Revisiting Your Remote Onboarding Process – How to Thrive During the Pandemic & Beyond
Many organizations contend that their normal hiring practices have been unduly disrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has become either impossible or impractical to interview and train new hires on-site. Since moving to remote working conditions, it is ever more challenging to apply practical approaches for new hires to engage with colleagues, to build working relationships with supervisors and to acquire a true appreciation of the organization’s values, goals and culture.
The challenge for leaders in today’s work environment is to adapt their current onboarding practices to remote working conditions. How to onboard new hires successfully when they’re working remotely is something organizations will likely need to deal with for the foreseeable future. As a result, unique new approaches and practices will have to be adopted.
Identifying a New Skill: The Ability to Work Remotely and Thrive
An important step to build into the process is ensuring prospective candidates are carefully screened to check they have the requisite skillsets to work well remotely. This may seem obvious but positive outcomes require you not leave this to chance. Ask questions to shed light on a candidate’s resourcefulness, autonomy, self-motivation, proactive capabilities as well as their writing and verbal communication skills. Check to see whether the potential hires have any references or accolades related to working in a remote position. It goes without saying that hiring employees with remote work experience is advantageous as they already have familiarity with working remotely and a proven track record to enable them to hit the ground running.
Innovative onboarding processes provide the necessary bridging support to give newly hired employees the road map to help them succeed on their work journey. Employers are becoming increasing more creative to ensure new hires get the information and training they require to engender confidence in their new roles and responsibilities. This is important because remote working conditions do not have the same safety nets that are available in on-site work environments. There they can readily turn to a co-worker to ask how to complete a task or be pointed in the right direction for information they need.
The Importance of Structured On-boarding for Remote Workers
A lack of socialization opportunities can impact a new hire’s productivity. Besides feeling isolated, it creates a climate of uncertainty where they may question their work contributions or value. This underscores the critical importance of structured onboarding as a means of offsetting some of the challenges posed by remote work arrangements. It is well documented that successful onboarding strategies contribute to higher commitment & retention rates, better job performance, increased job satisfaction and loweri stress levels; everything employers aspire to.
It is vitally important for an organization to have a cohesive corporate-wide onboarding approach that is diligently followed by all their managers. Leaving the onboarding process in the hands of individual managers can lead to unnecessary issues. Ensure your onboarding process has clearly defined directives relevant to all the policies and practices to be followed. Equally important, make sure managers get the guidance and training they need to ensure positive outcomes.
Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction by Improving Employee Onboarding
Since the advent of COVID-19, there has been a 600% increase in job seekers’ queries that include the terms ‘remote’, ‘telecommute’ and ‘working from home’. Employers are recognizing that flexible work practices aid in attracting the right talent. With this strong emphasis on the shift to remote work, more businesses are offering telecommuting options to future workers. This supports the premise why it is so critically important to put the necessary steps in place to onboard your new employees with the utmost of care.
Make digital onboarding sessions focused, practical and engaging.
Virtual training must be much, much more than providing new hires with a digital copy of your company’s handbook.
Pace the timing and frequency of virtual training sessions to avoid the ‘overwhelmed syndrome’.
Give new hires ample time to absorb information and to ask questions.
It is vital that training modules be up-to-date, detailed and stress corporate diversity and inclusive practices.
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