Remote onboarding: structure, phases and examples

  1. Example: the remote onboarding process

Many HR managers find the onboarding of new employees more difficult in the home office than in the usual office. Communication can suffer from distance and lack of face-to-face personal contact. This, in turn, can lead to misunderstandings and poor work ethic among the workforce.

The most important part of a remote employee's onboarding process is to connect them and their team as quickly as possible. We tell you our tips for a successful onboarding strategy and what should be on your onboarding checklist. So let's start from the beginning.

Phases of remote onboarding

Depending on the role of the new employee and many other factors, the onboarding period can last from a few weeks to several months. However, it always consists of the following phases:

Pre onboarding: Preboarding pays particular attention to social integration into the new team and company. The new employee should feel that the employer is taking care of them. In this phase, in addition to initial technical information, organizational aspects should also be communicated (e.g. working hours, break times, work conditions, etc.).

During Onboarding: The process phase "Orientation" should offer a great start in the new company with the first working day. The first impression of the team, superiors and company counts more than you think. This phase comprises approximately the first weeks of the new employee.

After onboarding: The focus here is on structured and efficient training. The better this is designed, the sooner the new employee can work productively. A well-designed induction plan is extremely helpful.

Practical tips for digital onboarding

In the following paragraph you will find practical tips for the digital training of new employees:

1. Organization is everything

Document your onboarding process so that it can be easily adapted and digitally implemented. Your onboarding document should be in the form of a to-do list.

2. Personal conversations via video conference

New employees should be greeted personally. This gives the new team member the opportunity to introduce themselves, ask questions and memorize the names of new colleagues faster based on their faces.

3. Set clear expectations and goals

It is particularly important for the new employee that you communicate clear goals and expectations right from the start. The lack of direct and personal contact can easily lead to misunderstandings.

Another way to set goals for new employees to work on is to assign a mentor or coach from the team. Its aim is to make the new employee feel like a member of the working family despite the lack of personal contact.

4. Socializing with the new team

This is possibly the most difficult part of the digital onboarding process. The corporate culture is conveyed effortlessly when new employees spend time in the office and interact with their colleagues.

5. Get feedback regularly

Constant evaluation and adjustments are important. After onboarding, ask new employees for feedback on the process and the first few weeks in the new company. What could or should you have done better or differently? What questions were asked that you didn't expect? Did you offer enough support to make your new employees feel comfortable working remotely?

The more feedback you get, the better, because every company is different. This applies not only to the service and product offered, but also to the way in which employees interact and communicate with each other.

Example: the remote onboarding process

What does remote onboarding look like in practice? Here at BrainyHR, onboarding lasts 90 days. To get fully ramped up, a new employee goes through a series of remote meetings, training sessions, and interviews. They’ll learn about company rituals, as well as how we plan our strategic initiatives and set objectives. Don't forget, that BrainyHR is a place where you can do it automatically, don't waste your time on paper work.

Is your company remote ready? Check this Remote Readiness Assessment by Toptal.

Also, we prepare for you the example of onboarding checklists:

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