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Onboarding process: Easy ways to onboard new teammates using their phone

The onboarding process helps the new recruits feel valued. They had better understand their role, and this increases their productivity and performance.


man looking at his smartphone while having coffee

As an employer well versed with employee employment and training, the process of onboarding is no news. The onboarding process helps the new recruits feel valued. They’d better understand their role, and this increases their productivity and performance.

The process also acclimates employees to the company's philosophies and its offerings, thereby effectively engaging them and forming workers that are committed to the company's success. In every way, onboarding has a direct impact on the productivity of the new employees, and as such its importance can’t be overemphasized. Research has it that organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% productivity from their new workers than those with a sketchier structure.

An effective onboarding system should incorporate a new hire onboarding checklist to help managers and HR make sure they are covering all the crucial steps for onboarding a new employee and walking them through the process of becoming a part of their team.

It makes sure that new employees have the right materials and knowledge including clarity of tasks and the peculiar business jargon to take on their new roles. The onboarding process will make new employees feel welcome, build and promote valuable relationships with colleagues and managers, and feel belonged.

As a manager and/or a hiring supervisor, you must be proactive and engaged in facilitating the employee's successful integration into the organization from start to finish. However, given the current global move towards remote and distance working, there has been a slight touch to onboarding as we know it. As such, if you want your business to remain relevant and trendy, you will have to optimize your existing onboarding programs to be more inclusive of both in-house and digital company agents.

This is accomplished using virtual onboarding.

What Is Virtual Onboarding?

Virtual onboarding is the digital version of traditional in-person onboarding. The sessions are held online and remotely. Moreover, at, you can see how you could engage new employees no matter where they are giving you the ability to easily scale your current onboarding process. You will need no or less paperwork and you’ll be given more smart forms to get all required details from the new team members.

You will be required to use video conferencing, webinars, videos, text resources for successful virtual onboarding. These digital materials and other interactive exercises must be easily accessible to the new hires via their tablet or mobile device so they may revisit them whenever they need to throughout the onboarding process.

When Should a Virtual Onboarding Be Completed?

After the very first interview, a lot has already been said and done and the new employee has most certainly already formed a first impression of your company. However, in order to boost their passion for the work and ultimately make brand ambassadors of them in the near future, the quality and timing of their onboarding must be taken into careful thought. Following the No Pain No Gain ideology, you will need to ensure the onboarding process is not short-lived if the Gain is what you really want. Taking your new staff through an onboarding process spanning months is ideal. It’s thorough and tedious, but it’s worth it.

The long time is crucial for a more in-depth learning and adaptive approach over just simply cramming for a few days. This leads to a higher and more useful information retention rate.

The onboarding process is best started with a week’s gap before the new employee’s first day. This is to stimulate the worker’s enthusiasm for your brand as well as help them get better prepared and embraced. You’ll also be improving their productivity and engagement when you give them the tools they need to discover the intricacies of their new job in their own time.

To sum, say six months; you should have been able to render a perfect onboarding in that timeframe. Several research reports allude to that same time affirming that that’s when most employees feel they start to add value. This time may extend to well over nine months in some other businesses. It actually depends on the role in question as well as the size of the team.

What Actions Should Be Taken to Ensure a Convivial Virtual Onboarding Before the Start Date?

You Need to Create a Guide to Make Them More Confident

Most new recruits will want to start to impress from the very first day at work. So, they will usually want to get themselves well prepared and up to the task primarily to set a good impression and assure their new managers that they haven’t made a mistake in selecting them.
A guide detailing the work environment, conditions, tasks, materials, and if possible some test cases will go a long way to assist your new employees in their desire to impress. You just have to help them out here.

Ensure that this guide lays out all they’re to expect on their first day at work including a hint on the very first task they will be assigned if possible. It should also contain a list of the things not to do and the things to do while at work. This step does a lot to ease their mind and get them mentally and emotionally prepared for their new career path.

Ensure the Necessary Hardware and Tools Have Been Acquired or Are in Place

Depending on the job type, you may need to provide the necessary equipment especially if it's a specialized one that can’t be gotten in a regular market. Shipping this hardware may take a while. So, to prevent unwanted delays and to make sure that your new staff will be able to use the machines from the first day at work, be sure to send the machine/s to them at least one week prior to their start date.

However, if the special gadgets are devices that can easily be bought at the employee’s end, then, you can allocate a budget for your remote worker to purchase such devices themselves. This step would save postage costs and the time wastage involved.

Some companies would have their new employees personally finance the acquisition of the devices especially if it’s work that would only require their mobile phone and reimburse the funds later. Be sure to set clear guidelines on what type of phone along with the phone accessories they’ll need to efficiently get the job done. Define the timeline within which they should have made the purchase of the equipment so that in the case of a mobile phone, the IT department would have ample time to complete the remote setup. Ensure that the receipts of all purchases made are sent back to you for tax deductibles.

