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Best Practices for Remote Employees Onboarding with eLearning

The pandemic forced millions of people across the globe to shift into a remote work environment. As organizations continue to embrace a more hybrid work model, it forces them to establish a smooth onboarding process that doesn’t consist of face-to-face interactions.

Establishing a smooth remote onboarding process can make a huge impact on how your employees integrate into your organization.

What Is Remote Employee Onboarding?

The  process for onboarding remote employees consists of a series of steps and processes to welcome new team members and set them up for success in a new work environment. It’s also a great way for new employees to get to know their team members and learn about the culture, core values, rituals, and tools in their new workplace.

The process typically consists of both formal and informal onboarding processes. For example, the formal onboarding process typically consists of compliance classes, training sessions, and other formalized workshops to help learn the technical tools and guidelines. Informal onboarding may consist of ad-hoc meetings with higher-ups or shadowing other team members to learn the ropes of the business.

Remote onboarding must accomplish all of the above without any face-to-face interaction, making it that much more difficult for both employees and employers in this new remote working world.

Benefits of Remote Onboarding

Benefits of Remote Onboarding

Despite its challenges and nuances, there are many benefits of the onboarding process for remote employees. It covers the same topics as in-person onboarding yet it requires a structured approach to ensure it is executed correctly. If the process is done seamlessly, it can set your team up for long-term success.

Here are only some of the benefits of remote onboarding:

In-depth training: New employees won’t feel the pressure to learn everything on their own. They can take advantage of in-depth remote training that will set them up for future success.

  • Connect new employees with their team: Did you know that with the right processes and tools, you can increase the sense of belonging in new hires by 70%? This is an easy way to start them off on the right foot in your organization!
  • Increase new hire engagement: Instill a sense of excitement in your new hires by providing them with clear expectations and engaging training. The more structured your remote onboarding process, the more productive your team will be.

Why Use eLearning for Onboarding?

eLearning for onboarding comes with many benefits that your company can consider:

  • It helps to standardize the onboarding process and make it more repeatable for future new hires.
  • There is likely a one-time production cost, but after that, the onboarding process is likely scalable and repeatable.
  • Downtime and disruptions are minimized as the onboarding process can be completed from anywhere at any time.
  • Tap into analytics and reporting to make sure the training is effective.
  • Blendable with in-person interactions such as handshakes or an office tour if your employees are located near your office.

Challenges of Onboarding Remote Workers

It’s not always easy to implement an enjoyable, effective remote onboarding process. Remote onboarding requires additional documentation to ensure effectiveness compared with traditional in-person onboarding programs. This is due to the fact that there is less opportunity to make on-the-fly adjustments to the onboarding process.

Building an emotional connection is a bit more difficult through a screen as well, and your new team members could feel isolated if they don’t have the necessary touchpoints to help them feel included.

Here are some common challenges of onboarding remote workers vs. the traditional onboarding process.

Organizational challengesRemote employee challenges
Introducing your new hires to existing team membersPotential sense of isolation
Setting up the necessary equipment for remote workFamiliarization with their new team members
Keeping an open line of communicationAnswers to questions aren’t always immediate
Managing and signing of required paperwork including HR forms or other codes of conductLearning how apps and processes work
Establishing priorities and individual objections
Expanding upon company policies and procedures

To some organizations, onboarding is a necessary evil, but when it comes to onboarding remote employees, it’s important that it’s executed properly.

How Long Should Remote Onboarding Take?

So, how long should onboarding for remote employees take? In-office onboarding processes typically last anywhere from one week to a few months depending on the industry and business specifics. Many factors are in play that help determine how long it takes—some businesses have an established framework that only requires two weeks while others lean on processes that consist of months-long onboarding.

The first step is establishing the goals of your company. From there, you’ll be able to create an onboarding process that makes sense for you. Generally speaking, however, you can assume that the remote onboarding process will take a bit longer than an in-person onboarding process.

How to Implement an eLearning-Based Onboarding System

If you’re ready to move forward with a remote onboarding process, you’ll want to explore the benefits of implementing an eLearning-based onboarding system. Here are some tips for onboarding remote employees.

Set Clear Goals

Having clearly defined goals with a host of details is pivotal in the remote onboarding process. Because there isn’t a physical office space, it could take your remote employees some time before they feel comfortable asking questions via chat and messenger.

You can also use a custom eLearning course to help with your employee onboarding process and assist new hires in reaching their goals. Set relevant milestones, review job-specific duties with the appropriate manager, and create interactive checklists to assist in material familiarization.

Develop a Clear Plan

Robust planning before your new hire begins can help set them up for a smooth onboarding process. Make sure to schedule any necessary meetings during the first few weeks on the job to reduce stress for both you and your new hire.

Planning ahead of time also reduces anxiety for the employee and ensures they are properly introduced to the right people, tools, and projects that will make up their daily work. Make sure to set a clear timeline to complete each milestone to keep the process on track.

Implement an eLearning-Based Onboarding

Digitize HR Paperwork

Another best practice for onboarding new employees is to digitize any HR paperwork that needs to be filled out. Instead of mailing the paperwork to your new hires, consider digitizing contracts, tax documents, offer letters, handbooks, vacation policies, company organization charts, and other essential information.

Make sure to invest in software that keeps all of this information confidential.

Set Up a Remote Workspace

In the case of a remote employee who has a question about their equipment, they don’t have the luxury of walking over to a desk and asking for help. Instead, invest in an eLearning course that can help them set up their equipment through step-by-step instructions. These courses give your remote team to set up their equipment at their own pace.

List General Processes

You can also consider putting together an eLearning course that outlines your company’s mission, values, and operational processes that currently exist. Consider outlining job roles, the organizational structure, day-to-day tasks, essential meetings, company events, benefits, etc. during the onboarding process. Revise this content as processes evolve.

Build Culture Intentionally

Establishing a strong culture is more difficult in a remote environment, but the right eLearning course can compensate for this. Adding social aspects to these courses can foster personal connections. For example, consider sharing corporate video of current employees speaking on their experience or film a tour of the physical office so remote employees can see what it looks like.

Check-In Regularly

Check-in often to make sure new remote employees have the outlets necessary to ask questions and feel more comfortable with their role in the company. If the onboarding process is long, checking in with them multiple times is a great way to foster an open line of communication.

Remote Work Is Here to Stay, Start Preparing!

With more and more companies offering remote work, make sure you’re investing in the tools that will set up your remote employees for long-term success. Allegro Media Design has over a decade of experience creating custom eLearning courses that can help your team transition into this new environment. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist your business!