two years have forever changed the landscape of the job market by accelerating the adoption of remote work. As organizations took to remote working, hiring and onboarding individuals also became virtual. But with things getting back to normal, it’s time to analyze your onboarding practices to meet the demands of the modern workforce. Talent scarcity and high employee turnover are one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations today – therefore it’s important to engage employees from Day 1 of their joining.

According to a study by Brandon Hall Group, organizations with a robust onboarding process see an improvement in new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. 

The most successful onboarding strategies do more than just introduce new hires to the organization and its culture. It is about ensuring that your new employees don’t remain clueless and are well-functioning from the very beginning. A great onboarding process lays the foundation to build a long-standing relationship with new employees. The virtual onboarding process is more challenging and chaotic as remote workers may miss out on critical information passed during the process. It can be difficult to gauge how well they’re performing in the first month as they are not in the vicinity. 

But there are steps that you can take to cover all your bases. Here are some practices that can help you create a successful remote onboarding strategy for new employees: 

  • Create a detailed plan

Old tropes of onboarding employees are no longer sustainable in 2022. A well-structured plan can make a real difference to your onboarding process and make it successful for remote employees. The plan should be detailed and include everything that a remote worker will need in their first few weeks at the company. Having a detailed plan helps you in moving swiftly by creating a clear plan of progression. It should ideally include:

  • Documentation that should be completed pre and post onboarding.
  • All onboarding materials that need to be covered in the first few weeks.
  • Tasks that require completion.
  • Specifying milestones along with the timelines.
  • Planning tasks for managers like setting up orientation sessions, introduction with the team, etc.

You need to create a new employee handbook for workers and managers detailing the plan of action. Standardized virtual onboarding practices makes the process consistent while keeping everyone on the same page. 

  • Set clear expectations

Clarity is the key to maintaining employee relations and you must convey to your workers their responsibilities, workflow, progress analysis and the rest. While keeping micromanagement at a bare minimum, ensure that your new employees are involved with the process and have a clear idea of organizational expectations. Given their lack of knowledge in the dealings of the company, micromanagement might appear to be a lucrative option. But it is a sure way to kill and trample productivity and creativity. Independent working is an important skill in remote work which should be encouraged from the very beginning. At the same time, establish clear communication channels with your workers to remove ambiguity. Doing so establishes trust while encouraging the employee to work independently.

  • Assign a “buddy”

Global organizations are today leveraging the “buddy” system to extract maximum efficiency from the onboarding process. An onboarding buddy is an existing employee who knows the in and out of the organization and can help the remote worker to settle down. Having an onboarding buddy helps the new employee to adjust well to the new surroundings and get their questions resolved easily. The assignment of onboarding buddy makes the process less intimidating. Assign a buddy that understands the workings of the system, is friendly, and can interact and show around. Having a colleague to reach out to rather than a manager for all resolutions makes it less overwhelming for new employees. Train your buddies adequately about all the protocols and help them in fulfilling their duties. This time-bound and temporary partnership can be a critical element for the success of your onboarding process.

  • Set up a team meet-up activity

It is the responsibility of the HR management to conduct and complete the induction process for new remote employees. The induction process is different to that of onboarding and cannot be used as a replacement for the former. It can be about introducing the new hires to the team, briefing them about weekly targets, etc. A detailed plan of action charts out a clear agenda that all stakeholders can adhere to. Loop in relevant team members to the conversation and keep them involved in the process for maximum participation. This aids new members in knowing their colleagues and interacting with them formally before the rigours of the job begin.

  • Organize effective virtual training

The quality of your virtual training will demonstrate how well new members acclimatize to the surroundings. The objective of the training program is to prepare your new employee for their specific job role with all the needed tools. These pieces of training should be designed to improve employee productivity post onboarding and make the recruitment process hassle-free. Employee training is a great way to get started on the development programs intended for workers and enhance the employee experience. Create a program that communicates the goals, mission, and vision of the organization while providing them with the necessary tools to do so. Organize a feedback session at the end of each training to take employee feedback into account.

  • Check in on your new hires frequently

Remote onboarding is still a novel concept in the very nascent stages of development. Your employees may be new to this so expect some hiccups in the process. As an HR/ Hiring Manager, it is imperative to ensure that your onboarding process is working well and workers are progressing as expected. Follow up regularly leveraging the tools you use for your daily communication with employees like Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, eMail, etc. Along with line managers, HR managers should also schedule periodic calls in the early stages to ensure smooth onboarding. Take employee accounts into consideration and provide resolution, whenever required. Don’t let this be a one-way communication channel, and encourage employees to share feedback and other observations. Fostering a regular connection with employees, in the beginning, is necessary for a smooth onboarding.

Organizations that have adapted well to the remote onboarding culture are ready for the “future of work” that is work from anywhere model. These companies will be far more productive and stay miles ahead of the competition in this era of remote work. We have here highlighted some of the most indispensable strategies when it comes to remote onboarding, hope it helps!

An HRMS can go a long way in ensuring the smooth onboarding of remote workers without any hassle. Paylite gives you the flexibility to plan out every step meticulously in the system helping you fast-track the Onboarding process. Intuitive dashboards with the drill-down facility will improve productivity and reduce dependency on manual processing. Book a free demo of the software: