Organizations with a strong employee onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 per cent and productivity by over 70 per cent. On the other hand, inadequately structured onboarding processes double the possibility of new employees looking for a different opportunity.
So what exactly builds a good onboarding process?
When it comes to onboarding, most organizations only focus on getting the paperwork done. For them, onboarding means sharing logins and showing the new hires where to make their coffee!
Organizations fail to understand that employee onboarding is not just limited to getting a few signatures. The true meaning of onboarding lies in helping new employees understand your company’s values, culture and objectives.
Set your Process in Stone
Laying down and recording your processes is an essential part of on-boarding new hires. This usually includes recording your operating procedures, the standard onboarding process, and anything that would impact the new remote employee.
With a set process, you are able to ensure that the new hires would know exactly what to do. They would be able to skip most of the hurdles that come in their way during the first few weeks of their employment. This also enables them to integrate with your team and company more efficiently.
A well-defined process is a great way to make the objectives crystal clear for the new hire as well as the existing employees.
Have an Employee Handbook In Place
An employee handbook can save you, your team, and the new hire a lot more time and energy. When a new hire joins your team, they usually take up the first few days getting to know the team. And the next few in understanding the projects.
An employee handbook can help you skip this hassle and get your new hire straight to work. It also ensures satisfaction among the new employees since they already know whatever they need to beforehand.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Setting clear goals and expectations is important for all employees, especially remote. Since remote employees work independently from the beginning, it is crucial for you to provide new employees with the details that they won’t necessarily absorb on their own.
First, the new hire must understand what they would or should be doing. You need to clearly communicate their job role, projects, and tasks. Be transparent about expectations like work hours, productivity, deadlines, efficiency etc.
Second, it is important for the new hire to understand your organization’s goals and objectives, both long and short-term. Besides working on personal goals, each employee must also work towards achieving the organizational goals. And to do this, they need to be clearly communicated to them.
When defining the goals and expectations for the new hires (or any employee for that matter), makeover communication a way of life. The more the better. Besides, it’s always best that your employees learn more than less.
Use Technology Right
You’ve definitely heard this before, technology is a remote worker’s right hand. And it stands true even when onboarding remote employees.
There are countless tools that you can use to onboard remote employees efficiently.
For instance, Trello has been on-boarding new employees on a separate Trello board since a long time and this has clearly worked in their favour.
On a single board, they define what the new hire needs to know/do before their first day, on their first day, and during their first week. The board also defines the organization’s culture, includes a virtual tour, and a Q/A section for the new hires.
Further, it provides a virtual introduction to each team member that the new hire would be working with.
Trello’s onboarding process, in their own words, is the “virtual orientation experience that gets them [new hires] off to the right start.”
[Case Studies] Top Remote Organizations Onboarding Programs
New hire onboarding is more than job training and management: it’s personal. Soon enough, these employees will be handling your projects and managing your teams. The smoother the process will be for them in the beginning, the more efficiently they will work in the future!
Let’s take a look at how top remote organizations onboard new remote hires.
Buffer's Buddy Program
At Buffer, they assign three buddies to each new hire - A Leader Buddy, A Role Buddy, and a Culture Buddy. Each employee buddy has their own role and responsibilities that help the new hire settled in during the 45 day onboarding period.
The Leader Buddy is an experienced member of the team who guides and mentors the new hire. And the role buddy helps the new hire understand their job role and duties and helps them get started with their work. Lastly, the culture buddy helps the new hire engage with the rest of the team and understand the organization’s culture.
InVision’s 3-Step Onboarding Program
InVision, as a fully remote team, has learnt how to offer the best onboarding experience to its employees over the years. In essence, they follow three steps to help each employee transition to their remote culture.
First, they understand the importance of acknowledging the challenges of working from home. They help the new hires set up their home office. In fact, InVision allows employees to reimburse up to $500 to cover things like a nice chair, desk, or a stronger modem.
Second, they make sure that the new hires know exactly where to go when they need help. Connecting your remote team to the right people for help is a crucial step for every onboarding process. For instance, for tech-related help, the new hire should know which IT team member to reach out to. Similarly, they should know whom to contact from their own department for their specific job-related issues. Lastly, InVision makes sure to officially introduce the new hires to the entire team on Slack, or their monthly newsletter or in their next team meeting.
Build Trust Among Remote Teams
Onboarding a new hire isn’t complete without their [new hire's] satisfaction. And to achieve higher satisfaction you should be able to build a personal rapport with them. By building trustworthy relationships with the new hires as well as the entire team, you not only ensure higher team productivity but also higher employee retention.
Like any virtual relationship, trust is the essence of an effective remote team. Having worked remotely for several years (and preaching the same), we learnt a thing or two about building strong relationships in a virtual environment.
Want the same for your team? Learn everything about how we build trust by monitoring (not micromanaging) our remote teams!