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Remote Onboarding: 8 Best Practices

Since the pandemic began, almost 19% of companies have made the change to remote hiring, suddenly turning onboarding into a new challenge as a remote process.

A new employee's introduction and positive onboarding to your company is crucial. For example, SaplingHR found that creating a great employee onboarding can improve employee retention up to 82%.

With that in mind, here are some tips to create and improve your remote onboarding process.

1. Communication is Key.

Stay in touch throughout the period after your new hire receives their offer and before their first day. Encourage them to ask questions and clarify anything on their mind. You don't want them to feel unsure of what the next steps are or worse, if anyone is aware that they are starting.

You can also save time by having new hires complete onboarding paperwork ahead of time so they aren't bogged down in their first few days.

2. Make Them Feel Like Part of the Team

Before they start, send your new hires some company swag and include them on a welcome email to the team telling the department about their background and a little about them personally. This will help them to feel welcome and establish some personal connections.

3. Set Clear Expectations

You never want any employees to feel uncertain about how they should be spending their time or where to prioritize, but remote work can feel even more disconnected. Clearly outline expectations, milestones and connect them with resources. One strategy is to set goals for their first week, first month, six months and year.

Remote employees should feel prepared and supported, and clearly communicating responsibilities, tasks and departmental goals will help to do that.

4. Get Them Excited About Your Mission

Help your team to feel more passionate about what they do by showing them the positive impacts your company has and how their role plays a part. Share your company mission, but more importantly, live it and be a good example as a manager.

5. Assign a Mentor or Work Buddy

Without the casual conversations that happen more naturally in an office setting, it can be harder for a new remote employee to find a "work buddy." A new remote employee can sometimes feel a sense of isolation or uncertainty about who they should turn to with an issue or question. Assigning a mentor can help a new hire to open up and feel more comfortable as well as boost their engagement and productivity.

6. Don't Bombard Them

No one wants to spend all day in back-to-back video calls while they meet every person on the team, or feel overwhelmed with too much onboarding information in their first day or week. Be mindful to spread out meetings and prioritize trainings so it isn't too much too fast. Check in and ask how it is going to ensure the pace is okay and make adjustments if necessary.

7. Encourage Collaboration Among Other New Team Members

Upload new hire documents and instructional materials to programs such Slack and encourage new hires to work together and communicate to complete tasks. This will not only save time on the HR management end by answering duplicate questions, but provide them with a sense of team and make some possible cross-departmental contacts.

8. Stay consistent!

Create a standard hiring process to keep top talent at your organization. Nearly 20% of turnover happens within the first 45 days, so helping your new team members to feel happy and confident jumping into the team is important.

Companies with standardized hiring processes have nearly 50% greater retention rates

What else would you add to the list? What strategies have you found to be successful for employee onboarding for remote employees?

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