Implementing an impactful onboarding experience creates a positive brand image and reputation — it can even result in higher retention rates.  When new employees see companies making this effort, it increases their trust and confidence in the organization from the get-go.

What are the impacts of a poor onboarding program?

Failing to have a carefully planned and up-to-date onboarding program in place can have real consequences. For example:

  • Statistics from a Glassdoor report showed that having a robust and thorough onboarding program can improve new hire retention by 82 percent and, just as importantly, increase productivity by over 70 percent.
  • A report published by Gallup noted that a mere 12 percent of employees felt that their company executed the onboarding process well. When considering that statistic, and that between 90-200 percent of a company´s annual salary is spent on onboarding, companies would be much better positioned if they could hold on to employees from day one.

How is virtual and in-person onboarding different?

It’s important to note that hiring for an in-person office role is significantly different to hiring remotely — this means creating a virtual onboarding plan is going to entail steps and processes that are new for many companies that have only recently gone remote.

For example, when someone is onboarded in an office, they have more face time with their manager, they can learn from social cues from the environment and people around them, and they can ask questions on the spot for immediate answers. With virtual onboarding, the face-to-face element of the process and access to social cues are lost and limited to scheduled screen time and interviews, so companies must evolve their practices.

Virtual onboarding best practices

What are the makings of a best-in-class virtual onboarding program? Here are a few best practices that remote companies should consider as they work to create or improve their onboarding programs.

1. Create a virtual onboarding checklist
  • Get new employees organized ahead of their first day with all necessary software and equipment – it could reduce the risk of delays and frustrations throughout the onboarding process. Companies that are prepared in this way show employees they can expect a structured and concise onboarding experience.
  • Streamline part of the process by incorporating contract generation automation. This can free up time for HR leaders and managers to focus on integrating new recruits into the office culture and getting to know their new employees on a personal level — something that is important, but often falls to the wayside in today’s virtual business world.
  • Send new employees a first-day schedule and a list of meet-and-greet meetings and trainings for their first week.
2. Build trust and a sense of belonging
  • The onboarding stage is the perfect time to start cultivating a sense of belonging and a relationship of trust between employees and their new employer. Schedule informal chats and social events to check in on the wellbeing of employees and build rapport. This reinforces that the company cares about new employees beyond their ability to produce.
  • Show new employees that you’re confident they can complete regular projects independently — no one likes to feel they are being closely monitored every day, as this diminishes any trust cultivated between the employees and their employer.
  • Support your team members’ mental health and wellbeing from their first day of employment. Making space for social chats to check in on everyone at the beginning of meetings, encouraging peer-to-peer recognition, and making certain meetings optional or agenda-free to encourage informal idea sharing are great examples of strategies that show teams their time and efforts are valued. Providing access to resources and programs that support mental health can be a simple but impactful step as well, particularly during virtual onboarding when employees may feel isolated.
3. Implement a buddy or mentor system

If hiring managers are not able to be present throughout key aspects of the onboarding experience, they can assign new employees a “buddy” within the company who can act as a source of wisdom and support as they settle into their new role. This will offer new employees a space to ask questions and have conversations in an informal setting. Similarly, companies can assign new employees a professional mentor to offer structured, peer-to-peer feedback and advice for professional development from day one. This can be done through basic constructive feedback on their first few assignments, or through less formal, social activities focused on inducting new employees into their position.

4. Leverage technology to onboard your talent

Leveraging technology during the onboarding process allows for faster scalability. It also provides the opportunity for companies to gather data around future areas for improvement to their onboarding program. High-quality onboarding technology ensures compliance with local labor laws as well, which is key when building global teams in different countries around the world.

How can Globalization Partners help?

The successful management of remote teams begins with onboarding. While it can be challenging without the chance to meet and integrate someone in person, it is not impossible with intuitive, end-to-end technology to support new employees.

Globalization Partners’ AI-enabled Global Growth Platform™ streamlines the onboarding process through the automation of time-consuming administrative and compliance-related processes, freeing your key people up to ensure new employees are happy and productive in their roles from the get-go.

Our platform is fully compliant with employment, tax, and licensing laws in 187 countries, and delivers in seconds what used to take months — allowing you to onboard the best remote talent in the world while minimizing costs and risk.

Reach out today to find out more!

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