With over seven years of experience in providing training to new employees, I have honed my skills in delivering an impactful onboarding programme that inspires, enables and involves new hires.
The initial experiences of a newly hired employee can have a significant impact on their level of confidence in performing their duties and the organization’s commitment to supporting their success.
In my role as the Director of Revenue Operations and Enablement at Works, it is my responsibility to provide new hires with all the necessary resources to integrate seamlessly into the team. The onboarding of employees in a remote organization demands meticulous planning and attention to detail. However, an effective onboarding program is not a one-time setup process; it requires continuous improvement and refinement. To facilitate the creation of an efficient remote onboarding process, I suggest the following three strategies, whether you have a dedicated onboarding team or are managing the process single-handedly.
Flexibility in logistics is crucial.
When working for a geographically dispersed organization with team members in different time zones, it is crucial to consider their time zones when scheduling onboarding meetings. Over 60% of remote workers find that their organization operates across two to five time zones, so it is vital to be mindful of the time differences. It’s essential to accommodate new hires in their respective time zones, and planning onboarding sessions at different times of the day is important. This ensures that new recruits from all around the world have multiple opportunities to join, avoiding the inconvenience of starting onboarding sessions at 9 am Eastern when someone on the west coast has to begin at 6 am.
To ease the onboarding process, I suggest using hybrid materials, including self-paced reading materials or instructional videos, which allow the new hires to absorb all necessary information at their own pace. This is especially important as it’s their first introduction to the organization and their role within it.
As remote work gain popularity over the past year, our team is well-aware of Zoom fatigue; thus, it’s crucial to incorporate breaks in our schedules to enhance effective processing of information during meetings. Back-to-back onboarding sessions are less impactful if new hires feel more confused than before at the end of the second session.
Having enough resources can expedite the process of acquiring new employees.
When introducing a new employee, it’s crucial to ensure that they are thoroughly informed about the latest developments. The onboarding process should be up to date and engaging at all times, and any pre-April materials, such as videos, should be reviewed to ensure that they reflect the current state of the business. Scheduling regular reviews, such as at the start of each quarter, can help keep the content current and enable new hires to quickly familiarize themselves with the company. It’s important to provide accurate data to the employees for the best results.
For organizations with an onboarding team, it’s crucial to maintain communication between the onboarding team and the manager of any new hires. Ensuring that the manager is onboard with the contents of the onboarding program is a critical step in the process, given the complexity and speed of the various moving parts involved. Providing managers with the necessary resources to support their new employees is essential to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding around what was taught during the onboarding process. Additionally, seeking feedback from the manager is beneficial as it can be used to tailor the experience to meet their specific objectives for the new employee. An open and honest approach to onboarding is necessary since employees are more likely to integrate effectively into their role with clear expectations in the first 30, 60, and 90 days of employment.
During the onboarding process, it’s crucial to provide new employees with an overview of the broader context of their role. At Works, our engineers are inspired by the significance of their projects. By introducing them to the company’s products and a comprehensive overview of the organization, they can better understand how their work contributes to the success of our clients. Given our sizable yearly revenue and a diverse user base, providing new recruits with the necessary business context is vital to help them understand their place in the company. Employees want to feel that their efforts are part of something bigger, and by demonstrating how their work fits into the larger picture, they’re more likely to be committed to their role.
Completion of onboarding is just the beginning.
An effective onboarding process is essential for preparing new employees for future growth and educational opportunities. In my experience, pairing new recruits with more experienced colleagues helps create a welcoming and positive environment. To achieve the best outcome, it’s recommended to pair the new employee with a team member who is eager to take on a mentoring role and who aspires to a managerial position. This should be a mutually beneficial relationship, allowing the new hire to approach their mentor with any questions they may have in a more private setting.
As new employees transition out of the onboarding phase, it’s crucial to keep their supervisors informed of their progress. If the onboarding team identifies any areas for improvement, this is the perfect time to notify the manager and provide them with the necessary tools to help the new hire succeed. After the initial training is complete, managers must be responsible for continuing to provide their staff with the necessary resources.
Maintaining communication with new recruits following onboarding is vital. It’s important that they continue to review relevant materials, such as playbooks and training videos, as part of their ongoing learning process. As they begin to apply their knowledge, it may be necessary to provide further updates to help them refine their skills.
Lastly, onboard with empathy.
It’s important to communicate to new hires that they shouldn’t be expected to achieve 40 hours of productivity within their first week and support them in developing their working routines as they gain experience. Placing new workers in challenging situations too soon can be overwhelming due to the significant cognitive load. Although starting a new job can be exciting, it’s crucial to incorporate rest breaks into their routine. Investing in their education and development can lead to positive results in the future.