Whether we decide to transition into a fully remote workplace or follow a hybrid approach, having a smooth onboarding flow is essential to ensure all new employees can successfully transition into the already existing workflow that you and your team have created. Some challenges that we have faced within the last few years during the pandemic are adapting to moving our work environment into a virtual world, which may be a permanent change for those who find themselves more productive in.
However, this change doesn’t have to be a challenge for us! Through many experiences with working virtually and communicating with the team on online platforms, we have compiled a list of tips to help you successfully create an exceptional Virtual Onboarding Experience!
What is Virtual Onboarding?
Virtual Onboarding is the same process as in-person onboarding, the only difference is that it is done completely online. This process occurs to introduce new hires to everything they will need to know, for example, the company, mission, values, business goals, team culture and team members! During virtual onboarding, various video conferencing tools and resources are used to ensure that employees feel engaged and focused. The three major aspects of virtual onboarding, organizational, technical and social. Each aspect is focused on very different sections of the onboarding process.
- New employees are introduced to where to find certain information and who they should inquire. They also become familiar with the company’s internal logistics.
- Employees are introduced to the many different tools, platforms and communication channels that their company uses and are given their logins to set up their accounts.
- New hires introduce themselves to their coworkers and get to know everyone, which can reduce the amount of stress remote workers experience.
Advantages of Virtual Onboarding
Due to the ongoing pandemic, more companies have been adopting Virtual Onboarding, which comes with many advantages.
- Onboarding involves creating accounts, setting up logins, signing paperwork and much more time-consuming work. However, virtual onboarding makes this process much easier as everything is done digitally, which saves a lot of time.
- Improved outcomes
- Many employees believe that virtual onboarding is more effective than traditional onboarding. Overall, employees can save a lot of their time and energy if their onboarding process is done accurately.
- Accessible resources
- As onboarding is a process that occurs many times within a company, with virtual onboarding, the same resources can be used repeatedly. A virtual onboarding program can contain many videos, tutorials, guides, and more. These resources can be accessed whenever employees need them.
- Employees can pace themselves
- As traditional onboarding can often make employees feel stressed, one major advantage of virtual onboarding is that it allows employees to go through their learning process at their own pace, and don’t have to feel rushed.
Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Onboarding
- For new hires that carry a different time-zone than you and the team, don’t have them wait to match your schedule, instead, prepare an onboarding system that they can use for self-onboarding
- This can include a document of checklists on what every new hire is expected to carry such as setting up their own work accounts, what applications to download, and tasks they should complete throughout their work day
- Send scheduled emails or messages for asynchronous new hires that fit their work schedule during their time-zone.
- Here are some tools that can help you organize these scheduled onboarding systems!:
- Send new hires a link of live online virtual platforms that you and your team use to communicate. This can be over Zoom, Teamflow, Microsoft Teams, etc.
- Schedule a team introduction call for new hires that share the same time-zone
- Provide a quick introduction of everyone’s roles, the company’s duties and values, and explain what kind of work environment can be expected
- Work through checklist together of what accounts need to be set up, what programs will be needed to work with, and a list of tasks they can expect to complete throughout their work term
How to make Virtual Onboarding an Equitable Experience
As we transition into a virtual work environment, we want to ensure that your virtual onboarding is an equitable experience as compared to in-person onboarding.
To ensure your new hires are feeling included in all aspects of the onboarding process, here are a few tips that you can include to make the transition as smooth and inclusive as possible!:
- Onboarding doesn't have to be scheduled for a day, this can be scheduled for up to a week so new hires can easily adapt to the pace of your workflow
- Stay in touch with the new hires throughout the day and set up time to have a quick sync on what tasks have been completed as well as leaving room for any questions
- Assign new hires with an onboarding buddy that can be reached live or at a scheduled time
- Introduce all new hires with each other so they know they are not alone on this new journey
Creating an Exceptional Virtual Onboarding Experience
To ensure that you are giving your new hires the best experience possible, make sure to check out various best practices that remote companies utilize. There are many tips and tricks you can follow that will definitely improve your employees’ virtual onboarding experience.
- Create a Virtual Onboarding Checklist
- Incorporate a wide variety of resources
- Throughout the virtual onboarding process, videoconferencing is a huge part! However, it is important to remember that onboarding your new hires over video calls for large amounts of time can be extremely tiring. Make sure to include many different forms of digital content like written guides, videos, podcasts, and more!
- Steady Speed
- One way to ensure you aren’t overwhelming your new hires is to make sure that you are following an appropriate pace. It is important to remember that in-person and virtual onboarding are very different, and providing a lot of information within the first couple of days may be achievable for in-person training, however it may be overwhelming virtually.
- Communicate about the workload with your new hires and make sure that they aren’t feeling overwhelmed.
- Keep Content Short and Sweet
- Onboarding in-person and virtually can be very different for many employees. It is crucial to keep in mind that it can be extremely difficult and tiring to go through large amounts of content virtually, and that it isn’t always as easy as in-person onboarding.
- Host Virtual Hangouts
- As getting to know your coworkers virtually may be difficult, one way to ensure that your team members are getting to know each other on a more personal level is by hosting a virtual hangout session!
- It is important to remember that your new hires may be having a tough time connecting with their coworkers. To assist them, organize a virtual hangout to give your employees more time to socialize, which can improve their onboarding experience.
The transition from in-person to virtual onboarding may be difficult but does not have to be seen as challenging! With the help of many resourceful scheduling tools and live virtual platforms, organizing a set plan for new hires will deliver an easy onboarding experience for you and your new team. We wish you the best of luck on your new journey!
Subscribe to the Epoch blog
Stay up to date with our monthly news on keeping your employees engaged and connected.
Follow our LinkedIn page for blog updates