Creating a Positive Virtual Onboarding Experience

Creating a Positive Virtual Onboarding Experience

What is virtual onboarding? 💻

Virtual onboarding is the process where new hires are introduced to a company and its day-to-day operations. The purpose behind this is to allow the new hires to familiarize themselves with the company culture, values, software, hardware, and other team members. Virtual onboarding can be categorized into three parts, social, technical, and organizational.

  • Social - For remote workers, scheduling time for coffee chats and meet and greets with coworkers will help them integrate. 
  • Technical - To access workplace communications channels, new recruits must set up their hardware, logins, and accounts. 
  • Organizational - This means educating new staff on the internal operations of the business. Who to contact, where to look for information, and other things. 

Why is virtual onboarding Important? ❗

Demand for Talent: Competition has never been fiercer because there are so many businesses vying for top talent. A top-notch virtual onboarding procedure will boost engagement and draw in the best candidates. 

Career Changes: In 2020, more than 40% of workers globally considered quitting their jobs. This may not come as a surprise given that up to 20% of employees leave their jobs within the first 45 days of employment. A poor onboarding experience could be the deciding factor for so many new workers who are prepared to quit their jobs. A good procedure can increase employee retention by 82%. 

Great onboarding = Happier and more Productive: A long-term focus on quality will result in a better culture and performance. If their onboarding experience is positive, 51% of employees say they’re willing to go above and beyond. 

Challenges of virtual onboarding 🧐

Remote employees report feeling isolated, according to a Stanford study. This makes sense because when employees work remotely, they miss out on small-talk opportunities. New hires are secluded in their homes, connected by screens but without the daily social connections of office life. This is why making meet and greets, 1:1s, and casual virtual coffee chats part of onboarding is important.

It can also be challenging to set up a new workstation without IT support on hand. It’s important to ensure all hardware is delivered to the new hire before their start date so they have time to set up beforehand. Scheduling time for IT setup in the first few hours of their first day can be helpful.

Communicating virtually can be a challenge, especially across different time zones. Ensure that communication guidelines are readily available and discussed during onboarding. There may be team-specific guidelines that each team will review with their new team members. Tools like Loom, Slack, and Trello are great for asynchronous collaboration. 

Ways to create a positive virtual onboarding experience 🤗

Experiencing the company’s culture

Employees need to have many experiences with the corporate culture to feel integrated. This includes virtual office tours, video meet-and-greets, invitations to all-hands meetings, and virtual product launches. Each of these encounters has the potential to increase engagement and retention.

Ensuring consistent communication

For virtual onboarding communication is essential. Clarity and consistency across platforms are necessary.

Use eLearnings

Letting new hires learn at their own speed by using short videos on how to do things. For a high-touch virtual onboarding model, combine this strategy with prearranged meetings where new hires can meet with their direct report/people operations to get their questions answered.

Creating a sense of belonging

Scheduling coffee chats, informal team lunches with colleagues nearby, or even a nice handwritten welcome card brings to life notable experiences that employees would generally experience in their first 90 days. Through these outreach initiatives, new hires will feel a sense of belonging.

Navigating virtual onboarding can be difficult. Epoch can help with that. Book a demo today!

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