Virtual Onboarding Checklist: Essentials to Onboard Remote Employees

There has been a paradigm shift in the way companies work after the arrival of the pandemic in 2020. Companies started adopting sudden changes and made remote working the new normal. Scenarios have entirely changed; hybrid and remote working are emphasized and proven beneficial for many businesses in India. Implementing and adopting new ways will also bring certain challenges. Hiring and the process of onboarding new employees remotely are challenging. It comes with challenges like no in-person meetings, lack of required resources, weak team coordination, and many more.

On-site onboarding is relatively much easier for both employers as well as the new joinee due to face-to-face interaction and direct communication. However, Appropriate onboarding is necessary, being the first stage where employees can understand how things work in the organization. Therefore it is crucial to have an appropriate onboarding process in a remote setup. If your organization is also looking for a virtual onboarding checklist, then this article is for you. Let’s start with understanding its meaning and need.

What is Virtual Onboarding, and why is it Needed?

Virtual or remote onboarding integrates the new hire into the organization and makes them familiar with the company’s policies, culture, and teams using video conferencing tools and online resources. All the processes are the same, whether it is onboarding or virtual onboarding; the only difference is that each step is carried out online using tech tools in case of remote onboarding.

As per the research of Zippia, organizations with strong onboarding have increased new hire retention by 82% and productivity by 70%. Therefore, making the employees’ experiences better on their first day will have a positive impact and make them feel valued and connected with the organization.

5-step Checklist to Onboard Virtual Employees

Remote onboarding can be challenging for HR managers and even new joinees. To ensure that the onboarding of the employees is perfect when it is carried out, virtually here are the step-wise checklist that can be followed:

Set up the pre-Onboarding

Pre-onboarding is making all the required arrangements even before the first day of new joinees. As there are many things involved, such as the paperwork, joining kit, setups, etc. If each task is kept to perform on onboarding day, then all the processes will get prolonged and will make the employee experiences unpleasant.

Informing the new joinees about things before joining will make them more confident and lessen their new job jitters. The things that can be covered during pre-onboarding include sending the welcome kit, providing the company handbook, and sharing videos on the company’s history, mission, and vision. Setting up a strong pre-onboarding will reduce the new joiners’ anxieties and build up their morale. Even it becomes easier for HR managers to carry forward the next onboarding processes when preliminary tasks are already done.

Meet up with HR and IT Support

The HR managers have to ensure that each employee is smoothly onboarded. It is necessary that the employee should have clarity about all the company policies, code of conduct, and rules regarding different situations. Setting up a meeting where HR communicates the policies, shares essential documents, and clarifies all the confusion will be beneficial in the long run and will not lead to misunderstandings in the future.

Another necessary step is to ensure that the employee is assigned all the required resources on time. Providing the laptop, mouse, handsets, etc., with the guide on its setup can be conducted online. Most of the time, onboarding software is used in the case of remote hiring. So, they must be aware of how to use the software for their needs. New joiners should also be instructed regarding security measures, password protection, and what steps to be taken when the asset gets lost or damaged. HR managers should ensure that all the processes are completed and employees are given all the required resources to start the job.

Team Orientation and 1:1 talk with the Manager

After completing all the prerequisites, a crucial step to introduce the new joiner to the team must be completed. It is not only about introducing the employee to their respective manager but even the team needs to know who is joining their team and what role they will work on. When one-on-one meetings with the team are impossible, arranging a virtual team meeting can work well. As it is the first call with the team, keeping it interactive, friendly and not much formal will go well for the new joinee and give them a sense of belonging.

The candidate must be aware of whom they have to report. A 1:1 meeting with the manager and the new member will bring clarity. Managers can explain what work they have to start, in what ways, what are their roles and responsibilities and how their performance will be evaluated. Also, the manager can assign a go-to person for the initial days who can guide and solve all the queries.

Arrange the Required Training

Be it a fresher or an experienced newcomer, every role is different, and ways to perform it also differ; therefore, role-specific training becomes a requirement. Training is one of the most important factors for both the new joiner and the organization. It is the only phase where the employees can understand the role in practical, perform trial and error and become ready to serve well.

Now even here, in-person training is not the case. Remote training sometimes becomes a challenge when its process is not defined, and an appropriate employee is not entitled to it. The virtual training method should be formulated well, including product training, exciting courses, and all the other elements required for the specific role. Virtual training should be emphasized as it is the foundation, and based on it, employees will start working.

Offer Continuous Support and ask for Feedback

During the complete process of virtual onboarding, the new joiner should get the necessary support. Remote onboarding will only be successful when the newly joined employee gets continuous support, response to queries, and adequate guidance from another experienced employee.

The last step that comes is asking for feedback. Surveys can be conducted to know the employees’ opinions and to understand what is working for them and what is not. Real feedback can actually help out the organization and managers to know how their plans are working and whether changes are required in the process or not. Feedback will also give clarity on whether the employee is ready to work on the specific role or still needs further training.

In a Nutshell

Most businesses are now hiring remote employees, and with that, the need for an accurate virtual onboarding process occurs. Companies that are new to it might find it challenging. Therefore, we have mentioned a stepwise virtual onboarding checklist that companies can follow to ensure smooth onboarding.

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