Virtual Onboarding: Here’s How To Welcome New Employees The Right Way

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In the past few years, nearly every organization (old as well as new) has changed its working operations significantly. Implementing remote and hybrid working models is no longer an option for organizations. They have become the norm. Fortunately, technological advancement is assisting the organization to follow these norms as easily as possible.

Managers nowadays are able to restructure the company’s working procedure using a virtual landscape. From encrypting the company information and data, hosting virtual events to recruitment and onboarding new employees, every business operation can be streamlined efficiently and effortlessly.

Nevertheless, the concept of virtual landscape is contemporary or new to many. There are several things that managers, as well as employees, need to learn and adapt to. Such scenarios might create challenges for the managers, especially in the onboarding process. Additionally, the absence of adequate resources and technology is likely to cause trouble, particularly for small or medium enterprises.

What Is Virtual Onboarding?

As the name suggests, this induction process of workers is done virtually or online using video conferencing means, online resources, and webinars. If done right, it can help improve the retention rate by 82%.

The tools used for this process help fill the void of “in-person” onboarding, such as friendly and welcoming smiles of co-workers. It ensures that the employee feels comfortable in the organization, understands the ins and outs of their current position, and learns about the organization’s value.

How Is Virtual Onboarding Different From In-Person Onboarding?

The prime difference between both is the absence of a “physical” office environment. The new employees will get to know about the company, its working procedure, and current employees online. They get fewer chances to interact with others and feel welcomed.

Furthermore, the absence of qualified staff (who know how to introduce new employees and help them blend into the organization’s working culture) can influence the onboarding experience. The manager needs to pay extra attention to the details and tailor the induction process accordingly.

With that being said, let’s learn how managers can refine the virtual onboarding process.

Create A New Onboarding Checklist

First of all, managers need to create a new onboarding checklist. Understand that virtually introducing new workers to the organization requires the use of technology and software. Unlike in-person introductions, every person will be sitting in the comfort of their own home, providing different types of working spirit. The guidelines or checklists created before will not be of any use now. Every new employee requires new checklists tailored according to their job profile, experience as well as organization’s current working scenarios.

Learning about the expectations and desires of the worker will also assist the manager in creating a checklist. It will ensure that they feel welcomed and get the necessary support.

Tip: Thinking like a new team member- How a manager would like to be introduced and what they would like to learn or know about will help them create an effective checklist.

Stay Connected At Every Step

Introducing newcomers is merely the first step; managers must ensure that the virtual working setup and environment make them feel comfortable. As it’s a new phase of their life, proactive communication, staff engagement, and virtual meet-ups will make it easier for them to blend in and understand the working culture.

Make sure that other team members are excited about new resources and show the same to them during the induction process. Apart from this, managers should ensure that they are available to address the grievances or confusions that newcomers may have.

Look For Additional Help

The work of a manager is not limited to induction; instead, they have multiple responsibilities. From recruiting new candidates to collecting and remitting payroll taxes for employees, they need to do an array of administrative tasks. Needless to say, all these responsibilities can cause a distraction for managers and affect their priorities.

That’s why looking for additional help, such as connecting with PEOs (professional employer organizations), can help managers pay attention to the recruitment process. Studies have shown that seeking professional employer organizations’ assistance helps lower employee turnover by 10 to 14%.

PEOs provide comprehensive human resources services to SMBs. In fact, PEOs such as TriNet and Zenefits also offer administrative services such as payroll processing, remitting payroll taxes, tax administration, and more. Basically, these organizations operate under a co-employment model. As a co-employer, they help businesses help manage the payroll and tax administrative tasks. On the other hand, the managers can focus on recruiting, retention, and compensation tasks.

Assign A Qualified Mentor

Adequate mentoring of the new team members is very critical. It helps them learn about the work of the organization, blend in with the other members and use their skills to uplift the team. Mentoring the newcomers has become even more crucial as everything is done virtually. A qualified mentor can help guide them about their tasks, provide the necessary knowledge and training, and lead them to the progressive path.

It also helps create a good impression on the new members and helps minimize the turnover rate. Mentors can also ask about the expectations and qualifications to assign them practical tasks. Progressive check-ins will help make newcomers feel appreciated. It will eventually help elevate the overall productivity of the organization.

Note: Make sure the talk with the mentor and employee is interactive and inspiring. As the meetings are over the internet, mentors can make use of numerous software and programs to make communication and interactions easier.

Use Video Instructions Of Brief And Explanation

In general, managers and mentors use PowerPoint presentations for briefing the employee. However, briefing using presentations might not be effective in remote working, especially for freshers. The working culture of every organization is different; using presentations might not help explain the technicality of the work and the use of necessary tools and software.

That’s the reason why using video instructions is recommended. Videos can help explain how newcomers can navigate the company’s virtual working space. Similarly, managers can consider creating a welcome video consisting of every employee welcoming them with a fun and exciting message.

Managers can also give a try to the buddy system. Here, the new employee is paired with an existing one, who can help guide them through the working process and the corporate culture. If the company has resources, it can also make use of the latest technology, such as VR, to help employees learn and feel what the physical company environment will be like. It will help encourage the new employee to, especially their name, and prove their credibility.

Create An Inclusive Handbook

One of the prime aims of employee induction is to explain to them the company’s mission and vision. What is the ultimate goal of the company? What makes this organization different from its competitors? What are the company’s values that employees must abide by? These are some of the questions that must be answered during the onboarding process.

In fact, tools and techniques used during virtual onboarding make it relatively easier for the managers to explain or outline the company’s mission and vision to the employees. Creating a handbook that includes all this information will help facilitate this task.

In addition to this, if the managers seek assistance from PEO, this task will become even more effortless. HR outsourcing solutions will help streamline this process while ensuring cost-effectiveness.

Evaluate The Process Frequently

As mentioned above, the induction or onboarding process needs to be tailored accordingly to each new joining. Even so, it is crucial that managers evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of each process on a frequent basis. It will help learn about the shortcomings or loopholes in the procedure. Thus, the managers can make necessary changes to the guidelines or handbook.

Furthermore, it will help learn about the employees’ strengths and how they can benefit the organization as a whole- attaining virtual goals. For instance, if the freshers are not well-versed with industry standards for technology use, managers can come up with a simplified plan for their better understanding. Likewise, they can select a mentor who has vast experience and knowledge; hence, it can help shed some light on the subject matter.

Make Use Of Virtual Events

Last but definitely not least, using virtual events for onboarding can help employees understand and mix with each other. There are numerous types of virtual team-building events that managers can try to help the employees blend in. It is especially a great idea if the onboarding is of more than two employees.

Such events help learn about each other and evaluate the staff’s capabilities (particularly leadership and decision-making) qualities. Eventually, it will help the organization accomplish its goals.

A Word From Verywell

To survive in this highly competitive era, it is essential that businesses pay attention to employees’ recruitment and onboarding process. It is crucial that managers make the workers feel welcomed and explain the company culture and values to them. Also, seeking assistance from PEO will come in handy for managers, as they’ll be able to focus on the guidance of the newcomers and leave the rest of the administrative tasks to co-employer. It will help boost the overall productivity of the organization.

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