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10 Remote Onboarding Best Practices for HR Professionals

Business changes – is your business ready to change with it?

Contents1. Plan everything2. Understand the technology3. Assign mentors4. Retain onboarding documents5. Use a variety of methods6. Think about the budget7. Focus on clarity8. Provide resources9. Use an evaluation process10. Modify and update the planStay up to date on remote onboarding best practices

More and more business is done online. In fact, the number of employers offering remote work increased by 40% between 2013 and 2018. The global pandemic has further increased remote work rates.

Therefore, learning remote onboarding best practices is more crucial than ever.

The onboarding process can be one of the most confusing and difficult parts of an online job, for both employer and employee. Without direct in-person supervision, how do you know your new hire understands their role?

There are several things you can do to make the onboarding process easier for both parties. Read on to learn 10 remote onboarding best practices that will streamline your onboarding process and result in happier, more productive hires.

1. Plan everything

An ounce of prevention is better than cure – this is as true in business as it is in medicine. Your first step should be to create a comprehensive onboarding plan that addresses potential issues before they arise.

Create a list of common questions and issues a new employee might have and learn how to quickly answer them remotely.

Your onboarding process should be thorough and responsive. It should also be ready by the time your remote employee logs in on day one.

For a complete checklist of what to plan, look here for ideas.

2. Understanding the technology

Online jobs require technology that an office job might not have. Zoom, employee portals and more help your employees stay connected while working remotely, so it's crucial that employees understand the technology.

Make sure your onboarding process explains how to install and use key programs. If your employees receive laptops, phones or other work accessories, make sure they arrive on time.

Your onboarding process should incorporate ways for employees to resolve technical issues, such as an Important Programs FAQ document.

3. Assign mentors

A great way to help a new recruit get on their feet is to assign them a mentor. Put them in touch with an employee who already knows how the company works.

A mentor can help the new hire get acclimated and can address issues that your onboarding plan doesn't cover (because it's impossible to truly cover all potential issues).

Assigning new employees to individual mentors also helps ensure that managers and the human resources department are not inundated with questions from new hires. They can ask their mentor instead.

4. Retain onboarding documents

Thorough documentation is one of the best tools in your onboarding arsenal. You can put all kinds of information at your employees' fingertips through programs like Google Docs or Dropbox sharing.

Some of the documents you need to prepare for onboarding include your employee handbook, technology and software frequently asked questions, a staff directory, training materials and videos, and any other information you deem essential. .

5. Use various methods

Documents are a convenient way to convey information to your employees, but they are not the only thing you should rely on. Try to incorporate a variety of different formats into your onboarding process.

Videos are a great way to keep employees engaged. They allow you to translate your regular orientation presentations into the remote workspace.

Infographics and charts are other handy formats for sending important data to new hires.

Using multiple formats helps employees absorb information regardless of their learning style, making the onboarding process much smoother.

6. Think about the budget

Budget is always a consideration no matter what your business does. The onboarding process is no exception. However, onboarding for remote work has different associated costs than in-person orientation.

Salaries for remote workers may be different, for example. There is also reimbursement to consider. For example, a remote worker may need an allowance to pay for home office supplies.

Onboarding gifts can also be a good idea. Allocate part of your budget to send something special to your new recruit. This will make them feel more like part of the team.

7. Focus on clarity

As discussed, one of the biggest obstacles to remote onboarding is the fact that you won't be there to answer a new employee's questions. This means that your onboarding documents should be as clear as possible.

Make sure that the job responsibilities of the new employee are fully and understandably described. Leave no room for confusion! Keep the language of your documents simple, concise and readable.

8. Provide resources

Your employees will likely need to set up a home office. Your business must help them do this if you want them to perform at their best. This means sending the necessary technology and helping with office supplies.

Make sure the new employee has all the materials they need before the start of their first day. Help with office supplies through reimbursement. Provide the tools your employee needs to properly use their new equipment.

9. Use an evaluation process

You need to know that your onboarding process is working. This means evaluating your employees to make sure they understand what is expected of them.

Assessment should be the first thing you do in the onboarding process, so you can establish a baseline. A second evaluation should take place at the end of the process, so you can see if the orientation worked.

A thorough assessment helps your business in two ways. First, it weeds out employees who do a bad job. Second, it helps you identify areas where your integration should focus.

10. Edit and update plan

This is the most crucial step of all:keep updating your onboarding plan. Don't assume that the documents and videos you create early in the process are perfect or will stay relevant forever.

Evaluate the plan regularly and see what needs improvement. Use employee feedback and ratings data to determine what you can improve and implement those changes quickly.

A good plan should evolve to meet your needs and those of your employees.

Stay-up-to-date on remote onboarding best practices

When you use remote onboarding best practices, you make things better for everyone. New hires have an easier time acclimating to their role and your HR department has fewer questions to answer.

Looking for more ways to improve and modernize your business? Check out our business and technology blogs for more tips.