Customizing the Remote Onboarding Process
Onboarding is a critical process in many companies.
Research shows that successful onboarding correlates with reduced churn, increased employee engagement, shorter time to productivity, and more substantial management credibility.
That was why, already as a young startup, we invested in high-quality onboarding with a highly structured and orderly first day, a beautiful presentation that provides all the data one might need on the organization, and a boot camp for each employee.
We also took care to update and renovate the process on an iterative basis, collected feedback from the new employees, and adjusted the process to changes taking place in the company.
With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we realized we needed to implement a remote onboarding for over 100 people working from home.
We were not sure how to approach the task.
Our onboarding process included a tour of the premises, participation in the company's weekly meeting, joint lunch, and more.
We were concerned that remote onboarding would not yield the expected results.
Hence, we started with a careful collection of information.
We interviewed the few workers who joined at the beginning of the pandemic and their mentors to understand their experience: What worked? What didn't?
We reached two conclusions:
1) Professionally, training was effective, and the employees knew what they had to do. They were not messing around or wasting time. At the same time, the company's general orientation seemed compromised, as was the sense of belonging.
2) We also discovered that the employees who had a buddy to aid in social integration did better than those who had only a professional mentor.
About a week before starting, we sent them the entire equipment (office chair and desk, displays, headsets, and some fun swags).
We took care to schedule the right meetings for the first morning so that technical glitches will get sorted out first.
We built an orderly buddies’ system and trained dozens of employees who have been with the company for more than a year and were willing to participate in the program.
We designed several social activities that would benefit all employees and make it easier for the new ones.
We trained all managers and the mentor on remote onboarding
We drafted a survey that assesses integration four months from start date, from the employee and manager's perspective.
Our managers reported they now know how to go about remote onboarding and feel confident and prepared following that process.
We continue to check the feedback on the process and improve it, especially now that physical onboarding is possible.
If you need more details - write me at firstname.lastname@example.org