The present world has become technically advanced in various ways. And as we all continue to acclimate to this “new normal” people are moving towards remote working and onboarding processes.
If you are wondering what virtual onboarding really entails, you have come to the right page. You will learn the meaning, basics, advantages, and more.
What is Virtual Onboarding?
The concept of virtual onboarding is recent. It is similar to the in-person onboarding process except that it is done virtually, using video conferencing tools, online resources and webinars. Such onboarding procedures successfully explain to the new employees the terms of service at ease.
A company does not work with the same terms and conditions for years together. Everything requires a change, and many companies are adopting the virtual onboarding process to continue their work during the COVID pandemic. Previously, the newly hired employees had to find out the companies' details from the already existing colleagues working in the company for years. With the remote onboarding processes, companies have encouraged people to use online resources, webinars and interactive sessions that the fresher can access from their laptop so they can refer to them in any stage of the onboarding process or corporate journey.
Challenges of Virtual Onboarding
The procedure of virtual onboarding might seem relatively easy, but it is not like that in reality. Organisations face challenges right from how to begin the process of onboarding. Here are some common challenges:
Difficult to make employees feel comfortable:
One of the most challenging parts of the virtual onboarding procedure is to make the new employees feel comfortable. If an employee gets to meet their colleagues and interact with them face-to-face, it will help the new joinee understand the organisational culture much easier than online interaction.
Another unavoidable problem of virtual onboarding is the gap between the newly hired employees and their managers. When you get to meet each other every day, interact now and then, the procedure of getting accustomed to the new company, new role becomes a lot easier for both the employees and the managers. But it is not the same in the case of virtual onboarding. The interaction between the new employees and the managers only stays limited to the video call meetings and conferences. It automatically reduces the terms of promotion due to a lack of direct observation of the new employees' progress in the work field.
One of the toughest challenges of the remote onboarding process is miscommunication. When a newly hired employee gets to interact with the company heads directly, they quickly understand their role of action in the company with physical examples. But suppose the freshly hired employees opt for virtual onboarding processes, there are high possibilities of miscommunication among all the employees and the company heads for lack of direct communication and physical examples to learn. The newbies might not get a clear idea of their role in the company.
No harmony and teamwork:
A company can only run at its best with employee harmony and teamwork. It is one of the challenging parts of the process of virtual onboarding in companies. The employees lack connection with one another, they do not get to understand each other, so there remains no point of harmony in the work field, which can be quite damaging to the company's reputation. Without balance, teamwork and human connection, companies tend to be less profitable than other companies as their newly hired employees suffer from lack of connection.
Virtual Onboarding Process
However, it’s not all gloomy when it comes to remote onboarding. With the help of a robust HR technology partner, organisations can ensure a smooth onboarding process for their new hires. Here’s how:
Schedule the meetings properly:
The first and foremost step in the remote onboarding process is to schedule a video conferencing session between new joinees and the current employee giving them the opportunity to introduce themselves and meet their new team members. The key ingredient here is employee engagement, you need to coordinate and set a time on the basis of the bandwidth available with the team, so that no party goes unnoticed and making it a priority to regularly connect with the employee from day one.
Maintain professionalism along with warmth:
When it comes to the newly hired employees, you have to be considerate about two things mainly, professionalism and warmth. You have to be professional enough with the company's newly hired employees to remove any sort of anxiety during the initial days of onboarding. You have to provide enough warmth so that he or she can open up to you and take equal parts in decision making and team meetings.
Introduce technology to the new employees:
Most of the companies run on advanced technology in the 21st century. One of the essential things you have to do virtually during the onboarding procedure is to deliver the company laptop to the newly hired employees’ home in the shortest span to get them started with all the software needs and setup of the company. Sending them the documents to fill out ahead of time also shows the employee how organised your business is.
Instilling your Company Values:
It is difficult for the employee to understand the company culture and values in the virtual environment. The best way for you to start virtually with the onboarding process is to explain the employees' culture and code of conduct right from day one so as to make them quickly understand the ideas and start implementing those values in their organisation activities.
Defining clear goals and expectation:
Every individual in the company has got a role to play in the progress of the company. You need to make the new employees understand their part of the company's activities during the remote onboarding process. You need to define clear goals and objectives and how their performance will be assessed overtime. Make transparency a priority in your communication as it would make the work procedure more comfortable for the new joinee and avoid any future complications.
Set a buddy:
Some of the newly hired employees might require a longer span to get into the company's folds and contribute to its progress. But the procedure becomes easier for the new employees if you set a buddy whom they can contact virtually during the onboarding processes to understand the company and its terms better. You can consult an old employee or an experienced one who can help the newbie.
Frequently check the progress:
There are possibilities of the new employees not understanding the terms “Zoom-fatigue” which arises due to the amount of work they need to do while also taking calls from the team. In order to facilitate the connection between the work and the employee, they need to work in tandem with a partner who could frequently troubleshoot the issues and problems related to all things tech.
Make the process enjoyable:
The heads and HRs need to introduce new ideas and competitive scopes for the newly hired employees to rise and get chances to flaunt their abilities in the work field. It is important to introduce such exciting ideas during the remote onboarding sessions to make the learning and training procedure flexible for the new joinees.
Advantage of Virtual Onboarding Process
The virtual onboarding process has got a few pros for your company. The following points might be helpful:
One of the most profitable parts of hiring employees with a virtual onboarding process is that you can find a lot of talents from a large online platform that might turn out to be profitable for you. If you do not like one of the candidates or employees hired virtually, then you can reject them and go for other better options at any time. You can take necessary steps anytime with the availability of options for the betterment of your company.
Organisations can leverage virtual meeting apps to engage with new employees without having to meet them physically. And also it saves a lot of time by having new joinees submit and process documents online.
An employee lifecycle should be smooth and seamless right from day one, with Darwinbox onboarding module you can take the entire process of dispensing candidate information from generating offers to taking employee live on the system the entire process can be done virtually, making the entire onboarding process faster and easier.
To check out what your HR can do to seamlessly implement the virtual onboarding process here’s a Remote Onboarding checklist to help you create a healthy work from home culture for your new employees.