Onboarding plays an important role in a new hire’s success and happiness in an organisation. A good onboarding experience is especially important for remote employees, as they don’t have as many opportunities to organically integrate into the company’s processes and culture.

Working remotely allows employees to work from different locations and gives them more flexibility, but it challenges company culture from the very beginning. Without having an opportunity to meet face to face and connect with team members, it is a very different employee experience.

The onboarding process has two sides, one being efficiency, readiness for work and compliance. The other is the effect the onboarding process has on new hire’s early experiences and engagement rates.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, onboarding is one of the biggest factors when it comes to employee experience. Organisations that have an effective onboarding process see 2.5 times more revenue growth and 1.9 times the profit margin, compare to those with a poor onboarding experience.

Creating a great onboarding experience for remote teams can be difficult. But there are steps organisations can take to help:

Go Digital

By digitising the onboarding process organisations can make sure employee’s onboarding experience is paperless. All policy and procedure documentation can complete and signed digitally. Digitising the onboarding process also allows for employees to complete all required training remotely. All employee’s documentation and training records can be automatically stored on the cloud in their employee file. This allows for future ease of access when performing performance feedback reviews or identifying skills gaps.

Provide Access to Tools

The traditional in-person onboarding process usually relies on trainers or hands-on approaches to help new hires get used to their new surroundings. Organisations who are onboarding new hire’s remotely must be more efficient and make information easily accessible. Giving new hire’s access to the employee platform or app will allow them access to all the information they need for their onboarding. Having an easily accessible platform that includes the employee handbook, policies and procedures and required training will streamline the process for employees.

Keep an open line of Communication

Organisations need keep an open line of communication with their new hire’s even before their start date. Communicating during the onboarding process is especially important, as it sets the tone for how the employee will receive communication throughout their time in the role. Creating this channel of communication allows for new hires to begin building strong relationships with their employers. Research has shown that 49.5% of candidates who did not receive any sort of communication before their initial first day, had a negative onboarding experience.

Check – in Regularly

Checking in regularly with new employees allows organisations to assess the effectiveness of the onboarding process as well as making sure that employees are progressing as expected. Organisations can run pulse surveys to gather general information about how employees felt about the onboarding process. This can help spot issues before they derail the process and enhance the experience for future new hires.

Emphasise Company Culture

One of the biggest obstacles to a remote onboarding process is introducing new hire’s to company culture. In addition to being prepared for their new roles they must feel like part of the team, which is difficult when a workforce is distributed or remote. Collecting feedback from remote employees regularly can create a remote first culture. Allowing employees to review the different processes of their roles and submit improvement ideas. Creating a culture of constrictive feedback will make employee’s feel like they are safe to speak their minds and be heard.

Employee onboarding sets the tone for the entire employee experience. It is important for organisations to clearly communicate, highlight resources the employee has access to and make them feel welcome and valued within the organisation.