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How Remote Onboarding Can Make or Break the Digital Employee Experience

Updated: Nov 21, 2023 | Published Aug 17, 2023

No matter if you operate a small business with ten employees or a major corporation, onboarding is a critical step for every team member. It creates a positive employee experience and ensures every team member feels engaged and set up for success in their position.

Of course, the onboarding experience can be drastically different for remote employees. Perfecting the remote onboarding experience can truly make or break the digital employee experience. 

Read on to learn more about the importance and challenges of remote onboarding so you can create a sense of community and belonging for new hires.

The Importance of a Remote Onboarding Process

Working remotely is here to stay. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, about a third (35%) of workers with jobs that can be done remotely are working from home all of the time. Even more (41%) are working a hybrid schedule.

Clearly, it’s essential for organizations to tailor an onboarding program for remote workers. Onboarding is the chance to help new hires feel comfortable with the organization, while also ensuring that all of the important protocols and policies are understood. 

Effective remote onboarding is also crucial for employee engagement, productivity, and retention. In fact, more than 50% of organizations that do have a structured onboarding process have much higher employee engagement numbers than those that don’t 

For remote team members, onboarding is an extremely critical step in the employee experience that also comes with some unique challenges. 

Remote Onboarding Benefits

Remote onboarding isn’t only an effective way to engage remote teams, but it’s also efficient. Here are some of the benefits of remote onboarding to keep in mind:

  • Increased work flexibility: Employees can complete their onboarding from anywhere.
  • Autonomy of schedules: Learnings and training can be done anytime. 
  • Reduced onboarding costs: Paperless onboarding is cost-effective and efficient.
  • Improved accessibility: Employees can access training and onboarding materials from mobile devices and laptops for convenience. 

Remote Onboarding Challenges

Of course, remote onboarding also comes with some unique challenges, including:

  • Lack of face-to-face interaction: The Society for Human Resource Management explains that it can be difficult for remote employees to understand and integrate into the company culture. This can lead to a lack of engagement in the long run.
  • Technological difficulties: Remote teams rely on technology to be engaged. Choose a reliable platform and hardware to set them up for success. 
  • Miscommunication: Without face-to-face communication, it can be challenging for employees to communicate and understand social cues. 

Remote Onboarding Best Practices

Hiring managers and HR can avoid these challenges and reap the benefits of remote onboarding with the right tools and practices in place. 

One of the best things an organization can do is invest in onboarding software. It can help streamline the process of onboarding remote employees by automating tasks that were previously done manually. It also makes it easier for new hires to start working immediately after being hired, no matter where they’re located.

Remote onboarding starts before a new hire’s first day on the job. To help make newcomers feel fully ready and integrated into the new culture and role, you need to get them the information and tools they need, before they need them.

Remote Employee Onboarding Checklist

The experts at Indeed provide a comprehensive remote employee onboarding checklist for their first day and beyond. Here’s a preview of what you should have set up before their first day:

  • Have them complete new hire paperwork online
  • Create an agenda for the first week
  • Email them a welcome message with relevant information and links
  • Deliver work equipment and ensure it works
  • Send a welcome kit (including company swag is a plus)
  • Assign a welcome buddy

Learn more about how iTacit can make remote onboarding a breeze. Request a demo today!

Teri Maltais
Teri Maltais

Specializing in digital marketing programs for industrial and commercial technology solutions.

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