To be sure everything is fine from the remote worker’s end, you’ll still need to arrange one or more test calls a few days before work so as to verify that all necessary phone apps have been downloaded and correctly installed and are work-ready.

Share Company Culture With a Company Welcome Pack

For in-house workers, on their first day of work, they’ll be warmly welcomed by the manager and they’ll be introduced to every other worker with beaming smiles and lots of cheers. They’ll be shown around and finally taken to their very office space that would have already been furnished with materials that express the company’s way of saying “You’re Welcome Here.”

This culture is to be replicated in the remote setting. It’ll definitely take a while for your remote employee to truly feel part of your team. The distance apart is there making it difficult to nurture strong relationships, stimulate smooth communication and create a sense of belonging. But a nice Welcome-Here package will definitely have its own positive impact and will lead the remote worker in the absence of the physical manager around the premises of the new company right within his own home. (Don’t worry about the missing beaming smiles from fellow workers. It’ll surely come.)

woman's hands holding a iphone on a table with a coffee cup

Send your company’s “Welcome Package” a couple of days prior to their start date. It’ll give them the opportunity to share their new journey with you on social media; making them brand ambassadors already right from the d-day.

Provide All Necessary Onboarding Documents

All the digital HR paperwork should be sent prior to their first day at work. It’ll save time. All the signings of policies, agreements, and procedures would have been completed, and they would have gotten acquainted with the company’s principles long before the start date.

Some onboarding documents you could send in advance include:

  • Expectations of the job
    • A copy of the worker’s job description;

    • A letter of offer;

  • Policies & procedures
    • WHS, Performance & Misconduct;

    • Complaints & Grievances;

    • Equal Employment Opportunities & Anti-Discrimination;

    • Social Media;

    • Smoking, Drugs & Alcohol;

    • Recruitment & Selection;

    • Attendance, Hours of Work & Absenteeism;

    • Working from Home;

    • Internet, Email & Phone Use;

  • Financial forms
    • Tax;

    • Superannuation;

    • Direct debit;

    • Income statement;

    • Accounts receivable aging report;

  • Emergency contact details
    • A designated form to record the details of your new employee’s emergency contact in the event that an incident or accident happens at work;

With a remote onboarding application as mentioned above, you’ll be able to remove the constraints of scanning and printing of documents by the remote worker and ease the whole form documents filling and examination process.

What Actions Should Be Taken to Ensure a Convivial Virtual Onboarding From the Start Date?

Schedule Team Bonding

It’s much more difficult for a remote worker to have a good grasp of the company’s culture or even to get to know coworkers remotely. However, genuine connection and conversation among team members are of utmost importance in keeping the employees productive and engaged. For this, time needs to be set aside for the remote team members vis-a-vis in-house team to get to know one another, bond with one another as well as think outside the box about activities to do together. Usually, the remote newcomers would feel highly welcome and part of the team.

Define Specific Goals

From the very first day of work, your new employee must be made aware of how they’re contributing to the overall business growth. For this to be easily achieved, you’ll need to set clear objectives and key results (OKR) and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Try to highlight the team’s objectives and show ways by which performance will be assessed and rewarded with time. Apply transparency in all of your communication to remove misunderstandings or miscommunications.

Challenges of Remote Onboarding

Problems of Communication and Connection

When there is a lack of effective communication due to remote workplace conditions or other factors, there’ll be a lack of clarity and an inevitable disconnection from the defined goals and objectives. This can have undesirable effects on your employees’ mental health and affect the desired throughput.

To curb this, schedule regular “checking in” sessions to keep your new remote worker connected and to avoid miscommunications. You’ll keep them engaged in a steady and very helpful conversation where you get to know the new employee even better. They’ll get to know you better too. The closeness will remove the likelihood of misunderstandings and miscommunications seeing that there would already be room for more open and constructive feedback. The workers will fully understand everything that is expected of them and you won’t be frustrated over low or poor output.

Problems of Little Knowledge of Company Culture

With the lack of physical presence and with the limited opportunities for free conversation and collaboration, understanding the company culture may take longer than expected for remote workers. The understanding of the company culture is vital to being a true brand ambassador and that’s why it all matters. You’ll need to step up company culture learning strategies through organizing remote work drinks, wishing staff happy birthdays and anniversaries, and sharing team or company achievements continually.

To end, be present for your remote teams at all times. It is a good way to retrieve feedback from them more naturally and quickly. You’ll also be able to identify loopholes or inconsistencies in knowledge acquired and training received. Above all, evolving, strong, and structured virtual onboarding remains the only way to boost productivity, engagement, and talent retention among your remote workers.

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