Remote Onboarding Guide: Tools and Processes for Success

Posted by
Julia in Technical Communication on 4/28/20215 min read

woman video conferencing

Last year has drastically changed our reality, and a lot of companies still work remotely. They’ve managed to establish their processes online, which is a miracle. Hiring and onboarding new employees has gone online as well, and it requires a new way of organization. Let’s see how to succeed in this latest virtual process to preserve the company’s efficiency.

Why Is Remote Onboarding Important?

Do you remember your first day with a new team? New responsibilities, new rules, new people. All that may seem a bit frustrating. And now imagine your first day if you work from home. A person may feel like wandering in complete darkness. Who are your colleagues? What should you do? How to prepare for a conversation with a client or partner?

Onboarding used to take up to several weeks when we all worked from an office. Work from home may make it much longer. Due to this gap in onboarding, employees don’t know how to perform their functions correctly. They cannot show good results. In general, a company’s performance gets lower. Neither employees nor employers are satisfied. And, finally, newcomers have to quit. To prevent it, we are to make onboarding smooth, effective, and friendly.

Statistics show that up to 70% of employees stay longer with a company if they had a great onboarding experience.

A carefully thought out onboarding strategy can not only give new personnel basic knowledge, but it also can help them reduce stress, information overload and make them feel a part of a team. In other words, working on an onboarding strategy is investing in the company’s human resources.

What Are the Best Remote Onboarding Practices?

Let’s look through the basics of virtual onboarding to fine-tune the process that takes place in your company.

Plan

I often say that everything starts with a plan. Virtual onboarding is no exception. Of course, the majority of businesses that often hire employees already have one. But at the moment, it is high time to update it to meet the needs of remote work. So, your onboarding plan must be clear and detailed. Set the goals and deadlines. Define what information and when to share with new hires (as some information may be sensitive, not everything should be shared right at the beginning of the training course), establish schedules, etc. If you have several newcomers, choose the format of their training: in a group, individual sessions, or you can combine both. Prepare learning materials. Some companies use an FAQ or a knowledge base to support employees. Today, even video content is used for remote training. Have a look at the following posts to get more information: How to Create FAQ and Knowledge Base in ClickHelp, Tips to Make Instructional Videos.

Welcome Packet

Earlier, a new hire’s first day looked like that: an office tour, getting acquainted with colleagues, establishing a learning schedule, setting up goals. In general, the first week was devoted to building new connections. And, what happens when a person works from home? Actually, anyone would feel isolated. To prevent it, you can prepare a welcome packet for a new hire. It should be sent out beforehand and include the following information: payroll and tax documents, a list of teammates with their positions and contacts, a list of tasks that need to be completed in the future, a list of online resources and tools to learn, etc. It is the general information that might be relevant to a newcomer in the first weeks or months. On the one hand, one might say that this information is not of great importance, but, on the other hand, it gives the feeling of being involved in what is happening in a company.

Mentor

Having a mentor is essential. This is a person who can help you get used to your new position, learn the typical processes in your new company, acquire their professional experience, and get acquainted with your new role and responsibilities. When you work from home, that is vital.

About 60% of new hires admit that their mentor helped them adapt to new corporate culture faster, avoid mistakes, and stay productive.

Another piece of advice here: make sure that a person who is assigned to be a mentor is ready for that. I mean, being a mentor is an additional responsibility to the general workload. And a mentor should be patient enough to answer questions and explain things. This role presupposes being a bit of a teacher, and it is not as easy as it may seem.

onboarding training in group

High-Quality Learning Materials

A mentor’s help is not enough for new hires. They need an additional source of information at hand. As was mentioned above, many businesses use an FAQ or a knowledge base to train personnel. These are online types of documentation. Their biggest advantage is that they are available 24/7 from any place and any device. What you need is the Internet. It may happen that an employee needs to check up on something or make sure that he/she is going through the motions correctly. Why asking the same questions again and again if you simply can open a guide or an instruction and find what you need?

If your business still doesn’t have resources like that, it is high time to change it. ClickHelp, an online help authoring tool, allows to easily build an FAQ or a knowledge base to store and share relevant information. Here are a couple of posts to elaborate on that topic: What is FAQ?, Knowledge Base 101: Best Tips and Guidelines. As a result, you will get an excellent source of information not only for beginners but for all kinds of users. Moreover, using a technical writing tool, in this case, allows you to quickly manage and update the information.

woman working from home with dog beside

Milestones

Milestones are not only meant to check an employee’s progress. They are great guidance for employees. You can clearly see what and by when you should know. You can check whether you are coping well with your learning plan. This motivates a person to go further and stay productive or gain what has not been done yet. Using a checklist at different stages is a helping hand as well while tracking the results of onboarding. It contributes to consistency and diving deep into the material.

Feedback

Do not forget to gather feedback at all stages to find soft spots in your onboarding plan. It can help you improve it in the future. Successful remote work requires a lot of communication to make sure that everything is flawless. The simplest thing you can do is to have a conversation via an online conference tool.

Conclusion

Remote onboarding is a specific process due to the feeling of isolation. To make it successful for newcomers, one should be ready to increase the number of contacts and organize communication efficiently. There are a lot of tools that can help you: from online conference tools to technical writing tools. All the rest is a matter of preparation and planning.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

Technical Writing: Readability and Text Metrics
Get This Ebook
Post Categories

Want to become a better professional?

Get monthly digest on technical writing, UX and web design, overviews of useful free resources and much more.
×

Mind if we email you once a month?

Professionals never stop learning. Join thousands of experts subscribed to our blog to get tips, ideas and stories from us once per month.
Learn more on ClickHelp
×
By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Learn more