Work, as we know it, is changing forever. The truth of the matter is that it was already evolving slowly in recent years, the recent pandemic has only accelerated the process. Businesses, especially their Human Resource departments, are adopting new technologies to make HR processes easier, more efficient, and cost-effective—as well as improve the overall employee experience. One of the best, easiest, and most timely HR technologies to implement is the onboarding process. With virtual onboarding, you can get new employees onboarded quickly and effectively whether in the office or remote.
The thing to remember above all is that onboarding is a crucial component of any business. Almost 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days, but organizations with a strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention rates by up to 82%. Shifting the onboarding process virtually does not change that at all. In fact, a virtual onboarding process enables a more personalized and beneficial experience for your new employees, thus creating a better introduction to your company, more engaged employees, and higher retention rates.
Here’s how to successfully transition to a virtual onboarding experience and ensure the process is successfully adopted throughout your company.
Get started as early possible
Start onboarding new employees as soon as possible—ideally, as soon as they sign the offer letter and even if they give 2-3 weeks notice at their previous job. To start, send welcome emails and commence paperwork. Typical onboarding tasks can be completed digitally, including company handbook and procedures acknowledgment, signing privacy and non-disclosure agreements, and completing tax and other new employee forms.
Introduce the team and company culture virtually
In a digital workplace, you can make introductions quicker and easier. Introduce the team via the company’s intranet and via messaging apps or video conferencing. Appoint a mentor to help guide them through the virtual onboarding process and all the intros. Making new team members feel a part of the group is the first step in preventing workplace loneliness.
Equip them with hardware, software, and everything they need
Compile a list of all the necessary hardware, software, and office supplies that are needed for your new employee’s everyday job, including computer, printer, and phone, which IT can help set up. Add new employees to project boards like Slack or Asana, file-sharing applications, and access to accounts and software they will be using to get up-to-speed. Take it a step further by sending them some company swag to make them a part of the team even before they start.
Establish team meetings, daily check-ins, 1-on-1s, and reviews
A major factor of a seamless onboarding is getting on the same page with team members and managers. This can be accomplished with regularly scheduled team meetings and daily stand-ups. For new team members, managers must take the extra time for daily check-ins to discuss how they acclimating, expectations, and any obstacles they are experiencing. While it is certainly too soon to conduct a performance review, establishing the schedule, process, and employee development plan early on will ensure the most success when review time does come.
Invest in onboarding software
As outlined above, onboarding is a comprehensive, multi-step process that requires input from multiple people, interdepartmental cooperation, tons of paperwork, and more. Implementing an onboarding solution makes the process more efficient and easier to manage. By streamlining the process, you can reduce the risk of missing crucial steps, but still allow for customization for different job levels and needs.
With employee onboarding software—like NetGuide from Netchex—you can create a streamlined, completely paperless onboarding process. Newly hired employees are introduced to your company with a personalized experience, including welcome emails and a dashboard overview where they can meet the team, learn company policies, immerse themselves in company culture, and start training. On the company side, NetGuide helps ensure compliance, complete tax information, and collect e-signatures on vital documents. Virtual onboarding tasks are set up in easy to-do lists on employee profiles with built-in alerts for new or overdue tasks to ensure everything is completed correctly and on time.