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3 Key Considerations Before Starting Onboarding Remotely

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onboarding remotely
The pandemic has had a profound impact on the world of work in 2020, disrupting it in multiple ways. With most of the world operating remotely in virtual offices, we are now facing new challenges, such as the need to onboard new hires remotely and reboard the existing workforce. Follow these 3 tips for a successful remote onboarding to improve productivity ratios and retention rates.

1. Make newcomers feel “at home” and welcome to their remote teams

Joining a new organization with no office and working remotely could be a mix of feelings: excited about the opportunity and anxious to perform well in a new environment. In addition to sharing organizational guidelines and policies and providing all necessary information and training on systems and tools, focus on how to introduce the new hire into the company culture. Culture helps integrate new employees into the community and develop a stronger sense of belonging while best influence organizational change. Besides, promoting work environments based on open communication has plenty of benefits, such as connecting and engaging teams, increasing collaboration, and building a great work atmosphere: the foundations of high-performance teams.


  1. Organize a welcome video-call with other staff members and give them a virtual tour of the office. Optionally ask new hires to record a brief video of themselves, sharing a few facts about them, from hobbies to favorite local restaurants; coworkers could do the same.
  2. Provide newcomers a mentor/buddy who will be able to clarify their questions and doubts about the organization in an informal and trusted way. Onboarding buddies increase new employee satisfaction. Giving people mentoring new hires enough time helps them integrate employees into their new work environment and culture properly.


To create highly productive, engaged teams, promote environments of high trust and great culture: employees have 74% less stress, are 106% more energetic and 76% more engaged at work, 50% more productive, take 13% fewer sick days, 29% are more satisfied with their lives, and 40% have less burnout.

2. Communicate expectations and goals clearly and provide/receive continuous feedback

Ensure new hires fully understand the organizational goals and their own objectives and how these relate to the overall goals from the very start. Moreover, to be successful, managers should be extremely involved in the new hire employee onboarding process, building trust with ongoing bidirectional communication.


  1. Carry out weekly one-on-one meetings (30 min-45 min) to discuss the role and responsibilities, get to know the new hire better, his/her expectations as well as long-term goals, as well as share news and other matters.
  2. Run bi-monthly check-ins regularly to review progress and identify any issues; cover four simple questions: what did go well in the last period, what should the employee improve, what would be his/her focus in the next period, and how can you help the employee). Also, share a final evaluation, from 1 to 5, about the new hire´s performance during the last period.


95% of employees admitted in a survey to be unaware of the overall strategy, one of the main causes of workforce disengagement and unappreciation. Another study supported that 80% of people who quit their jobs do so because they are not appreciated at work. Still, 68% of HR managers stated that celebrating talent is a great way to make newcomers feel appreciated at work.

3. Provide effective training

New hires must learn company products and processes, how tools and software work, where to find the organization’s repository, among others. Bear in mind that learners best acquire skills when they reflect on and experience their learning process (“hands-on learning”). Offer newcomers ongoing training based on their needs and skills. Also, do not forget to assess their onboarding progress. You should continuously test new hires’ knowledge and map their talent, being it to identify their best skills or the competences they still lack.


1. Use short video assets, apply micro-learning principles, and build a journey so that all content is spread over time, even before day 1, allowing new hires to learn at their own pace during their onboarding. Don´t forget to track their progress. 2. Build a continuous feedback loop on how well the company is doing vis-à-vis the onboarding process and other essential activities such as training; ideally, using a simple app-based form throughout the first 90 days, using a 1-5 scale. To judge the value of each micro-learning asset, ask two questions, one to evaluate the quality of the content, and the second one to assess how useful and relevant it was to the learner.


Among some interesting data that supports the importance of training, the LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report shows that 94 percent of employees said they would work longer for a company if there was an investment in learning whereas an article by the Huffington Post reported that companies could improve their profit margins by up to 24% if they invest in training. Employee performance is decisive for business success. For that reason, employees are the backbone of any successful organization. Thus, offering them an exceptional start and answering to their needs is crucial. According to Gallup, when the onboarding process is outstanding, newcomers are likely to feel two times more prepared to face challenges in a new company. In the end, onboarding remotely effectively is all about giving newcomers a great employee experience. Intuitive HRIS platforms such as niikiis can help you make remote teamwork easier, strengthening interactions between employees, employee and manager, and even employee and enterprise so that your people achieve their very best, keep engaged and part of the community. Sign up for a free account here. Onboarding goes digital in 2020: Don’t get left behind!
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