Virtual Onboarding Tips for HR Teams

It’s estimated that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025. With such a large remote workforce, virtual onboarding processes are becoming more important than ever.

It’s critical that your virtual onboarding gives new employees the tools and resources they need to be successful. While this may seem like a challenging task, there are steps you can take to make sure your virtual onboarding process is top-notch. Keep reading to discover some of the most helpful virtual onboarding tips for HR teams.

1. Communicate Early

In our new virtual world, it’s important to start onboarding as soon as possible. Once a new employee accepts their offer, the HR team should begin engaging with them. Communicate regularly with new hires and be clear about what you need from them before they start.

It’s a good idea to share useful information with them, like what the dress code is for video calls and what to expect on the first day of work. You can also use the time before the new hire’s start date to send video messages from the team, welcome emails, or set up a happy hour with their new team. The more interaction a new employee has with their team before they officially start working, the easier the transition will be.

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2. Set-Up Technology Early

Another piece of starting the onboarding process early is to make sure the new employee has everything they need to start working on day one. It can be frustrating for an employee to not have their new laptop or to not be able to get into the company systems on the first day of work. Making sure all their equipment arrives before their start date will ease anxiety.

It’s best to make it as easy as possible for the new employee to use their new system. Load their machine with all the necessary company-specific programs they’ll need. It’s a good idea when onboarding virtually to have someone from the IT team available to talk one-on-one with new employees and answer any questions.

3. Update and Adjust Materials for Virtual Learning

Zoom fatigue is real, and you don’t want to wear out your new hires during the virtual onboarding process. Adjusting your materials for virtual learning is an important piece of the virtual onboarding process.

You’ll want to vary the content format for different sections of the material to keep new employees engaged. You can use a mix of one-on-one conversations, PowerPoint presentations, and self-paced learning.

You should allow more time for virtual onboarding than you would in an office environment. Shorter bursts of training will allow new employees to learn and retain information much better. Planning for three to five days of onboarding is a good rule of thumb for virtual onboarding.

Your new remote employees will have to sign all the same HR software paperwork required of employees in the office. Having new hires virtually sign legal paperwork can be difficult and time-consuming. There are online tools like WorkBright Remote I9 verification and DocuSign that make signing and verifying paperwork a much smoother process.

4. Emphasize Company Values and Culture

Company values and culture are an important part of what makes your company tick. It’s also a vital component of employee engagement and satisfaction. Conveying your company culture and immersing your new hires into it needs to be part of your virtual onboarding process.

There are a couple of different ways you can go about incorporating your company’s culture into the onboarding process. You can assign new employees a mentor or “cultural ambassador” who are available to talk to new employees in a less formal manner about the company. They can share information on employee resource groups, volunteer opportunities, and social activities.

You can also take a more formal approach to share company values and culture. During onboarding, you can set up panels with company leaders and employees to discuss your company’s core values and what they mean to them. This is a great way to convey company values to new hires.

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5. Communicate Often

It’s almost impossible to communicate too much with new employees in a virtual environment. Even if you think you’re overdoing it, communication will help ease those new job jitters your employees probably have.

In an office environment, it is so easy for a manager or colleague to stop by a new hire’s desk to chat and get to know one another. In the virtual world, casual communication is much harder. It’s important for managers or team leads to touching base with new hires every day through email, chat, or video. Managers should try to incorporate social aspects into the conversation. This helps make a more personal connection with the employee.

6. Get Feedback

Your virtual onboarding process will continuously change as your workplace does. By gathering feedback from new employees you’ll be able to make changes to the process that will benefit future new hires. A short survey or one-on-one discussion should get you the information you need.

You also want to make sure that the new employee has everything they need. Conducting a quick check-in at the end of their first week is a great way to see how things are going and if there’s anything further you can provide for them.

Use These Virtual Onboarding Tips

Now that you’ve read through these tips, are you ready to revamp your virtual onboarding process? By incorporating these six tips into your process, onboarding virtual employees will be a breeze and you’ll be setting up your new employees for success.

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